Sunday, June 17, 2018

Private View New English Art Club

Private View,  Mall Galleries, In front of the 'Scholars Wall' my work (12 small pieces) on right
People kept asking me if I was nervous before the Private View. The answer was 'no'. I hoped the work would speak for itself and all the members were so kind to me I was just excited and trying to enjoy every moment.

My day began by rendezvousing with Jane and Jo on the train. We made our way to the The Mall Galleries, arriving by noon. The atmosphere was wonderful.  There were many people and more red dots were starting to appear. I had sold the little egg tempera of Dawn at the 'first sight' exhibition on Tuesday night so had already exceeded my expectations!

I went over to Messum's to meet Annabel and Patrick for 3pm.  Rose Hilton's vibrant work was wonderful to see even though they were busy adding other artists to the exhibition.  I was wearing my exhibitor badge and David Messum kept looking at me so I explained.  He had been at the critics' lunch the day before (as had I) and had been trying to think how he knew me… it was all rather surreal. When I told Paul Wuensche (other scholar), he and I joked that we should make a habit of wearing exhibitor's badges as a rule.

Pauline arrived 5 ish and she went straight to my wall and was very excited to share that I had sold another piece, this time it was the image that is in the catalogue of Tiziana, labeled 'untitled'  Pauline, Annabel Patrick and I made our way to the drinks table and clinked glasses. Figgy, Jonny, Livvy Padfield and Kate Hills joined our convivial group. 

At 6:30 Richard Pikesley, president of the NEAC, then Sir David Clementi (Chairman of the BBC) addressed us, awarded prizes and the new scholars were announced.

I had many wonderful conversations with members and visitors between Monday and Thursday but perhaps my most thrilling was when Melissa Scott Miller came to find me to tell me that Anthony Eyton wanted to speak to me. According to Melissa he had spent a long time looking at my wall and when I spoke to him he spoke encouragingly and enthusiastically about my pieces, calling me a 'really wonderful artist'. He told me his work was up high at the RA Summer Exhibtion this year and I promised to look for it. Nothing could have prepared me for that encounter. 

Sir David Clementi at Mall Galleries NEAC exhibition 2018

And there is an afterword: On Friday I met Lesley and Ian en route to Wales from Rome to bring them to the exhibition.  I took an early train down and went to see Gabriella's exhibition in Fulham.  Gabriella is one of the new scholars. As I was preparing to get off at South Kensington to change to the Wimbeldon train, I locked eyes with someone I recognised… it was Anthony Eyton again, on his way to the V&A about a commission! He remembered my name, having as he said only 'met me in the past 24 hours' and repeated all the nice things he'd said about me and my work to the man who was accompanying him to the V & A. I had to pinch myself.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Countdown to the New English 2018 Exhibition

Today was the hanging of the New English Art Club's annual exhibition, and I was there! It was great fun to see how the show gets hung and to meet a few more of the members. Paul (the other scholar) and I will share a wall and we arranged our work and affixed labels to the back. All the while members were carrying paintings from one place to another to see what worked best. It was amazing to see how fabulous the little wall looked hung and slowly other walls appeared.  I left before our was hung but will be back tomorrow to see it completed!

I picked up a catalogue while there and was obviously delighted to have my work and some words in it!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Slow drawing on a blustery Afternoon

Spring Flower Ceremony, pastel on paper, 16 x 16cm
The forecast for rain never materialised (until now) but it was dark, cold and windy and I had house tasks to help with. I had planned to walk around the shore and to stop and draw, but who wouldn't be inspired by the collections here - what a fall-back position. Mom lit a fire and I set something up in one of the living rooms.  I don't have much yellow at my house.  I found a Kantha with a yellow panel and a wild euphorbia to plunk in the lustreware creamer.  Aren't those figurines so cherry blossom spring? It got darker and darker and I didn't want to put on any other light. I can see that there are things I need to change in a few places but it's been the perfect way to spend my final afternoon on the island.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Changing Rooms a Change of Weather

From Ben's Room, pastel on paper 16 x 16 cm
Another sketch wedged into my day.  This time it was almost 4pm and I moved my easel to Ben's room. The light was gorgeous and I didn't take a photo of the scene when I began. (note to self, always take a before, during and after picture). The light cut ribbons across the grass.  It was moving but I was nearly keeping up with it … that is until the fog rolled in and the light disappeared and everything flattened.  I continued drawing because I hadn't solved the trees.  There is more that I wasn't able to look at again and compare but suddenly it was nearly 6pm and what I was looking at was nothing like what I had started with.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Looking Down on the Garden

View from Katy's Room, pastel on paper, 16 x 16 cm
I was determined to fit a drawing into my day today and as I was getting dressed I realised I have never drawn from an upstairs window. It was 8:30 am and the shadows made sharp diagonals and that appealed to me.  There were reflections on the glass to contend with and I had to sit down to avoid the window frame obscuring my view… I always stand.  It felt complex as I worked but I tried to think about the rhythm of light and not to get too bogged down with naming things. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Cold drawing in Morning May Light

Cypress Boatshed and Atlantic, pastel on paper, 16 x 16cm
Before my second day of gardening, I went to the barn and retrieved my easel and pastels. I love coming back to my Maine kit.  I have things organised differently and it feels like a new beginning.  The views change a little every year too. Since drawing, Ben has pruned the cypress.  Today he will reshaped the box 'balls'. 

It was 8:30 and cold.  I didn't want to go in and get more clothes because I knew the light would change beyond recognition so by the time I came in my hands were tingling. There was dew on the grass that had got in through the holes in my crocs. And the fog rolled in, hiding the water and the trees as I made my last few decisions.