This year I have become one of the 269 local artists and makers who have entered the NEOS | North East Open Studios festival for the arts, number 247.
This year I have been teaching botanical and watercolour classes at the Northern Arts Club and Rosemount Community Centre, and contributed to the inaugural Heuvombing OVD ABZ event set up by Lady Thornfield for Easter time.
Having entered NEOS it will give me the boost to get down to painting.
Below is a little bit about my venue for the event and how it came about.
The summerhouse in our garden came about over a number of years (12)...I had saved up some freelance earnings early on after having the children, with the hope that some day I would be able to create a space in the garden to paint.
While the children were small I felt the garden was their domain, where we had the shute/climbing frame, a place for the paddling pool, the occasional garden games and of course the footie kick aboot and more recently the trampoline. So the summerhouse idea went on the back burner...waiting to happen one day.
Just at the moment when the trampoline was past its sell-by date I thought this is the moment. As it was being dismantled our son, who was 14 at the time, was playing tennis and was sure to be the next Andy Murray... said he would like a tennis practice rebound net for his birthday... and although not the ideal spot for it we decided it would just fit in the garden, with enough space to play.
So there it was so close and yet so far....
..then I thought...NO! ...we will make them both fit.
So I downscaled the size of the summerhouse to the depth of the shed which would be just outside the area needed to use the net, and managed to fit it in...and 6 months later it was done.
As to the size of it, as it turned out for botanical painting and drawing all I needed was a desk and some storage for paper and materials, so more than big enough for that. There is even a small area separate from the 'art zone' for two seats for hubby and me to sit and have a cuppa...bonus!
Two years down the line and the summerhouse has become a quiet haven to create.
...and the next Andy Murray...lets say the net is down and the windows now have no tennis ball marks ... a slightly distant memory...never to be forgotten.
Looking forward to seeing you in September
Fiona Swapp lives and works in Aberdeen. She has over 30 years experience as a graphic designer and botanical artist.
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