RA, Refuses, Marc

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Well, I did it – I went up to that there London and handed in my work of art for the RA Summer Exhibition selection process. Jim took that day off and came with me as I’m such a wuss I couldn’t face crossing London on the tube by myself. There’s something about supermarkets and the underground that renders me totally unable to read or to use my brain in any useful way whatsoever. But, as it happened, we didn’t use the underground. Some poor soul had ‘gone under the train’ according to the unemotional announcements. We walked.

The walk was very pleasant, having left home in the rain, we now found ourselves in mild watery sunshine. We passed Buckingham Palace – nobody tried to get us to hold a handful of birdseed so they could charge us for a photo, or to sell us friendship bracelets they had slapped onto our wrists without asking, or to rip us off in any way. There were just a lot of people enjoying being there. We walked through the park and saw a few other people carrying large oblong wrapped parcels. I felt like we were part of a little society, a bit like the VW bus drivers who give eachother the special wave when driving past – perhaps we should have a special artists’ wave, something flamboyant…

Surprisingly, when we reached the RA handing in door (having walked through the poshest shopping arcade ever, but even there we saw a SALE sign in one of the bejewelled windows) there wasn’t a queue stretching round the block. Probably only about 20 people were on the ramp heading down to the ‘door of no return’ and we had to wait no more than ten minutes.Just enough time to have a chat to the artist in front who was here for the 5th year, having travelled from the north Norfolk coast, with 2 large paintings of dogs. She’d been on the shortlist one year but has not yet been selected for the exhibition.

I didn’t stop to take it all in – once I was in the door, I just stripped off the wrappings, glanced round and saw the lady with the scanner, she scanned the label (bar codes on back of picture and on hanging label), her colleague on the computer confirmed my name, and that was it. Bye bye painting, see you in a few weeks. It all seemed a bit of an anti-climax. Maybe if I do it again I’ll go at lunchtime on the first day and take time to enjoy the atmosphere while queueing for a couple of hours.

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Inside the Linchpin Gallery, Eastbourne

Salon De Refuses – I was accepted! The gallery is the Linchpin Gallery, a hidden gem in Eastbourne, near the TA centre in a residential area. It’s an unlikely venue and an unusual space, but the lighting is great, Irene has great enthusiasm and visitors do come along. I had three of my pieces in the exhibition alongside some excellent work and I had some good comments. I’m off to collect the work this morning for the dismantling of the show.

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Lost Boys Day – a depiction of struggle, basically, inability to go with the flow.
Paint and varnish on both sides of glass

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At our Arlington Art Group session on Thursday nights, we have been looking at the work of 2 different artists each week. Franz Marc and Umberto Boccioni were my inspiration for this pastel.

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