SHAF Arts Trail: 14-29 October

The SHAF Arts Trail starts next Saturday. Two weeks of open-house …

On the opening day – Saturday 14 October – the 10 artists in the Salcombe/Soar area, invite you – the public – to come along and enjoy our art, and a warm welcome … including light refreshments.

Anytime – 10am until 5pm.

SHAF Arts Trail, open-house, Private party, Beacon House, evening,

Private party on 14 October

At Beacon House, we are also having a private by-invitation party that evening.

Partly, we are continuing the Opening Day celebration but also we feel the need to mark the completion of works to our home which includes a platform lift, making our location wheelchair freindly.

If you haven’t received an invitation, and would like to come along in the evening, please contact me!

 

Where are the Salcombe/Soar artists?

 

INTERESTED IN JOINING SHAF?

Visit the SHAF website for more details.

SHAF Arts Trail: Elen Claire Williams

Elen Claire WilliamsFine Artist, Elen Claire Williams MA is one of 60 artists opening their studios for the SHAF Arts Trail.

 

WHAT IS THE SHAF ARTS TRAIL?

This year, the SHAF Arts Trail runs from October 14th to October 29th. Two whole weeks, including half-term week.

The South Hams Arts Forum (SHAF) is a lively, actively engaged association of artists and craftspeople from across the region.

SHAF membership is extremely diverse, so while some artists create in purpose-built studios, others produce their work at the kitchen table. Consequently, the Arts Trail will lead visitors to some artists working in their home studios – as is the case for Elen – and to others exhibiting in galleries and exhibition halls.

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

Elen is exhibiting at Art Space, with two other SHAF artists: Cherry Lyons and Lee Pover.

Art Space

ECWilliams

Sunday Sailing off Westcombe Pinnacles

Meet Elen Claire Williams

Elen is a Walking Artist, recording and interpreting her local South Devon landscape, principally between the moor and the sea, using a variety of mediums and visual languages. Beginning with rural walks ‘The Art of Slow Walking’ is where the content is more important than duration. The artist commonly selects popular places at those solitary times where isolation from modern life encourages imagination, self-discovery and inner peace.

“I have succeeded in my aim when the glory of creation encourages people to engage to celebrate and conserve the vanishing natural world on our personal doorsteps.”

Beyond the decorative aspect of making art, the key issues of our times, i.e. environmental issues and spiritual poverty, have become essential deeper elements in the artist’s work. The artist seeks to raise the audiences’ awareness of the fragility of the environment and the need to actively become a participant in its conservation. An interest in local history, local tradition, and personal faith are reflected in the narrative of specific series of artwork.

 

More about Elen Claire Williams
E.C.Williams

Erme out-going tide

Elen Claire Williams’ creative training began at Exeter College of Art and Design in 1967, continuing at Falmouth School of Art, Plymouth College of Art and Design, and Cornwall College. Elen has  Bachelor of Arts degrees in (2 & 3D) Design (1995) and Fine Art (2010) at the University of Plymouth; Open University Master of Arts degree (2012).

“I believe that the outcome of Fine Art creativity becomes authenticated by all of life’s experiences that enrich the deeper purpose of my practice.”

Elen Claire Williams’ emergent career as an independent artist follows a portfolio of employment that enabled the artist to develop transferable skills and creativity in differing circumstances, from business applications to applying creativity to most aspects of the National Curriculum. A believer in life-long learning, the artist sacrificially continued to undertake art classes and workshops led by professional artists that enhanced and continues to enhance her visual languages and technical skills.

Elen Claire Williams is a qualified Early Years Teacher with 10 years of experience teaching children aged from 3 to 11 years.

“As a member of Devon Artist Network, Devon Artists, South Hams Art Forum, Kingsbridge and South Hams Art Club and Salcombe Art Club, I have found a platform for professional development and exhibition opportunities”.

 

FROM THE BROCHURE, PAGE 16

Elen Claire Williams SHAFSHAF Arts Trail brochures are available in libraries, information centres and many other places in the South Hams. There are 18 SHAF Arts Trail venues, each with one or more artists displaying their work and available for you to see them at work, and to answer your questions.

In case you can’t get you hands on a copy, here are the details for Elen’s venue in Art Space, Aveton Gifford – and her opening times.

