Salcombe Art Club Exhibition Preview: Noss Mayo Sunset

Noss Mayo Sunset is one of a crop of six new paintings destined for the Salcombe Art Club Summer Exhibition.

Today, I am collecting them from the framer, just in time for the handing-in day on 24 March. If you’d like to purchase one of them ahead of the Exhibition and save 10% on the price (they range from £500 to £750), contact me to arrange a private viewing urgently!

 

What was I doing admiring the Noss Mayo Sunset?

Although I now live in Salcombe, and most of my paintings feature scenes near my home, the two villages of Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo are also close to my heart. This idyllic estuary has had me under its spell since 1968 when my two children were young, and we would rent Rose Cottage, next to The Dolphin.

At low tide, there are causeways to help pedestrians cross the water between the two villages. So, if the tide was out, we’d cross the causeway on foot. We often ate at The Ship and enjoyed the views across to the Swan Inn. If the tide was in, we’d visit the Swan Inn by boat!

I have very many happy memories of those times and still have friends living there.

All the hostelries offer excellent food and are ideally sited from an artist’s point of view. Decades later, it’s a treat to venture away from Salcombe now and then and to enjoy such picturesque scenes. Anne and I often take house guests in that direction.

So, imagine me, with friends, on the way to a pub at sunset. Of course, I have with me my camera – two actually! – and I had to shoot the ‘light moment’ of a beautiful day to capture this image of all those craft moored up. Then, once I start taking photos, I can’t stop. And once I’m back home in my studio, it’s not long before I’m compelled to start painting …

Many of this most recent crop were painted in oil. This one is an acrylic. Why not an oil? No reason really, except acrylics dry very quickly and are easily carried to and from my art classes in the Loft Studio.

It’s not quite square so it’s been cropped to create a fine art greetings card. Can you spot which bit Anne cropped?

Salcombe Art Club Exhibition Preview: Merlins Crossing the Bar

Merlins Crossing the Bar is one of a crop of six new paintings destined for the Salcombe Art Club Summer Exhibition.

Right now, they are with the framer so they are not available to view just yet. However, if you want to purchase ahead of the Exhibition, and save 10% on the price (they range from £500 to £750), contact me to arrange a private viewing ahead of handing day on 24 March.

 

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 fine art greetings card

Many of my originals are also available as a fine art greetings card. I call it affordable art!

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.

It still works as an image though, and I’m sure it will be as popular as others cards featuring Merlins, especially during Merlin Rocket week: 8-13 July.

This is Merlins and shows these magnificent craft racing past Mill Bay.

 And this is one of the new crop: Watching the Merlins Race.

Salcombe Art Club Exhibition Preview: Longstone

Longstone is one of a crop of six new paintings destined for the Salcombe Art Club Summer Exhibition.

Right now, they are with the framer so they are not available to view just yet. However, if you want to purchase ahead of the Exhibition, and save 10% on the price (they range from £500 to £750), contact me to arrange a private viewing ahead of handing day on 24 March.

 

The view of the Cottage Hotel, from Bantham

This image is taken from Bantham, looking towards Hope Cove. High on the cliff, you can just about make out the Cottage Hotel, currently under major redevelopment and refurbishment.

This view, taken from the beach (and one of the hotel’s own photos) shows it in more detail.

The Cottage Hotel is one of my favourite destinations. Whether it’s for Sunday lunch – like yesterday – or for a romantic getaway where Anne and I can relax and enjoy the wonderful sunsets – we are regular visitors.

We love the old-fashioned family atmosphere where customer service is the top priority. And, of course, the dessert trolley.

 

More about Longstone

Back to my painting! Again, I am using oil paints.

In the middle distance, Longstone, this magnificent rock does look as if it’s braced against the roaring sea.

And, notice a streak of orange: the Hope Cove Rib at full tilt on a mission of mercy in those foul conditions.

 

Supporting Hope Cove Lifeboat

I am keen to support local charities and good causes generally. To this end, there is a fine art greetings card which supports the Hope Cove Lifeboat.

