Once the Gallery was closed yesterday afternoon, we jumped on the train to London to attend last night's Private View of David Fawcett's solo exhibition, "Observations of a London Commuter".
On display at D-Contemporary Gallery, in the heart of London's prestigious Mayfair art district, are 41 new paintings, all inspired by David's own life.
"Working in London, commuting and working in an office, going to see clients, travelling on the Tube - all these aspects of my life have provided me with great subject matter for paintings," he says.
And as we have come to expect from David, there is usually a humorous theme or narrative to the image, often further reinforced by titles such as "You'll have to speak up John, I'm passing a load of Hare Krishnas", "I never took Maureen's stapler without asking again" and "Sometimes I'll hide behind a tree to avoid walking to the station with Bob".
Spread out over two floors, the paintings provoked much laughter among the guests, who included the artist's family, easily identifiable by their height!
And much as we love hosting our own Gallery launch parties, what a treat it was for us to be guests...especially when the host is so charming!
"Observations of a London Commuter" runs until 2nd November at D-Contemporary, 23 Grafton Street, London W1S 4EY
Now in its fifth year, our Macmillan Coffee Morning has morphed into a full day of fundraising for this worthy cause.
We served coffee, tea and home-baked cakes and biscuits on Lavender Bazaar's delicate vintage china and provided a "rummage table" of Gallery-donated stock, including ends-of-lines, Christmas decorations and cards, which were all available for a Macmillan donation.
But the highlight of the day was a Silent Auction of 28 lots, all very generously donated by our Artists and Makers.
There was something for everyone, mosaics, original paintings, a photographic canvas, prints, glassware, sculptures, textiles, jewellery and cards.
Having counted up all the coffee and cake donations, the auction proceeds, the "rummage table" donations and the Gallery's own donation, we are delighted to announce that we beat last year's total, raising £1,174!
We couldn't have done this without the help of everyone who attended on the day, customers who have since put a donation in the pot and of course, the lovely artists who donated their work to the Silent Auction.
In no particular order, they were Paul Guthrie, Gill Copeland, Jo Hodder, Zed Talijan, Miranda Peckitt, Four Hands Etched Glass, Stephanie Else, Jackie Bishop, Claire Medhurst, Nichola Campbell, Helen Brown, Emma Bird, Deborah Timperley, Sarah Beevers, Claire O'Neill, Studio Shards, Misha Seelhoff and Victoria Lovell.
Our particular thanks go to Julie Janvrin and Tiff Thomas for their invaluable help on the day.
Jo has been painting successfully from her home in Sussex for over 30 years. Her work has been accepted by the Pastel Society, the Society for Women Artists and, since 2006, has been included in the Venice in Peril exhibition at the WH Patterson Gallery in Westminster.
Jo paints a variety of subjects and enjoys all mediums. This versatility leads to a high demand for commissions, including portraits, landscapes, homes and animals. Her more experimental impressionist work has received international acclaim.
Jo has won the Sussex Open Competition Club Award and was selected for the National "Art in Nature" exhibition. She was awarded the prize for excellence in the Southern Open Exhibition, which led to a commission to paint Cliveden House for a limited print run and the design for their Christmas cards.
She is a qualified teacher and has run successful private classes, workshops, weekend retreats and has given demonstrations to numerous art groups and organisations including the Law Society and Lloyds of London.
Now she devotes her time and talent to her commissions and exhibitions.
"A British Summer" ends on Saturday 2nd September.
Based in Sussex, Julian paints the landscape, coastline and urban areas in a style described recently as 'contemporary realism'.
He studied illustration and printmaking at Eastbourne College of Art for four years before embarking on a career in graphic design and illustration.
In 2004, two of his paintings were purchased by the House of Lords to complement an existing collection of period travel paintings and he has been painting and exhibiting in the UK and throughout Europe ever since.
Julian started creating a daily painting since 2008 and two years later, exhibited a collection of 200 of them at Glyndebourne Opera House. He has created a painting a day at Glyndebourne during the Glyndebourne Festival each year ever since.
He had two paintings included in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition last year and recently won a prize at the annual PURE ARTS exhibition at the Powermills Hotel in Battle, East Sussex.
"The main theme of my work in the recent past has been the marking and celebration of a specific time and place," says Julian.
"I aim to mark the changing mood and seasons reflected in the world around me."
"A British Summer" ends on Saturday 2nd September.
Gill grew up in Yorkshire. Qualifying with an HND in professional photography, she started her career as a travel photographer and later set up a commercial studio in London, winning numerous awards for her photographic work.
On starting a family, Gill had an eight-year break from photography and worked in the corporate sector. After being made redundant, she started heading out on a Monday with a camera and notebook and began to sell her coastal images.
Gill held her first photography exhibition in 2002 and within months had sold hundreds of copies of her work in special edition print. Today her work is sold, collected and published internationally.
In 2014 she combined photos from her weekly travels along the Sussex coastline with her reflections on life, publishing a book entitled "Going out on a Monday".
She is the founder of several galleries and was most recently a director of the Brighton Fishing Quarter Gallery.
Gill is a passionate public speaker on photography and the science of visual thinking and lives with her family in Sussex.
"A British Summer" ends on Saturday 2nd September.
Painting is David Fawcett's antidote to the daily commute to London.
"I try to paint every evening," he says. "After a day commuting and working in London, it's just what I need."
He is self-taught and works in acrylics.
"Over the years, I have developed a style that I'm happy with," says David, who has worked in London as a Notary Public since 1988.
Most of his paintings are based on his observations of people and reflect his day-to-day life - at home with the family, commuting to and from London, using the Tube and working in an office.
"I often try and look for a humorous element in my paintings - a situation which can be identified with or related to," says David. "To convey this idea, I have found that the title is often particularly important. If the title strikes a chord, it really enahnces the image."
