Easing out of lockdown now, and reacclimatising myself to something like normal life as the noise of the streets drowns out the birdsong again… I know how immensely lucky I’ve been, as one of those for whom the last four months haven’t meant any real hardship – just peace and quiet and a guilty enjoyment of life being suddenly very simple and free of decisions: a bit like when snow brings everything to a halt. I still had a few writing commissions to work on, and I even found new subjects to paint, discovering streets and buildings I’d never noticed before as I sought out new routes on my ‘daily walk’.
And I’ve been doubly lucky because of the Artist Support Pledge – the Instagram scheme started by Sussex-based artist Matthew Burrows to help artists recoup income lost through cancelled exhibitions and suspended classes. Not sure how much the Pledge has turned over in total so far, but in my case it’s helped me find new buyers, new artists – and new art, because the idea is that you promise to buy from another artist as soon as you reach £1000 in sales. At a time when life was reduced to essentials and so many businesses were closed down overnight, this was a way of encouraging us to keep investing in each other, and in art: perhaps not actually essential, but definitely life-enhancing. I’m still making frames and delivering paintings I’ve sold through @artistsupportpledge – and by providing an income, it’s also allowed artists to donate to fundraising projects, giving a percentage of their sales to food banks, NHS charities and other important causes.
One of the few good things to have emerged out of Covid-19. It would be nice to think there might be some more to come…
‘Houseboats’ and ‘The Pink One’ – two river paintings I’m showing at the Chelsea Art Society’s members’ exhibition this week. Paintings, prints, pastels and sculpture, all on a theme of Ebb and Flow in Chelsea. Tuesday 8th to Sunday 13th October at 340 Kings Road, London SW3 5UR. Click the link below to see the online catalogue.
Table in a Spring Window is one of several paintings I have in the Piers Feetham Gallery summer show, which runs until 3 August. A really lovely exhibition in a wonderful gallery, full of light and distinctly summery, with beautiful work by artists including Glyn Saunders, Caroline McAdam Clark, Roger Hardy, Susie Elliot and Christie Bird. Well worth a visit: 475 Fulham Road, London SW6.
‘Sewing’ is one of four paintings I’m showing at the 72nd annual Chelsea Art Society exhibition, which opens on Thursday 13th June. Five days of inspiring work from established artists and open submissions – and all completely free. (Free to view, that is – you’ll have to pay up if you want to take something home with you, but there will be loads of affordable paintings, prints and sculptures…)
Chelsea Old Town Hall, Kings Road, London SW3 5EE, Thursday 13th-Monday 17th June (for opening times see chelseaartsociety.org.uk).
Anemone and Hyacinth will be on show at the New English Art Club exhibition, 14-22 June. I’m so glad to be part of this exhibition again. It’s at the beautiful Mall Galleries (an easy walk from Charing Cross, Waterloo and the West End) and should include masses of interesting work by NEAC members and other artists. Come if you can!
Delighted to have sold this painting (Window sill: Where the light falls) at the first ART@INK exhibition last month, part of the fabulous INK Festival that’s become an April fixture in the cultural calendar of the lovely town of Halesworth in Suffolk. It was a privilege to be shown alongside brilliant artists including Roger Hardy, Dina Southwell, Melanie Goemans and Sula Rubens, in the beautiful top-floor gallery of The Cut arts centre – and to be able to enjoy the packed programme of short plays (great drama, superb acting) running in the theatre spaces downstairs. Very happy that part of the proceeds from paintings sold go to fund the festival and the work it does for theatre in the community. Long may it continue – already looking forward to next year.
The exhibition is over for another year, and my painting is no longer mine; it’s now going home with its new owner. I shall miss it – it’s a picture I believed in and am fond of.
I’ve also loved treating the RA as a second home for the summer, and discovering new works each time I visited. Favourites have
included the two Arthur Neal paintings (‘Studio and Garden’ and
‘Corner of the Studio’); ‘Egg Box’ by Adrienne Blake; two beautifully
subtle variations on a theme of white, ‘Trance Map’ by Trevor Sutton and ‘From Vauxhall Bridge’ by Andy Finlay; and the extraordinary, prize-winning Man on Fire sculpture by Tim Shaw RA. And of course Tom Phillips RA’s Humument – a whole room of his re-imagined,
intricately illustrated book pages, each one a poem in its own right. I couldn’t resist buying my own copy of the bound edition.
26th July 2015
I’m delighted to have a painting in this year’s Summer Exhibition. ‘Chinese Lanterns’ is hung in the same gallery as the huge Grayson Perry tapestry – along with really beautiful works by (among others) Arthur Neal, Simon Wright, Georgina Allen, Frank Bowling RA and Terry Setch RA.
The exhibition runs until 16th August – masses to see if you haven’t been yet.