I am so chuffed at being an ‘Artist in Residence’ at Polesden Lacey, one of the National Trusts most popular places to visit. After many hours walking around the estate, I finally selected three locations that I was going to set up my easel. It was summer, and the weather was glorious. As I was going to be there for months, I had to be sure I had chosen the best places.
I was equipped with a ‘walky talky’ which unfortunately I couldn’t operate. Nothing wrong with it, I am not technically minded in any way. Every now and again I would hear a crackle and a voice on the other end, but I didn’t respond. You should have seen the looks I got when I handed it in every evening.
My experience at Polesden Lacey was both invigorating and slightly annoying. The views are simply stunning. However the children could sometimes be a problem. On one occasion I was trying to paint, and two lads were kicking a football right in front of my view. I was lucky when the ball whistled by, just missing my painting. I gently asked a parent if they wouldn’t mind relocating somewhere else!
I was asked by Polesden Lacey to answer questions from the public. I was surprised at the level of interest. Mostly, people wanted to know more about my technique. Children often would be the most curious. It was a lovely feeling being able to offer help and advice.
I was surprised by the number of photographs taken of me while at work. Group shots and selfies galore! One lady wanted to stand next to my painting (the view from the Long Walk) holding a paint brush, and wearing my Monet hat. We had a laugh.