 

HOW TO CONTACT ELEN CLAIRE WILLIAMS

You can contact Elen Claire Williams by email at ec.willliams@hotmail.co.uk or call her on 01548 559396 or visit her website or her Facebook page.

 

INTERESTING IN JOINING SHAF?

Visit the SHAF website for more details.

Postcard from Oxford: Ashmolean Museum

Ashmolean

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1175-1851): Walton Bridges

This was my fourth visit to the wonderful Ashmolean Museum.

Anne wanted to attend a literary lunch at Denman College – meeting Clare Mackintosh, author of I See You, a brilliant psychological thriller – so we decided to share the driving from Devon, and I got to spend the day enjoying once more this amazing trove of art.

With so many works of art on display, it’s difficult to pick out just a few favourites, but here are my five from this particular excursion.

 

At the Ashmolean: Turner’s Walton Bridges

These bridges were mentioned in a previous postcard, way back in February when Anne and I were in Australia. We were enjoying a stroll around NGV (National Gallery of Victoria). As I mentioned back then: it was a lovely surprise to see ‘Walton Bridges’.

The Walton Bridges were erected in the 1780s and were painted by Turner (twice) in 1805 for exhibitions in 1806-7.

Ashmolean

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875): Montfermeuil, the Brook in the Wood, 1867

Turner used his artistic licence to create this idyllic pastoral landscape, minus the various houses that would have been visible to anyone present at that time.

This painting – like the one is Melbourne – brought back into sharp focus the many times in my life when, forty plus years ago, I drove from my home in Shepperton and crossed a more modern version of these bridges en route to Walton Station for my daily commute to London.

How time flies?

 

At the Ashmolean: Corot’s Montfermeuil, the Brook in the Wood

This oil-on-canvas painting is an example of Corot’s later work.

His palette is more monochromatic and the overall effect more blurred.

I see similar skies over Salcombe. The challenge is to capture the atmosphere before the clouds move on.

 

At the Ashmolean:  Etty’s  The Repentant Prodigal’s Return to his Father
Ashmolean

Willian Etty (1787-1849): The Repentant Prodigal’s Return to his Father

This painting combines two scenes from the story of the Prodigal son: centre stage, the embrace between father and son; and, to the left, the return of the elder brother from working in the fields.

Etty was unique in his ability to make a successful career out of combining history painting – such as this one – with his love for Venetian colours.

He was especially keen on life drawings and studied life at the Royal Academy schools – and this painting includes four lovely ladies, in various classic poses, in the background!

I’m very much looking forward to getting back into class. The Salcombe Art Club Main exhibition ended on Saturday, and I’ll be back ‘in harness’ on Tuesdays (with Michael Hill) and Fridays (with Ian Carr).

On the occasional Monday, there’s a life drawing class too …

 

At the Ashmolean: two paintings by Walter Richard Sickert’s
Ashmolean

Walter Richard Sickert (1860-1942): The Piazzetta do San Marco, Venice, 1900

Although Walter Richard Sickert was born in 1860, in Germany, the son on Oswald Sickert, a Danish-German artist, the family relocated to Britain in 1868 where they obtained British nationality.

Sickert visited Venice in the Spring of 1900.

This first painting, The Piazzetta do San Marco, Venice, with the Campanile on the left and the basilica of San Marco on the right, was dedicated to a Mrs May (Polly) Price. Polly was the daughter of one of Sickert’s closest friends, a Mrs Middleton.

I fully intend to visit Venice again soon. Wherever you look. there is a composition with perfect light, just waiting to be painted.

Sickert, as a painter and printmaker, was a member of the Camden Town Group in London – a small group of English Post-Impressionist artists active 1911-13 and influenced by Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin.

Ashmolean

Walter Richard Sickert (1860-1942): The Brighton Pierrots, 1915

This second painting, an oil-on-canvas, depicts members of the troupe of Pierrots who performed on stage in Brighton in 1915.

Sickert visited his patron and friend Walter Taylor and studied these Pierrots, making many sketches before returning to London and creating this image.

His Pierrots perform in front of rows of empty deck chairs, and presents a depressing insight into life in Brighton at that time.

