COVID update

Long time, no see!

I paused the blog before our 10-week trip to Australia and posted once on our return to announce the exhibition at Kingsbridge Library. Then came the lockdown.

Anne and I are in the elderly/vulnerable category and have been enjoying each other’s company to the exclusion of the rest of the world for 13 weeks now. And I have GOOD news and BAD. First …

The BAD news

Around us, everything has been cancelled:

  • The Salcombe Art Club main exhibition – I was due to have five paintings on display plus a one-man show … not going to happen
  • The SHAF Arts Trail – October time … not going to happen
  • The Kingsbridge exhibition – cut short and my paintings are still there ….

And, we are remaining in lockdown until at least the end of August so Beacon House Gallery is closed until further notice.

The GOOD news?

We can still supply you with fine art greetings cards, through the post. Some shops are now open so you can also buy them locally.

  • Burton Farm Shop, Malborough
  • Ashby’s, just outside Salcombe
  • Bonnington’s, Salcombe

Our giclée printer company started back today (Hooray!) so we can arrange to have rolled gliclée prints sent to you through the post.

We are not happy to sell original paintings unseen. If you have an urgent request, we may be able to arrange a private viewing at Beacon House. No promises!

STAY SAFE

Kingsbridge Library Exhibition: March 2020

Kingsbridge Library, part of Devon Libraries, encourages artists to show their work and, in return, 20% of the sales goes to support Libraries United South West – a worthy cause which benefits all libraries in our area.

I have six original paintings on show at Kingsbridge Library for the month of March. A mix of watercolour, oil and acrylic, they are easily recognised views of places in the Kingsbridge area.

Art Exhibition at Kingsbridge Library March 2020

Opening hours | Kingsbridge Library Exhibition

Starting top left and going clockwise, the paintings are:

I have reduced the prices for this exhibition, to encourage sales, so we can support the library. Come along and see them for yourself.

More exhibitions/events this year

It’s going to be another busy year!

  • Saturday 4 April – Sunday 27 September
    A selection of my original paintings in the Salcombe Art Club Summer Exhibition
  • Monday 3 August
    Supporting Salcombe Town Regatta with an art stall in Whitestrand – cards and affordable art
  • Thursday 6 August
    Stall at Hope Cove Lifeboat Fund-raising Day at Cottage Hotel, Hope Cove – cards and affordable art
  • Thursday 13 August
    Pop-up stall at Salcombe Yacht Club in aid of SYC funds – cards and affordable art
  • Sunday 16 August – Saturday 29 August
    One man exhibition of my original paintings in the Little Studio within the Loft Gallery, Salcombe
  • Saturday 12 September – 27 September
    Devon Open Studios at Salcombe Art Club
  • Saturday 17 October – Sunday 25 October
    SHAF Arts Trail in the Cove Room at the Cottage Hotel, Hope Cove
    Exhibiting with Michael Hill and others – original paintings, gicleé prints, cards and affordable art

 

My work is also available to view, by private appointment, at Beacon House Gallery, within my home in Salcombe. Contact me if you would like to arrange a time.

Holiday time!

The ‘art season’ of 2019 is now over for me and it’s time to take a break, relax and recharge the batteries before we embark on 2020.

Anne and I are looking forward to spending the Christmas and New Year period with family and friends down under.

So, I won’t be blogging again until after my return – sometime in February.

Meantime: festive greetings to you.

Christmas Fayre at Burton Farm

Christmas Fayre poster

The final excursion of 2019, with my affordable art, will be at the Christmas Fayre at Burton Farm.

Anne Rossiter and her team have hired a marque. So, there will be lots of  Stalls, a Grand Raffle …

Christmas Fayre raffle prizes

Santa’s Grotto, Mulled Wine and Mince Pies, Entertainment, Food and much to do for children … like pet the Christmas lambs …

Christmas lambs

When is the Christmas Fayre?

23 November, 11am until 3pm

Father Christmas arrives at 11.30am!

Where is Burton Farm?

Galmpton, nr Hope Cove, TQ7 3EY Kingsbridge. Click here for more information, and directions.

