By three o clock, I was feeling virtuous, the afternoon was bathed in glorious sunshine, and a friend was opening her art studio as part of the Harborough Artists Cluster trail which took place all weekend. So off I pootled....
I've known Lisa Timmerman since our boys were small, in the years when she didn't paint. Although she'd trained at Loughborough and Bristol College of Art, it was at the age of 48 that she decided she would make up for lost time and produce 50 paintings in the two years before she hit the big 50.....
Such an inviting door beckoning me into the coach house where she and four other artists were exhibiting.
Immediately, there was an award winning combination of beautiful paintings and cake, including a rather good lemon drizzle cake, which I couldn't resist a slice of.
Lisa paints in acrylics and oils - still life, portraits, the English countryside and chickens. I think it's fair to say , she loves painting those.
Janet Alderson Smith was also exhibiting ...she likes to paint in acrylic ink.
Also exhibiting downstairs in the coach house was fused glass artist Sarah Jane Luke. I was very attracted by the shapes and colour in this piece
Someone else I knew was exhibiting here. Barbara Hatton, who used to live in the next village to me. We don't see each other all that often, but when we do, we don't stop talking.
Chattering away, Barbara led me up the spiral staircase to her work was being shown. Whether her paintings are in oils, acrylic or watercolour, they are as vivid and vivacious as she is.
Outside, Livvy King was exhibiting her contemporary ink works. I was particularly taken with this one, the sheer physicality and emotion shone out.
I saved my favourite part of a visit to any Open Studio until last. It's one thing to see what an artist produces but I can find out so much more about the artist in the space where they actually work.
I love Lisa's space ...with glimpses of current and future projects,
with other paintings stacked ready for sale,
and the portraits of her husband and boys.
Her husband Paul was home by now, so we went for a quick chat and a walk around the newish, small lake in the garden,
and by the time we got back, miraculously it was wine o clock. Janet, Barbara, plus Lisa on the right had their glasses full, and everyone was chatting animatedly. My glass was filled too, and what a lovely end to such an interesting afternoon.
There was just time to admire the huge pots filled with tulips, before driving home, wishing that if only, I could have the tiniest ounce of artistic flair.