Yesterday saw Peter and I visit the Patchings Art Festival at the Patchings Art Centre, Calverton, Nottinghamshire. Bathed in sunshine, under azure blue skies, the art on show here is of a very different nature to that I studied at Loughborough University. Indeed, and I’m probably going to be a little controversial here, I’m sure some art critics would categorise the art here as being that of the Sunday afternoon hobby painter kind. I, however, have a foot in both camps! Surely anything that stimulates you to take an interest in art, at whatever level, that inspires you to have a go, has got to be a good thing? Most of us began our artistic journey by drawing and painting what we saw around us – we didn’t start out producing sculptures, video work, paintings that have more to do with the materials than the subject, even, dare I say it, audio-visual installations! For some people, the work on show here is what pleases them, for others, it inspires them to go further on their artistic journey – suffice to say, if we all liked the same things, the world would be a very boring place! And if I could paint half as well as some of the talented artists here I would be very happy indeed! Anyway, ‘Debate of the Day’ over with (for now I’m sure!), onto the Festival!
The glorious weather contributed to a great day, strolling around the marquees, eyeing up all the art materials… Got what I considered a bargain from the Two Rivers Paper Mill and met the lovely guys who make the paper – so enthusiastic, brilliant! Bought a squirrel mop head brush from Rosemary & Co that I can’t wait to try – (unfortunately sable was out of my price range!) and some Bockingford watercolour paper from Charlie Downs at the Yew Tree Studios! Also received some free samples of Bockingford paper when we went to the St. Cuthberts Mill Marquee to see a demonstration by Jean Haines – a very talented watercolour artist who paints in a wonderful loose way and very generously shared lots of her tips!
Although we had to pay a nominal fee to see Jean Haines, many of the other artists were doing free demos at their stands and were again, very generous in answering questions and giving tips! It was great to see the work in progress – not sure I would have the nerve! Andrew Geeson, another watercolour artist who paints in a very loose manner, gave a very amusing and informative demo, providing a great insight into how and why he works in this way!
The extremely warm weather made the marquees very hot at times – no doubt one of the reasons the Pimms stand was doing a roaring trade!! We had taken our own picnic (eaten sitting on the grass in the sunshine!) which was just as well because when we visited the refreshment tent later for a cup of tea, the chiller cabinets were empty – sold out of sandwiches and cold drinks! However, the art, artists, demos and the choir all made for a great atmosphere and a very enjoyable day!
Next week I am visiting the Loughborough University Degree Finals Show which will be very different but just as interesting!