Map of Burton Farm location

Supporting The Triangle Centre

cushion | Christmas Fayre at Burton Farm

As with all my appearances at local events, this is to raise funds for a worthwhile charity: and on Saturday 23 November, it’s the turn of the Triangle Centre, Kingsbridge.

All proceeds from the hire of stalls, and the raffle go to the Triangle Centre.

Each stall holder donates a prize, as do many other local businesses and kind individuals. My contribution is a cushion, value £20.

What’s on sale at the Christmas Fayre?

As well as the many other stall holders, all with gift ideas for Christmas, I shall have a selection from my affordable range.

  • Placemats and coasters
  • Glass chopping boards and coasters
  • Purses
  • Pill boxes
  • Key rings
  • Fridge magnets
  • Cushions

spiral notebooks | Christmas Fayre at Burton Farm

Newest item available: spiral notebooks! Many designs to choose from. Click here for more details.

Last date for Christmas orders

That Saturday, 23 November, is also the last date I can take orders and collection of your order needs to be by Saturday 30 November

The Gallery then closes for the winter … and we reopen on 24 February, in time to set up an exhibition of my work at Kingsbridge Library for the month of March.

PS I’m attending an art class all that weekend, so my beautiful assistant, Anne, will be there to serve you.

Postcard from Cobourg, on Lake Ontario, Canada

Anne and I visited Cobourg, on Lake Ontario in Canada recently, partly to attend the 90th birthday of my cousin, but also to have a couple of weeks holiday with my family out there.

We’ve been once before, two years ago and didn’t expect to go again. We couldn’t refuse the invitation to celebrate a 90th birthday though.

Have watercolour kit, will sketch

After the many outings with the SOS (sketching outside) group this year, it was a delight to be out and about, in the sunshine, in Canada while back home the weather was more inclement.

Sketching en plein air could be said to be best, the quickest, route to mastering an understanding of painting. Whatever the subject, it’s all about learning to ‘see’ it. Think mood. Think atmosphere!

Many books are dedicated to the skills required to create a useful summary – a sketch – of what you are trying to record. The basic sketch, whether indoors or outside, needs to capture the artist’s place and time of day – wet or dry!

There are also two magazines which continually inspire me: The Artist and Leisure Painter. Both are published by The Artists’ publishing company. for more information, go to their website: www.painters-online.co.uk.

Technology to the rescue

Sketching is not an impossible challenge in these days.  With the support of the iPhone or iPad, the four sides of the screen instantly help the eye to sort out perspective, and light and shade of the subject. In addition to electronic gizmos, the humble ruler is an elementary tool.

My watercolour kit

With weight restrictions for overseas travel, I packed only a minimal watercolour kit. See the featured image above. My smallest paint box has twelve basic colours, a very small water bottle, a foldaway palette, a tiny sponge and and equally small brush. It’s very light and suits my purpose.

I spent many hours recording the various sights near where we were staying. This is me perched on a bench, alongside a walkway at the edge of Cobourg marina. Many walkers took a keen interest in my progress.

Sketching on the quayside at Cobourg marina

The big motorboat in the background belongs to my cousin and I wanted to capture this setting as a reminder of our time aboard Colonel Ken.

Sketch of Colonel Ken moored at Cobourg marina

This photo had me with a more comfortable seating. A whole picnic table to myself in the ground of the Cobourg Yacht Club.

Sketching in the gardens of Cobourg Yacht club

It was a hot day and the paint dried quickly on the page so I decided to stick to pencil sketching from this direction.

Pencil sketch of Colonel Ken

This post is one of my POSTCARD series, sharing all things ART with you when I go travelling. My previous postcard was from FROM MILTON KEYNES: WOUGHTON HOUSE. – a hotel Anne and I have stayed in while visiting her family. 

SHAF Arts Trail Update

Taking part in the SHAF Arts Trail is a huge undertaking, and hugely rewarding. We’ve met some interesting people – some artists, some visitors to the South Hams, and some locals. Wonderful!

SHAF Arts Trail Update: the preview evening

After several days of setting up the gallery with works by Michael Hill and Chris Pring alongside my own, we had our preview evening on Friday 11 October. A crowd of 30+ spent the evening in the company of Michael, Chris and myself. We had wine and nibbles and our guests had first choice on the material on display.

