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  • Merrythought Village, Ironbridge, TF8 7NJ
  • 01952 434033
  • Fine Art Printmaking Gallery Since 1980

Author Archives: sarahmorris


Karen O'Neill Artwork

Spotlight on… Karen O’Neill

Welcome to our monthly ‘Artists Spotlight’ giving an insight into the fabulous Artists we work with; exploring their journey, sharing some of their work and hearing about future plans!

This month we are speaking with the incredibly talented Animal Artist Karen O’Neill…

What brought you to Ironbridge fine arts?

Trusty Google brought me to Ironbridge Fine Arts. I wanted a series of Limited Edition prints from my original coloured pencil drawing of a Snow Leopard, and ‘Snow Queen’ which was being featured in ‘Colored Pencil’, an American magazine for coloured pencil artists. I was searching for a local printer and happily, it brought me here.

Karen O'neill Studio Picture

How did your journey into being an artist begin?

Probably like most artists, my art journey began when I was a small child with a pencil in my hand, and a colouring book on the floor in front of me. That eternal, primitive fascination of making marks – think cave paintings – had me in its grip immediately.

As I grew up, if my cat killed a mouse or a bird, I would be there drawing every tiny detail, wondering at the delicacy of a fragile mouse ear and marvelling at how such a tiny body could function. I now know, however, that those little white ‘beads’ I found nestling in a mouse’s fur were ticks! But still, they went into my drawings then. I don’t include them nowadays.

Later, I desperately wanted to go to Art College but was packed off to a secretarial college instead. ‘Something to fall back on,’ they said. As a result, that’s all I did for many years… ‘fall back’. 

I was a very bad, bored secretary and spent more time gazing out of the window than typing. But when my children were small, and when time allowed, I returned to the drawing board. At that time, I was exploring pen and ink using Rotring drafting pens. I was always fascinated by the depth of detail I could go into using these pens. The natural world was my favourite subject, drawn (no pun intended) as I had always been, to nature in all its forms.

I already accept pet portrait commissions and have recently completed a commission to draw the eyes of a Lion, Cheetah and Leopard based upon the client’s photographs from his recent Wildlife Safaris. These were quite large pieces (for me) and allowed me to really explore the detail of the fur surrounding the eye and of the intricacies of the eye itself.

Featured Artist Karen O'Neill

 

Over the years I have dabbled in various mediums but was always rather afraid of colour. It would be so easy to get it wrong and make a mess of things. But more recently I discovered coloured pencils, and a whole new world opened up for me. These are a far cry from the often scratchy pencils I had as a child with the narrow range of colours. The range and quality of pigments, ease of control and lightfast qualities now available in pencil form offers exciting potential.

 

And it is this medium that has brought me the publication of two animal portraits. ‘Snow Queen’, a Snow Leopard, and ‘Ava’ a beautiful Lurcher, both of which have been published in Color Pencil Magazine.

 

Karen O'Neill Artwork
Karen O'Neill Artwork
Featured Artist Karen O'Neill

How would you describe your artwork?

Detail has always fascinated me, the lie of the fur, the muscle structure under the skin, the light reflected in an animal’s eye, and the wrinkles in an elephant’s skin. The delicate stamens and stigma of a flower, the veins of a leaf… Exploring the depth of detail to be found in the natural world is what keeps me at the drawing board for hours on end.

How do you plan to take your artwork forward?

Recently I have begun to dabble in soft pastels. I so admire the work of professional pastel artists and am tentatively experimenting with that medium. I also want to stretch myself further with different subjects, landscape, more floral and possibly when I feel brave, portraiture. But I feel that is a long way off. I have mountains to climb first.

That’s the beauty of art, there’s always something new to learn, new products, new methods, new subjects. And new challenges. When I feel ready, I will enter a drawing in ‘Sketch for Survival and similar competitions. To give something back to support vital conservation work will be my way of saying ‘Thank you’ to the natural world which brings me endless delight and inspiration.

What would you say about the Framing, Giclee Printing and scanning services at Ironbridge fine arts?

Ironbridge Fine Arts services are second to none. Everyone is friendly and helpful and nothing is too much trouble. I love how professional my artwork looks once it has had the Ironbridge Fine Arts treatment. They lift it to another level entirely. And it is always a pleasure to wander around the gallery admiring fellow artists’ work. There is always something new to admire.

What would you say to someone who is thinking of using the services at Ironbridge Fine Arts?

