The Orangerie café at Cannizaro Park, attached to the Hôtel Du Vin, is quite a ritzy place to meet, rather more fancy than our usual coffee shop rendezvous. We enjoyed pushing some tables together by the grand window overlooking the main lawn and indulging in a classy croissant or two.
Sadly, despite it being October, there were few autumn colours on display. But luckily Cannizaro Park offers a wealth of groomed and wild scenes, parkland, woods, ponds, shrubs, formal flower beds and a rather austere classical Italian Garden. We had a good turnout of artists and, once dispersed over the extensive grounds, we saw surprisingly little of each other.
Packing a lightweight kitbag for a plein air session is an art in itself. Inevitably something gets forgotten and we are generally happy to share resources. One acrylic painter forgot not only his easel (again!) but also a container of water. The first problem was resolved with a roll of masking tape and a Heath Robinson improvisation on the arm of a sturdy wooden bench. The water was scooped up from a small stream made muddy by a recent rainfall. Water bugs within it inevitably got mixed up in the acrylic paint and can still be seen immortalised on the face off the canvas.
Tony Herbert was kind enough to take charge of the group from lunchtime and, with outstanding skill, took photographs of the day’s work Martin Burrough