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In Creativity in Issue 02...

Are you making wedding plans? by Laura Collins

Stepping back into the light by Wayne Pedder

Inside Blue Haze by Hazel Hopkinson

Display your treasured artworks by Cath Friend

The story of 'streetdropart' by Paul Letts

Poster art by Joseph Loudon

Quilting projects by Emma Birch

A festival of music and commedy by Martin Freeman

Design for Life Magazine Cover

by Tony Moody

'Flock over the Chilterns' is the title of my painting on this magazine's front cover. My work ranges from the immediacy of ink line drawings through to the dense layering of colour on colour, using both oil pastels and oil paints. I have a fascination for the chaotic and seemingly random order of nature. I examine, play and interpret its texture, patterns and rhythms and try to tease out its hidden sense of order.
My work is currently on show until the end of January 2014 at:

Home & Colonial, Berkhamsted
Grapehouse Gallery, West Wycombe Garden Centre
Elgiva Theatre, Chesham (from 3rd December 2013)

Discounted works of art for our readers
Tony is offering 10% off his artworks. Simply use the code CH10 at

Stepping back into the light

by Wayne Pedder

Having spent a lot of my childhood copying pictures and drawing from my imagination, it was not until my twenties that I became inspired by painters such as John Constable, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissaro and Emile Nolde. From then on I knew that I wanted to paint landscapes.

Wayne Pedder - ArtistI work predominately from nature or 'en plein air' as it is often called. I like to look for nuaces of light in the landscape and the counter-change of dark and light in the subject. Settled into the landscape, I feel connected to the natural world. I have on occasion been visited by curious wildlife, such as a bold fox cub which blithely trotted between the legs of my easel!

I aim to complete each painting in not much more that three to four hours, after which time the movement of the sun and changing of the light makes further work difficult. I've gradually evolved towards a quite loose, impressionistic style, observing the rural vistas along the Chess Valley that have often remained fundamentally unchanged through the centuries.

I believe that painting from life is a wonderful and challenging experience. Although I've been enjoying art for many a year, I still feel my journey has just begun. You need to keep that fresh outlook everytime you start a new artwork!

Wayne Pedder - Artist

Wayne Pedder is a Chiltern-based artist who, for over two decades, has been inspired to capture on canvas the beauty and tranquility of the Chess Valley. Neither a car-owner or driver, Wayne sets forth on his long-serving bicycle, loaded with canvas, brushes and all the other accessories needed for a day in the country, in a manner redolent of Cookham's Stanley Spencer, who travelled the fields and hills in the Berkshire countryside with his equipment loaded onto a battered pram. He too had to overcome the sticky issue of summer insects and a wet canvas!

Wayne PedderDesigns for LIFE would like to see Wayne Pedder's work brought into the public eye and hopes that local galleries may be interested in displaying his work. He has amassed a body of paintings that numbers in the hundreds.

Email: waynepedder@yahoo.co.uk

Display your treasured artworks

by Cath Friend

Consider, if you will, the vintage postcard hiding in your desk drawer, the canvas that you bought last year at an art fair, or the limited-edition silkscreen poster you just had to have at that show. You've been meaning to frame it, but you are unsure. Does it need conservation framing? Can't I just get it on to the wall somehow?

Framing by EmeraldThe experts at Emerald Picture Framing & Gallery can answer these questions for you.

They are friendly, qualified and experienced framers, centrally based in Chalfont St Peter. Featuring one of the best selection of bespoke framing options in Buckinghamshire, they will help you select the best frame for your project, whether it calls for a traditional approach, or something more contemporary in style and aesthetic.

Bring in grandma's embroideries or the oil painting that's been in the cupboard for years, display your giant digital prints, or breathe new life into your beautiful button collection. Even if you don't need a picture frame, you can still walk out of Emerald with something beautiful and unique, by browsing the stunning collection of artwork in the gallery, which is stocked exclusively by local artists.

Together with you, Emerald can blend the past and present in your design choices with a sense of humour, or compose something more classical to suit your exclusive requirements, and complement your home. The framing service on offer is customer-led, tasteful, and ultimately respectful of your artwork in every way.

There's a wide array of styles and colours, from a mount design and cutting service, to basic affordable poster framing, shadow boxes, speciality floating frames and memorabilia framing. Emerald can make you a custom-sized frame, with finish options ranging from plain black, to metals, to natural woods, ornate gold, bright gloss red and beyond!