Watch out for these and buy them!

They are on sale at the Cottage Hotel, and also at events organsied by the charity.

Sunset at Start Point II

Salcombe Art Club Exhibition Preview: Sunset at Start Point II

Sunset at Start Point II is one of a crop of six new paintings destined for the Salcombe Art Club Summer Exhibition.

Right now, they are with the framer so they are not available to view just yet. However, if you want to purchase ahead of the Exhibition, and save 10% on the price (they range from £500 to £750), contact me to arrange a private viewing ahead of handing day on 24 March.

 

Start Point is off my beaten track?

It’s true this iconic sight is a good forty minutes away from my home in Salcombe. However, the image of Start Point lighthouse was captured while Anne and I were living in rented accommodation in Bickerton, a stone’s throw from Hallsands.

We would often walk along the cliff path at the end of a day, enjoying the beautiful sights between us and Beesands, en route to the Cricket Inn for some refreshment.

Startpoint Lighthouse

Acrylic: Sunset at Start Point

On one particular evening, the sail training vessel Leader was anchored and the evening light just saturating everything it touched. Leader has almost a ‘pirate’ presence especially when silhouetted against a sunset.

I took photos, as usual, and then later decided on a composition.

The result was Sunset at Start Point, shown on the right. Being square, it made for an easy fine art greetings card and has been one of my best-sellers.

 

What made me paint Sunset at Start Point II?

Sunset at Start Point sold very quickly at Salcombe Art Club Exhibition in 2012.

That, together with good sales of the card, indicated it is a popular scene. However, I didn’t just want to paint it again!

So, the tonal slant is very different between the two paintings. Also, the first was an acrylic while this new one is an oil painting.

Sunset at Start Point

Oil painting: Sunset at Start Point II

Affordable Art

This new image, Sunset at Start Point II, will also be made into a fine art greetings card – a square version of my rectangular image – as per the featured image at the top of this blog post.

Out of 142 completed paintings to date, 80+ have been sold, but more than 60 are available as fine art greetings cards.

In Salcombe, my card designs 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 – they offer the entire range – The Gallery at Avon Mill, The Gallery Project at Noss Mayo, and in Bloomers, the florist in Kingsbridge.

Just think: for less than 1% of the sales price of an original painting, you can invest in a fine art greetings card. Send it to a friend or frame it for yourself.

2018 EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

It’s that time of year – firming up the 2018 exhibition schedule. My diary is already looking full! Please put these dates in yours.

Once the days and times when I will be stewarding are decided, I will post news on my Facebook page and here also. It’s your chance to ‘meet the artist’!

 

SALCOMBE ART CLUB SUMMER EXHIBITION
THURSDAY 29 March – SATURDAY 29 SEPTEMBER 2018

Open 7 days a week from 11am until 5pm. Admission is free.

2017 exhibition scheduleAs a member of  Salcombe Art Club, I’ve exhibited in the club’s Summer Exhibition for many years now.

I usually submit 5 paintings, and the rule is that none of these original works of art can have been hung in the Loft Gallery in the previous three years. This encourages artists to keep on painting!

Handing in day is 24 March – less than five weeks away and my paintings are currently with the framer.

During the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing previews of these paintings. If you are keen to purchase any of this latest crop, and want to buy ahead of the exhibition, you can save 10% on the purchase price …

 

ONE-MAN EXHIBITION IN THE REDFERN HEALTH CENTRE
THURSDAY 28 JUNE – THURSDAY 26 JULY 2018

Full members of Salcombe Art Club are asked to display their work for one month – so that those visiting the Redfern have something to admire while waiting to see the doctor. On one occasion, a gentleman recognised Burgh Island in one of my paintings as the venue for his marriage many years previous. He purchased it as a surprise for his wife. How romantic!

It’s an honour to be on the team again and to know that my paintings may provide some cheer to those having health issues. The Redfern benefits from all sales; – a percentage of the purchase price is donated to their funds.

