Jeremy James’s main inspiration is in the countryside. He has a natural talent for sculpting the many mannerisms of his subject matter, be they hares, crows, pigs or cockerels and he must rank as one of the foremost ceramic sculptors of his generation. Jeremy James’s broad fine arts training introduced him to clay, and apart from bronze, no other material has tempted him.  Working exclusively in clay has enabled him to explore the possibilities of ceramic form and exploit the richness of glazing that combine to give his subject matter an extra dimension. The element of freedom contained in his work gives an extra edge, distancing him from those concerned with mere representation. Being able to recognize not only the importance but also knowing when to stop giving more detail takes him over the great divide between crafts and fine art.

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Janine Philips graduated from the Royal College of Art & teaching at Wycombe Abbey School and has been a full time artist for the last 10 years. She is continually inspired by coasts & local landscapes to explore colour, texture and the ephemeral qualities of light, from the representational to abstraction. Her aspirations when she begin a piece are to evoke a sense of place. Janine begins painting by immersing herself in an environment that inspires her. Through her work she aims to capture a feeling from her experience of each place, using oil paints that give her a fantastic sense of depth and are very versatile, moving from translucent to opaque with an application of pressure. She is interested in creating a surface which has different qualities when viewed close to & from a distance and changes with the light within a space so the paintings are never static.

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George Boyter hails from the little fishing village of Pittenweem in the East Neuk of Fife, Scotland and studied Drawing and Painting at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee. He enjoyed an award-winning career as a creative director in advertising in London and now lives in Oxfordshire. He has studied watercolour technique and composition under the modern masters of the medium – Alvaro Castagnet and Joseph Zbukvic. He is Winner of ‘The Public’s Choice’ at Bucks Art Society Spring Exhibition 2018 and ‘A Brush with Fame’  Portrait Painting Challenge 2017.

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From an early age Gerry loved painting and drawing and would spend hours sketching. She studied Art up to A level, and there she stopped. Life intervened.  The seeds of change were sown when she visited the Victoria gallery in Bath a few years ago and saw wonderful linocuts and woodcuts which were dark and intriguing. She has been printing and practicing ever since. Inspiration comes from various sources from animals, birds, flowers and trees; to man-made structures and the built environment. She is always on the look out for anything that would make a good composition or element to a picture. She loves boldness in art whether in colour or black and white and you can see this through her Lino printing which is the perfect medium for showing this off.

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Clare is a self taught artist specialising in pastel and pencil media. She is inspired by the natural world and loves drawing animals in their natural environment. She starts with a photo that inspires her and goes from there, striving for an image that she feels represents that animals character. Clare is based in Haddenham Buckinghamshire where she works from her mothers old drawing desk in her garden studio.

Tricia Lenko has no formal training in art, spending forty years as a medical professional. However, retirement has allowed her to pursue her passion and love of the world of art and design as a student, and as an artist. Her enthusiasm and understanding has been deepened by participating in many weekend and evening courses, and attending a huge variety of exhibitions.  She paints and sculpt using many differing mediums and materials to produce the colours, depths and textures she enjoys. Initially the works are inspired by what she sees, does and photographs, but then her imagination takes over and anything that’s fun goes!

James Taylor is an illustrator and photographer based in Oxfordshire, who loves to
create quirky and colourful illustrations and prints.

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Whilst living in Brighton word would go round that the murmuration was happening and Brenda would rush to the West Pier to watch. She never got tired of watching this phenomena and it has inspired her to interpret it in thread and fabric. Brenda’s work doesn’t relate to literal interpretations just the shapes, energy and colours. She calla her murmuration work, her magic embroideries, when light hits the surface more of the stitches show up glistening like stars in the sky. This is because she uses metallic threads,  some multi coloured, giving an even more exciting dimension. It is a deliberate choice not to use a sewing machine as it is the tactile connection of the hand sewing process that she loves, finding it therapeutic and meditative.

Fleur Enser attended a Foundation Course in Art and Design at Oxford Polytechnic, going on to study Fashion and Textile design in Leicester. She worked in London but moved back to Oxfordshire in later life, and with four children to look after  decided to work from home. She followed her creative passion with wedding dress making and children’s illustrations, later retraining as an Interior Designer. In 2011 she set up a pottery workshop where she now spend her time creating earthenware dishes, sharing platters and dippy bowls. She enjoys the challenge of creating new and unusual pieces.

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Colourful, original handmade fused glass pieces are individually made by Catherine in her home studio. Her collection is created predominantly using painting and kiln carving techniques. Catherine’s work is both functional and decorative.

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Brenda trained as a dress designer before venturing into painting. She regards herself as a colourist and uses acrylic paint for its’ quick drying qualities and for the pureness of colour. Brenda sees pattern and shape in everything around her, in landscape and still life, she will look for lost edges and the use of high horizon lines. Her work (which includes still life, landscape and the figure) is simplified and abstracted without losing the form. She teaches drawing and painting at workshops, she demonstrates for art groups and she also works with small groups in her studio.  Brenda is a member of the National Acrylics Painters Association, and Bucks Art Society. She has NDD in Dress Design, a BHDAD in Art and Design and a HD in Fine Art from Hatfield University. Her recent work has been part of the Society of Women Artists exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London.

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From the age of 17 or 18, when he was given a Kodak Instamatic for a Christmas present, to the current day, Stuart has had a keen interest in photography. This was centered around family and holiday images for the most part but when the Kodak was replaced by an SLR (another Christmas present !!) he started to improve his technical skills and creativity.  With the digital age, the ability to experiment and learn afforded by digital technology put him on the path to where he is today.  Stuart joined the Royal Photographic Society and has gained the LRPS distinction (Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society). Stuart work covers many photographic genres, all of which he approaches with an eye for composition and creativity. From vibrant colour abstracts to moody monochrome landscapes and all points between, his work is attracting a growing audience.

