Saturday 11 October 2014

Windrush Gallery : Inspirational Preview

 View from my studio this evening
"Autumn Mist"

I cannot begin to describe how wonderful last night was at the Windrush Gallery. Having worked all day in my studio, I drove to Windrush for the opening evening of the Annual Exhibition there. Luckily the Friday traffic wasn't too busy so I arrived early and had time to enjoy the show before invited guests arrived.

There were a few artists  at the gallery before me, one being David Curtis whose work I have admired for years. It was wonderful talking to this incredible man. Why? Because his passion for the medium, and painting from life, hits you as soon as the conversation starts.  This is genuinely a man who paints because he loves painting.I loved talking about his work and how he feels about working in watercolour. I think my heart would have been broken if I had discovered he wasn't as passionate as he  came across, because this is excatly how I had envisaged him to be. His collection at the gallery is stunning capturing light, atmosphere and the view so perfectly in a way that leads you as the viewer directly into the scene before you. David suggested and took time to look at a painting of mine in the show. I was over the moon to hear him thoughtfully describe the colours, lost and found edges and technique used in my piece. He is a master when it comes to handling watercolour so I must confess, the time he took with me has made me incredibly happy. Artists often yearn for our peers to enjoy our work. This was a memory that will never leave me.

I also met the amazing David Howell who is fantastic to talk to. An artist who genuinely has time to listen and share experiences.We were both in an issue of The Artist magazine recently and I have exhibited in a gallery in Dubai years ago with this well known and respected  watercolourist. I listened , fascinated and realised how lucky I was to have this time to spend with artists I admire so very much.

Honestly I could type for hours about the preview evening because it was wonderful from start to finish. After the show there was a supper for all the artists in the exhibition which gave everyone the opportunity to chat minus gallery visitors and this was an extra bonus. A fantastic close to an incredible day.

I drove home this morning through narrow country lanes at first and dreadful torrential rain. During the journey, I thought about why this exhibition meant so much to me. Not only had I met two of my all time watercolour heroes and shown alongside them but I had walked into a room of mainly all pure watercolour paintings. There wasn't an acrylic in sight in that room. No collages, no mediums disguised as pure watercolour and it was heaven. Here were a group of artists all working from the same starting point with the same medium, true watercolour, and showing what they could achieve with it. And every one  is passionate about doing so.

I do so wish there were more exhibitions like this. Or watercolour societies that only showed pure watercolour. Oddly enough I have just had a phone call from my artist friend who is visiting London from Dubai. She has just been to a watercolour show in London and wondered where all the actual watercolours were. Apparently there were a few but not many.

But back to last night. I have been so inspired by my visit to the Windrush Gallery and  I havent even mentioned yet that I was invited to see James Fletcher-Watsons studio, exactly how it was when he worked in it. This will be my next blog post because it is another blog story.

Naturally I am now inspired to return to painting atmospheric landscapes . Hopefully without the rain or storm clouds next time as today all I could see was rain, rain and more rain. Although the crows at the top of the hill in the nearby field don't seem to be perturbed by the weather. So thay have been included in my small landscape tonight.

I cannot wait to paint tomorrow. And isn't that a great feeling!


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