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I guess this was a highlight of 2018…. being shortlisted for the RA Summer Show with this little watercolour. Not at all typical of my work??? How do they select? But I’ll have another attempt this year.

Looking back on 2018 I see it was full of swimming. There was my own two hour swim in the River Stour, Mill to Mill Challenge finishing with a picnic in front of Constable’s famous Mill at Dedham. It only took granddaughter Sophie and my son Chris, half an hour. I shan’t repeat the experience in a hurry. You can see by my face in this photo that I could hardly believe I’d survived it.

Then of course Sophie’s Channel Swim in a team of 6 completely overshadowed my achievement. They even turned out to be the fastest girls team of 2018 and won a shield. I celebrated her swim with a painting as a Christmas present which she seemed to like.

And now I’m busy painting again with renewed confidence after two fairly successful Exhibitions in Wivenhoe and Art Fair East, Norwich. I’m still painting water, but branched out a little with this view of a path leading down to the sea in Cornwall from one of the sketches I made during my residency in Cornwall – a great week at Brisons Veor, Cape Cornwall.

I’ve also repeated a slightly larger painting of Warraba, NSW Australia. The first one sold very quickly in Norwich and as it’s a lovely place which I enjoyed painting, thought I’d do it again. An artist friend said you should always paint from the heart not try to paint commercially. She says if you love the subject someone else will too. I think she’s right. So here’s Warraba mark 2.

So there are lots of nice things to come in 2019. I’d like to do a painting/sketching trip to Scotland and Northern England for further inspiration. It’s so good to work in new territory. I’m already so enjoying my larger studio space too. Life is good.

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