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Richard started his artist career at Bradford College of Art, where he studied as an Interior Designer, but life’s journey led him into a career as a teacher. In his first teaching job he was put in charge of a ceramics department, so started evening classes in ceramics to keep one step ahead of the children. This began a lifetime love affair with the material. In 2003 he left full time teaching and returned to university to complete a degree in glass and ceramics at High Wycombe.  His ceramics are as varied as the British climate – his work being both sculptural and functional, life size to miniature, Raku to high fired porcelain. He is best known for the character animals and in particular his ‘evil chickens’. He’s not only a pyromaniac but also a bit of a magpie and often his work incorporates found objects in the sculpture – ash from Mount St. Helens in a glaze, to stones washed on the beach, as plinths – every one telling its own story.

Fiona studied textile design at art school and has had a 40 year career as a designer. She started painting about 8 years ago after joining a local acrylic painting course. She mainly paints abstract landscapes in mixed media, inspired by Britain’s beautiful countryside and coastline.

Mark Fennell is a portrait painter who works from his home studio in the hill top village of Brill in Buckinghamshire. He works predominantly in oils, and to date his portrait commissions have included Antony Worrall Thompson, John Hood Lord Mayor of Birmingham and singer – songwriter John Otway. As well as portraiture, Mark also enjoys the challenge of painting outdoors, working at speed to capture the fleeting effects of light over landscape. Mark’s work has been selected for exhibition with The Royal Society of Portrait Painters at the Mall galleries London on a number of occasions.

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Susannah is an Artist and Art Educator. She holds a BA Hons in Fine Art Painting, a PGCE teaching qualification and a Masters in Fine Art specialising in lens less photography and drawing. Her practice lies within the multidisciplinary realms of photography, often employing lens less techniques, painting, printmaking, and drawing; between representations of surface and image. She captures images from real locations, often gardens and the urban or rural scenes beyond our back yards or zones of social or political commentary to produce an interrupted account of their reality – moving the actual into the realm of the imaginary and back again. This process of image making is set against the social and Geopoetic connections we generate to our surroundings and this helps to define the image-making processes through which she elicits an altered vision. Often inverting the notion of a ‘romantic pastorale’ and in turn, to question the relationship and roles of photography, painting and drawing and their importance in documenting environmental, social and political change.

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Mark grew up in Cornwall and would spend his weekends photographing the landscapes and people of his home county. It also meant that he was close to the prestigious Falmouth College of Arts where he achieved a BA Hons in Photogrphy in 1999. After graduating he moved ‘up country’ & has lived in the local area ever since. He has a life long love of the British countryside & those who make it so great. Recently he has started to photograph the vanguardians, those who are looking after their small corner of our planet. He has travelled round the countryside taking beautiful shots that tell the story of our rich tapestry.

James Ort is a ceramic and wire artist, as well as a tutor at The Phoenix Studio in Towersey. James finds clay a fascinating medium that he loves working with. Life can evolve from it and with each firing in the kiln a sculpture can become more and more breathtaking. He has always admired the movement and poise of all creatures great and small, and enjoys being able to capture their unique characters in clay.

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Jeannette Matelot studied architecture which developed her drawing technique. Working in South East Asia for many years gave her a great insight into other art cultures and she began to paint seriously in her spare time. Returning to England Jeannette took up sculpture working in the Phoenix Studio in Towersey and continued need to paint. Exhibiting at the Obsidian she met Ewa Wawrzyniak, a professional glass designer and attended workshops at her studio in Harlow. From glass fusion and then glass sculpture with Ewa, Jeannette also began to work with Anne Lecourt-Capdeville in Paris using glass decoupage techniques focusing on Impressionist artists, specially Gustav Klimt. On the Art Trail she will be showing her glass works

Sophie Smith studies at Chelsea School of Art. She has always been influenced by medieval art and design and this is reflected in her work, with an emphasis on colour and fun. Using simple shapes, she slip cast and hand builds everything, using earthenware casting slip and semi porcelain clay. She created different textures by cutting into the wet clay and by using gloss, semi opaques and matt glazes. Finally she adds gold and platinum precious metals as well as mother of pearl lustre.

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Jo Marshall left art college with a degree in graphic design pursuing a career as a freelance designer for 12 years in London, but a move to the village of Uffington in Oxfordshire led her on a journey that resulted in the creation of Uffington Potters with a friend. She has since moved away from Uffington and Moonhare Ceramics has been born, reflecting the hares that feature regularly in her work. Jo uses a lot of colour in her work and her decorating technique using paper masks and coloured slip means that all her pieces are unique. She has recently discovered the joys of pit firing, a completely different way of producing pots, resulting in individual, beautiful pieces emerging from the fire pit.

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Kim paints from her home in Buckinghamshire and her second home in Ibiza using mixed media, acrylic and oil paints.  Her limited edition prints are exclusively available at Pretty Like Pictures in Thame Oxfordshire.

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Sparksartists was formed in 2001 to “combat isolation of visual artists in the region; promote, maintain, and improve public awareness of the arts.” They have in common a commitment to working as individual visual artists but also have a desire to collaborate and share ideas and experiences in a variety of areas of community arts”. The group organises ‘Art Café’ a monthly discussion arts sharing group held at Rumseys café for anyone who feels like turning up. Sparksartists enjoy the more playful aspects of their work  as professional artists when they share projects.  To support TAL and The Campaign for Drawing’s international ‘Big Draw’ these of PLAY this year, they are showing a selection of playful works in various media.   

Meryl Bird Website