Thursday, 3 November 2016

30 Years - In Search of the Beautiful Exhibitions this Month in the North and the South

Preview of my New Paintings Saturday 5th November 

You are Invited to an Exhibition of My Paintings at

Chantry House Gallery
 Ripley, near Harrogate HG3 3AY
5th - 20th November

Saturday 5th November will be the Opening of the Show 11am -5pm 
So please join us for drinks and nibbles! 

Wed - Thurs 11am - 4pm, Fri - Sat 11am - 5pm ,   Sun 12am - 5pm 

***  I will be at the Gallery every Saturday on the 5th,12th and 19th November.

People always say that life is a journey. Embrace the highs and lows and just gather it all in as you go. Where business is concerned everyone is encouraged to be positive and upbeat all the time, to say we’re all fine and that everything is fabulous, and sometimes that is a huge strain. However I prefer to tell it as it is. It seems more honest.
So I would say that after the 14 months of Polly being poorly I think we are all doing okay. Being creative has certainly helped me through the ordeal – from painting pots as a distraction on the Teenage Cancer Unit to painting for Chelsea and the two shows I now have coming up.  Having an awful reminder of the fragility of life undoubtedly makes you feel more fearful, but it also encourages you to treasure what you have and intensifies your love for all who are dearest to you. In bad times there is a great pulling together among family and friends that, when life is on track and running smoothly, we conveniently forget. We still have tidal surges of fear if Polly seems poorly for any reason, which we never had before, and that in time we will hopefully learn to manage. She has started at Edinburgh College of Art doing Fine Art Painting, which a year ago is the best news we could have wished for. When we dropped her off last month, she hugged us tight and whispered, “We did it”. It was hard to believe that the day we had all been hoping for for so long had finally arrived; the day when she would become a student for the first time and get to do what she loves. She has already had two commissions for book covers and other people are now contacting her for different things, so it will be so exciting from here on in to see where her journey takes her.

Painting  - Ireland, Italy and Aggressive Sheep!

I try all the time to pour feeling into my paintings. It’s a concept that our son Dave, and indeed Polly 
at times too, finds hard to grasp. Even I find it hard to explain exactly what I mean sometimes. No doubt when I try, I probably come over sounding all ‘arty and weird’! But if you feel things keenly, there is a need to try to convey how beautiful often the mostly seemingly inconsequential thing can be – from the light on the ground in the distance, or behind a rain cloud, to the furls and enveloping curls of a flower. Sometimes the frustration of not being able to realise the painting that lies buried in my head is immense, but hey, with the wisdom of age I know that at least even my bad paintings represent a step nearer to understanding how to do it better next time. As I said earlier, life’s a journey – not to mention a continual learning process!
So in this great rollercoaster of a year we’ve had, we continue to grab treats with both hands. We’ve been to fabulous Ireland, where we will definitely be returning. And we’ve also been to Wales, where we stayed in a yurt and I got chased out of a field by the most aggressive sheep I have ever met! It rained a lot so although there was less painting done than my friend Rebecca de Mendonca and I had anticipated, we made up for it by spending the time doing something just as pleasurable: eating and laughing. Speaking of Rebecca, she and I ran our first residential course in Devon this year, which was great. We will be running four residential courses next year, including one in Tuscany, Italy, and one in Cober Hill near Scarborough. If you want information and fancy trying something different for a weekend away then please go to

Aphrodite Original Pastel Rose from the National Collection

Hot Chocolate  Original Pastel from the National Collection 

Craft in Focus Show, Wisley  23rd-27th November

The Garden of the Rose, which I visited in June, was beautiful, and the paintings I did there will be shown for the first time at the two shows coming up. Apart from Chelsea I have not done a show in the South for years, so it will be lovely to see people at the Wisley Craft in Focus show. I have enclosed a leaflet for it with more details.

Charity Paintings Page on New Website

I want to continue to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust and the PPR Brain Tumour Foundation, and so will be dedicating a page of my new website to that. I will periodically add paintings and sketches to it, along with other items, the sale of which will contribute to these two charities, just as the work that I sold in my Charity Sale did last year. So please keep a look out for that when I launch the new site, as I know many of you missed out on last year’s sale as the paintings sold out very quickly.

Thank you once again for reading this. I really appreciate it, and I truly value all the support you’ve shown both to me, and to us as a family, over so many years.

Very Best Wishes
Nel xxxx