If you’d like to be invited to this event next year and, meanwhile, kept up to date with news of forthcoming events, contact me.

SHAF Arts Trail Update: Chris Pring

Several of Chris Pring’s pottery items were sold on the preview evening, including one of his three muses and a hare plate. There’s still much to see though. Most of his work is in the sunroom (AKA our dining room).

Chris Pring display in the sun room | SHAF Arts Trail Update

There’s another display of his work in the entrance hall providing an excellent welcome to our visitors. Chris Pring display in the entrance hall | SHAF Arts Trail Update

The grey vase on the top shelf (Grasses) was sold just after I took this photograph. Come soon, if you want to be sure of a piece of Chris’ pottery.

SHAF Arts Trail Update: Michael Hill

Michael Hill’s new style of painting – focusing on people rather than places – has drawn lots of interest. Michael Hill display | SHAF Arts Trail Update

Which do you prefer?

We also have several of Michael’s unframed original works in the browser, very reasonably priced. To date, we’ve sold five of these, but there are more. Come quick?

SHAF Arts Trail Update: Stephen Thomas

My affordable art is proving very popular. Costing from as little as £3.75 (for a keyring or fridge magnet) – many of these items are perfect for Christmas gifts.

Affordable art display

On the preview evening, I sold all my stock of glass chopping boards, including one showing Dappled Light, and more – in both A4 and A3 sizes – are on order, due in later this week.

During the past week, the Dappled Light design has been the most popular and lots of cards, wooden placemats and coasters, two wall plaques and two pills boxes have been sold. Again, more are on order!Dappled Light

SHAF Arts Trail Update: the weather?

The weather has been variable. Some sunshine. Some heavy rain. But visitors have arrived come rain or shine and have been made very welcome. Tea/coffee and biscuits, and a wonderful view are available for all comers.

There’s still time to visit. We are open 10am-5pm daily until Sunday 27 October.

Closed on Tuesday!

What’s SHAF?

Click here to learn more!

SHAF Arts Trail 11-27 October 2019

The SHAF (South Hams Arts Forum) Arts Trail starts on Saturday 12 October – two weeks of public access to artists’ studios and gallery spaces to see their work, talk with the artists and enjoy their hospitality. This includes half-term week so we may have lots of visitors in town.

Before the SHAF Trail starts, we have our preview party on the Friday evening. 11 October, 6-9pm.

WHAT’S HAPPENING AT BEACON HOUSE?

At Beacon House, the preparation for the SHAF Trail has started.

  • Invitations to the preview party have been sent. If you’ve not received one, contact me. invite | SHAF Arts Trail 11-27 October 2019
  • Food has been ordered – canapés for Friday eveningWaitrose order
    … and cakes from Samphire Foods for the daytime visitors during the rest of the fortnight.Samphire order
  • We have restocked the the beer fridge and the wine racks …
  • My paintings are being hung … Beacon house Gallery | SHAF Arts Trail 11-27 October 2019
  • Later today, Chris Pring will be bringing his collection of ceramics. These will be on display in the hallway, and in the sunroom.Chris Pring | SHAF Arts Trail 11-27 October 2019
  • Tomorrow, we will have received all of Michael Hill’s paintings to hang. These will be on the mezzanine floor.Michael Hill | SHAF Arts Trail 11-27 October 2019
  • Directions and opening times | SHAF Arts Trail 11-27 October 2019Wednesday, work starts on creating the brochure … and I have the SHAF signs to put up at the top of Bonfire Hill.
  • Thursday, we will be setting out my affordable art: cushions, mugs, table mats and coasters, glass coasters and chopping boards, pill boxes, key rings and fridge magnets.Bone china mugs | SHAF Arts Trail 11-27 October 2019
  • Friday, it’s time to set up the house for the preview party: plates, serviettes, glasses …

So much to do!

WHEN ARE WE OPEN?

We are open 10am until 5pm, daily from Saturday 12 October until Sunday 27 – apart from Tuesdays.

WHERE SHOULD YOU PARK?

There is parking on our private drive for about five cars.

You might also park in Bonfire Hill, alongside the allotments, or in the Park’n’Ride.  Please don’t park on the shared driveway!

Any questions?