 

ONE-MAN EXHIBITION IN THE LITTLE STUDIO IN THE LOFT GALLERY
SUNDAY 5 AUGUST – SATURDAY 18 AUGUST 2018

Salcombe Art Club invite members, including associate members, to take one or two weeks in the Little Studio, to display as many of their paintings as they can hang in the space.

More recent paintings that didn’t sell last year can be hung so they usually get another airing.

I’ll be stewarding all day both Sundays – 5 August and 12 August – so that’s a good time to pop in and chat, if you want to ‘meet the artist’.

 

SHAF ARTS TRAIL
SATURDAY 13 OCTOBER – SUNDAY 28 OCTOBER 2018
2017 exhibition schedule

The South Hams Art Forum (SHAF) is now a fortnight long, including half-term week.

Viewings at Beacon House Gallery are usually by appointment but, for the period of the SHAF Arts Trail, we will welcome visitors 11am-3pm Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, and 10am-5pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. (Closed on a Tuesday)

There will be a private preview evening on Friday 12 October – with wine and nibbles. On the guest list are gallery owners and previous purchasers of my work. If you would also like an invitation to this invitation-only event, please contact me.

 

BEACON HOUSE GALLERY
PRIVATE VIEWINGS 2018

Beacon House Gallery is not open to the public, apart from during the SHAF Arts Trail, but if you would like a private viewing, please contact me to arrange a convenient time for us both.

SOLD! Reflections at Batson

Reflections at Batson hung above the TV in our lounge during the SHAF Arts Trail last October, and stayed there until this past weekend, when it was sold, during a private viewing.

 

The history of Reflections at Batson

This painting – number 96 featured above – was completed in the summer of 2014. It was one of four which I’d created ahead of a trip to the photographer who provides the digital images I use for prints and card.

Only last week, Anne and I made the trip to Plymouth with the latest crop of paintings. This time it was six images, all destined for the Salcombe Art Club’s Main Exhibition. More on those in later posts!

Back in 2014, the four paintings –

Reflections at Batson,

Reflections at Batson

Dapple Light I,

Dapple Light I

Low Tide at the Crabshell Inn and

Low tide at the Crabshell Inn

Racing Past Blackstone

Racing Past Blackstone

– were all watercolours. This year, my crop comprised five oil paintings, one acrylic, but no watercolours. Why no watercolours? Because in March 2014, after three years of traipsing from one rental to another, Anne and I moved into our forever home: Beacon House. Here, I have space, not only to paint, but also to stack my still-wet oils in a large airing cupboard. Prior to that, it only made sense to use watercolour – it dries more quickly.

 

How many watercolours do I have in stock?

The purchaser of Reflections at Batson specifically asked to see my watercolours.  And I only had a very limited number on show.

Of those four watercolours produced in 2014, only Racing Past Blackstone remains unsold, but all four are available as fine art greetings cards – thanks to that trip to the photographer back in 2014.

Like many of my paintings, Reflections at Batson was displayed a number of times before it was sold, for example: in Michael Hill’s Watercolour class exhibition in 2014, in my one-man exhibition in the Little Studio in 2016, and at the Redfern Health Centre in 2017.

Some paintings, though, sell very quickly – within a few days of going on show. And I have to have ‘spares’ ready to hang in their place. Hence the need for six paintings now, even though I can only enter five as a full member of Salcombe Art Club.

 

What inspired me to paint Reflections at Batson?

If, like me, you walk the short distance from Salcombe to Batson, you’ll see the view that inspired me to try to capture this idyllic setting.

At the top of Batson Creek, a collection of thatched cottages delight the eye. They sit around a triangle of grass complete with its old-fashioned telephone box. (At least, the phone box was there, the last time I visited!) The reflections of these cottages in the water only serve to enhance the tranquility of the scene. Isn’t it beautiful?

The new owner of this painting, I hope, will enjoy this view as much as I do.

