Worthy causes: Salcombe Town Regatta & Hope Cove Lifeboat

Last week was twice as busy as usual with Anne and I supporting two local worthy causes. At both events, one of my latest images, Walking Back to Hope Cove, the featured image above, proved very popular.

Salcombe Town Regatta logo | Worthy causesBank Holiday Monday, 5 August

On Monday, we were in Whitestrand, taking part in the Art Day of Salcombe Town Regatta, and had a very early start.

At 8am, the Regatta organisers were on top form, marshalling us to our respective spots and making sure everyone was safe, what with cars and vans delivering materials for sale.

We were selling my affordable art in support of Salcombe Regatta: cards and cushions, coasters and place mats, purses and pill boxes, and fine bone china mugs …

Anne and our stand at the Salcombe Regatta Art Day

Anne and our stand at the Salcombe Regatta Art Day

We lost count of the number of people who visited the stall, and bought something or took my business card.

All for a worthy cause

Staying cool in the shade on a hot sunny Salcombe day

The wind was a bit of a trial! We were glad of our stock of water botttles and that we were on the shaded side of the car park.

Gazebo sae form the wind

The gazebo, held fast with water bottles

All in all, a fun day. We will be back next year …

Thursday 8 August

On Thursday, it was the turn of the Hope Cove Lifeboat.

Hope Cove Lifeboat | Worthy causesThis is another regular event for us and it’s always a joy to take part. The organising team, together with the staff of the Cottage Hotel couldn’t be more helpful.

We had our usual stall in the dining room of the Cottage Hotel, donated a prize for the raffle and sold our wares during their fundraising day, donating a percentage of our profits to the Lifeboat charity. In total, they raised a wonderful sum: £4,028.

Anne assures me I could have taken a better shot but, at least you can see, at closer range, the products now available (as well as our morning coffee pot), and she is smiling despite spending hours on her feet.

Our next outing: Tuesday 10 September

On Tuesday 10 September, we will be at Burton Farm for a coffee morning 10.30am-12.30pm in support of The Triangle Centre.

Can we support your charity?

Yes! We are keen to support local worthy causes.

Let us know when your event is, and I’ll check if that date is clear in our diary. Just contact me, and we will help as best we can.

SOLD! Dawn at New Bridge

Dawn at New Bridge shows the view from the bridge some think of as Bowcombe Bridge.

Dawn at New Bridge
Dawn at New Bridge

Sold!

Back in 2012/13, Anne and I rented a stunning house at Bickerton. It belonged to an artist and her husband and, for those twelve months, I worked in the best studio conditions I’ll ever have, for sure.

Work was being done on our Salcombe flat, ahead of putting it on the market, and we spent three years renting various houses in the South Hams.

During that particular tenancy, I would often drive from Bickerton back to Salcombe and, crossing New Bridge,  Bowcombe, I would enjoy the view across the estuary.

One morning, there was a mist, slowly clearing. I felt compelled to stop the car and, reaching for my camera, I captured this magical moment. I especially admired the reflections in the pink water.

Dawn at New Bridge was one of a number of studies that resulted from that pitstop and this original acrylic painting has spent the past five years hanging in the gallery at Beacon House with the occasional outing to an exhibition.

It is now sold and, from tomorrow, will be gracing the walls of a dear friend who used to live in Salcombe but has now moved ‘up country’. Like so many of our era, travel is becoming a challenge, so to have a painting of a treasured view has to suffice. I am honoured my painting was chosen.

This particular purchaser also bought three prints – because the originals of those images had already been sold.

Four paintings in one home

Four of my images in one home! It’s not a record …

One of my ‘collectors’ has amassed more than a dozen of my paintings and they hang in his office suite in the City of London.

Limited edition prints from £95

Tidal Gallery logo

Even if an original painting has not already sold, a limited edition print can be purchased. It’s a cheaper option, and because my prints are on the highest quality canvas, it’s made to last.

The cost of a print depends on the size of the image, and starts at £95. It can be posted to your home in a strong cardboard tube.

For those living in the South Hams, I recommend using Tidal Gallery for the mounting and framing. Anna Ventura provides a swift turnaround and a professional service.

For more details about purchasing prints, do contact me.