Here's the perfect illustration of this.....
.........titled "Discussing Brexit".
Amongst the many David Fawcett fans is Ted Baker founder and CEO, Ray Kelvin, whose purchase of David's work led to an unusual collaboration.
"Ray Kelvin has bought my work and recently used three images for a holdall, wash bag and phone case design."
David regularly exhibits in London galleries and his work as been shown at the Royal Academy.
Regular visitors to the gallery will know that Emma Bird has exhibited with us many times before. We can always rely on Emma for a witty interpretation of the exhibition title and this time is no exception.
With their clear, simple lines her tenderly observed wire sculptures evoke nostalgic memories of summers past and perfectly capture scenes familiar to all of us.
As is common with many artists, Ashley was drawing before he could walk.
"Pen, pencil and brushwork have always been part of my working day - not always appropriately," he says. "Many long staff meetings in later life were eased by marginal drawings on Important Bits of Paper."
He attended Farnham School of Art for Foundation year, Exeter for Graphic Design and worked initially in marketing and advertising, before taking a career change to work in Learning Disabilities.
"I later qualified as a Psychiatric Nurse and worked in acute psychiatry and then specialised in Addictions and Substance Misuse therapy."
"During this time my art took a back seat but my interest in pen- and ink-work and illustration had a role in therapy with my patients."
Ashley is now a full time artist and also has his own range of greetings cards and prints.
"The paintings I do now are a new and surprising development as I always considered my self an illustrator," he says. "The theme of the coast, beach and figures in a sometimes semi-abstract setting seem to have a resonance with my earlier work in therapy and often strike an emotional chord in the viewer."
Whilst many of Ashley's paintings are traditionally peopled, he is also exploring "the idea of space, horizons and spirituality within these small canvases".
Robert Eadie just loves painting! As a full-time painter since 2010, he enjoys painting in a variety of styles and mediums, including painting and drawing from life (still life, landscape and model) and also abstract work.
He has a BA in Painting and Drawing from the Byam Shaw School of Art in London, where he was awarded the Bateson Mason Drawing prize but pursued a career in the antiques trade before returning to his art seven years ago.
The inspiration behind the paintings in this exhibition comes from the natural world: the meadows, fields and landscape of West Sussex and the South Downs.
"The paintings are quite abstract and are not intended to depict specific locations or to 'copy' or 'illustrate' nature," says Robert.
"Rather, from a multitude of visual memories, I create an impression of the colour, light and movement that I find in nature."
Robert likes to allow accident and spontaneity to be part of his paintings, allowing greater expressivity and creating a feeling of surprise and movement, just as in nature.
"I like to think of these works as visual equivalents to poems or musical compositions."
"Some show a build up of paint layers, which lends a textural element," he continues. "This emphasises the painting's presence as an object, rather than a window through which you look!"
Robert's paintings form part of our exhibition, "A British Summer", which continues until 2nd September.
Just as Henley Royal Regatta was drawing to a close and Wimbledon was preparing to open, we launched our Summer Exhibition with a party on Saturday and a heady mix of sunshine, prosecco, nibbles and, of course, Pimms!
Entitled "A British Summer", our exhibition features the work of eight artists: five painters, a print-maker, a wire sculptor and a photographer who between them cover subjects as iconically British as the seaside, Brexit, Brighton, wild flowers, funfairs, beach huts, Wimbledon and seagulls!
Artists Emma Bird, Robert Eadie, Jo Hodder, Ashley Jones, Sophie Mutter and Julain Sutherland-Beatson all called in to the launch party to see their work displayed.
Drinks were enjoyed and old friendships renewed...
Special thanks to talented florist Eva Hall, for her spectacular flowers!
"A British Summer" showcases the work of Emma Bird, Gill Copeland, Robert Eadie, David Fawcett, Jo Hodder, Ashley Jones, Sophie Mutter and Julian Sutherland-Beatson and runs until 2nd September.
Min initially studied Fashion and Textiles at Nottingham College of Art and then following post-graduate Theatre Design, she worked extensively in the theatre and film industry.
As a painter, she has exhibited on the Arundel Trail, at West Dean House, West Stoke House, the Moncrieff Bray Gallery and the Chichester Open. She has work in many private and corporate collections in both Britain and France.
Her work varies from the representational to the abstract with more of an emphasis on colour and texture than subject matter. Her paintings tend to be more about a situation or an object than of it.
"I'm always trying to surprise myself," says Bosham-based Min. "It's usually a good painting if I don't know where it's come from!"
"To Linger in a Garden Fair" ends on Saturday 6th May.
Nichola loves working with colour and pattern. The colourful, repeating shapes of fruit and flowers are ideal subject matter for her and are timelessly appealing.
"My work is about the things I enjoy: natural things that inspire me because of their beauty, colour and shapes," says Nichola.
"My aim is to express a mood or atmosphere whilst conveying the essence of what I am painting, hopefully in a new way."
"I use flowers (and especially roses), fruit, feathers and shells as subjects for my work. My collages are made from torn or cut pieces of my ink painting, sometimes combined with decorative papers and I value the unexpected results I achieve with collage."
She is influenced by an interest in textiles, costume, pottery and illuminated manuscripts and one of her favourite places to be inspired is the V & A Museum in London.
She has a BA (Hons) Illustration degree from Brighton University and lives in Newick.
"To Linger in a Garden Fair" continues until 6th May.
... to the blog~banter of The Green Tree Gallery! We are a blissful barnful of art and craft treasures located at Borde Hill Garden, Sussex. Bedecked in wooden beams, accidental home to creatures winged and whiskered, and run by a gaggle of gallery gals, the Green Tree is as warm and friendly as a steaming crumble - come along and taste!