'We may have to seek some solitude, but let’s not isolate from the marvelous.'

from Keeping the Smoke Hole Open: Seek Vigil Not Isolation.
Martin Shaw. Emergence Magazine. Read the article here.  

It is from a quietened, boundaried space that I compose this newsletter. Much learning is embedded in these last months- I feel it is early days in terms of understanding the experience. The days have had the quality of a vigil. I keep informed but being deafened by Covid-talk doesn't support the immune system or anything else. 
Restriction of movement has expanded horizons for me. Our mesolithic hunter gatherer ancestors knew about 40 mi.² area of land- well. I think that's quite a lot. My ‘patch’ has extended over about a mile from the bungalow I live in (you will notice from the images below that it includes a shoreline)...and I can honestly say that I now consider myself 'a local'- alongside the gulls and crows and dog walkers.
An art practice that historically takes me places has had to stay put. Insights have landed in my patch unbidden- of course, everything was there beforehand but I wasn't present to see it. I hope you enjoy the selection of paintings that each represent a lived experience of this place . As Martin Shaw says: the marvellous is here.
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BAT'S HEAD BASKING IN MARCH SUN. diptych.  Gouache with beach materials on handmade cotton rag paper. £720 framed including p&p... contact me if interested to know more.

Here we are at the beginning of March just before restrictions...I can see the chalk of this landscape from Weymouth Bay.
The painting is the result of two visits: on the first I focussed on the structure of what was set out before me. How small Bat's Head is from this high vantage point. How vast those valley bottoms.
This one is called Scratchy Bottom. Bat's Hole has really expanded since my first visit in 1984.

On the second visit I elected a clear day- mid morning- sun still low: gritty earths grating the paper surface- Bat's Head sun bathing - crisp fine grasses of the chalk ridge scratch my legs- gale-tossed nuggets of chalk scattered over the cliff- rabbit scrapes- thin soil- ochre sedimentary rocks- fox-coloured exposures in the foreground- chalk milk sea....hopefully all that is in the fabric of the work in some way

TERNS ARE BACK! True gesso and watercolour with beach litter and Sandsfoot clay and grit on handmade cotton rag paper. 22x16cm unframed dimensions. Available framed £ me to enquire.
Birds have been very present throughout these months... terns are particular favourites of mine...along with swallows and swifts... they all have such a distinctive balletic flight as well as the elegance of a dancer.

I include here a selection new BIRD work
GREEN SALMON MOON AND RED HARBOUR LIGHTS. Portland Harbour. April 2020. watercolour with shore materials on handmade cotton rag paper. Image size 22x16cm. £490 framed including p&p. contact me if interested in this or in seeing more...that particular full moon tide was glorious.
FLOOD TIDE. 16X46cm unframed size. Gouache, watercolour and site earths on cotton rag handmade paper £720 framed - contact for information.

When the moon is full the water licks around enormous tree trunks that slipped within tidal reach some time ago. The wood is white and stone hard. They have a real presence. I've repeatedly painted them. This particular evening was quiet and saturated with turquoise. Sandsfoot Castle perches infront of me. The street lights along Old Castle Road and the causeway to Portland have just come on. The water creeps up and up until there is no shore. 
WHERE THE UNDERCLIFF TUMBLES ONTO THE SHORE True gesso, watercolour, gouache and site materials on cotton rag handmade paper. June. 16x22cm unframed size. £490 framed. contact me for information. 
Evening- Sandsfoot castle cuts against the skyline- the stone was still warm after a beautiful day- the sun hasjust set. Gorse yellow flowers glow in the shadow.
BOATS AND BUSINESS ARE BACK, Portland Harbour. True gesso, beach materials (Sandsfoot clay and grit and beach litter) and watercolour on cotton rag paper. 30x16cm. £490 unframed including postage. Contact me if interested. 
I'm at the bottom of the narrow path down to Castle Cove ledges. The vegetation has become ragged with, breeze, foraging crows and reeds animate the experience. The waft of honeysuckle sweetness and the pink of bramble flowers decorate the path to the other side.
True gesso enables me to introduce organic elements like these reeds and the remove them while the gesso is still effect leaving trace fossils in the surface. I like to think the air is full of flying insects and that the swifts are careering above!  
 flood fingers swollen weed
sloppy-kisses the shore
sea-shadow shunts wrack
shoves it into thick pleasure mounds
weeny water bodies with bits in
tickle and chase the sun
I hear the land robin song 
sniff the salty whiff of the air it rides on
with my custard warm skin
and wet bum
the rock I was sitting on has gone under and elsewhere with the crab

July 2020

I've a little more availability for anybody who would like to explore the possibility of support for their practice through on-line or telephone mentoring. I am able to accept one or two new mentees. This seems to be positive for my current mentees during these weeks of isolation- but there is always value in setting time aside for oneself in this way. If you have worked with me before and feel I could be useful...or if you would like to connect for the first time do
email me. I will then send more details about format and fees and options. It is valid as a one-off option, as a regular commitment or as required.

I'm grateful to the following galleries who continue to support my practice at a time when my natural inclination is to be quiet: work can be viewed in.

Exhibition opens: Tuesday 1 September, 11am to 5pm
Exhibition closes: Saturday 12 September, 5pm

THE COMMON GROUND exhibition in Farnham will reopen but til then the work can be viewed here


I wish you all a safe summer.
My studio space is large and airy if you would like to arrange a visit.

and thank you for reading


Copyright ©Frances Hatch July 2020, All rights reserved.
July 2020 Newsletter.

My mailing address is:
Unit 1, Basepoint, Jubilee Close, Weymouth, Dorset DT47BS
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Frances Hatch Artist · Unit 1, Basepoint Centre · Jubiliee Close · Bridport, Dorset DT4 7BS · United Kingdom

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