As the summer exhibition 'Force of Nature' comes to a close, preparations are well underway for the annual trip to Harrogate for the Home & Gift Festival, where the shops, galleries, boutiques and garden centres source all the beautiful things to fill their shelves with in the run up to (dare I mention it?) Christmas.
A team of us head down with a van filled with prints, cards and gifts, also lighting, flowers and furniture, towing a caravan, which will be our home for the best part of a week. Working in sweltering heat to create a fabulous stand has become the norm. In July 2022, people were being advised to stay at home to avoid overheating as the temperatures soared. Meanwhile, in an air conditioned marquee, we hoped the buyers would make the effort and come to the show!
This year, the weather is due to be cooler, mercifully!
A very strange pattern has emerged this year, with visitors from New Zealand buying original artwork and having it shipped across. We are used to sending things all over the world, but to have three separate packages of paintings, one of which is frighteningly large, all heading to the other side of the world is nerve racking, and we place a great deal of trust in our shipping partners.
Summer brings abundant growth, many shades of green, a garden bursting with promise and the usual gluts of vegetables to plough through. Paintings of guineafowl creeping through the undergrowth emerge, also flamboyant and fleeting red poppies painted from life. As summer moves towards autumn the most exciting time for painting these hills and valleys approaches. Watch this space!
Mary Ann Rogers Gallery, West Woodburn, Hexham NE48 2SE
Open: Tues, Thurs, Fri 10-4 also Sun 2-5 www.marogers.com 01434 270216