However, the painting was sold very quickly and then Sickert was commissioned to paint a second version. You can see that one at the Tate.

Apparently, Sickert rarely commissions. Neither do I!

 

Lunch at the Ashmolean

I thoroughly enjoyed my day at the Ashmolean, not least because the rooftop restaurant is first class, albeit with a first class price tag!

I’m very much looking forward to seeing Anne browse through the new Denman catalogue. I’m sure she’ll find something she will enjoy, and that I can disappearing into Oxford again soon.

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

SHAF Arts Trail: Jean Fenton

Jean Fenton is one of 60 artists opening their studios for the SHAF Arts Trail. Jean – together with Cally Gooding, Peter Truscott and Jackie Richardson – will be exhibiting at Avon Mill, in the Upper Cafe.

 

WHAT IS THE SHAF ARTS TRAIL?

Jean Fenton SHAFThe South Hams Arts Forum (SHAF) is a lively, actively engaged association of artists and craftspeople from across the region. Over the past decade, SHAF has regularly staged a number of exhibitions in the South Hams, and is glad to announce that the annual Arts Trail has this year been extended to include the Half-Term week and will run from October 14th – October 29th in most venues.

SHAF membership is extremely diverse, so while some artists create in purpose-built studios, others produce their work at the kitchen table. Consequently, the Arts Trail will lead visitors to some artists working in their home studios and to others exhibiting in galleries and exhibition halls.

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

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

 

Jean Fenton SHAF

Meet Jean Fenton, Artist

Jean is a textile artist, living on the edge of Dartmoor in the beautiful rolling hills of the South Hams in Devon, UK.

Jean has a fascination for natural landforms and studied Geological Science at Plymouth University. Her work reflects her deep love of nature and her local landscape and she is inspired by her physical surroundings.

Jean hand dyes all her fibres, giving her the specific palette she wants and allowing her to be creative with fibres from local sheep grazing in Devon and Cornwall. Afterwards, she stitches her pieces to reflect the distant hills and tors of Dartmoor.

 

Meet Jean Fenton, Tutor

Jean Fenton SHAFJean offers workshops, via the www.kaeravelkrafts.co.uk website, on how to use a spinning wheel, drop spinning, silk fusion, circle weaving, needle felting and wet felting.

These workshops cost from £15 upwards.

Courses can be tailored to suit – up to 30 people, all ages.

Materials are also available: pure wool skeins, spindles, and kits, fibres for adding texture and a whole lot else besides.

 

FROM THE BROCHURE, PAGE 13

SHAF Arts Trail brochures are available in libraries, information centres and many other places in the South Hams. There are 18 SHAF Arts Trail venues, each with one or more artists displaying their work and available for you to see them at work, and to answer your questions.

In case you can’t get your hands on a copy, here are the details for Jean Fenton’s venue in Loddiswell– and the opening times.

This venue is being shared by four artists: Jean Fenton, Cally Gooding, Peter Truscott and Jackie Richardson.

 

HOW TO CONTACT Jean Fenton

You can contact Jean by email at jeanfenton@live.co.uk or call her on 01364 649444 or visit her website: www.kaeravelkrafts.co.uk  

 

INTERESTED IN JOINING SHAF?

Visit the SHAF website for more details.

Louvre Museum

POSTCARD from Paris: Louvre Museum

The Louvre is one of the ‘big three’ museums in Paris. Comprising an impressive group of buildings – and offering the opportunity for much walking! – it is said to be the largest museum in the world.

The other two ‘big’ museums in Paris are the Museé d’Orsay which was featured in the previous postcard (with Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art from the years 1848-1914) and the Centre Pompidou (with 20th century works created after 1914) which we didn’t have time to visit during this trip.

 

The Louvre is closed on Tuesdays!

The Louvre Museum is always top of the list when Anne and I visit Paris. However, this time, we arrived on a Monday afternoon and the Louvre is closed on a Tuesday, so we had to hold fire on our excitement for an additional 24 hours.

We took the advice from Booking.com to purchase our fast-track ticket from the Paris Tourist Office at 25 Rue des Pyramides. If you think the queue we joined – on the left of the featured image above – was long, the one for those without tickets – on the right – was ten times longer. The tickets were no more expensive … and those in the longer queue were understandably frustrated.

