What thoroughly lovely day today has been.
Today was the fourth Salisbury paint off, the biggest so far and the first to be housed in the cloisters of Salisbury Cathedral.
I set up at 11am and watched as other folks arrived with their artistic paraphernalia and a smile on their face.
If you've never done anything like this before I can wholeheartedly recommend it.
Everyone from professional artists, keen students and fearless children were all painting together today.
Artists are allowed to work in any medium they choose; canvases and some materials are there for you, though many pitched up with their own materials.
I decided against working in my preferred medium of oils. I've never successfully transported a wet oil canvas so I thought I was better off going for watercolour.
I started drawing the view of the cloisters from my spot. The lovely and scary thing about working in this way is you draw comments form those wondering by. The comments tend to be lovely and very positive but it can make you a "bit tight". I think that's what's happened to me. I thought a very tight drawing would help free up my painting a bit and I'd be happy to let go. I think instead I got tighter. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, and many folks really really liked what I achieved. However it was such a departure form my far more expansive oil paintings, where the colour and atmosphere is far more important than architectural detail and linear perspective. Perhaps it was simply my respect for this incredible building that I felt couldn't play fast and loose with the gothic architecture.
By far the best thing about the day was meeting other artists. Everyone was very happy to chat about their work and the challenge of the day. Many of the people taking part today are also involved in next week's Salisbury art trail, so it was way to find out about other artists working in the area.
There was such a lovely atmosphere in the Cathedral today. I really hope there will be even more creative and artistic opportunities in Salisbury in the future. We live in such beautiful little city, we need to celebrate it!