Foreign Field - The Somme

Hampshire Open Studios at Royal Clarence Yard

At the weekend the annual Hampshire Open Studios event started.  Till the end of August, dozens of artists all over Hampshire are opening their doors so you can see their work, meet them and find out how they go about doing their thing.

On Saturday, we went down to Royal Clarence Yard (Gosport) and visited two studios there which were so different but I learnt something from both.

Colin Baxter is a marine artist who works mainly in watercolour.   His work is exquisite, so detailed and intricate.    He lovingly recreates historical ships from days gone by and is quite a local history buff.   I have great admiration for his work, it is not something I could ever do – my eyesight isn’t good enough for starters!     I particularly liked his paintings on old navigation charts, a great way to recycle and it really added to the atmosphere of the painting.

Just as we were leaving we saw a second artists workshop was open and met Mari Lynch whose work could not be more different to Colin’s but still a maritime theme.   Mari works in large, abstract oils and depicts waves, or part of waves, almost entirely in a range gorgeous turquoise blues.  The paintings are very personal to her and it was a pleasure to hear about her inspiration.

So I came home very inspired, inspired by the fact that in art anything goes, you just have to find your particular thing.    Detailed and accurate, wild, abstract and free – it’s all very exciting.

And I have to confess, I was very jealous of the lovely studios that the artists have at Royal Clarence Yard – I shall have to aspire to having one of those!

The image today is one of my abstract watercolours, called “Foreign Field” inspired by a visit to the first world war battle fields, especially The Somme, following in my grandfathers footsteps who served there.

Do get to some of the studios that are open across Hampshire for the next week or so, it’s well worth a trip!

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