Once inside, despite the crowds outside, the galleries were relatively empty.

 

The Louvre marquees

The pyramid outside the building is eye-catching enough but, inside, apart from the paintings, the architecture is wonderful.

There are great sweeping stairways and three marquees: Mona LisaVenus de Milo and Winged Victory.

Long, long corridors, with hundreds of framed original paintings on display. And, you must remember to look upwards too, at the ceiling.

 

The Louvre boasts 35,000 art treasures inside

One of the world’s most authoritative museums, the Louvre’s collection ranges from arts and crafts of ancient civilizations right up to the middle of the 19th century.

The brochure boasts that there are 35,000 artistic treasures inside. We didn’t have time to count them … It’s also impossible to see everything in the Louvre in one day!

Antonio Canal by Canaletto

We consulted the free tour guide and identified the exhibits of most interest to us.

We were delighted to see paintings by our favourite artists: Archimbold, Bosch, Brueghel, Caravaggio, Carpaccio, Constable, Delacroix, Dürer, Gainsborough, Goya, Guardi, Ingres, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens, Titian, Turner, van Eyck, Vermeer

One by Canaletto sparked a discussion as to when we might return to Venice. This stunning location is always on our to-visit list and, one day, I might find time to paint some scenes of Venice myself.

The paintings by Arcimboldo, Bosch and Brueghel also provoked discussion; they reminded us of the exhibition we’d seen at Les Baux-de-Provence only a few days earlier. I wrote about it in this postcard.

The Mona Lisa, of course, warrants a visit. It is tiny, and the crowd between you and it is huge.

 

One last indulgence: the Louvre gift shop

In all, we spent a good couple of hours walking up and down and around, and eventually had to admit, we needed to stop … and come back another time.

One last indulgence was a visit to the gift shop … where I treated myself to the Guide to the Louvre, which has proved very helpful in writing this postcard – and which I shall treasure.

 

The treasures outside the Louvre

Back out into the sunshine, we were delighted to see this sculpture.

Usually, I also take a photo of the label. But, by now, we were so weary, we just headed to the nearest eatery for much needed refreshment.

Next to the Louvre are the Tuileries Gardens and yet more art to enjoy: statues by Maillol, alongside works by Rodin and Giacometti.

We have walked through these gardens on a previous visit and no doubt will do so again.

We will be back!

This post is one of my POSTCARD series, sharing all things ART with you when I go travelling. It’s the third and final one for this particular trip. The previous postcards were from Paradou, and Paris (the Musée d’Orsay)

SHAF Arts Trail: Fiona Cocks

Fiona Cocks is one of 60 artists opening their studios for the SHAF Arts Trail.

Fiona Cocks

She will be exhibiting a selection of her work, including her sea glass and flower collections.

WHAT IS THE SHAF ARTS TRAIL?

The South Hams Arts Forum (SHAF) is a lively, actively engaged association of artists and craftspeople from across the region. Over the past decade, SHAF has regularly staged a number of exhibitions in the South Hams, and is glad to announce that the annual Arts Trail has this year been extended to include the Half-Term week and will run from October 14th – October 29th in most venues.

SHAF membership is extremely diverse, so while some artists create in purpose-built studios, others produce their work at the kitchen table. Consequently, the Arts Trail will lead visitors to some artists working in their home studios – as is the case for Fiona – and to others exhibiting in galleries and exhibition halls.

Found objects, such as sea glass, can be set and made into lovely pieces of jewellery

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

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

 

Meet Fiona Cocks

Fiona has been working as a Metalsmith since graduating from Sheffield Polytechnic in 1987.

After her daughter completed a Foundation in Art and Design, Fiona has set up a business from our Devon home with their combined jewellery interests.

Fiona has lived in Devon by the coast all her life and, since a little girl, she has been collecting beach finds. This has influenced her work today, often using these finds either for mould making and casting, or for incorporating shells and, in particular, sea glass into her jewellery.

Fiona is fascinated by the weathering process sea glass has undergone after decades of being pounded by the sea, the smoothness and the frosted look gained, and the recycling of our pollution!

