Admirable Arts

I've always counted myself very fortunate for the passable gift of words with which I've been blessed. But the more I see of the creative world, the more I admire of other arts.

On Wednesday, I was in Exmouth to judge the town's Art Group Annual Exhibition. And I wanted to share some of what I saw there, because it's very well worth seeing.

Firstly, I was more than a little nervous about the judging. What do I know about art?

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This is me, at the exhibition, looking a little daunted and quizzical (to say the least). But I needn't have worried, because everyone was so kind and made me hugely welcome - a very big thank you for that.

There were three hundred artworks to judge, and it took me almost three hours, and much agonising to come to a top three. This is the third place - Riding the Waves, by Pat Tubbs.

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What wonderful life and joy in the brushstrokes. (See, it didn't take me long to get the hang of the terminology.)

Here's the second place - An Estuary Evening, by Mark Loman.

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Beautiful colours, capturing the evening light. A really moody, moving painting.

And here's the winner, Golden Harvest, Devon, by Clare Evans.

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I thought this was stunning; for me it captured the county I love at my favourite time of year.

So, I had a splendid evening and came away greatly impressed. We are so lucky in Devon with all the talented people here, and how much they love the county - that was clear from the artworks.

The exhibition was so inspiring that I did, briefly, toy with the idea of having a go at painting, but you'll be glad to hear the thought has now gone away.

I'll keep working at getting the hang of words first...