Contemporary Passions at Harbour House

This year’s Contemporary Passions exhibition, at Harbour House, Kingsbridge, will be open to the public 16-28 July.

Contemporary Passions poster

New works by members of SHAF

As a member of SHAF (South Hams Art Forum), I’m exhibiting along with eight other artists.

  • Teresa Barlow
  • Nick Cotter
  • Jane Davarian
  • Crystel Dauth
  • Brett Hornby
  • Cherry Lyons
  • Jane Mahood
  • Elaine Sibley

The theme for 2019

The theme for the contemporary Passions exhibition, this year, is ELEMENTS. This can be interpreted in many ways.

  • A small but significant amount of feeling or quality
  • An essential or characteristic part of something abstract
  • Each of more than 100 substances that cannot be chemically converted or broken down
  • The fundamental constituents of the world in ancient philosophy: earth, air, water and fire
  • Strong winds, heavy rain or other kinds of bad weather
  • A person’s or animal’s natural or preferred environment – in their element

Water is colourless and yet …

My take on this theme is, unsurprisingly, water. In particular, I’m focusing on the fact that water is colourless, and yet

Of the 140+ paintings I have produced in the past decade or so, the water has never been colourless.

You might think it would be blue, but I’ve witnessed every colour (almost!) under the sun, and then tried to capture that in my images.

So, the paintings I have selected for this exhibition will aim to show the variety of colours that colourless water takes on.

Meet the Artists: 6-8pm Tuesday 16 July

There will be an opportunity to meet all the artists – and to see the Contemporary Passions exhibition, and to discuss with them their individual interpretations of the theme ELEMENT – on Tuesday 16 July: 6-8pm.

I hope to see you there.

Salcombe-Art blog: Featuring the artists

I will be featuring some of my fellow artists in the coming weeks. Each exhibitor will explain the process they use in creating their art, and you’ll get to see examples of the work that will be on show in the Contemporary Passions exhibition ahead of time.

SOLD! Tranquility

Tranquility was painted in 2012 and has been on display at Beacon House since the gallery was set up five years ago. It had become part of the furniture!

When I painted Tranquility, though, we were living at Great Gates and this was our view across the estuary.

The original painting: Tranquility

Idyllic? Yes … with Mill Bay empty of visitors and the water calm and the sun shining …

For the purchasers, friends of ours, this view reminds them of visits to the other side of the estuary in their boat. They saw the painting for the first time at the preview evening on Friday 5 April and were struck how it captured many happy memories for them. Now, Tranquility hangs in their home in Salcombe and can be enjoyed by them every day and all who visit.

My paintings are mostly bought as souvenirs of holidays in Salcombe. To have one bought by ‘locals’ who enjoy these views daily – they are on our doorstep – is a real honour.

And, while we will miss this particular painting, we know we will see it again and again, gracing the walls of our friends’ home, whenever we visit them.

When can you visit Beacon House?

Beacon House Gallery is also our home and is not open to the public on a daily basis.

SHAF logo

However, we do open our doors to the public during the SHAF (South Hams Art Forum) Arts Trail in October, daily apart from Tuesdays, from 10am until 5pm.

This year, the Arts Trail is 12-20 October and our Preview evening will be on Friday 11 October. The preview evening is by invitation, but, if you’d like an invitation, let me know.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to come to view my collection, contact me to arrange a time convenient for you and for us. You will be made very welcome.

Tidal Gallery: Wild Spring exhibition

Wild Spring advert for Tidal Gallery

Today, this evening from 5.30 to 7.30pm, is the launch of the Wild Spring Exhibition at the Tidal Gallery, Kingsbridge.

Once again, Anna Ventura has brought together a fascinating group of artists:

  • Richard Thorn
  • Ayse Rifat
  • James Savage

I own a Richard Thorn watercolour and much admire his work. This painting hangs in my sunroom, and is always an inspiration to me when attempting watercolour. The intensity of colour he achieves is breathtaking.

