Monday, 1 August 2016

Rooftop Raving in collaboration with Secret Brunch

I had a phone call out of the blue from a lovely female disembodied South African accent voice last Thursday.  The voice introduced herself as Romy Newman of Secret Brunch parties and that she had found me via my presence on ArtFinder.  She told me she was in charge of the entertainment for a pop up party for young beautiful things aged 21-35 somewhere in London on a roof top.  They needed an artist to paint from 12-3 and was I interested?

My initial reaction was "God No", but about half an hour later I remembered something my ex mother-in-law used to say.  She told me in the context of maintaining a social life "I say yes to everything".  I realised that single parenting with not just my art but the yoga and sorting rentals for charity with Casa La Celada keeps me very busy and that actually I rarely go out and do what I would call "the fun stuff".  Well, it doesn't get much more fun than setting up your easel on a London city roof top with the Shard, Gherkin, Cheesegrater and Walkie Talkie as your backdrop so I said Yes with no idea how I would make it work.

I spent a few hours creating a series of backgrounds just like the ones we all created at last Friday's wonderful Art from the Heart art class at Labels.  

On the day I was awake at my usual 5 o'clock and was on the road after a lovely yoga practice in the garden by 6.45am.  The venue is only released to the thousands of invited revellers the night before so all very exciting and fresh.  I arrived and set up in time to start painting well before the party goers arrived and thank god for that really as I was shaking like a jelly!

This was my view - the extraordinary roof top of Le Coq d'Argent at 1 Poultry

Utterly breathtaking, awesome, overwhelming, and it was my job to paint it for the party!  AND AMANDA DOESN'T DO PEOPLE remember?!

I've never put myself in such a public situation before, completely open to criticism and disdain artistically, and I was genuinely scared that I might not be up for the task but as the minutes flowed into hours, what flowed in turn off my brush excites and amazes me. I've never taken so many risks with colours or lines or gone so beyond the edge in depiction of people and I completely love the effect.  I also took with me some fabulous quotes from the likes of Emerson and Wilde and these words dance around the revellers as if fully part of the party.

I left the heaving throng of bouncing and shouting RayBanners at around 3.30pm - roughly at the same time as when the music cranked up to nosebleed levels of volume and began a four hour journey home via several petrol station stops.

Coming back to the bungalow was lovely, but I must admit something inside me has reawakened from my days of being a London socialite party goer - it was a lot a lot a LOT of fun!


I'm so pleased with my website rebirth which happened a couple of weeks ago.  Gone is the nasty Etsy interface, welcome an in house shop.  It makes it all far easier to navigate and that means less clicks to buy!  So if you're in need of sprucing up your card drawer for that special occasion, please have a browse and see if any of my local scenes could do the trick!


Martin, Zack and I have been really busy this month hanging two significant and completely different exhibitions. The first is at the wonderful Brockweir and Hewelsfield Village Shop in Brockweir, up above the snaking Llandogo to Tintern road.  The shop prides itself on being Eco warrior minded which I love.  The garden is huge with all kinds of child friendly distractions with delicious cakes, teas, lunches and snacks on offer.  If you have a day out with the family, do please pop in and visit.  And yes, of course there's a competition running there - you'll have to go and see what it is!  

The second and unexpected surprise curve ball was a call middle of last week from Taurus Crafts  in Lydney.  For reasons beyond anyone's control, their peak summer exhibition artist pulled out leaving them with bare walls until the middle of September when my exhibition was scheduled. The delightful Colette and Tom asked if there was any chance I could step in and fill the space. My initial reaction was total panic stations! Apart from being in Pizza Express at the time with Martin, Zack and our Spanish exchange student, and therefore not in the best place to figure out if this was workable at all, in my head all I could think of was I didn't have enough work to do it justice. However thanks to the sheer force of nature that is Rachel Fisher of Country Brush and a sneaking pile of new and exciting work beginning to build, we were able to go down last Wednesday and hang 19 paintings, spanning two large restaurant rooms.  It looks absolutely gorgeous d I can't quite believe it's my work.  

We've called the exhibition ART FROM THE HEART and I'd really like to invite you to come down and explore the whole space - I'm exhibiting for two blocks of 6 weeks instead of one so the work will be there until the end of October.  We are holding a Meet the Artist day on Friday 2nd September including a private drinks party in the evening 7-9pm.  Please put the date in your diary, it would be lovely if you could come. 


Thanks to all of you who entered my Forest and Valleys Open Studios competition to name the new Monnow Bridge painting.  

As promised, the winner was drawn on the last Sunday of the exhibition and ... Drum roll ... Step forward please Mr Maurice Watts!  We loved your name "Bridge over Untroubled Waters" when we first saw it so we're thrilled when the random computer selector website chose your number.

A print will be in the post to you within the next couple of weeks - all that's needed is a mailing address please.  As I'm away at the Sundara Community Yoga Camp until next Sunday could you please email me... So that I can get your print to you.


Once again thanks so much for your ongoing support for my work.  See you hopefully at Taurus Crafts on 2nd September.

Have a lovely Summer!