A few years ago, Fiona took up surfing which has further influenced her work. Having seen first-hand what our pollution is doing to our seas, this has encouraged Fiona to use as much recycled materials and packaging as she can in her work.

Fiona cocks Sea glass jewellery

Jewellery Making Workshops

Fiona also runs workshops!

You can learn to make jewellery using traditional techniques: texturing, soldering, piercing, drilling, stamping, stone setting, casting, colouring, forming, hot and cold enamelling, anodising aluminium, etching, and hand engraving.

Fiona holds her courses in a well equipped metal working workshop at Bigbury Mint in Ermington. There are five-week workshops for beginners leading on to more advanced techniques, or taster one-off workshops.

Taster workshops might result in your making a silver bangle or silver ring.

 

FROM THE BROCHURE, PAGE 25

SHAF Arts Trail brochures are available in libraries, information centres and many other places in the South Hams. There are 18 SHAF Arts Trail venues, each with one or more artists displaying their work and available for you to see them at work, and to answer your questions.

Fiona Cocks SHAFIn case you can’t get you hands on a copy, here are the details for Fiona Cocks’s venue in Ermington – and the opening times.

This venue is being hared by three artists: Fiona Cocks, Jackie Gale and Sue Stewart.

 

HOW TO CONTACT FIONA COCKS

You can contact Fiona by email at f.cocks@blueyonder.co.uk or call her on 07986 253666 or visit the A & F Jewellery Facebook page

INTERESTING IN JOINING SHAF?

Visit the SHAF website for more details.

Postcard from Paris: Musée d’Orsay

Musée d'Orsay Au Pied De CochonDuring our recent trip to Paris, we visited the Musée d’Orsay – a first time for us – and what a delight!

What made us choose this venue?

 

The Musée d’Orsay comes recommended

While enjoying a lovely French dinner at the Au Pied de Cochon restaurant on the Monday evening, we fell into conversation with the couple at the next table.

Having discussed what we might order from the menu, talk turned to our plans for our two days. The Louvre is top our our list, I declared.

Musée d'Orsay

Central area with sculptures

No! They thought the Musée d’Orsay was much better.

Then the following morning, when we went to purchase our tickets, we discovered the Louvre doesn’t open on a Tuesday, so off we went to find the Musée d’Orsay.

 

At the Musée d’Orsay – so much to see?

As you walk through the entrance to the Musée d’Orsay, this huge exhibition space is what you see first: a central walk filled with sculptures.

It takes more than a moment to take in the layout of the building, but, having consulted the free tour guide, we identified the exhibitions and ‘rooms’ of most interest to us.

We were pleased to discover the lifts. Our first chosen exhibition – the Impressionists – was on the 5th floor!

En route, we walked through the cafe area. That was a masterpiece in itself, but we did not sample the delights.

Later, we were to explore all the rooms which led off from the left hand side of the upper corridor (level 2) of this enormous entrance hall area.

 

At the Musée d’Orsay – more Impressionists than you can shake a stick at!

Musée d'OrsayI have attended many Impressionist exhibitions in London but none compare with the one on at the Musée d’Orsay at the moment.

I saw more of the Impressionists in one day than I had in my entire life: Bazille, Caillebotte, Cassatt, Cézanne, Degas, Fantin-Latour, Manet, Monet, Morisot, Pissarro, Renoir, Sisley, Whistler.

It was a knock out!

The catalogue (at 14 euros) is a delight and is split into three historical sections.

  • Impressionism from 1863 to 1874
  • Impressionism from 1874 to 1886
  • Impressionism after 1886

If you are quick, you can see the Portraits by Cézanne exhibition – ends 24 September.

 

At the Musée d’Orsay – Les Régates à Molesey by Sisley

Musée d'OrsayOne exhibit, I had never seen before, by Sisley, was Les Régates à Molesey (Boating at Molesey).

Painted in 1874, it shows a spot on the Thames, near to where I lived for many years.

Seeing that painting brought back memories …

I’m not sure if we were allowed to take photos in the Musée d’Orsay; certainly, the placement of the exhibits in relation to the windows didn’t encourage it!

This post is one of my POSTCARD series, sharing all things ART with you when I go travelling. It’s the second one for this particular trip. The previous postcard was from Paradou, and the next is Paris again, at the Louvre.

