It is partly due to the pandemic, making us slow down, focus inwardly and appreciate what is important in life, but also perhaps our age…and that Terry’s sister, Elaine, died suddenly last year, at only 64. It has all made us stop and think.
So say we have 10 years of active retirement ahead of us, what would we like to fill it with?
We have changed the emphasis on various activities at The Courtyard recently. We now have only 2 residents artists. Terry’s framing business is thriving and our daughter, Ellen, has been staying with us since lockdown began last March. It is really quite magical to have an atmosphere of family enterprise, enlivened by all our creative energies and pursuits!
Terry has bought himself a beast of a mountboard cutting machine, his new friend the Valliani, which commands its own space in the middle studio (which used to be a space for 3 artists). He has set up a very spectacular, streamlined work flow space as his work load increases.
Then on the other hand, the biggest and original space we rented, is becoming our new Courtyard Gallery – very exciting! Terry has always researched and acquired interesting prints and now has quite a curated collection ready to display and offer for sale. Plus, of course, we have rather a lot of original artwork being made at Courtyard Studios and this will be on display and for sale too.
This is an exciting new project to work upon; Courtyard Studios has so far maintained a focus on bringing art into being. But this is the next step; we will have the environment in which to present our work to the world, on show and for sale.
Further announcements will follow soon, when we open the Courtyard Gallery.
Just another little side project!…Not only has Ellen been painting the outside of the gallery, but we have also been doing some scene setting gardening, on both a big and a tiny scale. From wine barrels full of lavender and olive trees to little vegetable babies making the most of our south facing aspect.
And at last, I have unashamedly acquired 2 new spaces of my own. We love visiting the nearby Weald and Downland Museum and the cattle stall units have that same feel, which fits with the display of my work. So I am beginning to create my own small gallery, in which visitors can experience the cradle in which my artworks are nurtured into being and the home in which they best shine.
Plus, a painting studio or possibly a loom room…
The beautiful barn has become our own home from home where we do the smaller quiet activities; my knitting, Ellen and I sew and Terry has his boat models. We sometimes go early in the morning, walking Treacle on the Downs, and arrive at the studio to make a bacon and egg breakfast – heaven – before starting the day’s work. Or we will have a Sunday roast and a fruit crumble.
Roll on the days…and years, at The Courtyard!