The jewel of our Summer Exhibition which opens on Friday is this beautiful painting by Winifred Nicholson titled Lily of the Valley St Bees. Her eldest son Jake was at St Bees School during the war for a time. Winifred visited him there and made several paintings looking across the Irish Sea to the Isle of Man. There is a still life of irises on the back of the canvas so it is a case of two for the price of one. She sometimes did this. This work was exhibited at The Lefevre Gallery in April 1946.
Winifred died thirty years ago and her work is increasingly in demand. Recently a similar sized oil, Sea Treasures, came up for auction in London and fetched a staggering £147,000. This one is a fraction of the price . - a bargain then?
As I write other work is coming in for the Summer Exhibition. Let's hope we have a summer to go with it.
Karen Wallbank is back on form. I just received three large odd shaped parcels wrapped in wallpaper and gaffer tape. It's always exciting opening Karen's mad offerings because we never know what we will find. This one is treasure - full of misty landscapes on canvas and flocks of sheep on card. We've had a scramble to get them framed. She will be in the gallery on Saturday if you want to meet her. She has a droll sense of humour so there will be much laughter I imagine.
Alistair Tucker, who is a printmaker and painter, has contributed an interesting selection of work. There are some delicate porcelain pots from Sue Paretskove and new pots from William Plumptre. We are awaiting some new work from Sarah Carrington who hasn't exhibited with us for some years. She has been producing children not paintings and moved to Ireland but she is now back on form with some Irish seascapes and coastal landscapes to add to her studies of Scotland. I will put her images up on the web site www.castlegatehouse.co.uk as soon as I get them.
We hang on Thursday so hope to see you this weekend or during the summer - It goes on until 5th September.