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.

ONE-MAN EXHIBITION: LITTLE STUDIO AT THE LOFT GALLERY

As a full member of Salcombe Art Club, I have the option for a one-man exhibition in the corner of the Loft Gallery that some of us still call the Little Studio.

This year, my exhibition spans two consecutive weeks: 18-31 August. Fifteen original paintings … and the gallery is open every day 11am until 5pm

A RETROSPECTIVE OF MY WORK 

For this one-man exhibition, I’ve chosen paintings which span the past decade or so, while I have been a member of Salcombe Art Club.

The Club rules don’t allow a painting to be exhibited in the Main Exhibition for three years after it is first exhibited. Each year, I’ve been exhibiting 5 new paintings; consequently, these older ones have been somewhat neglected.

I need to free up space on the walls in my gallery! So, I have discounted all of the paintings on show for this fortnight. Come along. There are some bargains!

From 2011: Slapton Ley 

Slapton Ley | one-man exhibition

Slapton Ley: watercolour: £100

Deliah 

Deliah | one-man exhibition

Deliah: acrylic: £150

High and Dry in the Creek 

High and Dry in the Creek: acrylic £150

From 2012: Fishing Boats in the Barbican 

Fishing Boats in the Barbican: watercolour: £150

From 2013: At Ditch End 

079 At Ditch End

At Ditch End: acrylic: £100

Evening Row 

Evening Row: acrylic: £100

Storm at Start Bay 

Storm at Start Bay: acrylic: £100

and Calypso 

Calypso watercolour: £150

From 2014: Hope Cove Fishing Gear 

Hope Cove Fishing Gear

Hope Cove Fishing Gear: watercolour: £125

From 2015: Sunlight Across the Ba

Sunlight across the Bar: oil; £175

 Salcombe Dawn II  

Salcombe Dawn II: watercolour: £375

From 2018: Sunset at Start Point II  

Sunset at Start Point

Sunset at Start Point: oil: £325

In the main exhibition, I have FIVE paintings. Can you find them all? 

WHERE IS THE LOFT GALLERY?

The Loft Gallery is situated behind the Fortescue Inn, and above a popular shoe shop, on a delightful footpath called Victoria Quay, which overlooks one of the best views in the UK including the mooring berth of the RNLI lifeboat Baltic Exchange III.

AFFORDABLE ART: Fine art greetings cards

Out of 140+ completed paintings to date, 70 of these are also available as fine art greetings cards.

You cannot buy my cards at the Salcombe Art Club, but they are stocked at Bonningtons (the newsagents) and Salcombe Information Centre (both a short walk from the Loft Studio).

Further afield, my cards are stocked by Malborough Post Office, Ashby’s, The Gallery Project at Avon Mill and at Noss Mayo.

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.