Postcard from Paradou

Only one postcard from Paradou – as most of our few days in Paradou were spent with family, catching up and relaxing after our long journey from Devon.

Paradou 1However, as luck would have it, our visit coincided with the summer fete. This included, on the Saturday, an Abrivado: a day of bulls running through the streets, being chased by young men trying to show off to the local lasses.

The Sunday was also fun: a festive meal for 600, hosted by the mayor (a lady), in which we were served tomato and mozzarella salad with French sticks of bread, a dish of steaming paella (a popular Spanish dish in France?), followed by cheese and then ice cream. And as much rose/red wine as you can consume.

We were entertained by a brass band and there was much laughter and dancing. It was a long day!

The one art experience was a visit to Les Baux-de-Provence, to see the fantastic exhibition at Carrières de Lumières which is open now until 7 January 2018.

 

Carrieres de Lumieres: Bosch, Brueghel and Arcimboldo. Fantastique et merveilleux.

The exhibition focused on Bosch, the Brueghel dynasty and Arcimboldo, prefaced by a tribute to Georges Méliès, the cinemagician.

For just six minutes, the audience shares the life of Georges Méliès, who is credited with being the inventor of the first special effects in film-making.

Then, for the rest of the show, Bosch, the Brueghel dynasty and Arcimboldo, these major 16th century painters, with their unbridled imagination and extraordinary creativity, are brought sharply into focus by the presentation of their images on the walls of this amazing venue.

Within the exhibition space – effectively a cave, with no natural light – the floor is sandy and as uneven as the walls. The projections – using cutting-edge laser phosphor projectors – fall on all surfaces, including the ceiling.

The complete ‘show’ lasts for about 45 minutes, and there are plenty of ledges on which to perch or sit and take in the atmosphere.

It’s not a static show. With accompanying music, the images are brought to life through clever transitions.

 

Hieronymus Bosch
Bosch: The garden of earthly delights

Bosch: The garden of earthly delights

As an example of the method of transitions, within this image, a tiny extract from Bosch’s The garden of earthly delights, various body parts of the people depicted – heads, arms, legs – moved back and forth to create the impression of a film, rather than a painting on canvas.

The original painting is a triptych, housed in the Museo del Prado in Madrid since 1939. It dates from between 1490 and 1510, when Bosch would have been 40 to 60 years old, and is probably his best-known – and most ambitious – surviving work.

Projected onto the walls and ceiling of the Carrières de Lumières, mermaids and giant strawberries glide past knights in shining armour astride flying fish.

It’s all very weird and wonderful!

And, definitely living up to the title of ‘sensual excess’.

 

The Brueghel dynasty

Works by all three of the Bruegel dynasty were featured: Pieter the Elder, Pieter the Younger, and Jan Brueghel.

The chosen musical accompaniament – a waltz – particularly suited the Breughels’ paintings. The image ‘rocked’ in time to the music, so the otherwise static images in the original paintings looked like they were actually dancing. Very clever.

The transitions worked well also when applied to crowded landscapes, with movement across the walls enhancing the sense of movement of those in the scene.

 

Guiseppe d’Arcimboldo

His Four Seasons were outrageous fun!

This is Autumn, with every part of the face created from seasonal produce.

 

Would I recommend you to visit this exhibition?

While the ‘art’ was impressive, the transitions brought everything to life. Discussing it afterwards with others who had visited the exhibition previously, this ‘modern’ approach to art is clearly not of universal appeal.

However, whether it was the addition of snow flakes gently falling on a wintry scene, or butterflies  flitting across the sky, or heads, arms and legs moving, in my opinion such wizardy made the message more vivid and more immediately accessible.

The finale ‘Staircase to Heaven’ was particularly poignant.

Yes, definitely worth a visit!

 

This post is one of my POSTCARD series, sharing all things ART with you when I go travelling. It’s the first one for this particular trip. Watch this space!

Delivery trip to the South of France …

delivery trip

Dawn at South Pool Creek

Delivery trip?

Yes, this past week, Anne and I have been on a delivery trip to the South of France – three paintings purchased last year by my brother, Brian, and his wife, Anna.