Contemporary Passions Exhibition: 16-28 July

I am one of the nine SHAF artists whose work will be on show at Harbour House for the Contemporary Passions exhibition.

Contemporary Passions poster
  • Teresa Barlow
  • Nick Cotter
  • Jane Davarian
  • Crystel Dauth
  • Brett Hornby
  • Cherry Lyons
  • Jane Mahood
  • Elaine Sibley
  • myself, Stephen Thomas

In this series of blogs, some of them share their process. You can read about Jane Mahood here, Elaine Sibley here and Cherry Lyons here.

What’s my process?

I like to sketch and, indeed, this year, the formation of the SOS (Salcombe Outdoors Sketchers) group by members of the Salcombe Art Club has encouraged me to do more than I usually would. To date, we have visited several local beauty spots: Kingsbridge creek, Dartmouth (although it rained most of the day and we had to retreat to the pub), Torcross and Beesands, and Shipley Bridge up on the moors. As a result of these days out, I’ve produced great source material for the winter time when I spend less time in the garden and more time in my studio.

Most of my source material, though, is by way of photographs. I take thousands. Only this past weekend, the changing colours on Snapes as the sun sunk below the horizon were breathtaking – and captured for consideration at a later date.

I have a relatively expensive camera – a Nikon 7000 – with a zoom lens, but my smaller and more portable underwater camera, a Canon D10, is always to hand wherever we are. Even the iPad takes good enough photos.

Deciding what to paint

I’m always spoilt for choice. I have so much source material to hand: my sketch books and all my photographs. However, having already painted about 150 local scenes, I am keen to find new angles and new places of interest.

So, the question is more likely: what image will provide a fresh view of a place? Or, can I paint a new place altogether?

On top of this, I might be thinking about next year’s exhibitions. A group of SHAF artists, myself included, have just had our application for Contemporary Passions 2020 accepted. So, I need to be thinking how I can meet the brief we’ve agreed with the team at Harbour House.

Last, but not least, most of my paintings are destined to become fine art greetings cards, so I’m also aware of what ‘the market’ might want as a reminder of their visit to Devon.

Deciding which medium to use

I paint in oils, acrylics and watercolour.

Which one to use depends on my interpretation of the light and contrasting colours. If I choose acrylic, the colours will darken as they dry. With watercolours, as the painting dries, the colours fade somewhat. As for oil, colours are reasonably predictable but the medium can take forever to dry, so this is not a good option if I am up against deadlines!

I have been known to tackle an image three times, once in each of the media. Just for the fun of it, and to stretch myself …

When do I paint?

I paint most days of the year. Having had a long career in the city, my dream in retirement was to live in Salcombe and paint. I am living that dream, and painting is always one of my contemporary passions.

When the sun is shining, jobs in the garden do tempt me away. We are also a popular destination for visitors and my time is spent entertaining them.

However, particularly in the winter, the majority of my day is spent in the studio. If you’d like to see me at work, contact me to arrange a time to visit.

Pop-Up Sale at Salcombe Yacht Club

Along with lots of other stall holders, Anne and I will be selling my affordable art at a Pop-Up Sale in aid of Salcombe Yacht Club on Thursday 11 July.

It is Merlin Rocket week and the town has lots of visiting sailors and their friends and families, and the Salcombe Yacht Club is enjoying one of its busiest weeks in the sailing calendar.

Where is the Pop-Up Sale?

In the entrance to the dining room (on the ground floor) of Salcombe Yacht Club.

Summer in Salcombe | Pop-Up Sale
Summer in Salcombe

Cliff House
Cliff Rd
Salcombe 
Devon
TQ8 8JQ

01548 842593

Cliff House is the red brick building in this painting.

When is the Pop-Up Sale?

11am until 2pm on Thursday 11 July 2019

What’s on sale at the Pop-Up Sale?

I’ll have as much of my affordable art on show as possible.

Affordable Art | Pop-Up Sale
Affordable art
  • Cards
  • Cushions
  • Fridge magnets
  • Glass coasters
  • Glass chopping boards
  • Key rings
  • Pill boxes
  • Purses
  • Wooden coasters and place mats

New for this sale are my bone china mugs.