Emerald Picture FramingBrowse our website for more details of what's on offer, or better still visit the workshop at Emerald Picture Framing & Gallery with your artwork for a free consultation. Limited parking is available, with alternative space available at Church Lane car park, 200 yards from the site. You'll find passion and experience behind everything we do.

Emerald Picture Framing
and Gallery

1 Blay's House, Churchfield Road, Chalfont St Peter, SL9 9EW
Tel: 075 0777 4017
Open Tuesday to Saturday,
9am 'til 5pm



The story of 'streetartdrop'

by Paul Letts

When I was at school I won an art competition. I was told that my work was beyond its time, futuristic and completely different.

I did some graffiti when I was a teenager, but nothing destructive – creating proper art on canvas was more my scene. In my early 20s I bought myself some paints and canvases and from there things really began to flow.

Paul Letts of streetdropartI showed my art in galleries but they didn't really understand me. For instance, I'd want to hang my pictures on the ceiling! I did sell a few pieces, but my main work at the time was as an electrician. I used the cables as my art, making sure they were all aligned and swirling perfectly. My clients loved it! I was always creating lighting in an artistic way.

But there came a point when life just got too much for me and I had a nervous breakdown. It took hitting rock bottom to allow me to give it all up and honour my soul. And that is my art.

I have always tried to be completely unique in what I do. Although I've studied street artists such as Banksy, my abstract art comes from inside of me – I can never recreate the same painting again – it is in the moment. Sometimes I even paint in the dark with my hands.

Art 'dropping'

My initial concept was simply to start dropping my artworks on the streets. So I would go out in the car with a painted canvas, stick my tag on the back and just leave it out there for people to find. It's evolved into something truly radical and exciting called 'streetartdrop'.

Using social media – twitter and facebook – I direct people using an obscure photograph to a street where my art will be found. It's attracted the attention of thousands of people from different generations and backgrounds, who go searching for the paintings or post comments online. It's a bit like gaming, but in real life.

Kids tend to think of art as old fashioned and graffitti as cool, but that can be disruptive in a community, so I'm trying to do something that wakes them up to art and makes it exciting and acceptable.

'Tuning in' to art

Art shouldn't been seen as an affluent luxury that only certain types of people can understand. Half of my followers knew nothing of art before! The more I travel through the UK, in communities and schools, the more I'm going to get people in tune with using art in an up-to-date way. I wear a mask to create a persona and to protect my private life. I put the mask on and then my character, my art and the world inside my head comes to life.

In all the towns I've visited I've always seen a coming together of the community, whether it's been getting a kid off a games consol, a father looking for art with his kids, even a grandmother out searching with her family – it's all been about connecting people through what I do. I'm glad I took the gamble of following my dream; it's paid off really.

I like to get to know a town, be positive about it on social media, and to leave a story to tell everywhere I go. Some of my special pieces of art I want to put in galleries and local restaurants. I always try to keep my work affordable but I do want to make money out of it to put back into creating more.

I've known a few people who have been involved in drugs and drink who have seen my story. I've been there too – down at the bottom – and they've seen how I've turned my life around and been inspired to do the same.

HP10 is currently the hub of streetartdrop but it may yet go global! I've got a mate in Chicago, I'm going to go to France, I know somebody who has a place in Italy and someone else in Japan! You name it I'll drop it. It's only been a year, but streetartdrop is going up and up.

Coat of Arms

To view street art galleries and to find out more about events and drops go to the official website.


Paul Letts abstract artist has created this piece especially for Designs for LIFE, based on the Chiltern District coat of arms. It will be 'dropped' in the Chilterns during April 2014

Get involved at:

See Creativity in Issue 01 ...

Are you making wedding plans?

By Laura Collins

Are you getting married this year or next? The wedding season for spring is getting well underway. It's never too early to think about the style and design you'd like for your wedding stationery.

If you're getting married later this year, next year or perhaps even abroad, have you considered sending out Save a Date cards to ensure your wedding guests are available to attend your special day?

The design of the save a date card can be followed through with a full range of stationery from day and evening invitations, order of service or order of the day for a civil ceremony, to reply cards, menus, place cards, table plans, table names and not forgetting the important thank you card after the big day!

