How long have you lived in Carshalton and what do you love about living here?
We moved to Carshalton in 2004 after finding it by accident! We instantly fell in love with the history and beauty. We love the village community.
What does a typical week look like for you?
A typical week for both of us is a combination of teaching art at Coulsdon Sixth Form College, raising our 2 kids, having tea and cake somewhere in the High Street and squeezing some time for artwork!
Where did the idea to create 'CAOS' come from?
As with many good ideas, the idea for CAOS came from a trip to the pub! We're surrounded by areas with their own open studios and we just thought we needed to do it in Carshalton as we knew there was loads of talent we could pull together for it.
Who is CAOS and who is CAOS for?
CAOS artists are all based in the Carshalton area and all eager to open their doors to show the public what they do. There's so much creativity going on that we want people to see. So CAOS is for anyone who's interested in seeing what we do and how we do it. We've tried to make it as inclusive as possible including activities for children and families.
Local businesses are also getting involved with workshops, displays, special events and sponsorship of the event. There's a special exhibition of artwork at Honeywood Mueum, workshops at the Corner Gallery and other special events at Oaks Park Studios and Dotty's tea rooms. Local businesses such as Calladoodles, STR design and Print and Raff Electrical have helped sponsor the event along with Sutton Council and Arts Network Sutton. Calladoodles will be having a special window display and Stennings Bakery in Carshalton Beeches will also be opening on both Sundays of the event to cater for hungry visitors. CAOS wouldn't otherwise exist without these amazing artists and networks of creative people.
When is CAOS?
We're opening for two weekends on 24, 25 June and 1, 2 July. Opening hours will generally be 11-5 but check our website for details.
Calladoodles are also holding a 'Meet the Artist' evening with the lovely Helena on Friday 30th June 5:30pm - 7pm!
There will be free bubbly and nibbles and the opportunity to browse and buy some fantastic artwork. (...we're all about the bubbles and nibbles!)
Where can people buy art work by local artists?
Some artists will be selling work directly on the day or online. Many will have cards or postcards available to buy either in their studios or in some cases at Calladoodles. Eagle Gallery Framers are very kindly offering a 20% discount on framing of any artwork bought during the event. Of course there's also Calladoodles selling work by both Neal and I, as well as John Stillman, Abel Kesteven and Doug Shaw.
What is your favourite part of creating a piece of art?
HELENA: My favourite part of what I do is playing around with different materials to get the look I want. I also love the flexibility that photoshop gives me to play around with colours. I can change the whole look with a simple click.
NEAL: I love painting or drawing live or plein air, this makes me feel closer to the subject. Then when in the studio I love experimenting with mark making. It's not about the final product it's more about journey.
Any words of wisdom/encouragement for any budding artists out there?
HELENA: My advice to budding artists would be to enjoy playing around and finding what works best for you. Be open to ideas, they can come from anywhere!
NEAL: Be able to do anything you want to. I have a painting and drawing bag packed and ready to go, so I can just grab and go. Be brave and never think just of the final product, just enjoy creating. Also find other artists, it's a lonely world out there!
A big thank you to Helena and Neal Vaughan for taking the time to answer our questions, and a huge well done and good luck to you both and all local artists! We can't wait to come and visit you all. You will find maps, artist profiles and more info on the CAOS website HERE and in physical form in Calladoodles and other high street shops.
Don't forget - free bubbly at our next event!