Crowborough Arts supports the arts, and arts practitioners in our area.
Last spring, at the beginning of the pandemic, we decided to use this website to keep in touch, and to create a space for use as a showcase for our members' work. We're hoping of course to see a gradual return to our normal activities, but for now, we're still inviting and encouraging you to contribute - perhaps a new painting or photograph you'd like to share, a poem or maybe a short story.
Get involved by emailing Gaye with your suggestions and ideas. In particular, if you'd like to be featured as an artist, with a picture of you or your work, and would be willing to give a short telephone interview, we'd love to hear from you.
Click here to visit our archive - including every single item since the lockdown began!
Artist Profile: Susie Rotberg
"I never wanted to do anything but paint and draw and was actively encouraged by my father, an enthusiastic and accomplished amateur painter. However when I left Kingston polytechnic in 1977 with a degree in Fine Art I discovered that the world was not waiting for another painter and printmaker! I joined a quilting course and started making and selling batik printed silk cushions and bags from a stall in Covent Garden while based in Sussex. I managed to sell a few 'one offs' into Heals in Tottenham Court Rd. - this was not very lucrative but I met lots of interesting people and soon I was getting freelance work designing logos and other graphic design projects before heading off to spend a few years travelling.
On my return and with my first child in tow, I joined a friend and his wife in their interior design company in Ardingly. They needed someone to provide artist impressions and sample boards. Soon I was helping visualise and design rooms and then sourcing and buying items for clients. It was the time of specialist paint effects and I must have marbled or rag rolled most of the South East of England ! We designed some very exciting projects including The Palm Court restaurant on Brighton Pier, the London house belonging to The Mission (an 80’s band ) and a country house and Docklands apartment for the journalist Jean Rook.
It was then that family life took over with the arrival of son number two. To keep body and soul together I spent two years on an Institute of Linguists French course and obtained an advanced certificate. I taught adult beginners French for a couple of years from home while making cartoons and caricatures for friends' birthdays and other events. This idea grew and soon I was being regularly commissioned. Eventually it morphed into a greetings card business, Snooze Design which ran for several years. I also produced cartoons for various in-house company magazines including Virgin Atlantic and then began illustrating for a regular column in Everything France magazine. At the same time I was illustrating campaign material for a London based PR company. I was also commissioned to paint a mural in their offices which led to other murals including two at Cumnor House School in Danehill. My last illustration job was 7 years ago, while I was a working as a teaching assistant. I produced a series of covers for Money Week magazine but the deadlines were terrifying … it wasn’t for me.
On retirement I returned to painting and I am lucky enough to have my own studio in a renovated old outbuilding attached to our house in Ashdown Forest. That is where I now spend a great deal of my time surrounded by the wooded landscape that inspires my work. I think that the natural world has all the best designs and capturing the shift in light and the palette of the changing seasons is what I love to do. I do not miss working to a brief or the deadlines!
I have found it very difficult to stay focussed during lockdown and so have been experimenting with a more ‘fast and loose’ approach to painting. I tend to overwork things anyway so this has been a useful exercise. I've mostly been working with acrylics on heavy paper which are quick drying and so easier to build layers of colour.
By mixing the paint on top layers with a blending gel or retarder you can scrape through to the colour underneath before it dries. I’ve been using big flat brushes, sticks, sponges, an old washing up brush, palette knives and my new favourite toys ..a selection of catalysts. I like to have a few on the go at the same time- that way you can leave one and move on before you start getting over detailed. his technique takes away the control and leads to more expressive work- the trick, as ever, is knowing when to walk away!"
Autumn & Winter Light: New Work from Susie Rotberg (click on images to expand)
King Lear Prizes Spring 2021 Announced
Following the success of two of our members - Mary Harris and Stella Mance - in the last round of the King Lear Prizes, we thought you might be interested to know that the organisation has announced a new batch of creative competitions for the over 65's.
Gyles Brandreth, writer, broadcaster and Judge for the King Lear Prizes says, “What better way to make a fresh start in 2021, than to get stuck into a new creative project?”
“Whether you are a keen amateur, picking up again after many years, or even if you are dabbling in a new hobby for the first time, the King Lear Prizes should be just the prod you need to get going this New Year. As we’ve known all along: when it comes to creativity, age doesn’t matter a jot!”
Click here to go to the King Lear Prizes website.
Sign Up for Open Studios
We're excited to announce that we're now accepting entries for Open Studios 2021. Before the pandemic struck, we'd planned a bumper event for 2020, to celebrate CA's 10th birthday. It was not to be, however, so now we want to make 2021 a year to remember. Do get in touch if you'd like to take part - we're always keen to hear from new artists, and we love those who've taken part before to join in again. Click on the box above to go direct to the OS website.
Sunday, 28th February, 3.30, via Zoom
All members should by now have received an invitation by email, but if not, please contact Angela at firstname.lastname@example.org. Last year's minutes are available here (Word) or here (pdf)
Introducing Winnie & Truff ...
Mary Harris and Gaye Jee have collaborated once again to produce their third book for children. Based upon real events and two very real dogs, they say they didn't have to make up much at all! Perfect as a little gift for anyone who could do with cheering up as we plod through the (hopefully) last knockings of the lockdown! Email email@example.com or call 07799842244 to reserve your copy.
Check Out Sue's Website
One of CA's founding members, Sue Petszaft, has launched her own website. Sue creates a wide range of artwork including necklaces, papier mache bowls, original artwork, cards and much more, all of which are available to buy. Click on the image to go to her site.
Read Our Latest Newsletter!
Click the box above to explore our members' work for sale in our Artists' and Makers' directory.