Sunday, 20 March 2011

The first show in the studio

Here are some pictures of my first show in the studio, Simon put out the sign as 11 o' clock struck.
I concentrated on landscapes for this show. The next one, Sunday 3rd April, 11 -5 is about the coast.

Perigee Moon

Last night the full moon was at the perigee of it's elliptical orbit, meaning the nearest it ever gets to the earth. So we set off just before sunset to see it rising in the east. Wow, the photos don't do it justice, first a fine sliver appeared above the horizon and gradually a huge, rich, glowing, apricot, slightly flattened egg shape rose into the dusk. Beautiful. After watching for half an hour or so, we got pretty cold and came home to find it shining through the trees and making fantastic patterns on the ground, which my camera isn't good enough to capture. Technical stuff, the moon appears 14% bigger than normal, this occurs every 18 years or so, the last time being in 1993.

Thursday, 17 March 2011


I found this amaryllis in the cut price bin at Homebase after Christmas, the colour on the box looked so wonderful that I was tempted, and it is the most beautiful, rich tomato red. Although I'm not a flower painter I've had two attempts at it so far, neither has been successful, I'm hoping my friend Sue (who is a flower painter) will come over today and give me some tips.

About 50 years ago, my father was the manager of a hardware shop on Abingdon, he received some amaryllis bulbs, a newly imported plant that no-one knew anything about, and brought one home for mum. She did her usual green fingered job, and after about three months of careful nurturing it came into bloom. She was thrilled, the flowers were huge and colourful, she put it in a place of honour.

The next day it had vanished and a new window display appeared in Timothy Whites.

Mum was not pleased.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

After the Event

Sunday was really enjoyable, a steady trickle of visitors, including several very supportive friends and relations, and time to chat about art over a cuppa, what a joy.
The studio is such a great space, I'm privileged to be able to work in such an environment and in such a beautiful part of the world.
Today the sun is shining and we've promised ourselves a day out in Sherborne, wandering round the Castle gardens and visiting the garden centre where there is a water garden specialist. We want some plants for the pond to attract wildlife. It's a bit sterile at the moment, having just been dug, but I hope we can get it to come to life with frogs and dragonflies and all the other pond dwellers.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Ready to Open

Ready for the first Open Studio at Brewery Cottage, Sunday 6th March 2011.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Opening the studio, Sunday 6th March

On Sunday I am opening the studio for the first time and hoping some people will come and see what I've been working on.
I've kept it very low key, only advertising in the village newsletter and putting out a sign on the day. So it'll be my own fault if no-one comes at all.
What I'm hoping is that there will be a few people, enough for me to be able to introduce myself and show what I do, talk about materials, subject matter and influences without being swamped by lots of visitors and not having time to talk to anyone properly.
I remember when Julie and I first did open studios at Wycombe Court House 7 years ago, we relaxed in the garden working away at our projects, chatting to occasional visitors and demonstrating techniques. It was a very fulfilling time and I'd like to get back to that situation here.
I find it helpful to talk to people about what I do, especially non artists who often have a completely different perspective on the work. So, I intend to have a couple of pieces of work on the go, which I can discuss and use as a way of demonstrating. I've got a blood red Amaryllis in the conservatory which is on the edge of coming into bloom, I plan to do some semi abstract watercolours based on this, and a landscape from a drawing I did this afternoon in Aller Lane, again fairly abstract in approach as that's what's interesting me at the moment.
I have tidied the studio (it may be worth opening once a month just for the spring clean element) and filled the walls with landscapes, mostly oil on canvas. I have got out the browsers of unframed work and the cards and Julie has given me some of her ceramics and jewellery so I think it will be a good show, I'll post photos when I've completed the display.

Here's my programme for 2011

Sunday 6th March Landscape

Sunday 3rd April Coast

Sunday 1st May Works on paper

Sunday 5th June Portrait, life and the Human Landscape

Sunday 10th July New work in ceramics, jewellery and paintings

Sunday 7th August Abstract elements

Sunday 4th September Favourite Places

Sunday 2nd October Landscape

Abstract, The Rookery and Monument


Of course all art is, to a lesser or greater extent, an abstract response to stimulus but for me an abstract painting is one where I have put the pure representational to one side and concentrated on my inner voice. I may have observed something very briefly from the car window, or had a random thought or maybe simply found something latent in a series of marks that were originally made about something else. With abstraction the responsibility for the image is entirely with the artist, it's the most difficult and ultimately the most satisfying way to work.