Artist of the Week. Jackie Curtis

Like our previous artist of the week Jackie is well known to Ginger Fig customers for her printmaking. We usually have a good selection of her work in the gallery,  often featuring local landscapes.

Here is our mini interview with Jackie

Q. How would you describe your work?

A. Innovative Printmaking alongside colourful, vibrant watercolours. Much of my work is inspired by the countryside around me: the tranquillity of the Somerset Levels and it's varied coastline, but I also draw inspiration from our travels and a love of marine scenes.

Q. What inspires you?

A. Shapes, patterns, textures, colour and character. I love to beachcomb and collect shells, fossil, driftwood, all of which are scattered around the studio and form part of my inspiration. I am always on the lookout for materials, fabrics with texture for collagraphs and convert scenes in my minds' eye to potential collagraph blocks.

Q. Can you describe your techniques and how you work .

Monoprinting: Images are drawn out of inked plates using rags, feathers,
scrim, gauze, cocktail sticks and earbuds. They are single prints; the block cannot be reused  although a ghost print can be produced from the ink remaining on the block.

Collagraphs are produced from blocks  formed from a collage of textured materials. They are also sometimes known as collage prints as they are effectively a print from a collage of materials.

Linocut and woodblock are more precise printmaking techniques cutting more structured designs and patterns into wood or lino. More recently I have started to experiment with some lovely grained wood to build the natural grain into the finished picture.

A reduction print is printed as several layers. The lightest layer is printed first then more material is cut from the block and another layer applied. There is no going back with a reduction print and you don't know if the image will work until the final layer is applied.

Watercolour, vibrant and colourful artwork - love Chinese orange, purples and Indian yellow: like to layer several washes to get real depth of colour.

Q. Tell us about where you work.

A. I work in the studio but have now taken over half of the garage and there always seems to be some work in progress on the kitchen table. In the winter I tend to take over all the tables in the house - there's always the floor if I get desperate! The studio is half the garage and a summer house - lots of light and rarely tidy unless it's an Open Studio. There's a kettle for tea and coffee, and wine at hand (for visitors of course) and a radio. I love the radio for company especially late a night. There are two motto cards in the studio 'A clean house is a sign of a wasted life' and 'This is not chaos it is my vision of order'. The most important piece of kit is my printing presses - my new one will take prints that are 50cm wide and I am loving playing with larger images.

Q. And finally just for fun, what is your favourite word and why?

A. 'Hello' It's at the start of everything.


Independents Day

The 4th July is Independents Day promoting the importance of  local independent retailers. This is the third year that the National Skills Academy for Retail has run this campaign highlighting the role of independent traders and the diversity and character that they bring to the local high street. The Academy also provide business support and training for small retailers.

If you are in Taunton tomorrow look out for posters in participating shops and pop in to see what is going on. Bath Place is the home for many of Taunton's independents so there is bound to be plenty going on. Here at Ginger Fig we will be giving customers the chance to enter a free prize draw.

Artist of the Week - Janet Jordan

Anyone who has visited the gallery at Ginger Fig will almost certainly be familiar with Janet's work. We have wide selection of her etchings, framed and unframed, together with a range of greetings cards. Janet is a local painter and printmaker who spends a lot of time producing her original and eye-catching etchings.

Here is our mini interview with her.

Q. How would you describe your work?

A.   My work is quirky and always colourful and full of detail; It is representational, but not in a straightforward way. Both my paintings and my etchings are  usually on a domestic scale, although in the past I have worked on a large scale and may do so again.

Q. What inspires you?

A. Anything and everything inspires me, from the natural world to science, from our garden to poetry and occasionally somewhat more bizarre subjects.

Q. Can you describe your techniques and how you work.

A. Sometimes the designs I create arrive fully formed in my head, which saves a lot of work!  These can come from dreams or sudden 'light bulb' moments. More usually it can take days or weeks for the image to be developed and resolved to a final finished version.

Q. Tell us about where you work.

A.  In my studio, my etching press takes pride of place; it is surrounded by all the printmaking materials and art and framing equipment I'm ever likely to need.

Q. And finally, just for fun, what is your favourite word and why?

A.  Synchronicity - because it keeps on happening!

Beginners ipad Art Lessons.

We are very excited to announce that we are hosting some 'Beginners ipad Classes' with well known local artist Alison Jacobs. I'm sure all of our customers are familiar with Alison's paintings.

The first two dates are Monday 8th April and Monday 15th April. Classes will run from 10.30 until 4.00. You will need to bring your own lunch.

Please bring along your own ipad or tablet with the 'Brushes 3' and 'Paper by Fifty Three' apps installed. If you have a stylus that would be really useful but it isn't essential. Bring a coat as there may be some sketching outiside if the weather permits. Children under 12 are welcome if accompanied by an adult.

The cost of a class is £35. Please book via Alison rather than in Ginger Fig. Contact her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or on 07833 750428




Monday 4th February.

We are closing the shop and gallery for one day on Monday 4th February. Cath will be attending a trade fair finding new stock for the shop. As other staff members live further out of town we thought it might save wasted journeys for our customers if we let everyone know we are closed rather than have to close at short notice if the weather should take a turn for the worse again. Sorry for any inconvience. Please do try and come along to the Birds & Bees between now and 9th February.

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