Phew! Now we're all recovered from the extraordinary weekend of the first ever Combe Down Art Trail, we can reflect on what a fantastic weekend it was. We had over 30 artists taking part at 14 venues around the village. A massive 300+ visitors completed the Trail, enjoying our lovely historic village, the Firs Field Summer Event, as well as being inspired by the vast talent on show in every venue. Thank you to all the artists who took part, making each venue of 2017 so special, and to everybody who came to the Trail - over 300 of you - thank you! None of this would have been possible without the huge effort of 'makerer' Jeni Wood. Jeni has worked tirelessly to get the event started and she did a truly wonderful job of creating a stylish, easy to follow Trail. Thank you, Jeni! Now, who's ready for the 2018 Art Trail?!
The 2017 Combe Down Art Trail has begun! Check out the wonderful artwork by local artists! Meet the artists in their studios and other local venues and buy direct from them! Explore the stunning village of Combe Down and enjoy the Firs Field Summer Event which starts at 2pm!
A step or two out of venue 13 takes you to The Firs Field where, on Saturday only, you'll find artist Sharon Keenan on hand to talk about her own work as well as helping direct any lost visitors to the Trail. She'll also take details of any of you who've been inspired to take part in next year's Art Trail. Best of all, you can join in the general fun and games at the Firs Field Summer Event! Starting at 2pm, the event is a Combe Down treat. Grab something to eat and drink from one of the many stalls.
Sharon specialises in portraiture and has exhibited in the Royal Academy and was prize winner with the Society of Portrait Sculptors. Her public commissions include City of London, Territorial Army and Gibraltar Heritage Trust. She also enjoys painting non-humans. As we are now in a field, it's appropriate to thank Hugh and Celia from Newton Farm Foods for sponsoring us even though they don't live in the village. You will always see Hugh's cheery face delivering his farm produce to the residents of Combe Down.
The Information stand (venue 14) and Sharon will only be there on Saturday from 2pm as part of the Firs Field Summer Event
The penultimate venue on the Trail (lucky for us) is venue 13! 6 The Firs is on a row of picturesque terraces that runs along the edge of the park in the heart of Combe Down. Four artists will be exhibiting in this lovely open space. Firstly, prolific painter Mike Service. Mike paints in oils with scenes ranging from small still life to vast seascapes. His studio, here at 6 The Firs, is a treasure trove of colour, atmosphere and light. A treat!
Next up, the extremely talented Bridget Baker. Bridget's wire animals portray character and form with deceptively simple lines. Botanical artist Julia Trickey uses watercolour to masterfully show the fragile beauty of flora, especially in its decline. Pat Betts makes beautiful cards as well as paintings and textiles, completing the mix of brilliant artwork on show at 6 The Firs!
Moving on through Combe Down to The Avenue where the local shops are - and, further up, another of our sponsors, Combe Down Garage - is Venue 11, Francis House. Sandwiched between the Darling Deli and the Co-op, our graphic designer, Steve Wells, will be exhibiting his illustrations of Mrs Cat with cards for sale.
Leaving Venue 11, re-trace your steps back to Church Road, past Combe Down Primary School. Turn right onto Rock Lane, at the end of which is Davidge's Bottom, Venue 12. Jeweller Jill Woodhead will be exhibiting her beautiful silver jewellery set with various natural materials, from Cornish pebbles to sea glass.
In addition to Jill's jewellery, venue 12 is where our writing workshop will be found. Why not try your creative hand at a short piece of writing or be inspired by what others have written? We're thrilled to have these talented writers on hand: Poet Phoebe Wood-Wheelhouse, children's books editor and writer Kath Jewitt, children's author Moira Butterfield, and travel and culinary writer John Henry Dixon.
Don't forget that samples of these stunning writers' stories, recipes and poems will be on lampposts marking the Trail around the village - including poet, writer and sculptor Esme Ellis whose husband has kindly given permission to posthumously show her work.