Richard Thorn watercolour

Richard currently holds the title of South West Academician (SWAc) and has won awards by the Royal Institute for painters in Watercolour in 2016 and 2017. I am very much looking forward to meeting him and seeing more of his work at the Tidal Gallery.

Ayse Rifat is wildlife artist working in oils and acrylics. Her aim is to capture each detail and she produces final pieces with intense realism.

Ayse Rifat: work of art at Tidal Gallery

Ayse is a fellow member of the South Hams Art Forum (SHAF) and works as a freelance designer – her projects range from web design to brand creation. A very talented lady!

James Savage is a ceramics artist and his works are reminiscent of the colours of local stone. Beautiful!

James Savage: works of art at Tidal Gallery

Where is the Tidal Gallery?

1 Victoria Place, The Promenade, Kingsbridge, Devon TQ7 1JG

There is free parking on the opposite side of The Promenade and, at a cost, in a nearby carpark. More details, including directions, are available on the Tidal Gallery website.

When is the exhibition open?

The Wild Spring exhibition is on from tomorrow until 15 July, so you have plenty of time to pop in during the next couple of months if you are not able to attend this evening’s launch.

If you have an exhibition that you’d like me to promote via my blog, contact me and I’ll do my best to support your artistic endeavours.

Postcard from Lukesland: Elaine Sibley

If you have never visited Lukesland, close to Ivybridge, it’s time to do so, soon. This beautiful location boasts the most wonderful gardens and a tea room. And, in the tea room, you will find an exhibition of works of art by Elaine Sibley.

Elaine’s approach to the moors is unique. She captures the depth of the wild landscape and its response to the ever-changing light as the weather crosses this area of extraordinary beauty. Her tones record the incredible mixture of shades that make these views so memorable.

Anne and I attended the preview – a well attended event – and witnessed many of Elaine’s paintings being sold that evening. I was too slow in taking photos … this small one was snapped up before I could get my camera out!

The location is delightful with hanging space for more than a dozen paintings. This is the view from the end nearest the entrance to the tea room.

This is the other end, just beside the entrance.

And these paintings are the other side of the entrance …

Notice the red dot?

Where is Lukesland?

The Lukesland website provides detailed directions, but it is essentially north of Ivybridge, in beautiful countryside.

The final stretch is along lanes and requires faith that you’ll find it. Once you do, you’ll be delighted. If you are relying on your SatNav, the postcode is PL21 OJF.

When is Lukesland open?

Be sure to pick your day/date carefully as the gardens (and tea room) are only open occasionally.

31 March – 16 June: Sundays, Wednesdays and Bank Holidays
6 October – 17 November: Sundays and Wednesdays
11am – 5pm

Easter Openings: Good Friday, Easter Day and Easter Monday
NOT Easter Saturday

More about Elaine Sibley

Elaine lives and works on the edge of Dartmoor.

Elaine studied at Plymouth College of Art and then the College of St Mark & St John where she gained a PGCE. She taught Design and Technology for 20 years while designing and making silver jewellery which she continues to sell through local galleries and open studios.

Since retiring from teaching in 2016, Elaine  has found time to experiment and expand her work and has developed a passion for painting. To see more of Elaine’s images, visit her Facebook page.

You can contact Elaine by email at elainejsibley@gmail.com.

If you have an exhibition that you’d like me to promote via my blog, contact me and I’ll do my best to support your artistic endeavours.

All Aboard the East Portlemouth Ferry – in sale on 5 April

In the preview sale on 5 April, All Aboard the East Portlemouth Ferry is one of the latest crop of paintings which will be on show, and offered at a discount price to those attending this celebration of the start of another season of art.

 

All Aboard the East Portlemouth Ferry

The Ferry InnMy first visit to Salcombe in 1948 began with a ride on this vital ferry. I was only five years old and my father was determined to visit the Ferry Inn on the Salcombe shore. Cannot think why!

