I had a really good day yesterday. I met three of my Artful Dodger friends at Compton Verney, one of my all-time favourite galleries, to visit the "Artists Studio" exhibition.
Spending time looking closely and talking about individual artworks was so satisfying and the four of us really enjoyed each other's company and input. We appreciated having the gallery almost to ourselves, resulting in the inclusion of staff members in our discussions too - how interesting to learn more about some of the pieces and glean a few insider thoughts as we went along.
It's really hard to specify a star of the show: Would it be the frame of William Orpen's fantastic painting of a sunny, shadowy studio? Would it be Landseer carving one of his lions for the foot of Nelson's Column? Of would it be a piece created by the artist in residence Sigrid Holmwood whose use of dayglo colours was so skillful we felt we could feel the heat radiating from her painting?
I think all of us enjoyed the exhibition because of the surprises around every corner. It wasn't hung in a chronological order but in small themes. Work in hugely differing styles was hung alongside one another and yet it all worked. We all felt it to be an intelligent and fascinating exhibition and would recommend it wholeheartedly - though time is running out to get there before it closes on December 13th.
The other star of Compton Verney is the cafe. We enjoyed that too!!