Things have moved on. I am the Chair of Dedham Art Society , a society that began in 1967 under the name of Dedham Arts Group. It changed it's name to Dedham Art Society in Jan 2018. I am honoured to be Chair of a Society which boasts of serving the community for the last 52 years. We aim to be inclusive, amateurs and professionals side by side. Big occasion this year. The Dedham Art Society Summer Exhibition. First exhibition of this kind was in 2017 to celebrate 50 years as Dedham Arts Group. It was a huge undertaking and a huge success. All thanks to a wonderful exhibition team that worked tirelessly to raise money for the Charity EACH and dedicated screens for the paintings of Dedham Primary School. This year we will be raising money for Dedham Therapy Farm and again including the artworks of some of the pupils of Dedham Primary School
I live now with my hubby in the north of Colchester, a place full of history, but it was the move to France, in 2003 that changed many things. Suddenly, I was in the land of the painters that I so admired and I was painting again. The Département of Lot in the South West of France is rural France at its best. Rolling Hills, Winding Rivers, Beautiful Lakes, Ancient Cities and Bastides. Tiny Hamlets and Vast Vineyards.
It truly is a place to gaze and wonder. Our garden hosted the sounds of Wood Warblers, Nightingales, Blackbirds and tiny Wrens and Robins. In the air the Buzzard and the Red Kite wound their way up and down the valley... The Hoopoe was a common sight and when the Cuckoo Call stopped we would hear the plaintive cry of the Owls at night and oh yes I forgot to mention the Nightingales there is nothing else quite like it.
In and around the Ancient Bastides the air is still with the heat of Summer, until the Autan wind suddenly appears with a fury and fastness to take even those expecting it by surprise. I hope I can welcome you to that world. All it's diversity and freshness, a Summer sweet with conviviality and evenings at the Chateaux and Jazz bands playing while on the air floats the smell of food cooking right where you are by local producers.... And it surely is the home of the Impressionist Painters and every corner suggests a Painting or a Poem or some Music flavoured with the chink of a glass of the local wine... It does not get much better than this...
And when the winter comes and it is not so hot we would paint indoors for those few short months...
Since March 2015, we are back in England. In Colchester, Essex very near to the border with Suffolk and Constable Country. Very different from France but very beautiful in its own way.
I studied during the 60s at Bromley College of Art, Bromley, Kent. It is now known as Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication and is based in the O2 in London. Two years as a day student studying Fine Art and left with ‵A‵ Levels and a thirst for creating.
I carried on painting but then gradually not so often. I went the way of many of my generation. I stopped panting and had a family. Fully occupied with a family I did not really start again until we moved to France. In the place of painting I followed my other passions, horses and dogs and the theatre and very often they overlapped. France gave me the opportunity to really get serious again with the painting and I exhibited and sold - much to my amazement. France is a place of opportunity for those whose create, it would seem the French all love a painter. I created my own website, blog and a Facebook Page and they have served me well. I have sold paintings in many European countries as well as in Australia and the Cayman Islands.
Every painting is a challenge and that for me is a great reason to do it.
The move to Colchester, right next to Highwoods Country Park, has brought my thirst for painting back to the forefront. I am learning new techniques and enjoying the company of fellow artists . So with a little help from my friends I shall be back to doing what I did in France for 12 glorious years. I now live on the edge of Constable Country, just a 10 min car ride from the famous Flatford Mill ( see picture ) .
Willy Lot's Cottage Dedham
For more up to date information go to my Blog.