Since then, I visited Salcombe many times, eventually fulfilling my dream of retiring to Salcombe, moving here in 2007 and setting up my gallery at Beacon House five years ago.

This latest painting reminds me, yet again, of that first ride aboard the East Portlemouth Ferry, seven decades ago!

 

Defending the East Portlemouth ferry service

When the Salcombe lifeboat, Baltic Exchange III, was first launched, it was put on display at one of the London Docks adjacent to the London Boat Show. Members of the public were invited to go aboard and explore this state-of-the-art rescue craft. The lifeboat crew were on hand to escort – and explain its features to – those who came aboard.

One visitor asked Tricky if he had another job in addition to crewing the RNLI craft. Tricky replied, with some pride, that he was a ferryman.

‘What sort of job is that!’ exclaimed the pompous visitor.

Tricky explained that the East Portlemouth ferry service operated every day of the year. It was an honour, he said, to fulfil the long-standing obligations of the ferry service, one which benefited inhabitants of Salcombe town and East Portlemouth, and visitors too. I witnessed this exchange and echoed Tricky’s defence of the importance of this ferry service, and its vital role for those who needed to cross the water. Mr Pompous was not convinced and, unfortunately, left before we could throw him in the dock.East Portlemouth Ferry

Have you noticed that, during the quieter times, it always appears that the ferry is on the wrong side – the other side! – when you want it?

In my painting, I captured that classic moment, with the ferryman reading his book or newspaper.

This painting has long ago sold but is available as a greetings card and in the affordable art range of products.

 

Come to the Preview evening: 6-9pm on Friday 5 April

If you would like an invitation to the Preview evening, please contact me. You will be made very welcome at Beacon House Gallery.

Summer in Salcombe – in preview sale on 5 April

In the preview sale on 5 April – FRIDAY! – Summer in Salcombe, one of the latest crop of paintings, will be offered at a discount price to those attending this celebration of the start of another season of art.

 

Summer in Salcombe

Summer in SalcombeFor this painting, I set myself the challenge of capturing the atmosphere of Salcombe in the summer.

I could have chosen any one of a dozen backdrops but Salcombe in Summer has two of my favourite places: Salcombe Yacht Club and The Ferry Inn.

The Salcombe Yacht club occupies half of Cliff House, the red brick building on the left. The Ferry Inn has a prime waterside location and you can see the many umbrellas giving much-needed shade to those quenching their thirst.

From the mass of Salcombe photographs I have collected over the years, I then attempted to capture the busyness that is Salcombe in July and August.

  • So many boats.
  • Some moored, some racing.
  • And a crabber returning with its delectable catch of crab and lobster.

 

The changing face of Salcombe

It’s always interesting to study the Salcombe town from East Portlemouth, to see the changes in the architecture, but also to enjoy what is still the same. In this painting, I have recorded (for posterity!) how it was on one sunny day in 2018.

For those who own or rent these properties, to purchase such a painting provides a reminder of the wonderful times had in years gone by. If the cost of the original is too much, there is always an affordable art option.

 

Come to the Preview evening: 6-9pm on Friday 5 April

If you would like an invitation to the Preview evening, please contact me. You will be made very welcome at Beacon House Gallery.

Merlin paintings – in preview sale on 5 April

In the preview sale on 5 April, Merlin on the Run and Merlins Racing past Fishermen are two of the latest crop of paintings which will be offered at a discount price to those attending this celebration of the start of another season of art.

 

Merlin on the Run

Merlin on the Run is the featured image above.

The Merlin Rocket Association has a long and ongoing relationship with the Salcombe Yacht Club. Sailors too, often have a close ‘relationship’ with Merlins and their crew.

Merlins | Salcombe Art

Merlins Racing Past Fishermans

When I’m on the water, if I look over my shoulder to see Merlin’s bow wave, powered up with a mighty full spinnaker, I know it’s time to move out of their way. The right of way rule is immaterial …

 

Merlins Racing Past Fishermans

I could not have painted the drama of Merlins Racing Past Fishermans without my photos for reference. Everything happens so fast out on the water.

