In a moment of foolish optimism, I volunteered to go to our meeting place, the very trendy Gail’s Bakery in Church Road, Barnes, in order to bag enough tables for the group before our gathering time of 10:00am. The place was packed with a wonderful assortment of yummy mummies, nannies, prams, old regulars and all sorts of mid-morning humans. Not a table to be had. With 30 seconds to go before the first team arrival, a space was cleared. Then another. So, finally, we had just about enough room to squeeze all of us in at a bench by the loos, with artists paraphernalia scattered about us like croissant crumbs. Plenty of those too. The briefing was chaotic but fun and, caffeinated, a dozen of us set off for the pond in Barnes Green, brushes aquiver.
The day was warm enough and the sky even had patches of blue but mostly it was overcast with the threat of rain later in the afternoon. Our artists set themselves up with enthusiasm and began the serious work of the day. It is such a pleasure to see such a variety of media being used. There were oil painters, pencil sketchers, pastel drawers, watercolourists and acrylic painters. Some painters wielded small hoghair brushes, others had lovely big flat loaded brushes. Some supports were quite tiny, others were huge (always a challenge in the wind). It was no surprise at all that we ended up with an excellent variety of works with many different styles on display.
The location is a good one, if a little arduous to get to on public transport. The pond is quite compact so we were all within shouting distance of each other and the water provides all sorts of illusive reflections. There is thick foliage on the trees with urban scenes and some quite rural buildings peeking through the gaps. Lots of figures are to be found wandering on the pathways and some balletic swans and other wildfowl can be caught posing narcissistically at all the key points.
The rain did arrive in the end but not before we had all enjoyed another brilliant day.