Ring us on 01548 844020.

 

 

 

Chris Pring at Beacon House Gallery

Chris Pring is a potter who makes functional domestic stoneware and delicate porcelain pieces for the home as well as garden sculptures in stoneware and terracotta.

I bought one of Chris’s pieces – a gift for Anne, who was struck by the beauty of his work – so, it’s a great joy to have Chris exhibiting at Beacon House for the SHAF (South Hams Arts Forum) Arts Trail in October this year.

Chris Pring: Garden sculpture

Chris Pring: Garden sculpture

Chris’ work is strongly influenced by the creations of Andy Goldsworthy and the simple forms of Barbara Hepworth and his thrown vessels show his appreciation of works by Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada.

Chris Pring: Garden sculpture - Hepworth inspired

Chris Pring: Garden sculpture – Hepworth inspired

I’m sure you will love his work as much as we do!

Chris Pring: The Wheel

Chris Pring: The Wheel

WHAT IS THE SHAF ARTS TRAIL?

This year, the SHAF Arts Trail runs from October 12th to October 27th. Two whole weeks, including half-term week, in which you can enjoy art in the South Hams!

SHAF membership is extremely diverse so, while some artists create in purpose-built studios, others produce their work at the kitchen table.

Consequently, the Arts Trail will lead visitors to some artists working in their home studios and to others exhibiting in galleries and exhibition halls.

At each venue, visitors will find artists happy to discuss their art-form, explain the processes involved and provide the opportunity to view, appreciate and buy unique pieces of work.

SHAF programme

Following the Arts Trail also gives visitors an unusual opportunity to explore the glorious South Hams as they map their route and discover more and more artists’ venues (as well as cream tea venues).

Beacon House is one of 27 venues at which, in total, 67 artists are showing their work.

BEACON HOUSE GALLERY ON THE SHAF ARTS TRAIL

I’ve lost count of the number of years we’ve been involved in the SHAF Arts Trail. As ever, we are open every day from 10am until 5pm, apart from the two Tuesdays.

This year, we are the only venue in Salcombe and you will find a warm welcome awaits you. Tea/coffee and cake is available throughout the day.

There is also preview evening on Friday 11 September. Invitations will be sent out by email to all those who have previously purchased my art, plus the gallery owners and shops who exhibit my work – and friends who enjoy seeing my art.

Invitations will also go out via Michael Hill who is exhibiting at Beacon House again this year, and via Chris Pring for whom this is a first visit to Beacon House.

If you don’t receive an invitation, and would like to enjoy an evening with wine and nibbles and good company, surrounded by wonderful art, contact me!

More about Chris Pring

Chris trained in ceramic design with Ian Wallace in Derbyshire and has been teaching pottery to children and adults for many years. He is a strong believer in working with clay as therapy and put this to good use helping vulnerable children in the Yeovil area.

Chris Pring: Porcelain plates

Chris Pring: Porcelain plates

In 2012, he moved his pottery business from Dorset to Devon.

His work has been exhibited in galleries in Dorset and South Devon and he is a member of the West Country Potters Association and the South Hams Arts Forum ‘SHAF’.

Chris Pring: Blue vase

Chris Pring: Blue vase

Chris offers pottery lessons for both beginners and the more experienced and is always happy to take commissions.  His studio, in Kellaton, a rural hamlet in deepest South Devon, is open to visitors by appointment.

Further examples of Chris’ work can be seen on his website: www.kellatonpottery.co.uk and www.craftcourses.com.

Chris Pring: Trees

Chris Pring: Trees

079 At Ditch End

SOLD! At Ditch End

At Ditch End was painted in 2013, prior to us moving into Beacon House and setting up the gallery within our home.

This stretch of beach – just below the Venus Cafe – is well used, and it’s a shame it doesn’t have a more attractive name. Ditch End indeed!

I was on rescue duty for Salcombe Yacht Club when I saw the boat, the one nearer to shore and was struck by its beauty. I took a photo!

I think it’s a Roxane, a retro lugger designed by Nigel Irens. I only say that as I recall Richard Stilgoe having a similar boat in the Salcombe Estuary, and that’s how he describes it on his website. (If I’m mistaken, do let me know!)

