The first thing I did in the Red Studio Enquiry residency was re-reading Julian Potters ‘Mary Potter : A Life of painting’ (2004), his mother. Being taken out of my daily life and focusing on the living and painting on Mary Potter on my own for a whole week gave me a better understanding and empathy for her. I realised how very hard she always worked since leaving art college and especially the last 25 years of her life.
The light in her studio space is absolutely fabulous in the mornings and late afternoons. Has Mary been part of the planning of this exquisite simple building, so perfect for a painter?
I feel very attracted to the coastal regions and Aldeburgh and Snape are similar to Ruegen in the Baltic Sea and the Westcoast of Ireland were I lived and worked. What a privilege it was being in this rich gentle landscape near the sea and if it was not for Hayley Field, Jacqueline Utley, Lucy Walker and the BrittenPears Foundation and the Arts Council I would not be here.
What a pleasure is was listening to Arundhati Roy speaking at Desert Island Disks on Radio BBC4. I wonder what Mary would have thought about her choice of music, processes of creativity and experience of marriage?
I brought watercolours, pencils, different papers, new and used, scissors, glue, making tape, some canvas and boards and my camera. As Mary frames frequently her paintings by looking out of the window I was intrigued to connect to this compositional device and began exploring her kitchen and living room outlook. When I used paper with unfinished work made in Ireland and Suffolk it seemed to work best. I had not worked from observation for a while, measuring and marking down the relationships of things hence working in the garden and drawing the house of Mary Potter in this way was so focusing and inspiring to continue.
Brexit was made official.
A wonderful celebration of Britten’s song with Matthew Sandy and Rebecca Taylor in the library on Friday. Mary was able to come to many similar recitals and what a rich resource it must have been for her painting and life.
Look forward to spending one week together here with Jacqueline Utley and Hayley Field.