Featured Artist Adele Froude
What is your name or the name you go by for your art?
‘Adele Froude Designs’ and ‘Dalmatian Art by Adele Froude Designs’.
Where do you live?
The Yorkshire Dales National Park.
What’s your background?
I worked in the NHS for 20 years, in several different locations across the country, including Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire, London and finally Lancashire. Whilst in London I decided to turn my trauma therapy skills towards the specialism of eating disorders and became a Clinical Nurse Specialist whilst working in Surrey. I moved to Lancashire to be nearer nature and the countryside, setting up a Specialist Eating Disorder Service where I led both an inpatient and outpatient service for several years, as a Clinical Specialist and Manager.
In 2011, whilst working in the NHS, I was subjected to prolonged misconduct and trauma which led to me first developing PTSD, phobic anxiety, and major depression, directly related to these events. I had to leave my NHS career, my home, and my geographical area. What started as returning to my art as a self-help therapy, became a new direction as an artist.
Which media do you prefer to work with?
There isn’t a quick answer to this question, as I work with several media. The simplest is to start with my paintings. I work with acrylics, oils, gouache, watercolour, ArtGraf, pigment powders, liquid and solid charcoal, pastel, and oil pastels. I love all these materials but have a particular love of ArtGraf and charcoal.
My textile work is a little more complicated because I create both two- and three-dimensional works. For most of my 2D works I use all-natural fibres, both animal such as Icelandic and Black Faced sheep fleece (which is all hand dyed) and plant materials such as nettle, mulberry bark, and silk cocoon, which are also hand- or botanical- dyed. I also recycle natural products such as paper twisted into yarns, wool wadding, and dried paper, again made into yarns.
From these materials I create a multitude of art: wall hangings; weaving; needle felting and textile ‘paintings’.
My 3D textile sculptures could be as simple as a needle felted piece or extremely complicated such as my sculptures created using steel and aluminium as my starting point, to which I then add layers of ‘distressed’ fabrics, which may be newly produced or recycled.
My woven pieces are either used later during the sculpting process or in a variety of wall art. Sometimes hung within frames, sometimes from natural wood and at other times I make ‘hanging plinths’. I love the process of weaving and of course get to use all those spun fibres and unusual yarns!
My favourite element used in my sculpting, once the metalwork is completed (I am a closet metal sculptor I think!) is the layering and choosing distressed fibres and fabrics to produce the visual and tactile effect I am aiming for.
How did you learn your craft i.e., college, self-taught and what did that entail?
The easiest answer to this is to direct people to my first blog https://www.adelefroudedesigns.com/single-post/2019/05/05/art-is-more-than-a-pretty-accessoryit-saved-my-life where I talk about how Art saved my life.
An overview would be that I am, in the main, self-taught. I was due to leave school and attend Art College as my first step. However, my parents were poor, and I had to withdraw from my place.
I worked in other areas, using my art to fund my nursing training and degree….and housing and utility bills!! Then I began full time as an artist in 2011 when I had to leave a successful NHS career, due to PTSD. Since then, I have taken the Creative Visionary Program (CVP) and am a member of their Artist Alumni Academy.
What does your work aim to say?
My art says many things but is always authentically ‘me’. That is, it is based upon my thinking, emotional and life circumstances; my view of the world and ‘my’ world and evolves just as I do.
Who are your biggest influences?
How do you navigate the art world?
This is tricky because as I have PTSD, phobic anxiety and depression, I have never attended an art fayre for example. My artwork began, and continues to exist, online but has led to me being able to hold several solo exhibitions and take part in multi-artist exhibitions. I have won awards for ‘best in show’, ‘Judges’ choice’, ‘People’s choice’ and ‘Most Innovative’.
How have you developed your career?
Once I became aware of the need and benefits of art being authentic of the artist, I have continually worked from this ethos and recognised that, as I evolve through my experiences, so should my artwork.
How do you seek out opportunities?
Most often I am contacted and asked either to take on commissions or to provide an ‘experiential exhibition’ or submit to a forthcoming event. However, I also keep an eye out for artist exhibition events and apply. I must admit, these are limited because I am usually working hard on meeting commitments already made.
How do you cultivate a collector base?
Primarily, this has occurred organically rather than via any ‘forced’ methods or substantial marketing. I found that, as I had been told would happen, once your art becomes authentically you, then it attracts attention and grows organically, which is wonderful!
How do you price your work?
This is where I often get reprimanded! I do have a matrix to cover materials involved and a pricing structure within specific areas of my artwork. However, I do not price for my time. This is because no-one but the elite would ever be able to afford many of my large textural sculptures. I do add slightly, to cover gallery commissions accordingly.
Several years ago, I also began offering a flexi payment option, which many artists are now adopting. Mine operates as a basic non-refundable deposit followed by month-by-month flexible payments based on whatever the client can afford that month. Once all payments are made, their art is sent to them. It is highly enjoyed and utilised by many, making art accessible to as many people as possible; something extremely important to me.
I have on several occasions sent items of artwork to people who have been unable to afford them due to circumstances and I frequently donate artwork to charitable causes.
Which current art world trends are you following?
None and hopefully I will never be tempted!
Do you know where you are heading career-wise? What are your hopes for your future?
I have given this a lot of thought and every time I come back to the same things: creating authentic, unusual, high quality art that brings the most joy to people, whilst making art affordable and accessible to as many as possible; and breaking the elitist ceiling and art lexicon that is nothing but pretentious and meaningless nonsense!
Do you have any tips for young artists just starting out?
Find out who you are right now, experiment, do not be told ‘no’ when you know it is ‘yes’…listen to your inner self and then practice, practice, practice. Oh, and remember, art SHOULD evolve because as a human being YOU will evolve, ergo your art should follow.
Do you have any exhibitions coming up?
- I have a solo exhibition, titled ‘Betwixt Here and Somewhere’, due to run from 4th – 28th August at The Hub, Skipton, North Yorkshire.
- I also am taking part in a multi-artist exhibition, ‘Craft Open’, at Platform Gallery, Clitheroe, Lancashire, from 12th August until 18th September.
- I have just been accepted to be one of only 20 artists taking part in an online extension to an exhibition, ‘Come Outside’, focussing on how lockdown has impacted on life as an artist and particularly the connection with the countryside. This will run from 5th July for two weeks.
- I was due to exhibit at an iconic venue ‘The Folly Gallery’ in the famous market town of Settle, in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. However, ‘The Folly – Past, Present and Future’ show has again been postponed due to Covid-19 and is now set for 2022.
- There will be Christmas exhibitions that are not open for submission yet.
Where can you be found on social media?
I also have an ‘open request’ group where members receive discounts, can collect reward points and get discounts on my art coaching services: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2865080160438585/
Is there any other information you would like to share?
I offer artist and hobbyist art coaching, write a regular blog which can be subscribed to (for free) via my website and produce a newsletter which will also be automatically forwarded to all subscribers via my website.
I take part in ‘Open Studios’ when Covid-19 restrictions safely allows.
In addition, I hold ad hoc ‘My Studio’ events which are advertised via my social media platforms and website, where you can come along and visit my studio, have a brew, talk art, see what I am currently working on and view a private gallery of selected current works. These events will most likely resume in 2022 after the Covid-19 pandemic situation calms down.