I unreservedly recommend Ironbridge Fine Arts to my customers knowing they will be delighted with the quality of the workmanship and the materials they use.  They know what they are doing and they do it so well.

Has the Ironbridge Fine Art’s team helped to elevate your artwork using the creative ways of bespoke framing and mounting a piece?

Certainly, it has.  I am not confident in choosing mounts and frames, but their gentle guidance and advice has never let me down. I am always delighted with how professional my artwork looks after it has been through their expert hands. They make me look like I know what I’m doing, and I can hand over my artwork to my client with confidence.

I would just like to say how genuinely honoured I feel to have my work among such talented artists, print makers, sculptors etc who exhibit at Ironbridge Fine Arts

Karen’s beautiful Artwork can be found in pride of place within our Gallery but we implore readers to check out her website as well as give her a follow on Instagram and Facebook

NASA Memorabilia lands at Ironbridge Fine Arts!

How incredible is this NASA memorabilia from the Apollo 13 Lunar Module Aquarius 🚀 😍
 
We are always fascinated by the work that gets brought in for us to frame but especially when it’s been in space! Framed in 1532BK Smooth Black Moulding with a Conservation level Black 280321 Mount-board with Slip 8491 and six apertures all double mounted.
 
Each mount is designed on our Gunnar GMC Software and then cut with as many as 5 layers to perfectly present and house each item. Framed to Level 2 formerly known as Conservation Level and finished with AcryGuard UV99% Protective scratch-resistant Acrylic.
 
For bookings and enquiries please contact –
 
📞 01952 434033
 
Ironbridge Fine ARts - Bamboo Moulding

New bamboo moulding joins our framing collection!

Ironbridge Fine ARts - Bamboo Moulding
How incredible is this Gold Bamboo moulding
 
For this set of 5 hand-drawn fabric pieces, we matched identically the colour on the artwork to the colour of the mount. This created a bespoke feel to each and every piece while still maintaining their coherency as a set!
 
This Wessex moulding D3062 can be used as a bold statement with vibrant colours such as this or toned down with a sleek black mount to create elegance.
 
If you have any questions or queries you would like answering, feel free to give us a call on 01952 434033 or email us – sarah@ironbridgefinearts.co.uk 😊
 

Army Medal Framing at Ironbridge Fine Arts

What a pleasure it was to frame these extraordinary medals 🎖️ ⁣

This bespoke medal frame has been specially made to allow our customer to wear them for parades and display them beautifully the rest of the time. They will be worn on Thursday 2 June when the Queen will celebrate her “official” birthday at Buckingham Palace in the Trooping the Colour ceremony!⁣

We carefully picked out the exact colours featured in the medal ribbons: Damascus Green, Beaujolais and Gold mountboard with a Luxe Trevi Black and Gold Step moulding providing the depth needed to draw the eye in. ⁣

Here at Ironbridge Fine Arts, we want to make sure that you get the most out of your artwork/items that’s why we offer a free framing consultation to help you make the right choice! Give us a call or email us on:⁣

📞01952 434033 ⁣
✉️sarah@ironbridgefinearts.co.uk⁣

Unique Bobbin Framing at Ironbridge Fine Arts

How individual is this bobbin mirror frame! 💚 🤩 ⁣

This is a wonderfully quirky choice for your artwork/mirrors that come in a multitude of colours and sizes to be tailored to your suiting. ⁣

Bobbin frames allow a subtle yet playful addition to a room, giving a tactile nature that draws your focus. Maximalism is very on-trend right now, but you can choose how bold you wish to be depending on sizing and colour just like these bold green and sleek white choices by one of our lovely customers!⁣

To enquire about bobbin frames or any framing questions you may have please contact and find us at – ⁣

📞01952 434033 ⁣
✉️sarah@ironbridgefinearts.co.uk⁣
📍Merrythought Village, Ironbridge, TF8 7NJ⁣

Summer Exhibition – Ironbridge Fine Arts

Have a walk round the incredible Natalie Toplass featured in our Summer 2022 Exhibition!⁣

Natalie started painting professionally shortly after moving to Shropshire in 2003, following her completion of a Fine Arts Degree and a post-grad in Stage and Set design.⁣

Growing up in Cheshire, Natalie had a love of drawing from an early age. When her parents opened a florist shop in Nantwich, any unsold flowers were taken home and that’s when she started to draw them; mostly to scale and in coloured pencil-but that was the moment! For Natalie, becoming an artist never seemed like a decision she had to make – it was an inevitability.⁣

Georgia O’Keefe is an obvious influence, with her use of colour and form of simple objects as an inspiration. Similarly, Natalie was captured by Karl Blossfeldt for his beautiful symmetry in nature and its presentation.⁣

From sketch pad drawings as a child, Natalie progressed to painting oversize oils of sumptuous, magnified flowers. She believes the scale of her work was influenced by her time working as a scenic artist – a role she relished, and which took her around the world.⁣

To see our collection of Natalie’s work, visit us at:⁣
📍Merrythought Village, Ironbridge, TF8 7NJ⁣⁣

Sustainable framing at Ironbridge Fine Arts!

