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Derbyshire Open Arts Weekend – local artists

It never rains but it pours, and it’s not exactly pouring – now but two blog posts in two days…and it is certainly wet. It’s not too wet to walk, nor to plan a lovely Sunday lunch in a cosy local pub (which could include a walk) but it could be a heaven sent opportunity to view some local art, as John and I did all yesterday.

Throughout Derbyshire this weekend local artists open their studio doors to anyone who would like to see their work. You can buy, usually, but that is not essential: you will find them all very happy simply to discuss their work with you.

We have a number of very talented artists in our village of Parwich. Lewis Noble is a professional contemporary landscape artist, and now works from his studio in the St John Street Gallery Ashbourne. Those of you who have stayed in Douglas’s Barn may recognise his paining above the fireplace. I very much doubt we’d be able to afford one now as he is becoming very sought after.

Another successful and extremely talented artist is Esther Tyson RCA. Not surprisingly, we particularly love her bird paintings – those of you on Facebook can see some here. She exhibits all over the place but doesn’t seem to have her own website (probably far too busy painting to do that as well).

Neither Lewis nor Esther took part in the Open Arts weekend, but fortunately for us Ruby Hickmott (Church Walk – look out for the balloons by her gate) and Gill Radcliffe have both opened up their studios. We have bought pictures from both of them and if we had more walls (and a fatter purse) would happily buy more from all the Parwich contingent!

After a bowl of soup in their tea room and a chat with our friend Clare at Ilam Hallwe set off for Beechenhill Farm where Sue Prince, who lives there, was exhibiting with several Derbyshire/Staffordshire colleagues.

Artistically, Sue is a wonderfully talented ‘narrative folk artist and map maker’ but she has many other skills and accomplishments.

There was the work of three or four other artists on display, but when we visited the only artist – other than Sue – that was obviously present was Michela Griffiths, a ‘photographic artist’ (my expression.) Do look at her website. At first I thought her photographs were wonderfully delicate water colours but in fact they are very clever photographs, often of water – reflections and movement, which really got John thinking.

He even threatened to abandon his attempt to catch swallows as they dive into the water, and just concentrate on the water…

Anyway, that is the local Derbyshire Open Arts scene – well worth a visit if you are about: today (Sunday 25th May) and tomorrow (Monday 26th May) from 10-5.

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