Author: Alice

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Point of Balance

Point of Balance, Oxfordshire ArtWeeks, 2016

The title of this show came from one piece where you will see the suggestion of a person as if balanced on one foot leaning backwards, but it is also concerned with other kinds of balance; light, colour, line, shape. The ‘Wave’ pieces explore these idea using the golden ratio or Fibonacci sequence as the motif. These elements are a natural obsession for artists, but on a deeper psychological level balance (harmony?) is what many of us are trying to nurture. It has been both a challenge and a privilege to draw directly from dance recently, to somehow preserve and convey the sense of movement and the sequence of the dance in a ‘still’ painting.

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Learn Art Online!

The mass disruption in March 2020 has led to the launch of my new online learning site!

Designed to be an encouraging and creative community space, you can access a whole range of material via alicewalkerart.online, and learn at your own pace.

New resources, ideas and projects are released every week with video tutorials, step by step guidance, extension activities and the opportunity to upload your work and receive comment and feedback from your peers and me!

stARTing points

stARTing points are simple ideas and resources that give you a springboard in multiple directions.

Core Skills

Core Skills are activities that help you understand and practice foundational skills for painting, drawing and more.

Projects

Demonstrations and guidance on how to use different art tools, materials and approaches.

Techniques and Media

Demonstrations and guidance on how to use different art tools, materials and approaches.

Access and fees

Access is on a basis of a monthly subscription of £20. Pay as you go or set up a standing order. Minimum term 1 month. Cancel at anytime.

How can I get started?

You can request an account by contacting Alice. 

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Wood Between The Worlds Evolutions

This slideshow shows the stages of Wood Between The Worlds through various evolutions and reworking over the period of a year. Since I was working almost entirely from imagination and memory and trying to create a suggested place rather than a real one it involved a lot of ‘feeling’ my way, stepping back and waiting for the colours and forms, the marks and tones to find their places. Every time I thought I might have finished, I realised there was another area that needed refining and rebalancing. This painting had in reality been nearly 30 years in the making from the first time I read The Magician’s Nephew by CS Lewis, and fallen under the spell of that dreamlike place in the woods.

Beautiful quality limited edition prints of this painting are now available to buy direct from me starting at £85 for A2 (59 x 42 cm)
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Art -healing or harmful?

The benefits of making art are well known and accepted especially in cultures that values mindfulness and flow state. I often hear about the latest research that has shown how the practice of the arts can delay symptoms of dementia, and assist with good mental health not to mention all the social benefits of being part of an art group, class or community. But what of its dark side? And here I’m not meaning the compulsion to stock up endlessly on the latest water soluble gold leaf markers, or the occupational hazard of dipping you paintbrush in your mug of tea because it looks exactly like your dirty paint water.

I am currently recovering from a bout of Artist’s Elbow- I heard that chuckle- and yes I hadn’t heard of it either until I got it. Like Tennis Elbow and Golfers Elbow it affects the muscles and tissue around the elbow joint and is caused by repetitive strain. Until I googled my symptoms I had no idea how vulnerable artists are to this kind of injury…..but apparently we are in the top 5 most likely! It’s really debilitating- and currently affects really everyday things like using the kettle and chopping up vegetables and means I can’t draw for long periods of time without ending up with a seriously sore arm.

Perhaps I have reached that age where my body is saying ‘I can no longer tolerate this abuse’ I’ve known for a while now that sitting for prolonged periods at my desk- drawing or cutting with a craft knife caused intense knots in my muscles and often resulted in back pain, poor posture and related headaches……..

Is it enough to stop me making art? Unimaginable! I would still make art if I had no use of my hands and no art materials, somehow, I know others have. If art is intrinsically part of who you are then it’s simple you have to make art- can you imagine trying to stop a young child making art out of anything and everywhere?

But what habits must I inhabit if I am to avoid unnecessary suffering for my art?

For the eyes: working in well lit areas, wearing glasses for close up work

For the muscles and joints: sitting in a good position, holding tools in as loose a grip as possible. Warming up and down art (as you would after a run, but focusing on shoulders, wrists, fingers and neck.)

Taking regular breaks (apparently there is an app remind you to do this!) it the thing I find hardest because when you get into a piece of work your really don’t want to stop. On the upside walking away from your art work and returning can often help you to spot problem areas or deliver new inspiration.

For the soul: remembering that I am not my art and my art is not me.

On balance making art is a healing process if I don’t neglect the body that enables this creativity.