When Emma Holliday suggested spending a day painting in the gallery I jumped at the idea. I thought it would be a great opportunity for visitors to the gallery to see the process of creating a painting alongside the current exhibition which is a group show of North East artists, including several of Emma's paintings.
Emma asked whether I could set up a still life for her and because it was a Farmer's Market Day in Stokesley (http://www.ndfm.co.uk/ ) I thought it would be nice to get a selection of produce from the market. So on Saturday morning I set off early to the Farmer's Market to find interesting things to paint. I had an idea that I would get a chilli plant as there is usually a lovely stall selling all sizes and shapes of chilli plants and chilli-related produce so was extremely dismayed to discover that the stall wasn't there! At the exhibition preview the previous evening I had jokingly told Emma that I would get her some sausages to paint (Emma is a vegetarian so was not terribly keen) and for a moment I thought I might have to go with the sausage option afterall.
However, a short stroll round the market revealed a wonderful stall selling a fantastic array of wild mushrooms. I got a selection of particularly visually appealing mushrooms (though when I told the stallholder that I needed pretty specimens as they were going to be painted not eaten, I think he thought I was mad!). I also got some lovely crusty bread and some smelly cheeses (which proved slightly unfortunate as they warmed up during the day in the gallery!).
Emma had a great day painting and met and chatted to lots of people. I think her painting is a great success and will soon be on show in the gallery alongside her other works.
"Wood Blewitts, Boletes and a Pink Oyster!"