‘Nature in the Raw’

Exhibition of new oil paintings by Nicola Rose & ceramic sculptures by GCSE students from Ditcham Park School, Petersfield

The exhibition will open with a Private View on Saturday 23rd June

7pm onwards

Please email or ring 02392 377099 for an invitation to this preview party

Open to the public

24th June - 15th July 2012

Exhibition opening hours:

Wednesday to Saturday 10.30am - 7pm

Sunday 11am - 5pm

This is the second solo exhibition of oil paintings by Nicola Rose held at Above the Blue following a highly successful show last year and glowing praise for her powerful, dramatic compositions and her sophisticated use of colour and texture. The highly atmospheric and expressive style of her work has a richness and depth which exudes a quality many artists can only aspire to.

The inspiration and focus for this new body of work came from a trip Nicola made to Scotland last Summer, staying in a remote croft in a rugged and sparsely inhabited area where she could immerse herself in un-interrupted sketching and painting. The intoxicating, raw beauty of the Islands of the Outer Hebrides - Harris and Lewis and the myriad of tiny islands surrounding them provided a rich source of inspiration for this powerful, new collection. She has concentrated on capturing the battering effects of the elements upon this spectacular stretch of coastline, expressing the spiritual quality and incredible age of these places through layers of paint and the building up of textured surfaces in sand and carborundum.

Despite the difficult economic climate Nicola has bucked the trend and had a very successful year selling her paintings which are becoming highly sought after. Do not miss the opportunity to view this exciting exhibition at Above the Blue, Port Solent and to acquire some of her beautiful work.

A selection of ceramic work by year 11 GCSE art students at Ditcham Park School, which sits on the Hampshire/Sussex border, will also be exhibited. These creations were inspired by a trip to Kew Gardens and the colourful and abstract results are based on the natural forms they saw there and also by the very beautiful surroundings of the school.

Ditcham Park is situated on the outskirts of Petersfield, set in the inspirational surroundings of the South Downs National Park with impressive views over Hampshire to the Isle of Wight.

Although the students all had the same starting point they have created a very varied and diverse set of sculptures. They have each interpreted the theme, ‘natural forms’ in a very individual and creative manner. Some are abstract and very sculptural, whereas some have developed their ideas into close and accurate observations. All have sensitively and subtly interpreted the colours found in nature in their use of glazes and oxides.

Need a gift for someone, look no further, Above the Blue is the place to find it......

New collections of original paintings, limited edition prints, photographs plus handmade glass, ceramics, jewellery, sculptures & cards.

Sterling silver jewellery - earrings, bracelets, necklaces, even cufflinks. Very affordable, with earrings starting at just £6 a pair. Great idea if you need to send a present by post.

For animal lovers there are superb bronze resin sculptures by Cornish artist, Suzie Marsh. Playful cats, hares, elephants, meerkats, bears, mice, ducks to name a few. Plus the extraordinary wire & paper wall sculptures by Sue McLearie.

The choice of handmade ceramics includes quirky clocks by Iveta Goddard, beautiful bowls by Jill Ford & Rob Dunster & Sally Woodford’s highly creative Raku fired pieces. With prices starting at £14 they won’t break the bank.

Lovers of the sea & sailing are well catered for, there are stunning stainless steel yacht sculptures, little Raku fired 3D ceramic boats, dramatic photographic prints of racing yachts as well as original coastal inspired paintings by Leila Godden from just £89.

Bob Aylott’s much admired & extensive range of photographs of the local area are sure to be a hit.

Mike Topham’s innovative handmade wire 3D pictures will definitely make you smile.

For something really special & unique one of Adriana Brinsmead-Stockham’s cast glass sculptures would make a sensational gift.

Glass coasters & dishes by Loose Designs are affordable & colourful.

Beautiful felt flower brooches, jewellery, handmade cards, sparkly cupcake pictures & cute little caravan collages by Pip from Brighton make ideal gifts for young & not so young.

Visit the gallery to see this inspirational selection of artworks & more which may just resolve your gift buying dilemmas. Lets make shopping fun not a chore.


Live Portrait Painting on the Boardwalk

Come & watch an artist at work & have your portrait painted from just £25 per person at Port Solent.

Due to popular demand Fatima Pantoja will be back painting portraits at Above the Blue on

Sunday 17 June 2012 from 11am

email or ring 02392 377099 for more details or to book an appointment.

Fatima Pantoja came to Port Solent  to paint portraits during the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend. Her work was so popular that if you missed out or couldn’t make it we want to give you another opportunity to book a slot with her on Sunday 17 June 2012.

Sit & have your portrait painted in just 15 minutes or so, in traditional charcoal/pastel or drawn on her computer as a digital image - just like David Hockney's recent work.

And if you don't like what she produces you don't have to buy it!  What have you got to lose with such an amazing offer.

Spanish-born, Fatima is a highly trained artist with a wonderful talent for portrait painting, capturing the character of a person very quickly, with the versatility to offer different styles according to your preference.


Even if you are a bit shy about having yourself painted, watching her work will be fascinating in itself & I'm sure when you see the quality of her paintings you'll be tempted to take the plunge.

What an opportunity to have a high quality original portrait hanging on your wall or to give away as a gift perhaps. Wouldn't it be lovely to have a painting of your children or grandchildren - so much more special than a photograph.

Here are some of her more traditional portraits:


     Made by Hand

Buy unique hand made Christmas gifts from some of the finest British Designer Makers now being showcased at

Above the Blue, the art & craft gallery at Port Solent

Ceramics    Glass    Wood    Jewellery    Sculpture

Original Paintings    Prints    Photographs

If you are looking for something unusual this the place to come. The varied selection of work is sure to inspire & make Christmas shopping a pleasure rather than a chore.

Prices from £6 - affordable to aspirational.

From 14 November 2012 onwards