Friday 10 October 2014

Windrush Gallery Annual Exhibition 2014: October 11th -20th

 James Fletcher-Watson
Painted by a Japanese Artist

The Windrush Gallery
Mixed Art Exhibition 2014

What an amazing few weeks have past.  My solo opened at the Wey Gallery, paintings were collected from my cottage for a group exhibition in Cheltenham and  I completed my new book. I am now eagerly awaiting my watercolour tour in Australia so I wouldn't expect any more excitement in my art life. But I am mistaken. Something truly wonderful happened and behind the computer screen, typing this blog post, is a very emotional artist.

It is so strange how fate takes a hand in ones' life, as it certainly does with mine. I recently wrote a feature for The Artist Magazine which includes a watercolour competition. In the same October issue I was thrilled to see a demonstration by one of my  all time favourite watercolourists, David Howell. I first fell in love with Davids' work when I lived in Dubai. I was exhibiting at the Majilis Gallery there and was immediately drawn to the clarity, colour and beauty in his style which captured atmosphere so fantastically. At the foot of Davids'  magazine feature was a mention of  "The Pure Watercolour Society". I had never heard of this society until reading the feature and intended to contact them but as aways, my life was so hectic. Time to do so wasn't there and so thought of doing so was temporarily postponed.

However I did keep thinking about the society. Here I possibly should explain that my heart often sinks at Art Society exhibitions which claim the title " Watercolour" and yet seem to exhibit more acrylics, collages and mixed media than the true medium I am in love with.  When I teach workshops I am constantly asked if a Watercolour Society exists that actually only shows watercolour. In all honesty, I think today anything at all is sadly classed as a "watercolour" if water is used in the creative process which is such a shame.  But this could be a subject for another blog post!

Having contacted The Pure Watercolour Society, I received a wonderful email in return and to cut a long story short I found myself driving up to Gloucester on Thursday to deliver paintings to be included in the Annual Exhibition at the Windrush Gallery. And here is the explanation as to why I feel so emotional. Like many watercolour artists I have been greatly inspired by the work of David Curtis. The way he captures light is sheer genius. There is a calm to his work, when you look at his paintings you soak in the scene often feeling sunshine on your shoulders as you do so. His masterful skill leads many landscape artists yearning to reach that incredible level.  My art life started with landscapes inspired by his work in England before I moved to Dubai. Here I came across watercolours by David Howell and because I adored his art so much I was recommended to search for work by Trevor Chamberlain. And the master of watercolour, James Fletcher-Watson. I did. And my passion for pure watercolour was strengthened. Yes other artists have influenced me along the way such as John Singer Sargent to name but one master who has filled my heart to the point of bursting. They show what can be achieved in this magical medium. Watercolour alone, that I love so much. There is no need to add other mediums to enhance it. On its own it sings beautifully. It deserves a society that shows it off minus any other products or mediums being used or passed off as "watercolour".

Windrush Gallery Annual Exhibition
James Fletcher-Watsons Painting is on the top right. the tree in the landscape. Painted cleanly, masterfully showing the beauty of nature via his brushwork and use of colour.

And so,back to this week. I have found myself unbelievably  being included in an exhibition with artists whose work has meant so much to me and still does. Life as an artist isn't always about selling or fame. It isn't about "churning out" paintings one after the other for the sake of it. To me, art has more meaning. It should touch your very soul when you look at work created by a master. Which is  exactly what happened when I walked into the Windrush Gallery this week and saw a painting by James Fletcher -Watson. It was the simplest of scenes, a single tree in a landscape. Absolutely stunning, skillfully painted in a way that takes my breath away. I felt as though after all these years learning and progressing in my own art journey I have come home. To a place where real watercolourists understand the love behind the use of a medium. Along with the wonderful way it works and can be used.

 My watercolour above, shown with a wonderful watercolour by Robert Brindley.

I am so excited as tonight is the preview and I will be attending with the artists there, to open the show. I know there is a reader of my blog who will be laughing here as they recently told me they couldn't believe it when they were in a show with me. I hope they are delighted to know I feel that way too when showing with my favourite artists, still. And I will never chnage.

 I met Jo, James daughter, at the Windrush Gallery when I delivered my work on Thursday and she is so wonderful. As I left the gallery she handed me a book by her father, James Fletcher-Watson and this was where I really became emotional. My eyes "leaked". I would loved to have met this fantastic artist while he was still alive. To bring this gorgeous book home with me meant so much and I am loving reading it. 

But this is the most important part of my blog post. These men probably have absolutely no idea how they have inspired other artists, like me, in their art journey. James still is inspiring me at a time in my life when maybe I needed an angel on my shoulder to remind me why I love watercolour so much.

Everyone who adores pure watercolour really needs to keep this tradition of painting alive, to pass down to future generations so that they too can share what is the most magical of all mediums.

Pure Watercolour.

My work hanging in the Windrush Gallery Annual Exhibition 2014


If you wish to be inspired you can visit the Windrush Gallery here are the gallery details.

The Windrush gallery
Windrush House
 Nr. Burford
OX18 4TU 

The Windrush Valley Mixed Art Exhibition runs from 
11th- 20th October 2014

11.0 - 5.0 pm.


A link to the Windrush Gallery  and  information on James Fletcher -Watson


Angela Fehr said...

Congratulations! How special to be a part of such a show with artists who mean so much to you.
Here in northern Canada, I am a member of a pure watercolour society, the Peace Watercolour Society. We are a small group with less than a dozen members but it is so refreshing to show with the group at our annual shows and share the love for this wonderful medium that we are so passionate about.

christy lemp said...

Thank you Jean, I loved learining about this artist and how he inspired you. He is similiar to an artist that inspired me 30 years ago and why I always went back to watercolor. I found this little youtube video about James too!