Hello, I’m Charlotte - thank you for visiting my profile page.
I was much encouraged by an email in April accepting my application for this year's Worcestershire Open Studios, my first year. And here I have been given the space to tell you more about myself, both as an artist and in general, in time for visits to my open studio in Welland in August.
From my early childhood at a cottage called Little Croft in Warwickshire to now, back at my husband's family home, Bidders Croft in Worcestershire, I’ve lived in several places.
My earliest memories include painting 'en plein air' at little school in Henley in Arden and Christmas card competitions at a convent in Surrey, where I followed up art O level with a term of A levels before bunking off to Italy. For three months in Florence, via friends in Turin, I learnt Italian at the British Institute, and pretended to study History of Art - the start of many Italian escapes from London.
Fast forward to May 2019 and art classes in Worcestershire, including lessons in lockdown via Zoom, which helped me stay sane and focussed. It’s hard to pinpoint my most favourite medium this summer as I have, by turns, a passion for pencils, pastels and painting in acrylics, but I also enjoy the feeling of freedom charcoal, ink and biro scribbles bring: I just love the learning and connecting with others who share my commitment and enthusiasm to keep a balance in life. Through my art I pay more attention to the present moment – ‘tis good for mind, body and spirit – and over the past four years I’ve created quite a body of work (A5, A4, A3) both in class and in my workroom.
Wanting my own enjoyment of drawing and painting to help others somehow, I designed a project in lockdown which I call ‘Postcards for Friends’ – cards made from my own artwork. My chosen charity is Family Action (their FamilyLine) which seems a good fit after the many Family Caring programmes I’ve facilitated over the years. More recently, inspired by Pentecost and Trinity Sunday, I have made some ‘iconic’ greeting cards from my paintings to raise funds for St Wulstan’s Church at Little Malvern.
These days, in between work, rest and play, I may be found sketching and painting in my studio, aka the workroom, or in the garden - except on Tuesdays when I’m at a lovely local art class. However, my day job is our small family business which I run with Bill, from our home here in rural Worcestershire. For more visit www.thelittleleatherboxcompany.com
Although it's quite scary, I’m excited to be part of Worcestershire Open Studios in August 2023 and looking forward to meeting you and other local friends. We will be open on six days, the dates and times of which can be found on my pages here on the WOS website. So do come and see what's what here in Welland, including my drawings, sketches, paintings and cards.
By the way, Samburu Lion was based on one of Bill's photographs from our honeymoon (March 1988) - he started off as a watercolour, but then became truly mixed media including charcoal, acrylics and oil pastels!
How to find us
As our postcode area is wide (and you could find yourself at Brookend 1/3 mile away) we can recommend the what3words app. It is an easy way to identify precise locations, as every 3m square in the UK (and worldwide) has been given a unique combination of three words. Ours is: buckling.command.finger
OVER THE YEARS ...
15 November - Hot off the press, Christmas cards support St Wulstan's in Little Malvern, Worcestershire, the final resting place of composer Edward Elgar.
I've been busy designing and printing my own selection of cards to suit everyone. Among my recent work is "Snowfall and Sunset at St Wulstan's in Little Malvern" and a card based on the popular song "The Twelve Days of Christmas".
These cards sell at £5 per pack of ten, so if you're looking for Christmas cards with a difference this year, just pop along to the dedicated website built by my husband Bill here
31 October - I'm delighted that art buyers have now taken delivery of ten of my original works and three giclee prints!
September and back from Sardinia and the lovely art class so watch this space... or sneek a peak on Instagram @studiobc_worcs and Facebook
31 August - If you're wondering about your order, we'll be in touch when it's ready, very soon.
If you'd like to reserve a painting or a sketch, order a giclee print, or give us any feedback, please let us know by phone (01684 592179). We're here and would love to hear from you.
28 August - Whew, that's a wrap! So thank you everyone who came to see us (68 at the last count), for all the arty chat, exchanges of news and views and for loving my art enough to buy some for yourself, plus postcards for the fab FamilyLine @Family_Action
19 August - Worcestershire Open Studios begins
13 July - Red Sticker Day: my first ever sale! (Milk Churns)
11 July - entered a new painting for the Ladybird Art for Little Heroes in aid of Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust (it received a few votes!)
29 June - discovered several huge posters in Church Walk (between Church Street and Edith Walk, Malvern) opposite Wilko. Mine is at the far end, just before Edith Walk and the Waitrose walkway exhibition! Have you seen them yet?
16 June - breaking news: my Bright Bouquet has been accepted for the WOS Malvern poster exhibition outside Waitrose!
2022 We received 24 votes and gained 4th place in the Ledbury Take 4 Gallery ‘It’s a Dog’s Life’ exhibition - Postcard of your Pooch ('Merlin's 10th Birthday')
2021 Malvern Wells Village Fete – the ColourWheel Art Exhibition tent; Save Malvern Hills College - the Postcard Protest (‘Cacti’ and ‘Hollyhocks’)
2020 – 21 Drawing on Experience: The Power of Art, from the Heart - Time to Change Worcestershire (my listening 'Hare' featured in their booklet)
2019 – 20 Designed a project to benefit the national charity Family Action’s FamilyLine - ‘Postcards for Friends’. As their lovely patron had ordered a good many of our personalised presents I felt one good turn deserved another! You can find out more at bit.ly/postcards4friends
2019 Joined the very first ColourWheel Art Class when it was at Stanbrook Abbey and still attend on Tuesdays, now at the Abbey Hotel in Great Malvern
1995 – 2018 We moved, after 30 years in London, back to my husband’s native Worcestershire and INPO, I became an art re-starter at Malvern School of Art, a class in Upton, and did some ‘art therapy’ in the Edgbaston Priory c.2005
1974 – 95 Still living in London – had two babies (1974-75), raised the children, did up 2 houses (an art form), fundraised for Cancer Research, divorced (1984), working too, while also training as a volunteer relationship counsellor; happily remarried in 1988; started a design and retail business, demolished and rebuilt Bill’s family home in Worcestershire – formerly the brick tent (sorry Bill) now Bidders Croft mark II
1966 – 74 Living in London working (how I wish I had a PA as good as I used to be), made time for an evening class (oil painting) at Brackenbury School in 1973, while taking breaks in Italy to catch up with friends, and of course, to admire the art
1964 – 66 Studying and working in Oxford but no time for art, just the best PA training, and earning my own keep
1964 Turin then Florence and the British Institute (Italian adventures continue, back to Sardinia this September)
1958 – 63 St Teresa’s Convent in Effingham, Surrey – remembering Christmas card competition winner, Art O level and one term of A levels including Art and History of Art + History and French
1956 – 2003 Family moved to Arrow in Warwickshire – happy holidays on the lawn sketching our old rectory
1952 – 58 First school was Hurst House, Henley in Arden – memories of painting the copper beech and cows
1947 – 56 Life began at Little Croft in Wootton Wawen – I’ve just unearthed a vintage (1950) photo of the young artist at work (see it at studio BC)
Themes: People and portraits, Animals, birds and nature, Christmas and devotional, Buildings and street scenes, Flowers, food and still life, Landscapes, seascapes and space
So do come and see what's what here in Welland, including my drawings, sketches, paintings and cards.