On 28th/29th April, I attended the International Watercolour Masters exhibition at Weston Park, Staffordshire, along with my friends Colin Joyce and David Gough.
The opening weekend was quite something. Too many visitors crowded into the venue’s limited space, particularly on the Saturday. Even though there wasn’t much viewing room, you could still see the fabulous paintings on display if you were patient. Conditions improved on Sunday.
English artist David Poxon masterminded and ran the show. The Society of All Artists (SAA) provided support and filmed the attending artists performing demonstrations. I’m delighted to say I finally got to meet one of my all-time artist heroes, John Salminen from Minnesota, USA. He proved to be a great guy: good-humoured, easy to talk to and happy to share his insights. I also got to renew my acquaintance with another wonderful American artist, Mark Mehaffey. (I’d met Mark briefly in Edinburgh last year.) Also, John and Mark’s lovely wives, Kathy and Rosie, respectively. Plenty more renowned artists were on hand – Marvin Chew, Janine Gallizia, Pasqualino Fracasso, to mention only a few.
When John Salminen did his demo on the Sunday, he roped in Colin and me to remove masking tape from his painting. So, you can see us making cameo appearances in the SAA’s video, about 26 minutes 38 seconds in!
Away from the show, thanks to my generous host David Gough, I got to see something of the Staffordshire countryside. (And I even opened a canal lock for the first time in my life.) It’s a part of the country I didn’t know too well. We spent an extra day touring David’s hometown of Lichfield, a very pleasant and historic place. We even ventured down into neighbouring Shropshire to visit Ironbridge. Unfortunately, the famous bridge across the gorge was completely wrapped in white plastic, undergoing conservation work. Still, the food there was good…
Meanwhile the International Watercolour Masters exhibition continues till the end of the month. It’s well worth a visit if you’re nearby.