So my first official two week staycation is over and have to say I loved it. Usually we jet off somewhere hot. This year, with the prospect of mask wearing and potential traffic light status changing we stayed in the UK. Last year I didn’t manage to get a full two week break because of work commitments. This meant I was really looking forward to the downtime. We spent a few days in London but as the majority of time was at home I think it just passes as a staycation. Sadly the weather didn’t always play ball and as expected first day back at work and its glorious – grrrrr!
It has been a while since we spent more than the occasional night in London. Even before the pandemic, most trips were either a quick there-and-back to see a matinee or exhibition, or a one night stay. So, to have four full days felt quite luxurious. We didn’t want to see any plays currently on, which was a shame, but it gave us the chance to indulge in some amazing culinary experiences.
We saw the amazing Peter Blake exhibition ‘Time Traveller’ at the Waddington Custot while we were there. It’s a small exhibition focused on his collages but there are also some fantastic quirky installations. Well worth a visit!
I’d usually claim nothing beats a good exhibition but I finally managed to get to do the Harry Potter tour! I’ve wanted to do this for sooooo long and it didn’t diasppoint. For muggles everywhere the studio tour is a must do. Wandering through the sets of the great hall and Gringotts was pure joy.
The Royal Academy
The purpose of our trip was to hand over my painting to the RA. You can see my painting in my earlier blog post.
For the first time I managed to make it past the digital entry stage of the summer exhibition. I wanted to experience in person the age old tradition of handing in your work. Luckily I was still giddy from getting through stage one, as the actual experience wasn’t what you’d call glamorous. A side door off the courtyard, down a small alleyway leading to a corridor and a handful of white tables for you to unwrap your work. I handed over each painting to be scanned and that’s it until September when I find out if I’ve made it through to the final selection.
I’m not holding my breath: getting to this stage feels like a win. But it has definitely been a confidence booster.
Exhibiting My Work
I was so invigorated when I got home I responded to a call out from a local arts centre looking for artists. The request was via a cultural freelancer group on Facebook. Having submitted some of my work I was invited in to meet with the venue director.
The result being, that now my work will be on show in October at The Exchange Arts and Cultural Centre. It’s a small local arts centre not a fancy gallery, but it’s a first for me to physically show my art in public. We’re just trying to agree which paintings to include but the title will be “Ebb and Flow”.
My two weeks off work have been productive. I’ve spent quite a bit of time painting frames, finishing off pieces with levelling gel and cold wax. I’ve also finally got round to framing some paintings. I also have two new harbour paintings which completes the set of three. I’ll be grateful for any suggestions on titles. The first (bottom right) is titled ‘You Shall Have a Fishy‘ but I haven’t come up with names for the other two.
And have started a few new paintings one of which is a much larger format at 60cm square.
I also spent almost a full day tidying the studio which was long overdue. The only problem is that after I do this I always seem to have a bit of lull. I think I need a bit of chaos to create.