Welcome to our all-too-infrequently updated little blog about goings on at Art Van Go - art suppliers to the stars.

Saturday, 26 November 2011


I'm afraid we are totally out of paper copies of the current 2009/2010 - and it will be next year before the next one is available.  In the meantime, however, the whole catalogue is available on the website here - and if you can't find what you want, just give the shop a call.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Art Van Go at Harrogate - THEN AND NOW!!

I must say, Viv kept this very quiet.  She didn't mention it to me, but thanks to one of my spies (and no, it's not anyone involved in the NOTW phone hacking scandal - what kind of friends do you think I have???) I got to see this...

It's Viv and Ruth at the Knitting and Stitching Exhibition at Harrogate in 2009!

How's that, a free tutorial and burst of colour for you.

Hopefully it'll whet your appetite to go along to the AVG stand at Harrogate this week - it runs from Thursday 24th (that's tomorrow!) until Sunday 27th November.
Like you didn't know that.
Anyway, you can find AVG at Stand TG620 in the Textile Gallery.  Also, make sure you go alng to the Artists In Action area, sponsored by Art Van Go, and see a vertiable multitude of artists doing their stuff -
and, in no particular order (as they say on Strictly) we have .....
Jill Flower
Sue Chapman
Dionne Swift
Fiona Wilson
Lynda Monk
Pauline Verrinder
Sarah Burgess
Val Hughes
( I just hope I've not left anyone out - it was a last minute phone call to Kevin - so blame him if I have!)

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Current Exhibition - Jeanette Appleton

I'm sorry it's been so long - I've not been able to get to the shop for a while, but I went along to take part in the Lynda Monk workshop on 1st November (which was brilliant, incidentally - Lynda manages to cram so many wonderful techniques into the day and is such a lovely lady).
I wanted to let you know about the current exhibition, SOW:SEW,  featuring the work of  Jeanette Appleton, a textile artist specialising in felting techniques.
I took just a few photographs while I was in the gallery -

But these are just a taster - if you can, do go along and see the whole exhibition - it's brilliant - full of colour and textures, and it's on until 10th December.

It's all very hectic at the shop at the moment - almost as soon as the van returns from the Knitting and Stitching in Dublin, it'll be restocking and dashing off to Harrogate for the K&S for 24th - 27th November.

Who says Viv and Kevin never get a holiday?

Sunday, 21 August 2011

New Workshop Programme

The new programme of workshops being held from August through to December is out now,  and online.  For details of all the exciting workshops on offer, click here
but just to whet your appetite, we have-

*  Christine Benson, a popular AVG regular tutor presenting a two day workshop entitled the  The Silk Sensation starting on 31st August

Gillian Hand, a tutor all the way from Australia making Four Fabulous Artists' Books on 6th/7th September.  See examples of her work on her website here

Jo Mabbutt, who will be at the Studios on 8th September, to teach Mixed Media Metallics, examples of Jo's work can be found here

Jill Flower will be teaching Paper Fabric - Recycled and Stitched on 12th/13th September.  Have a look at Jill's website here

And that's only the first two weeks!!

Last week saw Kim Thittichai tutoring one of our three-day Summer Schools, entitled Hot New Surfaces for Stitch.  I managed to sneak in after Day 2 and take some photographs - the surfaces looked fabulous -

For more photos of the students' work, and also a description of some of the techniques used , have a look at Kim's blog
Right, I'm off - going to have another look through the workshop programme myself!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

A belated post about Ruth Issett's summer school - a wonderful riot of colour as you'd imagine.  I didn't take part but I did call in to see them and everyone was having such a good time they'd almost staged a sit in.  We had to drag them out to the pub just to be able to shut up shop.
Here's just a small selection of the work produced



Fabulous work and hopefully we may get to see how some of it develops at the next 'Made at AVG' exhibition.

We have some workshops coming up with one or two spaces - next Thursday 21st July Gina Ferrari will be going back to basics with "About The Stitch" - a workshop dedicated to perfecting the various stitches used in Machine Embroidery.  I would really love to do this one myself as I am definitely in need of it, but I can't make the 21st unfortunately, so I shall keep an eye out for a re-run of that one.

