July brings thoughts of holidays: trips to the seaside, swimming and diving, searching rock pools while collecting shells to take home. Old fishermen tell stories handed down the generations, truth or myth, sparking the imagination as we explore. Seabirds keep us company seeming to enjoy the dramatic weather and changing light, the rhythmic beat of the waves which shape ancient craggy rocks. Muffled misty days give a softer edge to the coast but no less inspiring for our painters.
We're leaving the garden to fend for itself as we fly to foreign lands, gently absorbing the language, culture and history of these exotic landscapes. Warmer waters bring tropical birds but also more familiar ones who spend our winters there. Fascinating to observe animals in unfamiliar habitats, I wonder where Murtle will be spending her holidays?
Those left in the cities during the summer months migrate to the rivers for a cooling breeze. Swans and ducks drift idly past the old industrial wharfs, now quiet places away from the tourists.
On the eastern edge of Sussex, surrounded by beautiful countryside, Artichoke Gallery is in the heart of Ticehurst, a wealden village with an eclectic selection of small creative businesses and places to stay. We're not far from the coast, just a short detour off the A21 as you head down to Hastings Old Town, the Jerwood and a fresh fish and chip supper or you can enjoy a walk to Bewl Water with dinner at the Bell or the Bull, both interesting establishments (apparently!). The Gallery itself has a spacious, relaxed atmosphere to show off the paintings, sculpture, ceramics and jewellery, ideal for sourcing that extra special present from highly skilled artisans. Check out the website for a taster but better still, pop in for a sensory treat.