I raced in Fireballs in my twenties and thirties. These also had spinnakers and were equally unstable when a strong puff of wind visited the estuary.

 

Merlin (Salcome Gin) | Salcombe ArtMerlin Rocket Week

Each year,  the Merlin sailors and their families and friends descend on the town for a week of racing.

In 2019, this event is called Salcombe Gin Merlin Rocket Week 2019 in recognition of the sponsors: Salcombe Gin.

 

Salcombe Gin

The Salcombe Gin Company can be found at The Boathouse, 28 Island Street, Salcombe TQ8 8DP. On-site, there is a distillery, shop, and bar, and they offer courses too at the Gin School. You can make your own gin …

Back to art!

 

Merlin paintings

Merlins | Merlin on the Run - in preview sale on 5 April | Salcombe ArtI love painting these beautiful crafts and now have five images featuring them.

123 Merlins is sold already but the image is available as a fine art greetings card, and – both as a square image and a rectangular image – for the affordable art items too.

 

Come to the Preview evening: 6-9pm on Friday 5 April

If you would like an invitation to the Preview evening, please contact me.

You will be made very welcome at Beacon House Gallery.

Walking back to Hope Cove – in the preview sale on 5 April

In the preview sale on 5 April, Walking back to Hope Cove is one of the latest crops of paintings which will be offered at a discount price to those attending this celebration of the start of another season of art.

 

Walking Back to Hope Cove

The geography is so compact in the Hope Cove area that, to climb the hill to the West of the Cottage Hotel, and to look back gives a fascinating view.

It’s a walk that Anne and I have done many times. We tend to walk as far as the shack overlooking Thurlestone Rock, have a snack and walk back. Either way, we get the view I’ve tried to capture in this painting. And much-needed exercise …

 

Why the Cottage Hotel?

For us, the Cottage Hotel is home from home.

Whenever we want to ‘get away’ from Salcombe, rather than driving for hours, maybe spending time in an airport, and going through the drama of travelling, we head instead for the Cottage Hotel.

Fifteen minutes in the car and we are transported to another era. The Cottage Hotel is going through refurbishment and redevelopment, but the traditional qualities of service and putting the visitors’ first remain.

The Cottage offers two bonuses for us – things we don’t have in our home in Salcombe, and miss – the sunset and a bath.

If we wake early enough, we enjoy spectacular sunrises as Beacon House faces east and we are high up Bonfire Hill …

We sacrificed our bathroom to make way for a platform lift so that our home is wheelchair friendly. In years to come, we’ll be grateful not having to climb the many stairs. Meanwhile, when we want a soak in the bath, we book an overnight stay at the Cottage Hotel.

We enjoy the sunset and a delicious dinner. Of course, the sweet trolley has no impact on our decision making!

 

Is Hope Cove a special place for you too?

Affordable art - Hope Cove key ringOver the past few years, I’ve painted quite a few Hope Cove scenes. This year, there’s the Schooner Sunset plus Walking Back to Hope Cove.

Previously, the most popular painting was Hope Cove, and that image (and many others) is now available in my affordable art range, as a key ring, for example.

 

Come to the Preview evening: 6-9pm on Friday 5 April

If you would like an invitation to the Preview evening, please contact me. You will be made very welcome at Beacon House Gallery.

Schooner Sunset

Schooner Sunset – in the preview sale on 5 April

Salcombe Schooner Port | Schooner SunsetIn 2018, I attended a talk given by Roger Barrett in the Library at Cliff House. It was one of several presentations Roger gave to promote the launch of his book ‘SALCOMBE Schooner Port’.

I bought a copy – signed by Roger. You can purchase yours at Salcombe Maritime Museum and it is also on sale online, on Amazon.

Roger is an expert in this era and is an excellent speaker. He is also chair of the Salcombe Maritime Museum committee.

