In many ways, this is the favourite “home” location for our plein air group. It is easy to get to, offers a good variety of subjects and is always bathed in sunshine when we’re there (let’s hope the rain gods won’t prove me wrong in future). The walled garden is beautifully tended these days so that excellent compositions, full of colour, can be found from almost any position, with many from under a shady tree.
We were swift to scatter around the grounds and set up for an intense morning session, some of the artists loaded with so much kit that they looked happily settled in for the rest of the week. The only challenge was a rival, but very friendly, group of artists from the Putney School of Art, all benefitting from the guidance of their tutor, Shaun Casey.
The Drawing Room Café is buzzing at this time of year and we worked hard to bag a table for our initial coffee and then again at lunchtime. The hard bit is moving the garden chairs which are astonishingly made of a metal heavier than lead. It’s a real work-out to get things organised. But well worth it. For some reason this outdoor terrace at Fulham Palace always seems to encourage a massive discussion about plein air equipment, the latest Pochade boxes and lightweight easels from America, the most appealing brands of paint and all sorts of other stuff. A good learning curve!
The day being so beautiful, we worked on till late in the afternoon and, after our usual tea, biscuits and photos, went home tired but fulfilled.
Report by Martin Burrough