TIME SPENT WITH
BECKY BLAIR IN HER STUDIO
The Phoenix Studios provide spaces for over 100 Brighton artists. Established by way of squatting an old education building in the 80s Phoenix are now the major provider of workspaces to artists in the area. Brighton being what it is they have a long waiting list.
Becky's studio is on the top of 6 floors. There's no lift of course. But it's worth the climb.
The first thing you notice when you enter Becky's studio is the wall of windows. East facing light floods in and you are high enough that nothing overlooks to distract your eyes. Even on an overcast February day the space is well lit and welcoming.
I've worked alongside Becky for many years and have always enjoyed spending time with her in her workspace. It's an efficient and organised space but homely, with a sofa and books, a kettle and a nice things. A home from her very lovely home. Conversations flow easily as Becky is a long time friend as well as colleague so we jump around topics from art to family to dancing and back again.
Becky is finishing a commission when I visit. A customer from Australia. There are finished pieces for me to see and some other canvases in progress, leaning up against walls or drying flat on the floor. There is also a table of small works in the process of being framed up for me to take to Battersea Affordable Art Fair.
I often say that Becky's paintings are one step ahead of the crowd. Customers regularly come back wanting the work which we were showing 12 months previously, which they have been thinking about all this time. But they've missed the boat and those paintings have not only found new homes but if they were Australian inspired beach scenes then Becky will have moved onto Sussex lily ponds. Indian crowd scenes to bird-filled trees. Vibrant gardens to the minutae of childhood treasures. Becky is not an artist to repeat the same story over and over yet her colour palette and technique are instantly recognisible, regardless of her subject matter. Birds, beaches, landscapes or abstracts: compositions created with the use of complex underpainting, glazes and a confident use of colour.
Becky is finishing a commission when I visit. A customer from Australia.
There is also a table of small works in the process of being framed up for me to take to Battersea Affordable Art Fair.
This current collection feels to me like a combination of everything that has come before, reformed and communicated in a new language. The paintings are playful and joyful, unashamedly and utterly unique.
To say it's good to have Becky back is understatement.
2017 Exhibitions & Plans
March 10-12 The Affordable Art Fair Battersea
FOUR-WALLS stand K9
May 12 - 14 The Affordable Art Fair Hampstead Heath FOUR-WALLS stand K3
May 13 & 14th Phoenix Open Studios
Sam's favourite brush. It's the wear that makes the mark.