Do make a special effort to visit the museum. And not just on rainy days!

 

The history of Salcombe

The history of the town of Salcombe fascinates me. The port became famous for its beautiful clipper-like schooners, the ‘Salcombe fruiters’.

These ships sailed to the Azores, and elsewhere, picked up cargoes of fruit and then raced homeward to serve the markets of the ports of London, Bristol, Liverpool and Hull before the fruit perished. This was in the days before refrigeration or steam power.

These were beautifully built craft, designed for speed.

The book is a treasure too. It contains 250+ illustrations, including 32 colour reproductions of the paintings of locally built sailing ships in the museum’s collection.

 

Why did I paint the Salcombe fruiter?

Apart from my passion for all things Salcombe, sailing, the sky, and the sea, the rigging on these ships presents a challenge!

In preparation for this painting, I’ve acquired lots of books, not just Roger’s. I’ve studied many photos and paintings of similar craft, and hours have been spent in conversation with Malcolm Darch, model maker extraordinaire.

In Schooner Sunset, the featured image above, I hope I have captured the glory of these famous ships.

 

Schooner Sunset – off Hope Cove?

Hope Cove view from balconyI’ve planted my schooner off Hope Cove knowing full well none of these ships would have passed so close to Bolt Tail.

However, the artist in me wanted the backdrop of a genuine sunset.

And where else can you spend such a spectacular end to the day but on the terrace of the Cottage Hotel?

So, although these schooners are no more, we can enjoy the sunset.

Today, while you are reading this post, Anne and I will in Plymouth, having the latest batch of paintings photographed. From those precious images, I can share the pictures online, produce prints, fine art greetings cards and my other affordable art.

All in time for the Preview evening on 5 April …

Next week, I’ll share the origins of another of my new paintings.

Merlins Crossing the Bar: in the Preview Sale on 5 April

Merlins Crossing the Bar (the featured image above) is the first of several paintings due to be on show at the 2019 Summer Exhibition of the Salcombe Art Club. It is currently on display at Beacon House Gallery and priced at £750.

 

For sale | Preview: Merlins Crossing the BarPreview Evening – 5 April

On 5 April, the day before handing-in day, there will be a Preview Evening at Beacon House Gallery and this painting, and the others will be on sale at a discounted price for those attending the event. More news on that on Monday 1 April. (And no, it won’t be an April Fools’ post.)

The Preview Evening will be an invitation-only event – for those who’ve attended before, have bought one of my paintings, or other more affordable art –  but contact me if you don’t receive an invitation and would like to come.

 

Merlins Crossing the Bar

This is yet another oil inspired by the wonderful Merlin sailors who love to race in our beautiful estuary with all its challenges. The spinnakers are not just difficult to paint but, in reality, need very good sailors to fly these.

I remember that as a skill I once had in Fireballs, many many years ago. Now my sailing days are over, I’m content to capture the joy and the challenge, through my painting.

 

From oil painting to a fine art greetings card

Many of my originals are also available as a fine art greetings card. For this particular composition, part of the image had to be cropped to create the required square shape for the card. If you compare this image with the featured image above, you’ll notice the Merlin with the pink spinnaker didn’t make it onto the card version.

Merlins Crossing the Bar

It still works as an image though, and I’m sure it will be as popular as other cards featuring Merlins.

Merlins Crossing the Bar cropped for card

 

ADVANCE NEWS! Merlin Rocket Week 2-13  July

Last year, I was ‘artist in residence’ during Merlin Rocket week: 8-13 July. It was not a success in that the weather was so hot, too hot, and the paint was drying on my brush before I could get it only a canvas. So, I abandoned painting and spent the week photographing Merlins and enjoying the event.

This year, I am taking part in a Pop-up Sale on Thursday, 11 July. As well as original paintings of Merlins, I will have on sale my full range of fine art greetings cards, and the new affordable art items: wooden placemats and coasters, glass coasters and chopping boards, key rings, fridge magnets, purses, and cushions!