The rain was sheeting down the day before our outing and I thought we were in for a soggy experience. But, no, the day turned out warm, bone-dry, quite sunny and perfect for outdoor painting. In fact, it seemed all our members had accurately studied the forecast and we had a huge turnout – the best of the year by far! It was an extra bonus to welcome some new members and a number of talented guests. The attractive little coffee bar in the grandly named Drawing Room Cafe was overrun with orders and we had a lovely noisy greeting session at the commandeered tables outside by the lawn.
We then moved off to plant our easels in the best spots and were spoiled for choice. The Walled Garden in particular was loaded with colour, with some remarkable springy purple and lilac coloured plants spraying out in all directions like psychedelic fountains. One of the group focussed fabulously on a gigantic sunflower against a wild background. Others wrestled with trees and the inevitable greens. Warm greens, cool greens, green greens and all their relatives can be a real challenge to capture.
Having given ourselves some weight-lifting exercise arranging the tables and (extremely heavy) chairs for a late lunch, we chatted away merrily about some of the mouth-watering exhibitions that are currently on and planned for the autumn. The afternoon whizzed by and, as photographer in chief, I had my work cut out capturing all of the wonderful work that the day had inspired. It was brilliant to go home with a sunburned nose, tired legs, paint-spattered arms but a very big smile.