Sunday, 17 January 2010

Castlegate goes to London

It has been an exciting week. We managed, with the help of kind neighbours, to escape the snow and icy track and make the train to London. I was determined to make it because three of the gallery artists - Percy Kelly, Karen Wallbank and Sheila Fell were opening at Messums in Cork Street last Tuesday evening.
Karen and husband George had to be towed out of their remote farm to get the Lancaster train. Once they had settled in they were off to Cork Street to see what was going on. George got distracted by the posh watch shops in Burlington Arcade but Karen dragged him on and was amazed to find one of her paintings had pride of place in the window. I met up with her that evening where she sold 3 paintings. (Percy sold 6) It was well attended despite the snow down there. I was so proud of Karen.
I 'discovered' her in 1988. She had never sold a painting but had a barn full of them. I persuaded her to have a show with me and we've neither of us looked back. She had been offered a place at Goldsmiths college but opted to marry George. She then brought up three children one of whom is autistic, did her share of the work on the farm and she still paints all the time. She certainly deserves every ounce of success. (You can read Karen's full story in my book Hercules and the Farmer's wife; Aurum 2009 available Amazon, Waterstones etc.)
We managed to fit in the Art Fair in Islington and a good meeting with my editor at Aurum who is pushing me to finish the next book. I usually need more than one reason to visit the capital so it was ideal.
We arrived back Friday to icy platforms at Penrith but green fields and clear roads. We can now access our house without assistance - and I am working hard on the next volume.