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artist's blog
September 2021

I’m sure I’m not alone, but I’ll mention it anyway. Lockdown for me was much like normal times – working in isolation and happy not to venture out, I was content to create my own bubble and carry on. However, once the gates opened, deadlines for exhibitions in reality, as opposed to ‘virtual’, began to pour in, with all that that entails – framing, transport etc., so much so, that it almost felt as though my head was no longer working in unison with the rest of me! 
Practical things like fixtures and fittings on frames, labelling, attempting to co-ordinate all sorts of things which prior to 2019 were routine for me, became a massive puzzle.

Getting the Mall Galleries work organized was just one that was challenging, even though the work had been ‘in the wings’ for over a year, the now urgent need to have framing prepared and then getting into London after such a long time.

The show was amazing (see attached), and it seemed totally natural to be there again. Another smaller show in Holt, Norfolk also took a while to get my head around – the challenge of actually going out and about at that stage was enough to deal with, let alone going beyond the bounds of my village!

I think I have come to the conclusion that my possible loss of the art of concentration, due to 18 months’ worth of unadulterated creative play with no imminent deadlines, is my only excuse. Thankfully, having spent some of my ‘down-time’ to re-organize a few things like ‘cataloguing’ – or at least bringing it up to date – administration not being my strongest point – I actually feel a little more in control as a result. The main thing though is that I am still excited by painting – experimenting – playing around with ideas and materials as always.

Although I’ve been back in England for over eight years now, I am still getting used to my surroundings – the Fenland landscape local to me is spellbinding, as is that of North Norfolk just a short drive away - especially in the late afternoon almost autumnal light.

I am currently enjoying just looking, and then constructing small format intimate watercolour images from memory back in the studio. This method of working is so good for my memory – although I don’t actually want to reproduce what I’ve seen, but to create what I feel in response to what I’ve seen. It becomes more about tone than colour, and composition and re-composing the reality. Stretching, pulling and pushing ideas around – a practice I have always worked to but somehow on a different scale it has reignited my imagination. Riding at the top on the local bus gives a completely different feel especially from the front seat – we don’t have hills here – so I can just imagine myself up a hill or on a ladder – such fun!

Now off to Norwich and the lovely Mandells Gallery for my latest show along with some colleagues from the SGFA, we open officially tomorrow (Saturday 2 October) and the exhibition runs until the end of October. Mandells is situated in the old quarter, Elm Hill, with its cobbled streets and full of history. This time we shall go on the train, sketchbook in hand on the train journey, and I know this nearly 2 hour journey will feel like just 30 minutes as I absorb myself in the landscapes I love, capturing fleeting glances with no worries about driving and watching out for traffic or getting lost!

Thank you for joining me as I blog away, until next time,

Jackie Devereux


Having been showing in Babylon Gallery all of August, in their Annual Open Exhibition which was a joy and this beautiful contemporary space is perfect for my work, this was immediately followed by the Annual Open the SEAW (Society of East Anglian Watercolourists) during their Annual Open Exhibition - ‘Waterways’ - 3 – 26 September 2021. During this show I was invited to conduct a short animated workshop using ink and watercolour – three hours of fun and games! It doesn’t take a lot to get my creative juices bubbling and I enjoyed the time as though there had been no long Covid in my life.
Summer School at Missenden Abbey in Buckinghamshire in August was the first actual face-to-face course since 2020, and we were all tip-toeing around each other, adhering to the ‘rules’ of social distancing, and very soon we all realized that we had for a short time, forgotten all about it!
Weekend courses are now being booked and I’m back at Missenden Abbey again in October (see dates and details below) and the prospect of again being back working with groups is so exciting. Let’s hope nothing prevents this going ahead.


Missenden Abbey – AUTUMN 2020 Through to Spring 2022 see .....
I’ll be there running both Ink+Watercolour and pure Watercolour courses as detailed below.

29-31 October 2021

Experimental watercolours – from transparent to REALLY transparent……..
Discover hidden depths in watercolour, and capitalize on it during this exciting experimental weekend as we mix on the paper, create illusions and use rescue remedies to creative exciting effect.

25-27 February 2022

Experimental Lino and mono printing workshop.
Incorporating collage, and working with a variety of exquisite papers, blending tradition with exciting contemporary ideas.

25-27 March 2022

Ink and watercolour know no bounds………An energetic stroll into abstract on this workshop. Feel the excitement brew as the unexpected creeps over the paper, whilst we develop ideas through creative play and experimentation.

22-24 April 2022

Contemporary works on paper………Oh the joys of creating contemporary works – with ink and watercolour – join me on a journey with a difference. It’s not all about paint, and paper isn’t just the vehicle for it. Find out more on this very exciting and creative workshop.

20-22 May 2022

Composition, composition, composition……..Working with pure unadulterated watercolour, we shall explore some intriguing methods which would make the early Victorians’ hair curl! We shall be dipping more than just a toe into this tantalizing medium – taking unnecessary risks and reaping the rewards together as a result.

10-12 June 2022

Small format, strong contemporary ink and watercolour works on paper……….
A workshop full of surprises…..let’s be brave with these liquid challenges. We shall look beyond the norm as we take the plunge with watercolour enhanced with ink. A thoroughly modern take transcending preconceived ideas as we step boldly into a world of minimalist ideas, whilst manipulating paper and subject matter.
Not for the faint hearted!

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