Local Artists at Upton House for Warwickshire Open Studios

Melanie Charles takes inspiration from fish at Upton House

Saturday 16 June – Sunday 1 July 2017, everyday 12pm – 4pm.

Inspired by Upton's historical gardens

Supporting the National Trust’s national programme, women and suffrage, here at Upton we asked four local female artists to use their own unique styles to express the historical grounds at Upton House. Over the last year the artists Heather Bailey, Penny Varley, Melanie Charles and Lis Mann have been taking photos, sketching and developing their ideas to build a unique body of work specifically reflecting Upton’s grounds.

See the finished pieces at Upton

Visitors will be able to see their finished pieces and the mood boards showing the development and inspiration for their work.  During the exhibition from 16 June – 1 July visitors will meet the artists and watch demonstrations, and be able to purchase their artworks.

Enjoying the challenge

Melanie studied at Banbury School of Art; she re-associated herself with painting in the summer of 2013. Melanie loves painting all sorts of animals on bright and vibrant backgrounds. Last year we saw her experimenting with different patterns and designs as backgrounds. The project this year introduced Melanie to wildlife and insects, something she hadn't painted before. In recent weeks in the build up to our exhibition she became rather taken with the fish in the pond, and the fluidity of their movements and has tried to capture that in her new works. She likes nothing better than spending time being creative in her studio! You can see examples of her work here www.melaniecharlesartist.co.uk

As a ceramicist who enjoys exploring new areas of work, Penny has taken inspiration from the bog garden and bird life. She has used the texture, colour and form of Dryopteris filix-mas (male fern) to create a delicate design to compliment the form of her work, using slip colours and metal oxides to highlight.

Frost proof stone Thrush by Penny Varley
Frost proof stone Thrush by Penny Varley
Frost proof stone Thrush by Penny Varley

Come and meet the artists

Penny Varley said “Our varied backgrounds and life journeys have shaped where we are today and we all have our own stories to tell. Our artistic flare and passion for our subjects are demonstrated in our work and we relish the opportunity that this new venture brings.  We look forward to seeing how the work develops and the reactions to it by yourselves and the general public.”

In the group with Melanie and Penny are painter Heather Bailey and textile artist Lis Mann.