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!
This week I am painting in London, and Tuesday was day 1.
Unfortunately it was raining heavily throughout the day, so I only had a chance to do a quick sketch in Whitehall Gardens, then opted for a pub interior, which was warm and dry!
I also visited the Royal Institute of Oil Painters private view of their annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries, which is a great exhibition, and well worth a visit if you can. Unfortunately PV’s are not the best place to have a good look at the art on show, as they are just too busy, as the photo below shows, but luckily I’m heading back to London on Friday and Saturday, so will have a chance to take a longer look when it’s quieter.
One of the tasks of the day was to find a good location to paint at the ROI’s Paint Live competition on Saturday, which I’m taking part in, and I’ve successfully found a good location with lots of interesting things to paint in it (and things I don’t get to see when painting in Derbyshire!), but I’m keeping the location a secret until the day! It was going to be Whitehall Gardens, hence my visit there, but I subsequently found somewhere better.
I will post a blog again on Friday, when I’m painting at Chelsea Physic Gardens. Fingers crossed for fine weather - forecast looks good at the moment!