Bone china mugs | Pop-Up Sale
From left to right: Salcombe Dawn, Dawn at South Pool Creek, Dappled Light

If you can’t be there at the Pop-Up Sale on Thursday, and/or want to buy something we don’t have with us, you can place an order by phone on 01548 844020 or by email. Delivery is usually within two weeks.

What’s next?

Salcombe Dawn I | Pop-Up Sale
Salcombe Dawn I

I am supporting the Regatta with a stand in Whitestrand on Monday 5 August. The Regatta stall will also have a range of my affordable art – cards, mugs, fridge magnets, key rings, pill boxes – the ones with Salcombe Dawn I on them.

Then, I’ll be at the Cottage Hotel on Thursday 8 August raising funds for the Hope Cove Lifeboat.

And at Burton Farm for a coffee morning on support of the Triangle Centre on Tuesday 10 September.

So, you can support your local artist and worthy causes at the same time!

Contemporary Passions: Jane Mahood

Contemporary Passions poster

Jane Mahood is one of the nine SHAF artists whose work will be on show at Harbour House for the Contemporary Passions exhibition.

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

In this series of blogs, some of them share their process. You can read about Elaine Sibley here and Cherry Lyons here and me here.

WHAT’S YOUR PROCESS, JANE?

My aim is to create mosaic art from waste and friends have taken to calling in on me en route to the tip and leaving me their chipped or broken china.

Jane Mahood's stock cupboard
Jane Mahood’s stock cupboard

I now have quite of stock of gifted materials that would otherwise have ended up in the landfill!

Also, my son and his family help me to collect bits of broken china from the mud of Kingsbridge estuary. I have no idea how it got there but some of it is very old.

Jane Mahood's treasure from the beach
Treasure from the shore

This stock is supplemented with glass tesserae, mass-produced for mosaic work.

I use nippers to make the pieces of china a suitable shape, and then glue it and grout it.

Jane Mahood's work bench
Work in progress!

I never quite know how things are going to turn out, but it’s a new lease of life for the broken ceramics which would otherwise have gone to the tip or remained buried in the mud.

Terracotta Nova
Terracotta Nova

Here are two other pieces that Jane has produced for the Contemporary Passions exhibition on the theme of Elements.

Mosaic bricks
Turning bricks into art
Jane Mahood's mosaic table
Table top mosaic

MORE ABOUT JANE MAHOOD

Jane is a member of SHAF (South Hams Art Forum) and she is featured on the SHAF website.

Because her designs are driven by the material that she has to hand, and she finds it impossible to guess what people are going to like, Jane has not undertaken any commissions.

However, Jane has ‘revitalised’ some much-loved pieces of China that have been accidentally broken, reconstructing them into a new and usable form. Jane also produces a lot of birthday and Christmas presents for friends and family, and – she says – her house looks like a mosaics shop!

You can contact Jane by email at jane.mahood@btinternet.com .

WHEN IS THE CONTEMPORARY PASSIONS EXHIBITION?

As ever, we are at Harbour House, Kingsbridge TQ7 1JD.

And the exhibition runs from Tuesday 16 July until Sunday 28 July.

MEET THE ARTISTS!

6-8PM TUESDAY 16 JULY

Come along to meet the artists and see their interpretation of our theme: Elements.

All are welcome and refreshments will be provided

Contemporary Passions: Cherry Lyons

Contemporary Passions poster

Cherry Lyons is one of the nine SHAF artists whose work will be on show at Harbour House for the Contemporary Passions exhibition.

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

In this series of blogs, some of them share their process. You can read about Elaine Sibley here and Jane Mahood here and me here.

WHAT’S YOUR PROCESS, CHERRY?

Cherry Lyons in her studio

With a passion for making and sharing art, nature – in all its glory – provides me with endless painting opportunities,  particularly sketching and painting en plein air come rain or shine.

As an experimental mixed media artist, seeing magnificent colour-drenched textures through ever-changing light and climatic conditions is particularly motivating. I am constantly challenged to capture such fleeting atmospheric moments-in-time in my sketchbooks.

Back home, in the studio, the fun begins when subjects are uniquely painted with originality, whatever media is chosen.

Found objects, watercolour, acrylics, oils, pastels, printmaking and the ancient art of encaustic wax are significant media choices for my artwork.

