Life and art: moving house, moving studio

Origins series, human maze

Human Maze – (or, how do we get outta/into here?)

Again a long overdue post. Our lives have been dominated by the off-on dynamics of trying to sell a house in one place and buy a house in another.  It all feels like a maze – this recent painting above was prescient! But somehow art events and exhibitions have continued to happen.

House for sale sign

Wolf for Sale

House-hunting, house viewings here  (the studio is a shambles!), legal matters, the changing market, Brexit….  Then, at the last minute, our buyer changed his mind.  Back to Square One.

Recycling room:

Waste not, want not: art and giveaway!

We went ahead nonetheless with our farewell Open Weekend at the beginning of this month. Brilliant – so many lovely visitors, most of them people who have come again and again to the Wolf at the Door.  A recycling theme in the Garden room:  art made using reclaimed or throwaway materials, plus unwanted items for people to take for free.   We had wonderful weather, and terrific catering as ever from Siobhan of TableBrighton.  Just a few brownies left….

food all sold

Sold Out!

The next week I finally ran the long-promised papermaking workshop for a few keen people . We were again lucky with the weather – warm sunshine and a general sense of satisfaction, with enthusiastic participants.

Papermaking participants

Papermaking survivors at the end

I had to scurry round and hide the evidence for a house viewing the next day. The cat managed to sit and luxuriate on a pristine sheet of drying paper – her idea of heaven – while my back was turned.

The cat sitting on wet paper

The cat wins again

I’m not leaving Hove entirely;  I’ll be taking part in Artists’ Open House next May.  Karen Hollis opened her beautiful house close to The Wolf at the Door last year with a very successful first season.  She’s kindly invited me to return as a guest in 2019.   My work will also remain on show at the lovely Nigel Rose Gallery in the Brighton/Hove King’s Rd Arches, by the West Pier (where the starling murmurations are just beginning again).  As Nigel put it, ‘nineteen Brighton artists…and one has-been’.  Sold from there this month: ‘Dungeness 2’, below – this time to a Swedish buyer!

painting at gallery

Dungeness 2 at Nigel Rose Gallery

Five of my paintings will shortly be going off to the  Affordable Art Fair , 18th-21st October, with Nicholas Bowlby.  This will include two of my largest Night Sky canvases.  Glad I don’t have to transport and hang them – thank you, Nick! If you’re in London and can go, do drop in at the Nicholas Bowlby Gallery.

three night sky paintings

Night Sky paintings at Wolf at the Door

At the end of October seven of my paintings will be in a show in the lovely cathedral city of Ely. It’s curated by Deborah Jones, book expert, teacher, photographer, collector and, now, curator!   Art: a Personal Choice, Babylon Gallery, Ely, 31st October-11th November 2018.  Some brand-new work.

York station

‘Arrival, York’, detail (mixed media on handmade paper).  Here’s hoping!

We now have another buyer for our house.  The move is on again: superstitious moment. More details when it’s all signed and sealed.  We are migrating to York for family reasons – it’s a city we’ve long been fond of, and indeed nearly moved to ten years ago.   Not least of its attractions is its lively art scene.  I much enjoyed being part of the Art& Show at York Racecourse last year, and I’m just waiting to hear whether my application for  York Open Studios,  to which I’ve been a keen visitor, has been successful. Always assuming I have a studio to open…. If all works out as planned it will be a very exciting studio, but I daren’t say more yet in case it doesn’t happen.

So, please keep your fingers crossed for us in many ways.