ARTS TRAIL visitors saw proof that artists are continuing to producing fabulous work during the pandemic.
In fact lockdown spurred one of them, Vanessa Beresford, to move from teaching pilates at her Twyford home, to concentrate on creating beautiful stained glass.
Last weekend, as part of the Henley Autumn Arts Trail, she ran her first stained glass workshops so others could learn her craft.
“My pilates has been on hold because of Covid. I used the pilates studio at my home to teach small of groups of beginners the art of layering and cutting glass, copper foiling and soldering the glass together to make Christmas pieces and sun catchers.
“They were so enthusiastic. I’ll be running similar workshops from the end of November. Anyone interested can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Her interest in glass started when she saw the way light changes colours in an infinite number of ways.
“I realised it was a way of crafting decorative art and garden sculptures, which are never static because of the way light passes through,” she said.
Vanessa exhibited her own work along with that of two Woodley artists, photographer Neil Onslow and urban architecture painter Michael Garaway. All three of them were lecturers in the Faculty of Arts at Thames Valley University and Reading College before leaving to pursue their own professional careers.
Wokingham artists Caroline Gatfield and Sarah Abell took part in the Artists at Shiplake exhibition at the village’s church hall. They displayed their ceramics and polymer clay bead jewellery.
Like other artists, Caroline said numbers of trail visitors were lower than usual.
“But that’s to be expected in these times,” she said. “All the artists had some sales and we chatted to a lot of people. It’s nice to be with other artists and exchange ideas. We are all optimistic.”
In Hurst, Liz Chaderton who paints animals in watercolours displayed her work in a marquee on her front drive. With her was Catherine Ingleby of Waltham St Lawrence, exhibiting her oil paintings.
Her sporting subjects include race horses and working dogs.
“A lot of people stopped when they saw our bunting out. It’s so nice to see people face to face and to watch their reaction to what we are doing. You miss that on internet,” said Liz.
“This was the only face-to-face event I’ll do this year because other events have been cancelled.”