 

Viewings by arrangement

Beacon House is my home and, within it, I hang my stock of paintings in what we call ‘Beacon House Gallery’. It’s actually our hall, stairs and landing! We are not ‘open to the public’ except during the SHAF Arts Trail (13-28 October 2018) but, if you wish for a private viewing, please contact me to arrange a time convenient to us both.

 

Affordable art: In aid of Salcombe Town Regatta

I always support local charities and community activities and also like my art to be available at affordable prices.
Now, I can now kill two birds with one stone: providing affordable art in the form of my fine art greetings cards and financial support to Salcombe Town Regatta at the same time.

 

Salcombe Town Regatta

 

The hard working Salcombe Town Regatta team provide great fun and excitement each year for the local population, and encourage visitors to Salcombe to book their holiday in Regatta week.In 2018, that’s 11-18 August.

The Salcombe Town Regatta also makes donations to local charities from the profits made in what may seen like one frantic week of activity but, as we all know, is the result of many months of planning and preparation.

So, I am delighted to be a supporter of this excellent event. These individual cards, of my usual 350gsm quality, with a 100gsm envelope, are presented in a cellophane wrap and will soon be available at the usual stockists and also – NEW! – at the Cater Cove Hairdressers.

 

How does your purchase support Salcombe Town Regatta?

Wherever you see this card – your purchase will result in a donation to this very worthwhile cause. Please buy one. Or two!

The original oil painting (the featured image above) has sold, but another, larger, oil painting,  Salcombe Dawn II with slightly different pink/purple tones is available for £475.

 

Where can you buy these charity cards?

My main fine art greetings card stockist is Malborough Post Office where all 59 designs can be found.

But my cards are also on sale at the Salcombe Information Centre, Bonningtons the newsagents in Salcombe, The Gallery @ Avon Mill, The Gallery Project at Noss Mayo, Bloomers the florists in Kingsbridge – and direct from me.

 

Will there be more designs sold as charity cards?

Yes!

Salcombe Town RegattaThe Hope Cove Charity card is already on sale at the Cottage Hotel, Hope Cove and other outlets.

I am currently in discussion with other local charities and will post news as soon as designs are decided and texts agreed and I have an image of the new card to show you.

If you are working for a local charity and you think you might like to adopt one of my designs to raise funds for your charity, please contact me to discuss this further.

Sketchbook Notes: Merlins Racing Past the Venus Cafe

Merlins are by far the most exciting craft to grace the Salcombe Estuary. The excitement – and the beauty – when they hoist their spinnakers is breath-taking, and their races always promise thrills and spills.

I take hundreds of photographs in any one year, and many of these are of the Merlins. These snaps are sure to provide inspiration for a painting; the tricky part is choosing which photo to use.

The year before last, I painted one image of Merlins (featured above) and it sold within days of going on show at the 2016 Salcombe Art Club Summer Exhibition.

So I had to paint another, and have actually done three!

 

Merlins Racing Past the Venus Cafe

This is the photo I chose as my main source of inspiration for Merlins Racing Past the Venus Cafe.  The boats consist of horizontal lines (the hull) and strong vertical lines (the masts and sails) and I find this combination pleasing. The composition is not perfect but I feel I have captured the excitement of the race.

The next step is to create a sketch, deciding which elements of the photo to keep and which to lose, and applying ‘rules’ such as the rule of thirds. This is my sketch.

Notice that I have placed only those Merlins in the foreground and that they create movement from right to left. My shoreline is positioned just below centre, and I have scaled the boats so as to include their full height as best I can.

In drawing this sketch, it became clear that the closeness of the two boats on the left hand side would only lead to confusion. So, while this sketch provided the outline for the composition, I knew that when I moved to the painting stage, I would need to tweak the composition even more.

So, having done my preparation and having a clear idea in my head of the main features of this painting, I move to the next stage, and this is where I’m at right now.

It was a sunny day, so I started with fairly pure colours and have yet to address shadows or indeed reflections in the water. I have also left the surface of the water and will at some point decide how rough to make it look.

I have also yet to decide whether to include additional craft, for example on the shoreline. Time will tell… I have much to think about before this painting is finished.

