I saw for the first time last Tuesday the space that I’ll have for my forthcoming Artists Open Houses exhibition. Last year, I had a single wall to hang on and was imagining something similar this year.

My modestly proportioned Open House wall in 2018

Imagine my surprise then when I found out that I have not just one wall, but an entire room!  The room does, fortunately, also feature a number of doorways and a large window area but even so, I’ve counted seven different wall areas to try to adorn!

I’ve done a rudimentary plan and I’m anticipating that I’ll need to have 7 – 8 half imperial sized paintings and 4 – 6 quarter imperial sized paintings all framed and ready to hang. I’ll definitely have to show some of the paintings that I exhibited last year alongside more recent works. As I was doing a quick inventory, also I realised that I had a few gaps in the form of portrait format half imperial sized paintings. As I was mentally going through what I had to choose from, I also realised that I was lacking any paintings of interiors. So this week’s offering was defined by the need for a portrait format interior view!

I was in far too much of a hurry to take any work in progress shots, so there’s no warm-up this week, I’m just diving straight in with the finished painting.

Watercolour painting of The Set restaurant by artist John Haywood
‘The Set’ Restaurant, Brighton

The view is of the ‘The Set’ which is the restaurant of the Artist Residence Hotel in Brighton. I haven’t stayed at the hotel but I’ve enjoyed some wonderful meals in this restaurant and, more frequently have had some delicious breakfasts in another nearby room. It was on one of these breakfast occasions that I took the reference photograph for this painting. It was taken mid-morning, so the light was streaming in through the windows at the back. The tables hadn’t been set yet, and the people at the back seemed to be staff who were just taking a break from their preparations.

All in all, I quite like how this came out and am delighted that one our two people, quite independently of each other, have said that the light and atmosphere of this painting reminds them of Edward Hopper, which is tremendously gratifying. Hopefully, surrounded by a crisp white mount, this will fit in quite nicely with my Open House plans!

I’m off to Porto this weekend so shall hopefully be leaving the stresses and strains of the Open House behind me for a few days and picking up lots of fresh inspiration!

That’s all for now, so until next time, or, as we say in Portuguese ‘Até a próxima vez’.

16 thoughts on “Watercolour interior

  1. A nice contrast of warm and cold light (Hopperish) especially on the faces. It’s a bit bare for my taste, of course – I like to have something to investigate – but I can certainly see its appeal. It’ll look good on one of your walls and, being an intereior, will add interest. I glanced the word “portrait” in your plans for the exhibition and for a moment my heart leapt; he’s going to do some portraits! Well, there’s still time…

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    1. Hi Rob and thanks for this. Now that I know this works, I might try to do another version but perhaps ad a little more interest into the mid ground area, some people at a table and a waiter kind of thing, (or I may just move on to something completely different. Whatever I do, I can assure you that it won’t be a portrait!!

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  2. A whole room! What a fantastic opportunity to show your work. I really like the way the lead in is created by the chairs but especially I like the eschewed chair, gives a bit of visual story to your lead in. The light and people contues that story. Can’t wait to see what you will come up with. Have you ever seen any of Jeremiah Goodman’s paintings? They are mixed media I believe but they are fascinating and churns up my interest for interiors. Unfortunately he passed last year, perhaps two years ago. Cheers

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    1. Thanks so much for this Margaret – and especially for the introduction to Jeremiah Goodman – what wonderfully rich and sumptuous paintings of interiors! I look forward to spending some more time with these and no wonder they stir your interest in interiors!

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  3. I like this John, and yes Edward Hopper does come to mind.! I especially like the idea of painting interiors…in fact I am doing one now of a cafe I went to with a painting friend last week. She has started using her tablet to sketch on as it’s less obvious and she looks like she’s playing a game, tho I just sketch. People do seem to sense you watching them so I find I have to swap subjects frequently, but I usually ‘sneak’ a photo or two as well.
    Well I think that will be an amazing place to show your paintings and wish you lots of success with it. It’s exhibition time starting now so I understand the slight panic that precedes getting everything done!
    Enjoy your break
    Happy painting,
    Carole

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    1. Hi Carole and thanks so much for all of this. I’m afraid I’m more of a suruptitious photographer when it comes to interiors! I’ve never mastered the art of subtle looking when sketching as I’m usually squinting and gurning whilst trying to figure out what I’m looking at! Good luck with your interior – I look forward to seeing it. I’m hoping that Porto might offer some rich pickings of both interiors and city scenes to keep me occupied over the months ahead. Hope that you have a great Easter too!

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    1. That’s so very kind of you! It’s great that it seems as if interiors come naturally to me because it rarely feels that way! I would like to do more of them but do find them very challenging and often feel that I have to spend a lot of time just thinking about how I’m going to paint it and generally just plucking up the courage before I can embark on one!

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