One-man exhibition in the Little Studio

The two-week exhibition in the Little Studio has been one of my most successful. Three sales. The prices were rock-bottom because I need the wall space and clearly that appealed to purchasers.

I was stewarding on several days (Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday) and met so many people. A joy to share time with them.

Coming up soon: charity event at Burton Farm in aid of the Triangle Centre

TOMORROW, Tuesday 10 September, I will be supporting a charity event at Burton Farm, Galmpton in aid of the Triangle Centre. On sale will be my full range of affordable art.Burton Farm map

SHAF Aarts Trail

Coming up soon: SHAF Arts Trail

Friday 11 October marks the start of the SHAF (South Hams Arts Forum) Arts Trail and I will be hosting a preview evening (6-9pm) at Beacon House Gallery. Pop in for wine and nibbles and a chance to mingle with others who enjoy my art.

Personal invitations to attend will be sent by email a couple of weeks beforehand, but put this date in your diary now.

(If you don’t receive an invitation, contact me!)

The Arts Trail lasts for two weeks, including the half-term week and we are open every day apart from Tuesdays, from 10am until 5pm.

Wonderful views, wheelchair access and plenty of parking … and tea and cake. What more could you want? Oh, art!

Coming up soon: Christmas gift sale at the Hen House

On Thursday 31 October (7.30-9.30pm) and Friday 1 November (10am-1pm), my affordable art will be on sale at the Hen House. Just in time to buy your Christmas gifts!

SOLD! Sunlight Across the Bar

Soon after 11am on Sunday 18 August, the official opening time for the exhibition, I made a sale. Sunlight across the Bar, an oil painting was sold to a couple who have been visiting Salcombe ‘forever’.

I arrange to have all of my original paintings professionally photographed before they are varnished or framed, so I stil have the digital image and own the copyright. From this image, I can create a giclée print, and any of the affordable art range.  It’s very popular as a fine art greetings card too.

A boxed canvas – unusual for Stephen Thomas

It’s rare for me to offer a painting unframed. Sunlight across the Bar was on a box canvas and had spent much of its life on our lounge wall, above the TV.

In its place, I have hung a much larger painting. It’s a print by Terrence Cuneo, who is best known for his studies of trains and railway stations. However, this one depicts Lloyds of London, my place of work for decades. It was a gift to me from work colleagues on my retirement in 2000.

Terence Cuneo - Lloyds of London | Sold! Sunlight Across the Bar

The feather?

The feather symbolises the quill pen, and was intended as a joke by my colleagues to remind me that I started work, aged 17, before the invention of computers. It was after the invention of pens, however.

The waiters (those in red jackets) would, each morning, visit every box and refill the inkwells. This tradition has obviously fallen by the wayside and Lloyds is full of modern technology.

Nowadays, many use a mouse. In my day, the mice were real and one is visible in this painting.

Can you see this painting?

My Terence Cuneo painting will be on display, but not for sale, during the SHAF (South Hams Arts Forum) Arts Trail. Make a note of  the dates: 12-27 October.

Setting up day: Sunday 18 August

Anne and I had a very early start on setting up day. I’d already loaded the car the night before, with fifteen paintings, individually wrapped and ready to hang.

The parking fairy had reserved a place for us alongside the bakery and I moved the paintings bag by bag to the Art Club, while Anne guarded the car and the remaining paintings.

Then, I left Anne at the Gallery while I moved the car to my boat parking space in Shadycombe car park. By the time I’d returned, Anne had unpacked and hung nearly all the paintings, not in their final positions, but close.

There then followed an hour or so of moving each painting left a bit, right a bit, up a bit, down a bit, and attaching labels. Imagine, me on a ladder, and Anne directing operations!

We were just about done when the purchaser arrived. He was earlier than our usual opening time, but we welcomed him in. We then settled ourselves down to a well-earned cup of coffee.

After studying all the paintings, he departed but returned with his wife some time later, to make the purchase. I am always happy when I meet the purchaser, and know my painting is going to a good home!

When does the exhibition end?

There’s another week … 11am-5pm every day until Saturday 31 August. Do pop in. I’m stewarding on Wednesday 28 August 11am-5pm and Saturday 31 August 2-5pm.