 

THE SKETCHBOOK NOTES SERIES

This is one of the Sketchbook Notes, a series of posts explaining what inspired me to produce a particular painting.

If you own one of my paintings, or are just curious about an image, let me know; I’ll then write a blog post especially for you!

Postcard from Milton Keynes: Howe Park Woods

If you are near Milton Keynes – you don’t need to search out galleries or museums to see works of art. Many are on show, for free, in the countryside.

 

Milton KeynesMilton Keynes – the frog band sculpture

These four frogs, called  ‘the Frog Band Sculpture’, provide no sound but much entertainment for children. They are the work of American artist, Roland Lawar.

Donated by the community arts charity, Inter-Action MK, these four sculptures are situated conveniently close to a welcoming cafe in Howe Park Woods, Milton Keynes. For those used to the traffic system it’s easy to find: it lies between Chaffron Way H7 and Tattenhoe Street V2.

 

Milton Keynes community arts charity Inter-Action MK

According to their website: Inter-Action MK use the arts to bring joy and purpose to all communities and especially to improve the life chances of people with support needs or disabilities or in challenging or vulnerable circumstances. Their innovative programme of inclusive arts successfully brings people of all backgrounds together in shared creative activity. Their programme helps participants to develop creative, personal and social skills.

 

A good place for a muddy walk in Milton Keynes!

Milton KeynesAnne and I visited this location one cold January morning, along with her son and his family. In the photo above are Charlotte and Edward, wearing full woodland walk kit.

And I was wrapped up warm too.

This post is one of my POSTCARD series, sharing all things ART with you when I go travelling.

 

 

Post card from Chichester: Pallant House Gallery

PallantThis was my first visit to Pallant House Gallery; it won’t be my last!

Anne and I visited Chichester just before Christmas, to attend a funeral, and we had very little time to spare. But, on our last evening, at dinner, we fell into conversation with a charming lady who was dining alone at the next table. She insisted we make time, before heading back to Devon, to visit the Pallant House Gallery, and, in particular, to visit the Bomberg exhibition.

 

Where is Pallant House Gallery?

PallantYou will find the gallery tucked away down a side street just off the main pedestrian area of Chichester. It’s also only a short distance from the railway station – very convenient!

Apart from Mondays, it’s open from 10am (11am on Sundays and bank holidays) until 5pm (8pm on Thursdays).Pallant

There’s a cafe and restaurant, and numerous free-to-view areas as well as the various special exhibitions for which there is an entrance charge.

 

David Bomberg

2017 marks the 60th anniversary of his death and Bomberg was a much-neglected artist until recently.

His Jewish heritage and his contribution to pre-war British modernism was a path in history to lead him to being a war artist in both world wars.

His association with Whitechapel Art Gallery exposed him to radical changes in modern art over many years.

 

The Bomberg Exhibition

This exhibition runs in Chichester until 4 February 2018. The paintings and drawings all come from a single private collection and are housed in a number of adjoining rooms. As you walk from one room to he next, you see his life’s work, clearly illustrating how he developed as an artist.

Pallant

Oil on canvas: Portrait of John Rodker (c.1931)

Commencing with early Cubist drawings, there are  over 70 paintings from all periods of his artistic life.

 

Bomberg’s approach to portraiture

Oil on canvas: Kitty (1929)

Bomberg’s approach to portraiture shows the huge leaning to the expressionist attitude popular during his life time.

I particularly liked the one of John Rodker, and his portrayal of his sister Kitty.

Both are oil on canvas.

 

And then the landscapes …

His landscapes of Jerusalem and Spain are also magnificent.

Pallant

Oil on canvas: Jerusalem City and Mount of Ascension (1929)

Oil on canvas: Cathedral, Toledo (1929)

The Bomberg Exhibition after 4 February

If you cannot get to Chichester ahead of 4 February, this exhibition is transferring to the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle. That Bomberg Exhibition will run from 17 February until 18 May.

This post is one of my POSTCARD series, sharing all things ART with you when I go travelling.