Art cake

Art cake
Originally uploaded by fred pipes.

Managed to cop nine Artists Open Houses yesterday. Popped into Curtis Tappenden's at 17 Clyde Road on the way to the paper shop, then it was on my bike (pushing it mostly) up to Seven Dials. First stop was Ben Allen's huge house on 12 Montpelier Crescent - lots of big bold paintings and screenprints, plus print work by Jane Sampson of BIP, Kary Fisher (bought two of her 'seven deadly sins' cards) and Rosie Irvine (Rick of Rin Tin Tin's daughter). Then onward to BiG member Oliver Hyde's small but perfectly formed Square Enough exhibition at 13 Granville Road - lovely lovely stuff, bought set of badges. Right opposite, at 14, is Cecil Rice's house and his wonderful albeit samey watercolours of Venice and the West Pier all bathed in sunset. Reminded me a bit of Cyril Farey. On my bike again (missing a couple!) to The Glass House at 3 Silverdale Road to see the biggest concentration of beautiful women artists in Brighton. Only Kim and Krysia Drury were in attendance unfortunately (no Pru, Kary or Teresa today!) but I consoled myself with a cream tea and one of Kim Glass's award-winning scones. On my way to Chanctonbury Road I questioned my strategy of going to places I already knew, so spontaneously stopped to visit a house on the way but wasn't very impressed (no name, no packdrill). At Artists Live Here, 15 Chanctonbury Road, I treated myself to a slice of Terri Bell-Halliwell's lemon polenta cake - sublime! Unfortunaely West Hill Community Hall wasn't open and I'd already been to the PV at 6 Clifton Street on Friday night so I zoomed downhill all the way into town and visited the treasure that is the Sussex County Arts Club, off Bond Street, not to be confused with the other so-called arts club on Ship Street. Only one Simeon Stout this year, but three beautiful life paintings by Bill Donohoe. After using their ancient cudgy, it was back home, quickly popping in to The Dragonfly House to look for any more red dots!

As mentioned above, I attended a PV at 6 Clifton Street on Friday night, one of the premier league Open Houses and an essential visit. Chatted to Bernard Lodge, a pioneer of computer graphics, who was showing linocuts and other prints. Got well oiled then cycled to Kate Osborne's house at 32 Stanford Avenue for her PV. Had some absolutely gorgeous squash cake (no photo) in the kitchen and was invited to admire Jon Mills' 1949 BSA Bantam (bought off eBay). Last year it was chickens, this year Kate's watercolours are of winged bugs! Wonderful.

Last night it was The Dragonfly House PV and I spent an enjoyable evening with friends old and new (and had the odd drink or two) - and found out I'd sold one of my Shoreham prints! Woo Yay! There are 198 open houses in the Brighton Festival this year and I've only seen 11 of them so far, with one weekend down. I challenge someone to do the lot in four weekends next year!


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