Sunday, 4 August 2013

A Trip to a Scarborough Artists' Studio

It was hot and sunny last Thursday as Sue Slack, Andrea Bailey, both artists and members of Ryedale ArtWorks and I set out for Scarborough.  The purpose of our trip was to visit Andrew Cheetham, a painter, whose studio is on West Pier, in a fisherman's shed. This shed just happens to have a ladder as its only access and I have to admit that I was worried that Andrea might have trouble getting up it as she is an elderly lady.  

Andrea made it up the steps with no problem!

I need not have worried - Andrea mounted those metal steps with much agility and care! She is indeed a most wondrous woman and artist.  Not only that, she had baked some lovely buns at about midnight, to go with the tea and coffee that Andrew so kindly provided.  I love that woman - she is so full of the joy of life and such a talented painter!

It was good to finally meet Andrew properly; I have been aware of his work for some time, I have seen it at various venues, usually at open exhibitions and it has always drawn me to it.  There is something about the way Andrew uses paint that shows someone who relishes the very stuff of it, and who cares about tonality and colour.  We chatted about the difficulty of finding decent gallery spaces to show work because all the existing ones up here in North Yorkshire are geared to showing a broad range of artists and makers, geared to tourism, and who can blame them, especially in this difficult economic climate? Andrew has the added problem of needing to earn a living, which means he undertakes commissions and this is preventing him from developing his practice as he'd like.  We talked about applying for funding and bursaries, a little desultarily if I'm honest but we managed to have a laugh too.  I found it interesting that Andrew prefers, like me, to paint on a solid surface; we both hate the "bounce" of a stretched canvas and the fact that if you are not careful, you pick up the edges of the stretcher frame with the paint.

Andrew's studio, with a painting at the underpainting stage and a canvas ready to be started.

We left Andrew in peace to start a small canvas, which is a commission and made our way to the Stephen Joseph Theatre, where Sue Slack is showing some work.  I helped her put the new labels on and then we went for some well earned lunch before we set off for home.  It was only the second trip I have had out with fellow artists since I moved up here and I realised just how much I have missed it.  I am delighted that my new blog on the Artists Talking section of an's web site has had 3 comments posted already, and they are all very encouraging so my instinct that a blog on a site for artists would elicit more of a response was correct.  Why did it take me so long to gather the courage to go for it?

All images copyright the artist, all rights reserved.

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