Wednesday, 2 March 2011


In the words of the great Michael Flanders, "Welcome March with wintry wind, Would thou wert not so unkind!" Clearly the weather has not changed much in the fifty plus years since he penned these words, the first days of March being dominated by an extremely chilly breeze from the North East. Overall, though we seem to have to got away fairly lightly after such a snowy start to the winter.  In fact the last weekend of February sort of sums it up. Saturday saw my reader and her friends getting throughly soaked on Brancaster Beach, whilst the following day saw glorious sunshine and clear blue skies for much of the day. Monday, unsurprisingly we were back in the world of the gramp. That's grey and damp to those who have yet to visit The Boathouse at Overy Staithe.

These contrasts have been evident on my close season travels to artists old and new.  Renewing my acquaintance with Shopshire (almost as good as Norfolk) saw a hoar frost followed by glorious afternoon sunshine, topped off with one of the biggest moon's I can ever remember hanging over that strangest of hills, Clee Hill above Ludlow.  Importantly this trip finally brought the wonderful of work of SUE CAMPION to the gallery. You can find more about Sue on the other Grapevine blog,

My first trip west of the year included staying with my very good friend GEOFFREY ROBINSON to select work for his new exhibition with us in Norwich. Again, contrasts. The intense colours and clear outlines of his work couldn't have been more different than the grey swirling mist of the Hampshire coast.

Heading on west, I am never sure how to deal with Bournemouth. Whichever way you go, it does seem to go a long time, but eventually you find yourself in that other miraculous county, Dorset. The bare, high land of Thomas Hardy west of Dorchester - and onwards towards Devon.  Astoundingly wet, but still wonderful. My final visit on this trip was the studio of MIKE BERNARD on the north coast.  Mike has still to return to Norfolk, but he has found his old sketchbooks, and we have just a taste of what is to come.

And just to complete the saga, leaving the wet of the south and west behind, I returned to North Norfolk on one of those truly remarkable days when the light just makes you glad to be alive.

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