It was about two years ago when I first heard about Brisons Veor, firstly from a very good friend who strangely enough was auditing a grant the charity had received to renovate the house. At the same time there was a centre page spread in the Artist Magazine... something was telling me I had to give this a go. It sounded like a perfect place to squirrel away and paint to my heart's content but how would I get in with all that competition not only from the UK but from international artists?
Well I gave it a go and was rejected in the first year. Hey it happens. As an artist I am very used to rejections... it's not nice but you just have to get on with and if something means a lot to you then you keep on trying. So my rejection did come with some very useful feedback which I took on board and gave it another go (a bit last minute I have to say!) and to my surprise I was accepted for a 2 week residency, all on my own, over the Easter holidays.
So why Brisons Veor... apart from it being located in a stunning part of the world? Well my main reason for applying for a residency at Brisons Veor was to experience the isolation and solitude that the house could offer and to focus on my work without the daily distractions of life. Having a full time job, which is pretty full on most days, means my time to create is limited to weekends and holidays and that's when I'm not at art fairs or running workshops.
But my main reason was the location. I am generally drawn to paint the weather and its impact on the land I was really interested to see this landscape and to witness first-hand the weather’s impact on it, and how this in turn would influence my work.
I was also pretty excited to have the opportunity to stay in a house all to myself with it's own studio overlooking the Atlantic. It felt very much like a big adventure as opposed to going on holiday for two weeks. Even more of an adventure for me as to get to Brisons Veor from Saltaire was a very very VERY long drive and, well I don't drive very often and at the time I think it had been a few years (decades maybe) since I'd been on a motorway.
Was that going to stop me? Hell no! I decided to plan my journey in two halves with a stopover in lovely Exeter and then a leisurely drive the next day to Brisons Veor, stocking up on essentials (wine and gin) in Penzance on the way there.
It's amazing what you can do when you have something to focus on!
I have a lot to say about my residency at Brisons Veor so I have split this blog into three parts with Part 2 covering my first week at Brisons Veor and the adventures I had exploring the landscape!