The five weeks of Artists’ Open House have come and gone. Warm thanks to everyone who visited us. Some people came several times! Being realists, we do put this down not just to the exquisite art but also to Siobhan’s marvellous cakes and delicacies. It was wonderful to be surrounded by all that terrific art for a month.
Much of it has gone to new, appreciative homes. A wonderful stone carving, Big Fish by Penny May, has been sold (by appointment) to the the Queen’s Own Fishmonger.
Thirteen of my own paintings are off to new homes. It’s really not just about the money, though we all have to live. Selling paintings is an essential part of liberating your mind to make new work. And of course it’s a massive vote of confidence. Almost all of us have to work hard for our money and I really appreciate someone being willing and keen to buy my work.
The other main pleasure is the fascinating conversations. The most extraordinary coincidences, discoveries, exchanges of information, offers of help and even generous gifts …truly inspiring and heart-warming.
Visitors returning for their third visit this year brought me some amazing vintage Japanese papers, and also a beautiful jacket dyed with indigo. By coincidence the visitor’s mother taught music at the girls’ school in London where I was sent after we returned from Africa – and hated it as much as I did. And she herself had worked at Cornelissens, the wonderful old-fashioned art shop I used to haunt at that time – and where I’d just bought some lapis lazuli which you can see here in a pot on the paper.
Then there was the gallerist from Lincoln who came looking for seascapes, not realising our paths had crossed long ago She was also the person appointed to rescue the Magna Carta art display in Lincoln after the steering group I’d been invited to join collapsed for reasons I was never told. (Alas we were never put in touch.) I made the painting anyway, and now at last she’s seen it here: Night Sky June 19th 1215.
Three years ago I sold a painting (called ‘Tremor’) to a man who planned to take it back to Peru. Naturally he was interested in earthquakes. This lovely and very determined guy has just visited again and told me what happened next….
The painting was scanned. It was swabbed. A hole was drilled in the back as it went from airport to airport. At every stage it was first refused. Finally it got to S. America but was too big to go through the luggage gauge and had to travel with the stewardesses. On the last lap it practically impounded when… the buyer revealed he was British. And he was waved through. Here’s the piece he went through all that for – and now it’s lived through an earthquake.
What looked like a quiet year is turning eventful. Various interesting prospects have arisen. Events here at the Wolf at the Door in Hove. Exhibitions in Lincoln, in Dorset, in Battle and (I hope), Hastings. Next year Dieppe, Ely, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Umbria – and who knows where else?