What a perfect balance between artwork, moulding and mount. These complement each other beautifully creating a calming and unique final product worthy of hanging pride of place! ⁣

In a Brittany green stain scooped 354304 moulding and a double mount to add depth, this accentuates the artwork created by the wonderful @sabrina_roscino_design which is elevated to look like a bookshelf itself!⁣

This Larson Juhl moulding is also PEFC™ certified meaning it’s independently certified to assure consumers that they come from forests that are managed to meet the social, economic and ecological needs of present and future generations.⁣

Not only do we source hundreds of sustainable mouldings and mountboards, but the wrap we use to protect your order when collecting is also biodegradable and fully compostable! We make sure to do our bit for the planet and help where we can 😊🌎⁣

Satisfying work…

Not only do we do framing, Giclée printing/scanning, and many more here at Ironbridge Fine Arts but we also offer frame restoration! ⁣

Here we have the process of making a mould to allow us to cast missing parts of frames, the mould then sets and is ready for attachment and gilding to match the rest. This is a delicate and precise technique to master but it can make all the difference to the finish, especially to ornate frames. Swipe left to see some in-process photos! ⁣

If you have any questions regarding frame restoration don’t hesitate to get in contact! Or find us at: ⁣

📍 Merrythought Village, Ironbridge, TF8 7NJ⁣

Scanning, Printing and Framing Large Artwork

This impressive charcoal on paper artwork was created by our lovely customer, Toni Gabb. Framed in 3442BK bevelled moulding with a 9945WH open grain Pine 2mm Slip to draw you into the beautiful charcoal artwork. ⁣

Scanned on our Epson high-resolution fine art giclee scanner, we were able to capture the entirety of this commission to be treasured even after it had been sold on. With the ability to scan up to 12000 dpi, we can provide digital editing, retouching and colour correction to really make the most of your artwork! ⁣

Click on the Links to find out more about our services:

Fine Art Giclee Printing, High-Resolution Scanning and Fine Art Reproductions

Fine Art Framing in Telford and Shropshire



Our opening times are – ⁣
Tuesday – Friday = 10am-5pm⁣
Saturday = 10am-3pm⁣
Sun-Mon = CLOSED⁣

Ironbridge Fine Arts - Summer Exhibition

Ironbridge Fine Arts Summer Exhibition

Ironbridge Fine Arts Summer Exhibition will be on display from the 1st of June through to the 25th of August 2022. The exhibition features our own family of Artists; including Jenny Gunning’s fascinating range of Intaglio Etchings featuring her beautiful Aga Factory Collection, Liz Gunning’s incredible Earthenware and Raku pottery, and of course Dave Gunning’s extraordinary Etched Steel collection.

Our Featured Artists include Studio 99 and Nathalie Toplass. 

Studio 99

Studio 99 is a printmakers collective formed with a wide range of members belonging to the RBSA, RBA, and RE. The fascinating collection of work includes a range of etchings, collographs, and monoprints. Artists include Nicolas Logan, Ann Hackett, Diane Lewis-Aiello, Carol Meredith, Chris Salmon, John Davenport, Colin Spilbury, and Anthony Yates.

Ironbridge Fine Arts Exhibition Featuring Studio 99

Nathalie Toplass

We are delighted to feature Artist Nathalie Toplass in our Summer exhibition 2022. Nathalie’s work conveys the feelings and sense of pleasure she feels while being surrounded by nature, even the simplest of things stir emotions. She wants the viewer to have an experience that encompasses sensations beyond that of the image itself. Therefore the scale of her work is important. By enlarging the scale, the nature of the subject is intensified and enables the viewer to become surrounded by the beauty of the subject.

Our Gallery is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 am till 5 pm and Saturdays from 10 am till 3 pm. We look forward to seeing you!

Nathalie Toplass Exhibition Flyer June 2021