At Orbitpress we can help with the design of your stationery to fit in with your style of wedding. Offer guidelines for wording of the invitations, there are no hard and fast rules today but it's always nice to have some help! We'll also produce proofs of your stationery before we go to print to ensure you're entirely happy.

  • Wedding stationeryDay/Evening invitations
  • Save a Date cards
  • Acceptance/Reply cards
  • Order of Service/Day
  • Menus and Place cards
  • Table Plans/Names
  • Thank You cards

Orbitpress Limited
11 Market Square, Chesham, Bucks
Tel: 01494 778053
Email: info@orbitpress.co.uk

Inside Blue Haze

by Hazel Hopkinson

Blue Haze, CheshamWe seem to have created an 'Aladdin's Cave' here in Chesham!

Undoubtedly, the most colourful shop in our lovely town! Whether you need threads for general sewing, darning, embroidery or quilting, we have ribbons and fabrics, paper craft, paints & pencils, soft & oil Pastels, all things for jewellery making, haberdashery, zips & lovely knitting yarns!

Our Workshop schedule is busy with Card Making, Beading, Machine & Hand Sewing, Knitting, Crochet, Leather work and Watercolour. We will also be resuming Craftyness' Decopatch in May.

Blue Haze is always busy supporting the local community, whether it's fund raising for charity or supporting a charity event with a raffle prize, as well as supporting retailer meetings to create a Better Chesham!

We're guilty of the Yarn Bombing! Our knitted bollard cosies & bunting in the tree in Market Square do raise a lot of smiles! We enjoy making people chuckle with our silliness! What will we be upto next?

Our popular Beading workshops are going from strength to strength! Katie Dean is a very talented beading artist who has published her own books, appears at many bead related events and we have the pleasure of holding many a workshop with her!

Katie is holding a Gifts Galore Beaded Bracelet workshop using particular stitches to create miniature parcel-shaped beaded beads & a spiral ribbon. Make as many parcels as you wish and combine them with other beads to create a bracelet.

We will be creating the beautiful spring flowers, the Iris and Daffodil with leaves too! These projects are suitable for all levels.

Back in December, something lovely occurred during our Beaded Snowman workshop! As Katie will tell you on her own Blog:

"I was teaching my little beaded snowmen from the Beaded Christmas Decorations book. I realised as I was preparing the materials that I might end up running a little short on white delicas – I was definitely going to have enough for everyone who had signed up for the workshop, but I might not have enough for myself.

"So, what to do? I decided that I could demonstrate and teach the techniques without necessarily needing to make another snowman. I had plenty of delicas in other colours and it occurred to me that I could, perhaps, just make some beaded beads and then string them into some kind of necklace at a later date.

"Decision made, I picked out a selection of beads in brown, shades of pink, cream and red, thinking that I could perhaps try out some ways of mixing colours. In a second random decision at the beginning of the workshop, I picked out the brown beads to start my demonstration. This brought forth a comment from one of the ladies about me making a muddy snowman, she then changed her mind and said, actually, it could be an Easter bunny! Well, that was it, a random selection of beads and one chance comment later and the light bulb in my head glowed!

Bed Easter Bunny"Everyone in the workshop had a great time creating little snowmen characters, giving them all personality in their faces and then selecting combinations of beads for the hat and scarf.

Meanwhile, I made an Easter bunny...I created some ears, gave him a face and then, a little fluffy tail and a neck adornment befitting an Easter celebration. This did feel a little premature as we hadn't even made it through Christmas at the time, but I like to plan ahead! I have a feeling that my little bunny is going to turn into as much of a character as the snowmen...he's already made friends with them!

"So I don't think this is going to be the last we hear of him...there may be a pattern to come or a class perhaps..."

Blue Haze Arts & Crafts,
2 Church Street, Market Square, Chesham, Buckinghamshire, HP5 1HT
Ring: 01494 782030 
Tap: info@blue-haze.co.uk 
Tweet: @BlueHazeCrafts
Find us on Facebook too!


Festival of music and commedy

by Martin Freeman

BURYFields Festival of Music & Comedy returns this year on 21st June and again in the beautiful grounds of the Bury at Chesham.