Sharon Osbourne will be 'In Residence' on Friday 29th July - and will be happy to demonstrate techniques or answer any questions you have - there's no charge and no need to book - we'd love you to drop in.

Frances Pickering, book artist extraordinaire and author of Page After Page is teaching a four day workshop entitled "Summer Lovin'".  You will make a book with a durable and creative cover, using wallpaper lining paper and powdered water colours, which will then be embellished with stitch, and Frances will give you masses of guidance and inspiration on how to create a celebration of Summer in a beautiful book.

Oh, incidentally, Viv may be looking for someone to assist with admin stuff in the future - like the workshop programme and organising the diary.  (Actually, just finding the diary would be a start)
The job is part-time and you'd need to be local - and flexible.  Some of your work could be done from home, but you'd need to be able to work from the studio too sometimes.  If you yearn to produce order out of chaos and believe you could succeed in organising Viv, where others have failed - we'd love to hear from you.

Oh, and there's no truth in the rumour that Viv mislaid her last assistant under a pile of papers.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Bobby Britnell Summer School - brilliant!

I've just had a fabulous four days at Summer school entitled "Locating and Abstracting" run by Bobby Britnell. (I recommend you check out her website!) 
Bobby's workshops are always very popular, but I was lucky and managed to book while there was still a space.
The programme said we would be introduced to processes and techniques in mixed media using paper, fabric and stitch, leading us into unknown territories and producing individual textile work or a series of smaller pieces - intriguing!
On Day One, we started working in tone, with shading and line, which was a relaxing and absorbing way to 'limber up' for the workshop.  We progressed to finding ways of making expressive marks using graphite and charcoal, before experimenting to make a full composition using some of the elements we had learnt during the day.
On Day Two we started with some drawing - always a bit worrying, but it was nothing too daunting - just 'little drawings' from some of the interesting source material Bobby provided. (We could have gone outside in the garden, but to be honest it was a bit too cold and wet!)
We then moved on to print making - making our own print blocks from our drawings and printed onto paper and fabric
On Day Three we did some artist research - Bobby had brought piles of really inspirational art books for us to look through, in order to progress our work.  Later we did an exercise in three dimensional drawing which was great - I think we all learned loads from that.
Finally on Day Four, we worked towards a final resolved piece of work, or series of pieces.  Here are photographs of just some of the work that we produced during the course of the four days.

 - and of course we all went away with sketchbooks stuffed full of ideas and inspiration.
Thanks Bobby - it was a wonderful inspirational four days - and I, for one, will be back!

Kev was noticeable by his absence - he had taken the van to Windsor for the East Berkshire College Diploma show.  It is sadly, to be the very last Windsor show - definitely the end of an era. 
And of course, as he was swanning around in Berkshire, enjoying himself - Viv was having to work EVEN harder than usual!

So if all this talk of workshops has whetted your appetite - coming up soon - on Friday, in fact - is Goldwork Embroidery for Accessories run by AVG's very own Lucy Reed.  Learn stunning goldwork techniques, to work on a design to adorn a special bag,  from a kit supplied by Lucy herself.

Then the following week two tutors will be showing different approaches to the subject of 'sketchbooks'
In 'Sketchbooks for Embroiderers', Marian Murphy who will be showing how to start a sketchbook in an easy and fun way to record ideas and making some stitched samples.
The following day, Vanda Campbell, will be showing how to make 'Scrummy Sketchbooks' using mixed media, quick pencil sketches, collages and montages.  Make yourself a sketchbook to be proud of! (or, a sketchbook of which to be proud - if you're pedantic!)

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Extended Exhibition

Just a quick update - the current exhibition showing the work of Fen Edge Textiles is now to be extended and will run to 12 March 2011, so you have an extra week to call in and see their fabulous work!

And, a quick picture I took of Viv and Kevin at Textiles in Focus on Friday. 

I spent the day there with my sister and we had a fantastic day, meeting up with lots of friends.  We did a workshop called "Mini Textile Masterpieces" tutored by Bonnie Osbourne, and I actually came home and finished mine.

If you didn't get to Cottenham you missed a great day out, so you'll have to keep your fingers crossed that Pauline Verrinder can be talked into organising it again next year!