Wednesday, 29 June 2016

The Tunbridge Wells International Art Fair

Drinking Champagne at the Private View!
The Tunbridge Wells International Art Fair is now in its third year. I was very pleased to take part along with a group of local artists called Creatives@woods. We had a long corridor with panels showcasing our very varied work. I changed my paintings daily, having prepared labels for 20 paintings, and of course, we had to be at our panel each day. I really enjoyed it and also the friendships between the artists.
My panel, first hanging
The Private View was very enjoyable, with a band and also Champagne. It was an unusually humid night and the rain was torrential. The voting for the EU Referendum was also probably on most people's minds, and when the PV ended I rushed home to see the first results on TV. 
Part of my art group's display, in our long corridor
As well as my panel, I also had a largish painting near the main stage, which was an interpretation of a poem. My group had been given a list of poems to choose from, and I interpreted a poem called, 'Salvation Song,' being especially inspired by the lines about the land becoming verdant again. 
With my large poem painting
I really enjoyed the daily discussions with the artists from my group, all along our corridor, and chatting with people about my artwork. I was pleased to get such a positive response and requests for my website cards.

The Band played all evening
Seeing the great variety of artwork on display was really positive, and of course, taking part in such an event always pushes you to re-evaluate your own path. It made me think about aspects I want to explore when I am on my own in a studio in China in August!

Another view of our corridor, with my work on the left, with two other artists

View from the stage, at the Private View

My panel, final incarnation!
Now I am catching up on housework mostly ignored for the last month, and preparing to start new paintings!

Thursday, 23 June 2016


My panel being set up at the Art Fair yesterday
My busiest month of the year and in a few hours I have to get ready for the Private View of the Tunbridge Wells International Art Fair. This photo shows me setting up my panel at the Art Fair yesterday, on one of the most humid days I can remember, and in amongst all the final debates on TV all day for the EU Referendum! Every time I entered the flat, another heated debate was going on, and when I had finally finished my panel, at 8.30pm, I came home to watch the FINAL debate!

Today I went to vote early and then went back to the Assembly hall to check that none of my labels had fallen down, and I put my prints in the browser. Now I feel a huge sense of relief that I have survived the month, and just this week I had to book my visa appointment for China, and received all my details about the residency in August.
My large panel, 'Trees,' at the South East Open Studios

I only took down the work at the South East Open Studios on Sunday afternoon, after a two week event. I held this with two other artists in an empty unit in Ely Court, the Royal Victoria Place, Tunbridge Wells. Kent. During the event, I worked on an 8 foot by 4 foot panel, painting a section of trees. My friends also worked on panels, and each artwork demonstrated a different style and approach. This daily demonstration was much appreciated by our visitors who talked to us about the work as it changed day by day. I loved painting these trees, which were originally inspired by some photos of trees but gradually began to relate to a group of trees opposite my flat. Quite by accident, a pathway emerged in my painting and I kept it!
'Fiona's-World,' acrylic on canvas, 30 x 23 cm
Our studio was really large and we were able to spread out and paint, and also had a small 'office' section where we had our daily coffees. I found that an unexpected benefit was that I made a series of small paintings in between working on the large panel, and some of these have now gone on display at the TWIAF.