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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Assembly House Art Show 2013: Art Alive!

It came as a surprise to me when I received an email requesting that I please send a Jpeg image and a statement about the image to be displayed in the Assembly House Art Show 2013. I didn't even know I had been accepted! I was confused, but when I thought about it, I realized that I had submitted my idea for a piece for the show when I was living in my old house and the acceptance letter must have been sent there. This was the reason I was unaware!

I looked at the proposal I had written and realized I still had to actually make the work! I had in my head what I wanted, so I prepared some paper and had some fun making lots of samples of relief etchings in bright colours. 

The piece I eventually ended up with is called Growth and Process (Specimen Collection I) and is in display now at The Assembly House Art Show 2013: Art Alive!

Growth and Process (Specimen Collection I)

About the Work:

Growth and Process (Specimen Collection I) is a precious accumulation of original prints. This personal selection abstractly examines the effects caused by chemicals and substances used throughout the printmaking process of etching. Influences include organic shapes and growths seen in nature and decay representing the beauty and fragility of existence.

The show opened on 8th April and will run until 8th May 2013. 

Opening times are Monday - Saturday, 9am-5pm.


The Assembly House is a Grade I-listed Georgian building with its amazing interior and well groomed gardens showing a diverse range of work by 120 artists from the East Anglia region. If you fancy a visit you can look forward to pottery, sculpture, painting, printmaking, drawing, photography, installation and video; you're bound to find something you like!

Here's a snippet from the Assembly House website (where you can also view the whole catalog of the exhibition in PDF format) :

Co-curators John and Yvonne Millwood said: “When choosing from the hundreds of original ideas submitted, our emphasis was on quality and variety. We have chosen works that we think are good of their kind – we have not interpreted art narrowly. We hope you will agree that the exhibition is exciting and thought-provoking. And that the Assembly House is an ideal, non-stuffy venue for living art where all are welcomed; we hope that parents will also bring their children so that they too can experience the joy of art.”

The busy Private View
Next to my piece, enjoying a glass of bubbly at the Private View

A little quieter the next day for a return trip for a better look at the work on display!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

The Refectory Table Creative Business Day at The Water Tower, Northampton

A friend and I had found out about a Creative Business Day being held at the Water Tower. The course was held by a couple running a partnership, encouraging creative start-ups through informal, relaxed and friendly workshops, business courses and mentoring schemes. Pete Mosley and Janet Currie are known as The Refectory Table. I would highly recommend their courses and advice to any Creative looking to get that extra boost to get their business idea off the ground. They are like-minded people who understand the difference of starting up your own business selling your creative wares and/or skills compared to launching a regular business venture. Their website can be found at

18 Creatives from all over the country arrived in the morning, signed the register and got name tags and the most important thing for full concentration - a cup of tea! The Water Tower was the perfect place to hold the workshop, as it is a laid-back, friendly and creative atmosphere, away from the distractions and stresses of every day life, which really helped you to relax, and focus, creating a very productive learning environment.

The room where the presentation was given and most of the workshop was held in

The day started off with a presentation from Pete Mosley. The presentation helped to spark ideas in my head and helped me to clarify what exactly I am doing, selling and aiming for, and at. Afterwards, we had a break for lunch, which gave us the chance to meet the other people involved in the workshop and find out a bit about them and their background. As the sun shone, we tucked in to delicious salads, freshly baked bread and cakes, sitting outside and soaking up the gorgeous weather and surroundings.

When we regrouped, we split off in to pairs to discuss key events in our lives which, in turn, could be tailored to build our 'story'. If you have a story, it adds personality to the product or service you are attempting to sell. I think people are much more likely to buy in to something if they can see the person behind it. Combined this with honesty and you can engage potential clients, resulting in success.

Janet Currie's report on the day can be read on The Refectory Table's Blog, which includes photos from the day and comments from the artists involved.

Since The Creative Business Day, I have FINALLY set up my website! It is something I have had on my 'to-do' list for far too long. I am still working on it but am happy for people to visit and let me know what they think. Any constructive criticism is very welcome so please feel free to get in touch!

You can find it at

I also now have a Twitter account! If you wish to follow me you can find me @KatyMcDonaldArt

The website landing page

Friday, 12 April 2013

The Residency at The Water Tower: Part Three, The Faith and Belief Installation Completed!

Following the unfortunate turn of the weather at the end of the Residency in January, I was unable to complete the installation that I had planned due to the pond freezing over. This was very frustrating, but it gave me the perfect excuse to go back to the Water Tower at the beginning of March to complete the installation, and visit Ros Stoddart, at the same time!

It felt great to be back in the magical place I had so many great memories from earlier in the year, but this time the snow had melted away and the sun was shining! I was really excited about setting the whole thing up together as it had been long anticipated from when all the different elements had been completed! I set up the flags to begin with and photographed them on their own with some crisp, winter sunshine in the midst of setting for the day. Luckily, the weather was favoring the installation set-up this time, as it complements the message of peace and tranquility with stillness and warmth that can be seen in these photographs.

After I took these photos, I had to get the boats ready to be launched at dusk. The boats, and the top parts to protect the candles were in the studio where I had left them, waiting to be constructed.

I pulled on a pair of Ros's wellies and, when the boats were set up and ready to go, I took them all down to the pond. As I stepped in to the water, it brought back some pretty funny memories of when I had tested the boats on the pond during the winter time. The life of an artist goes from one extreme to another at times: Sometimes you are attending glamorous and sophisticated galleries in a swanky dress and some heels for a Private Views and sometimes you find yourself in wellies, paddling in ponds in the dark, launching candle it paper boats! It certainly is varied, but that's probably the reason why I love it!

Here are the photos of the completed installation.

I also took a short video clip showing the flickering of the candles inside the boats and the movement of the boats on the water, again, controlled by the elements.