The warm glow of my Barcelona vacation is fast being replaced by a cold chill of impending doom! My Open House exhibition at 2 Knoyle Road is only four weeks away and I’m beginning to feel woefully unprepared! I’ve spent the last week organising some new frames but now need to order a lorry load of mount board and book in at least a day to spend cutting mounts. My aim is to have a selection of works that are framed plus a selection of mounted but unframed works that visitors will be able to leaf through. Over the weeks ahead I daresay I’ll be sharing my triumphs and failures, fears and excitement as my artists’ open house debut looms ever larger.

The various promotional booklets and flyers are also out and about now too. The ‘official’ guide to Brighton Festival’s Artists’ Open Houses states that for 2017, over 180 venues will be exhibiting the work of over 1200 artists. It’s made me all the more relieved that I’m taking a very modest approach to my Open House debut. Unlike most artists, who exhibit every weekend during the festival, I’m only showing over one weekend, the 27th and 28th May.

Even more exclusively, I will only actually be there in person on Sunday 28th May and, if the weather’s agreeable, I hope to set myself up in the garden to do some painting (I figured it’d be the best way of making myself useful!)

And if all of this isn’t exclusive enough, I won’t even be showing in the house alongside most of the other artists. I’ll be exhibiting in a shed. In the garden. But oh what a shed, and oh what a garden! Here’s a quick glimpse:


This fabulous shed is also the studio of my dear friend and ceramicist Angela Evans and I’ll be one of three artists that will be ‘popping up’ in Angela’s studio over the course of the festival. You can read my entry on the 2 Knoyle Road website or explore the full range of artists open houses. For now though, I’m going to have to change the subject as focusing on this is beginning to stress me out a little!

Since returning from Barcelona last week I haven’t had much time for painting but, as I was so excited by two of the small sketches that I did, I was keen to see how the scene might work at a larger size. Here are the two small sketches that I did, followed by a quarter imperial sheet painting that also heads up this post.

It’s close but I think the sketches still edge it for me but I’m going to do a few other versions of this once I get my reference photos printed up. I mapped out this larger version looking at my sketches and at a few images on my i-pad (which I don’t really like doing for some reason). Once I’d sketched it out in pencil, I didn’t refer to my sketches or photos again and just went with my instincts and my memory of the view. I do like it, and enjoyed painting it, but also think I can squeeze more out of it. I also really like seeing these three images side by side where the differences in colour, perspective, tone and feel become even more pronounced.

From the 700 or so photos I took, I’ve managed to select about 140 to get printed up (many of which are duplicates of the same scene but from slightly different angles). Hopefully these will be with me soon and should keep me busy over the summer!

A penny for your thoughts...? (Not literally you understand - that could land me in a whole heap of trouble!)

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