For Contemporary Passions, my focus is mainly on the ancient art of encaustic wax, used decoratively for over 2000 years.  This captivating art-form involves melting beeswax with damar resin and fusing molten wax in pigmented layers with intense heat. 

Responding to the elements of air, water, fire and earth, my new encaustic paintings have a raw elemental feel.  Imagining how our earth was formed and how it may evolve in the future were in my thoughts as I built up the many layers of coloured and pure wax, carefully fusing each with a blow-torch, adding found objects and minerals, watching closely as metamorphosis transpired.

 I feel a bit like an alchemist and my studio sometimes resembles a science lab where I am often found with blow torch in hand, looking like an extra from a Star Wars movie!”

Here are three of the pieces that can be seen in the exhibition.

Silvered Shoreline by Cherry Lyons
Silvered Shoreline
Fissure and Fire by Cherry Lyons
Fissure and Fire
Flowers Flourish in our Future
Flowers Flourish in our Future

MORE ABOUT CHERRY LYONS

Cherry Lyons exhibits widely, and enjoys membership of South Hams Art Forum, Devon Artist Network, several art societies and is Vice-President of the Devon Art Society.

Cherry says: It was incredibly refreshing to take part in Devon Open Studios and the SHAF Arts Trail.  I appeared in the televised Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2018 and was a finalist in the Devon Life Landscape Painter of the Year and these have been exciting achievements.

You can contact Cherry Lyons by email artscaper@live.co.uk and see more of her work on her website www.cherrylyons-artist.co.uk.

Commissions are welcomed and, as a qualified educator and demonstrator, Cherry shares her knowledge and techniques through inspiring workshops and demonstrations.

WHEN IS THE CONTEMPORARY PASSIONS EXHIBITION?

As ever, we are at Harbour House, Kingsbridge TQ7 1JD.

And the exhibition runs from Tuesday 16 July until Sunday 28 July.

MEET THE ARTISTS!

6-8PM TUESDAY 16 JULY

Come along to meet the artists and see their interpretation of our theme: Elements.

All are welcome and refreshments will be provided.

Contemporary Passions: Elaine Sibley

Contemporary Passions poster

Elaine Sibley is one of the nine SHAF (South Hams Art Forum) artists whose work will be on show at Harbour House for the Contemporary Passions exhibition.

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

In this series of blogs, some of them share their process. You can read about Cherry Lyons here and Jane Mahood here and me here.

What’s your process, Elaine?

View across Dartmoor

I live on the edge of Dartmoor. It’s just across the road and up the lane. The weather and landscape are a wealth of inspiration and the colours can change very quickly. I am usually looking for something dramatic which I can translate into a semi-abstract painting.

I use a camera or sketchbook to record anything of interest such as stormy skies or the sun highlighting a particular part of the landscape.

Elaine Sibley sketchbook

These are some of my sketches of the moors. If I’m not on the moor, then I’m off to the sea. My favourite places are Mothecombe or South Milton Sands – they both have excellent cafes!

Sketches by Elaine sibley

Then it’s back to the studio where I do a lot of sitting and looking and wondering where to start. I often go back to paintings and rework them which is why I like to use acrylic.

This one is just finished; it’s called ‘Morning Light over Dartmoor’.

Morning Light over Dartmoor

And here are two more of my creations:

From Mothecombe to wonwell
From Mothecombe to Wonwell
A walk from Spurrells Cross
A Walk from Spurrells Cross

More about Elaine Sibley

Elaine lives and works on the edge of Dartmoor. She 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 twenty years while designing and making silver jewellery which she continues to sell through local galleries and open studios. Since retiring from teaching in 2016, she has found time to experiment and expand her work and has developed a passion for painting.

Her contemporary landscapes emerge from natural surroundings; namely Dartmoor and the local coastline. She is aware of the ever changing weather conditions on Dartmoor and attempts to capture the effect this has on light and colour in her paintings. She walks, sketches and takes photographs. Back in the studio, she is currently enjoying the immediacy of acrylics and uses texture and a variety of tools to try to convey the mood and atmosphere of the place rather than a true representation.

You can see more of Elaine’s work on her Facebook page, and you can contact Elaine  by email at elainejsibley@gmail.com or call her on 01752 895134.

