Thursday, 3 June 2010

Glorious Devon

Rounding off my all too brief trip west, I stayed overnight in a fantastic 1930's Showman's Caravan in the garden of another good friend and talented artist - SUE DEAKIN. If you imagine a classic timber built yacht with all its bespoke joinery and fittings and cross this with a Pullman railway carriage, you just about get the picture.  Absolutely beautiful - and surprisingly cosy on a night of one of the latest Devon frosts for many years. 

With an hour or so to spare, I headed as far south as Devon goes, for a fleeting trip to Dartmouth. Drifting along Foss Street, browsing in other people's galleries - role's reversed for a change - I had one of those extraordinary moments that seem to come with this business. Peering into what appeared to be a little bit of France - apparently some kind art workshop - I found a face I knew staring back at me!  STUDIO DIX NEUF is the new home and business of two friends, Lys FLOWERDAY and Gilles BOURLET, who I had no reason to suppose were not where I thought they were - in Norwich.  Our Norwich customers will remember Lys' wonderful prints and drawings were shown in the Grapevine some years ago - but here they were in deepest Devon, having moved over 18 months ago. 
The studio is beautifully presented and it just looks so good. Fascinating to discuss gallery strategy - door open? or door closed? etc. The  questions are the same wherever you are. I have always liked Dartmouth - but now I have a real connection!  If you're in Devon - GO THERE!

Half an hour back up the road, a quick visit to LEA PHILLIPS studio, restocked Grapevine with her very popular (and affordable) mugs and jugs - but this time in new colours, just right for the Summer.

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