If you read my last blog post a couple of days ago, you would have read that I was headed London-bound again, to paint at Chelsea Physic Gardens yesterday and at the Royal Institute of Oil Painters Paint Live event. Well things yesterday didn’t go to plan. My plans for a quick afternoon painting in Chelsea Physic Gardens didn’t happen due to heavily delayed trains. What should have been a 1 hour 30 minute train journey turned into 4 hours 30 mins, so I arrived too late to paint, unfortunately.
However, already in London the night before, I was raring to go this morning for the ROI’s plein air event at the Mall Galleries. The premise is to paint any subject of your choice within half a mile radius of the Mall Galleries. There were about 40 artists taking part, some of whom I recognised from social media, so it was good to put faces to the.names and make new friends, some who actually live fairly local to me, which is nice. As planned I headed straight to Waterloo Place and set up to paint.
As to be expected it was very busy, but if you don’t want to be talked to and/or photographed by random people, I always think it’s best to stay in the studio, so it doesn’t bother me at all to have loads of people walking past and looking at what I’m doing.
I was really pleased with my painting. I admit I was totally out of my comfort zone in regards to subject matter. I’m far more used to painting broken down barns and cottage gardens than posh London architecture. But I wanted today to be an experience and to push myself to try something different, and I loved the challenge. Unfortunately the weather today was grey, with flat light (unlike yesterday, which when I was stuck on a train was beautiful and sunny - oh well!). But it stopped raining as soon as I started painting which was good,
So here’s my painting, as it was when I stopped painting. I’d been working on it for about an hour and a half, and had reached the point where I was just fiddling with it...
I headed back to the Mall Galleries for the judging. I honestly can say that I was never expecting a prize, and I wasn’t disappointed! But I really enjoyed the day, trying out a new kind of subject and setting to paint in. It’s by trying out new things that we find out what we truly enjoy, and I know my heart is in painting more ‘country-fied’ subjects, not urban settings like this, which is lucky as I live in Derbyshire and its flipping expensive and exhausting going to London! Today was also a good exercise in mixing grey!
I would like to do a little more to my painting back in the studio, just to rectify a couple of things and put an umbrella in that I decided later would look better, so I will post the finished piece next week when I’ve finished it.
Big thanks to the ROI for organising this great event, and you never know, I might do it again in 2019!