It's pretty hectic at the moment as we've been doing some temporary child minding in Rochester. It's wonderful being able to see more of Paul and his lovely wife Josephine and we love looking after our granddaughter Catherine while they work. She was one yesterday and they took her to London for a fabulous celebration. It looks like we'll be here on Mondays and Wednesdays for a few weeks and, apart from the driving, we're going to enjoy it.
In the meantime our getting to know the area holiday continues and yesterday we had a day out to the Beccles region. We sat for a while at the picturesque quay and then headed to the village of Westhall as we had read about a secret art auction that they were holding in the village hall. The organisers had asked artists from far and wide to donate a postcard sized artwork and over 160 individual pieces were provided. These were on display together with a list of the artists but, importantly, the names were not attached to the works.
The event was brilliantly organised and extremely well run and we enjoyed a very pleasant few hours in the village hall.The standard of work was very high and, as we love collecting paintings but no longer have much wall space for new ones, the postcard sized pictures were perfect for us. The only room we have that is unfinished is a small bedroom that we plan to fit out for when the grandchildren visit so a few suitable pieces caught our eyes. They were clearly by accomplished artists and, although many postcards were selling for under a tenner, we were not surprised to be bid up on our choices.
We paid £52 for this highly original bush baby in acrylic which turned out to be by Mark Ward a Halesworth artist who specialises in creating exotic fauna in everyday materials and painting them. The kids will adore this.
We recognised that this piece was by acclaimed artist Mark Burrell whose paintings are full of fantasy and vivid colour and again we felt that it would sit very well in the babies' room. Titled The Swan Boat it is a miniature masterpiece and were delighted to be the high bidders at £210 which was just inside the limit that we set ourselves.
We paid another £32 in total for these three pieces titled Abstract, Michael and Narcissus. The first two of the artists are from abroad and, though relatively unknown, they have exhibited widely and their paintings are very interesting. The final one Narcissus is a very delicate little oil painting by a local artist. Together the little collection of postcard sized paintings will provide Rose and Catherine with plenty to look at and talk about when they come to stay.
The proceeds of the auction were in support of this wonderful children's charity so it was money very well spent.
Other funds raised at the event went in aid of Westhall's fabulous medieval church - another very worthwhile cause. We haven't visited yet but I believe that it houses some outstanding medieval painting and we look forward to a trip.