Port Meadow's ancient expanse and its surrounds have been a source of real joy and inspiration recently. The wide skies, birdsong, ever-changing moods is an irresistible magnet. My instinctive homage has taken the form of abstract and realistic oil and watercolour images to capture its generous spirit.
Patricia Freeman's colourful sculptural clay figures displayed in the garden bring warmth and a different perspective to our exhibition. Living in South Africa some years ago gave her inspiration when conveying the variety of human form that she delights in.
We will be open in the Woodstock Road during 8-16th May. We're really looking forward to sharing all this with the visitors who can come by appointment so that they don't need to worry about overcrowded spaces and that gives us the flexibility to fit in with hours that suit you too.
My two books of walks, illustrating the poetry of John Elinger 'That Sweet City - Visions of Oxford' and 'That Mighty Heart - Visions of London' will also be available to visitors with some of my Oxford cards.
I have been participating in Artweeks for over 20 years and love the challenge of new themes each time. They stretch the imagination and give me an opportunity to try out new techniques to suit the theme; watercolour with a palette knife as well as mixed media images produce a new freedom.
For oils I work from the studio in my garden, enjoying the birdsong and scents through the open door whilst reveling in the luscious paints and colours. Having inherited many of my paints and brushes from both my father and father-in-law has felt as though they have handed down their own joy of painting and are maybe peeking over my shoulder pointing out what needs improving!
Many of the watercolours are painted in situ - and Port Meadow has provided a great range of options. I work quickly to keep the work fresh whilst out of doors and never tire of the inspiration available as the seasons or moods change. It is such a gift to have scenery down the road that often makes me gasp with delight. Now that I've also discovered the option to paint with watercolours and a palette knife straight from the tube I can do that standing at my studio table, giving images a different twist of texture and emphasis. Let's hope the birdsong gets carried into them too.