Plein Air at Kew Gardens
6 April 2017
Parking outside the Victoria Gate at Kew Gardens is a bit of a lottery. One of the few real benefits for Londoners is that spaces on the main Kew Road are free of charge after 10:00am. But you have to be quick to get one! With seconds to go before the hour struck, Tony and I found ourselves lurking in separate cars in the same nearby side-street, ready to pounce. Despite our vigilance, a convoy of more determined mummies and nannies beat us to the prime spots and unloaded their buggies. We slotted in behind them.
We had enough members to get the group into the gardens on guest passes and relaxed together with stress-busting cups of coffee. It was a wonderfully sunny and mild day and attendance was well above normal. So we made plans for the day and set off individually and in small groups to find the perfect pitch for ourselves amongst the stunning blossoms and spring flowers of Kew. There were lovely extremes of light and dark as well as a good selection of colours to contrast with the exhilarating fresh greens of new growth on the trees. Amazing to be so spoiled for choice.
After a surprisingly good lunch together at a long table outside the super-efficient Pavilion Restaurant, near the Pagoda, we all leapt back to our posts and continued working till tea, some of us proving the point that, in many public places, it is perfectly safe to leave your easel and set-up unattended for a short while while you take a break. A little risky perhaps if you have some expensive kit but at least it saves the hassle of packing everything up and lugging it to the lunch meeting. Not surprising that some artists prefer to just grab a home-made sandwich at their chosen spot.
The beauty of the day led to some excellent work so there were lots of congratulations at the final tea break. How lucky for us to have such a tempting location so near to Fulham.
Report by Martin Burrough
Lila Das Gupta
Lila Das Gupta’s guest – Caroline