Holly & Co Ad Break with Royal Mail Business

Super excited to be the winner of the independent ad break on the Holly & Co podcast sponsored by Royal Mail Business.
You can listen to this weeks Conversations of Inspiration with Holly Tucker podcast with Sir John Timpson by going to the link here with Holly & Co

Passion, pain and perseverance: the highest highs and the lowest lows. Hear the powerfully honest conversations and life lessons of those brave enough to make the break and do what they love. As well as gaining hard won wisdom from the nation’s favourite founders, creatives and entrepreneurs, you’ll also discover the most incredible stories behind the UK’s best loved brands — from Innocent and Boden, to The Body Coach and The Mobo Awards.
Since launching notonthehighstreet in 2006, and then Holly & Co in 2017, Holly Tucker MBE has dedicated her life to empowering small businesses and bringing colour to grey. So each episode is filled with a kaleidoscope of fascinating experiences, delivered with wit and warmth.

I loved sharing my story, and recommend listening to the podcast for some positivity and boosts of motivation.

GemArts Diwali Workshops

GemArts is a dynamic arts development organisation – that profile and programme new and exciting culturally diverse arts, by creating and developing high quality concerts, events, festivals, workshops and commissions with regional, national and international artists across all art forms.

So it was really fun and exciting to create a shadow puppets workshop with them. I created the Rangoli colouring sheets and have done a previous Mandala making workshop. The team based in Gateshead library is super friendly.

Due to the pandemic it was a little tricky filming the making process, so I opted to use one of the lecture rooms at Ampersand Inventions (where my studio is based) The classroom setting proved useful for the instructions I was giving.

Have a look at their range of workshops, and take a look at the resources page. If you work with a school or group who’d like to get involved just send them an email 🙂


Autumn Vibes

I created a couple of different vibes for one of the most popular prints on my Etsy Shop. The very first matchbox design I did for Newcastle upon Tyne. The first special edition was the Pumpkin Spice just for October (Brought back by the power of popular demand) and the second is the Cranberry. Both are heavily influenced by the colour palettes of nature and the seasonal changes.

See more on: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SofiaBartonArt

Golden Koi

I’ve been part of some online zooming groups who chat/sketch. This painting was the result of one of those sessions. I did the sketch during the zoom call… but once I was alone/offline I started working on the painting and forming it properly. I work better without distraction and have always preferred putting on a podcast or some music to help me relax. Though with social media such as Instagram I have made show reels and clips of myself painting.

If you paint or craft leave a comment with how you relax in the comments below.

Mini Painting of Golden Koi //mixed media on canvas

Artist Residency at Bishop Cosin’s Library

Founded in 1669, Bishop John Cosin’s Library is one of the earliest public libraries in the north of England. It was established for the use of Church of England clergy, lawyers and other educated gentlemen in the Diocese of Durham. Until 1858 the diocese consisted of Durham and Northumberland. In 1833, the Library formed part of the newly established University of Durham and since 1937 the University is the sole trustee for the building and its contents. In 2005, the library was awarded Designated status by the MLA (the predecessor of Arts Council England) in recognition of its national significance.

I’m part of an artist residency at the library which I am currently working on, with Lady Kitt. The pandemic has meant much of the planning has to be done so that workshops will run remotely as plan A, then making a plan B if were are able to invite groups/schools (depending on the status of lockdown etc)
Researching old texts and books is interesting, albeit virtually, but I really cannot wait for a site visit to the library in December. I used the online archive: https://library.dur.ac.uk/ to look up some texts.
The aim of the residency is to make the Library more discoverable to people, whilst sharing knowledge of the place and making it more welcoming to different groups. The plan is to include different schools, groups and people in workshops with myself and Lady Kitt.

The residency is funded with The Art’s Council England. I hope to share more news and updates on my blog as we go 🙂

Durham University Art School Prize 2020/2021 Heroism

I recently did a talk for Durham University’s Summer in the City Festival Art Prize Art School event talking about the minority suffragettes in British History who helped pave the way to women being able to vote. It was a great few weeks seeing all the different talks and discussing what heroism means to so many people. Super excited about being a judge for the Durham University’s Art School Prize for 2020/2021 too!

The talks (including the one for Minority Suffragettes), workshops & activities can be found here: https://sitcfestival.org/art-prize-art-school/

Art in Action Trail Map for the BALTIC

It was so lovely being able to create a fun family day map for the Baltic Centre of Contemporary Art ! It took a while and a couple of walks, and lush support/check from some Baltic staff who are familiar with the walk too to get it just right 🙂 You can colour it in and add your own doodles.

Here’s some photos of the walk from BALTIC to Staithes. It’s FULL of things to see like the art sculptures and of course the bridges on the quayside.

Go here for more info: https://baltic.art/art-in-action-trail

Fuel up with free hot drinks, juice and snacks in BALTIC Front Room at the beginning or end of your adventure.

You can begin this Art in Action Trail at BALTIC Gateshead (NE8 3BA) or Dunston Staiths (NE11 9DR). You can collect a free map from both locations.

From your starting point, follow the green route marked on your map. You’ll discover creative activities that can be accessed from a digital device along the way.

You can head to BALTIC to use the free WiFi before your walk. This will mean you don’t need to use your data to stream the activities.

You may want to bring headphones to hear the video and sound works on the trail.

The trail takes approximately 40 minutes (about 2 miles) to walk, plus time to stop, play and take part in activities. Hope you have fun if you try it out !