September 25th Saturday.
This date was circled in my diary many months ago. Scrawled in red was, 'Don't forget APT Open Studios!' These open studios showcase the work of artists working at the APT studio complex, in Deptford, London. I was really looking forward to this event because several of the artists were my tutors at college (Mali Morris - newly elected to the Royal Academy - Clyde Hopkins, Geoff Rigden), and one artist, Nicola Rae, was in my year at college. I was also curious to see what they are doing now, and hoping to re-open connections. Being an artist is a lonely business, and having artist friends is of great value. They are among the few people who are able to understand one's daily obsessions and preoccupations.
I ended up spending nearly 4 hours going around the studios - there are 37, plus a gallery - and I was in heaven, being able to talk art! There was a great variety of approaches and themes, from abstract through to figurative, and after lots of animated discussions about paint and aesthetics, I had a lovely talk with Nicola. We reminisced about our student days, and I suddenly had an inner vision of paths long travelled. Far from being a painful reminder of the passage of time, the visit highlighted a luminous path stretching into the future.
('Park, Night Paths,' Oil and acrylic, 61cm x 45cm. 2010)