Artist Corner – Surrey Artists’ Open Studios – Marilyn Bailey

Jenny (left) and Sophie (right)

I am taking part in the SAOS and with just over one month to go and I must confess that I am feeling a bit alarmed. I’m not 100% certain that is a very good beginning for an article but as my intention is to share the ups and downs of life from an artist’s perspective, it really is as good as it gets just now.

Were things different, it would have been possible to continue with the portrait I began last week at a small, but definitely significant, Atelier in Barnes. This is the place I go to in the UK when I want to work with other artists, to talk painting and to put myself under the critical eye of another who is skilled in the ideas and techniques I use.

I joined a 5 day workshop which is a real busman’s holiday – and a delight. I stay very close by, in a fabulous Airbnb location which means all I had to do was tumble downstairs in the morning and Jimmy – who is a ‘host’, or Kate – who is the principal host (I know I can call her ‘hostess’) make me a huge gold and floral mug of sublime coffee from one of those Delonghi grid, steam, hubble bubble and serve straight from heaven, machines. Then I wander down the road past super-trendy and super-wonderful Gail’s artisan bakery and cafe, a sumptuous place to pick up a bite to, not just eat but savor and wonder at the otherworldly deliciousness while 60’s and 70’s music plays, not just any old song, but absolutely the right song.


Ah . . . I’m going off track!

The portrait. Five days is not long to paint another person. With just 8 of us receiving thoughtful and perceptive guidance and help from owner / director / principal tutor Travis Seymour, you could get an electric shock from the highly charged level of focused energy in the studio.

Travis and I both studied at Angel in Florence (The Angel Academy of Art, Florence). You know all about it now as I have already written about its life changing abilities in teaching Realist Painters. Travis studied there several years before I joined the full time program so we did not overlap. He and his artist wife, Nancy Fletcher, then went to New York to study more at Grand Central Atelier New York City and learn from New York Realist painters.

Although Travis and I did not meet in Florence, we are certainly on the same page when it comes to methods and concepts of painting. It also means we can share very fond and hugely amusing memories of the school and its tutors. Now do take note…

“Anyone who would like to learn more about Realist painting please do join a workshop either with Travis in Barnes or Angel in Florence”.

While it is definitely not a walk in the park as its tough going, persevere as it is so enriching if you want to learn.

Ah! Open Studios. Yes I want to finish my portrait. We are all sent a high resolution jpg image once we get home and I’m utterly absorbed in working on it. When it’s done, I’ll let you see it!

Or better still, come to my Open Studio!  

Incense Burner

Surrey Artists’ Open Studios

1 – 16 June 2019 / 11am – 5pm daily and Thursday evening 6pm – 8.30pm

An opportunity to visit artists’ studios in and around Surrey. Do look on the web site or pick up a brochure from the Cranleigh Arts Centre or a local Artist taking part. I’m not open every day, so do check – details are also in my Blog (I’m very proud of it as it was a very tricky piece of technology and it really works well) or on Facebook, but please do come along, I’d so like to meet you!

I have to get six of my paintings ready for Helen and Mike to show at Olympia’s Art & Antiques Fair, then work on my Open Studio pieces, get some of them framed, send out invites and write a new blog entry . . . did you think an Artist’s life was peaceful and contemplative? What a nice idea!


All these works by Marilyn Bailey

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