Buryfields, Chesham festival

New for 2014 will be the Literacy Tent and the Village Green, with lots of extra kids activities. The acoustic stage will be larger this year and will also become home to the comedy stage later in the evening.

Acts already confirmed for the main stage are 1998's BRIT Award for Best Male Solo Artist, Finley Quaye and Festival favourites, ska-dub-punkhoppers the Dub Pistols, as joint headliners. Last year's show stealers CC Smugglers are back alongside Chesham's own The City Is Ours.

All the way from America, and as part of his UK tour, Charlie Roth has been confirmed for the acoustic stage along with Cambridge favourites Fred's House and you can't get more local than Church Street's own Jon Fordham.

Tickets are expected to sell out fast. Adults £25, Under 17s/OAPs/ full time students/disabled £15, under 12s £5 and under 5s free.

The organisers are seeking sponsorship from the business community and volunteers to help the day run smoothly.

web: buryfields.co.uk

Poster Art

by Joseph Loudon

Buckinghamshire has many stunning vistas and quintessentially English towns along the River Thames and in the Chiltern Hills. The Bucks Photo Gallery collection features many of my best local compositions, including flowers, insects, birds, animals, landscapes and the popular ‘nature meets digital’ art interpretations.

Originally from Belfast, I came to the UK in 1987. I studied graphic design and then worked in the design industry for many years, providing creative services to a range of major companies.

Now I combine creative design and photography via my company Close Up Photo. As a keen wildlife and landscape photographer I have a passion for capturing nature’s fleeting moments, from the heavenly light of a setting sun to the angelic wings of a bird in flight, and I enjoy sharing these images.

The swan photographs on this page are part of the Beautiful Bucks Photo Art Collection. Prints are available to purchase in various sizes and formats, including on canvas, acrylic and on phone cases. You can also contact me directly if you would like to use them in digital or print media.

Poster Art by Joseph LoudonAs custom posters or fine art prints they are output onto premium quality photographic or archival fine art paper, ready for framing, then carefully packaged and sent safely to your home.

On my website you’ll also find a Learning Zone where I give advice on the best ways to capture great photographs of wildlife. Get in touch or find out more by visiting our website.

Poster Art by Joseph Loudonwww.bucksphotogallery.co.uk
Bucks Photo Gallery
Email: joseph@bucksphotogallery.co.uk

For commercial photography:
E: joseph@closeupphoto.co.uk

Quilting projects

by Emma Birch

Quilting by Emma BirchSomehow I doubt that my seven or eight year old self thanked the teacher who gave my first formal sewing lesson, but I hope that my enthusiasm for the craft was sufficient reward for her efforts! That enthusiasm has persisted for more than 40 years, during which time I have learnt many different ways of combining fabric and thread.

Whether following another's pattern or creating original designs, I have derived so much pleasure from needlecraft. I've made clothes and toys, home furnishings and wall art, fashion accessories and more and have found my hobby to be rewarding and satisfying in much the same way as growing beautiful plants or delicious food from lowly seeds.

Needlecraft can be as precise and mathematical as any perfectionist could wish for, as is essential in tailoring or pieced patchwork, or as free-flowing and organic as a doodle. It can be solitary or social, with many groups and classes meeting on a regular basis. It is also a very portable hobby. Whilst lugging a sewing machine around might be cumbersome, a few scraps of fabric and needle and thread can be taken anywhere. Sewing can also be picked up and put down at will, without fear that delay in completion might ruin the final outcome.

It is such a versatile craft with appeal for all; the only requirements are fabric, scissors, needle and thread and a little patience. The joy of lovingly making a gift that is happily received and the anticipation of that happy reception is so exciting. It's also very satisfying to be able to make something for a fraction of the cost of store bought items and to be able to personalise or adapt it to exactly the right size, or colour, or texture, with the perfect embellishment or decoration.

It seems shameful that needlework is no longer a part of the school curriculum, especially as we are being encouraged to 'make do and mend'.

Emma Birch How are we to mend if we haven't the skills? All in all, needlecraft is, for me at least, a perfect hobby, which provides relaxation and distraction from our hectic lives, with the bonus of an end product of which to be proud, perfect or not.

If you need help with any quilting projects, then Emma is happy to take commissions.

Call her on: 079 5189 0297
Email: ecrbramble@ntlworld.com

Inspiring your life