  • Dawn at South Pool Creek
  • Paddling at Burgh Island
  • Sunlight on Avon River

Dawn at South Pool Creek is an acrylic painting of the view from my studio window. It’s rare for me to be up so early. I am a night owl and enjoy sleeping late. However, my wife, Anne, is always up before dawn and, if it’s an especially beautiful one, she will wake me. I take photos and go back to bed, and she returns to her computer.

Paddling at Burgh Island is a painting which captures one sunny day when Anne and I visited her friend, Sheila, and we walked across from Sheila’s house to Burgh Island.

Sunlight on Avon River shows a tree-lined river bank. The dappled light competing with lively reflections is a huge challenge for the artist. The sound of constantly moving water is a delight to hear but, sadly, I cannot capture that within my watercolour painting.

 

delivery trip

Paddling at Burgh Island

Why are we delivering these paintings?

Brian and Anna came to our home, to meet up with our Canadian cousins who were visiting us in Salcombe, more than a year ago. But flying, without a baggage allowance, Brian and Anna couldn’t take the paintings home with them.

The previous time we’d seen them was on our wedding day, eight years previous, but now we were invited to their holiday home in the south of France – and to bring the paintings with us.

Drive? No!

We’d prefer to go by train and to take advantage of the places en route: London and Paris.

 

The route: Totnes to Paradou
delivery trip

Sunlight on Avon River

So, Anne and I have done the trip, mostly by train.

  • Taxi to Totnes
  • Train to Paddington
  • Overnight stay in London, taking in a show: 42nd Street – amazing!
  • One morning in London, shopping, and then the Eurostar to Paris
  • One morning in Paris, sight-seeing, and then TGV to Avignon
  • Car to Paradou
  • And relax!

It’s a straightforward journey and provides lots of time to read / write / paint. I have a watercolour kit with me …

Our return trip, after a brief weekend with the family, will take in three nights in Paris, so the next blog post will be a ‘Postcard from Paradou’ followed by a ‘Postcard from Paris’.

 

Do I deliver in person, usually?

Not usually!

But if you live somewhere exotic and would care to invite Anne and I to visit …

SOLD! Watchhouse to Ferry Steps

SOLD! Watchhouse to Ferry Steps

It’s always a delight to sell a painting, but even more so when I meet the purchaser and learn why they chose the painting and what it means to them. I always want my paintings to go to a good home!

 

What made me want to paint Watchhouse to Ferry Steps?

As a child of six, my first recollection of visiting Salcombe was with my parents in 1949 by way of the East Portlemouth Ferry. My father had prudently driven from our holiday accommodation in Littlehempstone to East Portlemouth,  preferring to pay for a ferry ride for his family, rather than a parking fee.

Scampering up the steps past the Ferry Inn had my mother racing after me and my brother, while my father popped into the Ferry Inn for a beer.

Later in life, waiting for the ferry gave me time to enjoy the lovely views of water, boats, town and the back drop of farmland.

Ultimately, 60 years after my first visit, I got down to creating my version of this iconic view.

Watchhouse to Ferry Steps sketch

60 years on: Sketch of Watchhouse to Ferry Steps

What attracted the buyer to this painting?

As with many of my original paintings, the image of Watchhouse to Ferry Steps was turned into a fine art greetings card. At the recent Salcombe Town Regatta, I was supporting this worthy cause by selling my cards in Island Street.

One customer exclaimed ‘My house!” and pointed out the Watch House as a family holiday home. The lovely lady enquired if the original painting was still for sale. I was so pleased to tell her, yes.

On the Sunday, now selling cards in Whitestrand to support Salcombe Town Regatta, I had the original with me. The lady (and friends) came to examine it and I’m happy to say it is now with the ‘right’ owner.

 

The history of the Watch House

I have subsequently discovered – thanks to a book called A Salcombe Photographer: Images of the collection of AE Fairweather, compiled by Tim Burr and Nicola Fox – that, in 1896, the Watch House was occupied by the Coastguard.

 

Affordable art – helping local charities

In 2018, I will start selling cards to help local charities. My Hope Cove image has been used for the Hope Cove Lifeboat, and I’m in discussions with organisers of other good causes about which image might be used to boost their funds.

If you would like to get involved with this project, please contact me.