An element of competition

There has been an element of competition at Paul’s Art Class on a Tuesday morning.  A while back, Paul gave us an image of some boats to draw or paint.  Someone in the class quietly suggested a competition and then stood back to enjoy the entertainment! A few students organised themselves into a team of competitors, and a judging date was set.

This is the black and white image we were given:

The entries were painted over a period of about three weeks.  As the day dawned, Paul realised that he would have to be the most diplomatic of tutors.  The entrants were beginning to take the competition very seriously and Paul did not want to disappoint.

Today was the day!  The paintings were displayed in class for the judging – with a slight delay as one student forgot her painting and had to drive home to retrieve it.  They were all of a very high standard, in several different media.  Quietly, Paul decided to enlist the help of Barbara, manager of Tothill Community Centre, and she came into the class to look at the paintings.  Here they all are :

As you can just about see, Paul very cleverly awarded all entrants a Gold Star – equal first.  However, a competition isn’t worth having unless there is a winner and Barbara picked Tony’s.  See if you can guess which one! (Answer at the foot of this blog post.)

The photo below gives some idea of the sizes of the images.

Everyone enjoyed the competition – even those of us who decided not to enter.  Some of us like a bit of an edge, some of us don’t.  Paul has, however, decided to make this an annual event and has christened the trophy ‘The Tony’.

To celebrate, we all shared chocolate cakes and flapjacks.

And the winner was – painting number 4, the red boat painted in acrylics.

I shall be mostly eating gluten free chocolate brownies.

Paul and I have been looking at dates for his next one-day exhibition and have settled on Saturday December 8th. We have booked the Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht Club on the Hoe.  The Club is always extremely supportive and it is a great venue with wonderful views over the Sound.  There is on-street parking, a regular bus service from the city centre and a ferry service from Mount Batten to the Barbican.

We shall again be supporting St Luke’s Hospice in Turnchapel.  This will be our sixth year of supporting St Luke’s and we are very happy to continue to do so.  We know many people who have had friends and family cared for at the Turnchapel centre.

Everyone is welcome at the exhibition.  Admission is free.  It will run from 11 am until 4 pm and 25 % of all art sales, including prints and cards will be passed on to the Hospice.  There will also be a draw to win a Paul Acraman original painting – yet to be chosen!

The coffees, cakes and lunches at the Club are very good.  I shall be mostly eating their gluten free chocolate brownies.

St Luke’s website:    http://www.stlukes-hospice.org.uk/

Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht Club menu: http://www.rpcyc.com/functions/?cat=7

Mount Batten Ferry timetable:  http://www.mountbattenferry.com/info.html

Autumn is falling!

Autumn is falling!  I’m not totally convinced that we will see any difference in the weather. Some of our summer weather was very Novemberish.  Maybe, just maybe we’ll have some summer weather in November!  We can but hope.  I don’t mind Autumn as much as I used to, but I do find the lack of light frustrating.  Putting the dustbin out in the dark always scares me a bit – who knows what monsters may be lurking in the lanes of St Judes?  I love to walk through the parks at this time of year and see the colours.  We have three well-maintained parks near us.   These images are from Beaumont Park.

Paul finds the lack of light very annoying, although he still manages to paint quite prolifically throughout the year.  Here are another two ‘Works in Progress’:

We were away in the Midlands at the weekend and we are both feeling a bit jaded by the long drive.  Why is travelling so tiring? After all, you’re just sitting there!  We tend to leave early on a Saturday morning when we’re going ‘up the line’ – no traffic, very few trucks, so an easy drive.  I took this photo whilst we were filling up with petrol just before the A38.  I quite like the Midlands.

It’s not a patch on being here by the sea though!

I think this painting is finished

Paul has been in his Studio on the Barbican a lot recently and has several works in progress. This first one is from Old Cellars beach near Noss Mayo – we walked there a fortnight ago and went for a breezy swim off the rocks at high tide.  I think this painting is finished.  Paul invariably asks my opinion of his paintings – it’s not easy being objective – and we have minor disagreements over whether or not he should stop.

Tip:  if you click on the picture, it will be displayed a lot bigger.  Then you need to click back to get back to the blog.  If you click ‘close’ you’ll lose the whole thing.  Irritating.

This next one is also from Old Cellars, this time looking out to the mouth of the Yealm.  I know it’s not finished, because the Mewstone has yet to make an appearance.

I haven’t actually seen these yet – only photographs, so I’m looking forward to trotting down to the Studio soon and seeing them for real.  They look stunning.

Changing the subject, somehow the act of making bramble jelly instantly makes me feel like I’m in control of the household, can plan meals days in advance and have a cupboard full of secret home-made goodies for all the visitors knocking at our door.  The reality is that I am very haphazard with planning and can provide only caramel Rocky bars if the odd person calls round.  I made bramble jelly because I don’t like pips, and I wanted to go bellyboarding at Bovisand but had no free chums to go with. I think it may turn out to be high velocity bramble jelly, involving keeping the toast level at all times – no drifting off at breakfast time.

Looking outside to the garden, the weather is terrible: next year’s raspberries are being blown all over the place. The wind is whistling through a gap in the skylight, and the chickens have long since gone home to shelter from the rain. So bellyboarding on my own at Bovi was probably not a sensible option.

If anyone can give me a lift,  I’ll go for a dip at Devil’s Point instead.