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Visiting Arts Studio 01

“Both Paul and I were and still are so excited by our time @ArtStudio01 … it’s been 16 years since either of us were at art school. We havent experienced that mix of inspiration and sharing since… until @ArtStudio01 . Please thank everyone so much x”

“After Krystal showed me her watercolour pens I bought myself some and have been playing with them ever since following how Alison uses paintings she likes in books. Am so grateful to them, You, all the other artists for welcoming us in.”

These are 2 tweets I shared with artist Tanya Raabe-Webber after Paul Kielty and I were invited to shadow her at Arts Studio 01, as part of our mentoring programme within our Arts Council England- funded visual arts project: PAINTING BY PIXELS.

Tanya has asked me to include one of Paul’s pieces of digital art in this blog:

a watercolour-effect created digitally on the tablet of a landscape with flowers

We were not prepared for the welcome all the artists gave us; their generosity in sharing and talking about their work; their methods; both their successes and failures.

Tristan showed us a plaster cast of his hand. This was so fascinating and effective as he had only cast part of his hand. He showed us the exact materials he had used (alginate, plaster of paris, a bucket) and explained the whole process to us including the timings and what it felt like to keep your hand in the alginate. He made me realise that I could do this process too and with very little equipment. What a start!

Then we were shown Mark’s work. Mark’s work is so exciting – for me and my own practice. He uses felt tip pens to stunning effect. He puts a lot of detail into his work which I sometimes like to do. He uses the overlapping of felt tip marks, frowned upon at school, to create energy, life, and direction within the artwork. His colour work reminds us of David Hockney. I loved them all – and he is so prolific! – but my favourite must be the motorway pictures as never before had I imagined wanting a painting of a motorway on my wall before!

Wendy, Mark’s mother, is also part of the group. She said she had started painting because she was coming anyway, as she was giving Mark a lift. She has now caught the bug. She reminded me that painting can be a very relaxing activity. I also really like her current painting – a bridge, a river, clouds – not easy subjects!!!

Krisstel showed us some of her previous work and how she uses photographs of landscapes and nature as a starting point – then makes them her own. She showed me her watercolour pens, that I didn’t know existed, and I loved how she was “breaking the rules” by using watercolour on canvas – and by doing so creating artwork with an original style to them. I loved how she pointed out what she thought worked in her pictures and what didn’t work so well: reminding me that making art is always a learning process and not to be afraid of things not working, or so-called mistakes.Neil proved to us one of the beauties of using mobile devices for creating and storing art by taking us on a virtual tour of his incredible fantasy and horror illustrations on his phone! He explained what technology he uses and what inspires his work. I wanted to look at each one for a very long time. Paul then shared work he has on his tablet. Neil’s work is detailed, exact, illustrative. Paul’s work tends to go towards the abstract, is aiming to pixelate. They happily agreed how wonderful it was that they could create such different styles of work using the same technology and it was lovely to see them appreciating eachother’s very different styles.

Alison arrived near the end of our time at Art Studio 01. Tanya had already shown us some of her work which we both loved. Huge. Bright. Incredibly confident in her choice of colours and shapes. Like with the others’ work I could have looked at it for ages and fel a kind of greed rising inside me – which I get when I want to own something! Alison was about to start painting her newest work. She had a small but very thick art book and was trying to choose which one she would be using as a starting point this time.

Throughout the session Tanya was everywhere. At a glance you might think she wasn’t doing much. But Paul and I were watching her closely – and she was the epitomy of “facilitating”; the light touch, the stepping in then off like aninja, the holding force for the whole studio, the reason why the studio was so exciting to visit.

We left practically floating.

I went and bought some watercolour pens and a pad, immediately, and went home and looked for my favourite artist’s book on our bookshelves – Joan Miro

Watercolour pen shading behind a red line and some black dots sort of like the Miro painting in the book underneath itThis is the first thing I did when I got home.








a copy of a weird shaped person with the real Miro painting in a book underneath to compare.

and then this

My plan is to photograph this and other shapes and put them into the tablet and play with their size, position, numbers, background colour in there. I am thinking I will, after a while, start creating my own Miro style shapes… based on animals and plants. But only time, and playing will decide where I head from this start.

Thank you everyone at Art Studio 01!!! Paul and I are looking forward to visiting you again!!


Nadia Kingsley with Paul Kielty at Art Studio 01 February 16th 2018





Nadia Kingsley

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