When is the Contemporary Passions exhibition?

As ever, we are at Harbour House, Kingsbridge TQ7 1JD.

And the exhibition runs from Tuesday 16 July until Sunday 28 July.

Meet the artists!

6-8pm Tuesday 16 July

Come along to meet the artists and see their interpretation of our theme: Elements.

All are welcome and refreshments will be provided.

Class of Michael Hill: Exhibition 17-29 June

michael hill
Michael Hill

I’ve been attending Michael Hill’s classes ever since we moved to Devon, over ten years ago. Michael is an experienced and highly accomplished painter in both acrylic and watercolour.

As soon as the Summer Exhibition is taken down, the Loft Studio reverts to a teaching area and, every day, there is some form of art going on.

In his Tuesday classes at Salcombe Art Club, Michael demonstrates both mediums in all his classes, taking in a drawing, painting techniques, and composition.

It’s a friendly and informal class which welcomes beginners and more experienced painters. Michael’s classes are very popular, so much so that there is a waiting list for places for each term. To attend Michael’s classes, you need to be a member of Salcombe Art Club. Click here for details of how to join.

Each year, there’s also an exhibition for two weeks in the Little Studio (a corner of the Loft Studio), showing the work of Michael’s students, myself included.

When is the Class of Michael Hill Exhibition?

This year, it’s 17-29 June. Some of my work will be on show, and I’ll be stewarding on the final day, Saturday 29 June, 2-5pm.

Make a note in your diary to come along.

As well as our class exhibition, you can see works by other members of the club. In this photo, two of mine are on the right beside the display table (Schooner Sunset and Walking Back from Hope Cove) and one in the far distance (Merlin on the Run).

WHERE IS THE CLASS OF MICHAEL HILL EXHIBITION?

Little Studio in the Loft Gallery, Salcombe Art Club, Victoria Quay, Salcombe, Devon TQ8 8DA

Open daily, 11am-5pm

For more information about Michael Hill, consult this month’s Devon Life. There is a two page spread on Michael and his art.

Great gift ideas

The new range of affordable art items is proving popular, not just to have my art in the home, but also as gift ideas.

This photo, taken at Salcombe Yacht Club on Sunday 19 May, shows Martin Smout with his wife Pam. Martin has been Commodore of Salcombe Yacht Club for the past two years and these personalised place mats were presented to him (plus some other items, too) to show the club’s appreciation.

Martin’s wife, Pam, chose the four designs; and overprinted on them is the name of their boat: Enjoy Life. This was a complete – and delightful – surprise for Martin.

This additional service – the overprinting – can be arranged to suit any requirement: a birthday, a special anniversary, or as a thank you to someone special.

New to the affordable range: pill boxes

These handy-sized pill boxes offer a neat way of carrying medication, with the added bonus of one of my images on the lid.

I do hold a small stock of affordable items at Beacon House Gallery, partly to provide for stock for the outlets carrying these items but also in readiness for a number of charity events that Anne and I will be supporting during the coming months.

I hope to see you at some of these events.

  • Thursday 11 July: A pop-up sale at Salcombe Yacht Club
  • Monday 5 August: In Whitestrand, supporting Salcombe Regatta
  • Thursday 8 August: Supporting the Hope Cove Fundraising Day at the Cottage Hotel
  • Tuesday 10 September: a coffee morning at Burton Farm in aid of Triangle

For full details of the entire affordable art range, click here.

Where are the affordable art items being stocked?

You could come to Beacon House for a private viewing. Contact me to arrange a mutually convenient time. Alternatively, you’ll find affordable art in a number of shops and other outlets in the Salcombe area.

Malborough Post Office stocks the full range of fine art greetings cards, plus wooden coasters, purses, fridge magnets and key rings.

Bonnington‘s, the newsagent in Salcombe, have a range of cards plus fridge magnets and key rings.

At Avon Mill – in the Gallery – there is a range of cards plus fridge magnets and key rings.

The Project Galley in Noss Mayo have cards, wooden coasters, key rings, fridge magnets and glass chopping boards.

Salcombe Yacht Club and the Salcombe Information Centre both have cards – and a display of affordable art items.

Ashby’s also have some of my cards.

If you would like to stock my affordable art range, do contact me.

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.