The winter months see Tresco at its quietest, and what better time for Gallery Tresco’s bank of artists to visits, stay and gather inspiration for the season ahead. Tresco is home to two artists’ chalets, and the gallery organise week long residencies from the end of October through to January. These stays provide the basis for each artist’s catalogue of Tresco works, which will then be featured in exhibitions and collections at Gallery Tresco throughout the following season. Nicola Hancox reflects on her recent stay on Tresco this winter.
“Thanks to Lucy and Robert Dorrien Smith’s generosity, I have just returned from a wonderful week’s artist residency in one of the artist chalets.
This year my husband came with me, so whilst he was searching the shoreline for cowrie shells and reading the final book in the Stieg Larsson trilogy, I was out gathering as much information as I could to bring home with me to my studio to paint for my next exhibition at Gallery Tresco.
The location of the chalet is idyllic. It is hidden away at Borough Farm in such a peaceful spot with marvellous views over to St Martins. I have been coming to Scilly for over 40 years and have only discovered this area since staying at the Chalets. I love the path from the chalet that leads all the way to Old Grimsby and I love the veg stall just below. One day I must paint this view.
On a typical day, I will leave early and make my way down to the beach, because what I love to paint more than anything else is the sea lapping onto Tresco’s white sparkling sand and the different stages of the tide. Here I sketch, make notes and take photo’s to bring home to my studio to then work up into a painting.
The day flies by so quickly, with just a short break in the New Inn for lunch. At the end of the day, just before the light fades, early in November, I like to head for Appletree Bay, always hoping to see a beautiful sunset over Tresco and Bryher. Then back to the chalet for a cuppa before returning to the New Inn by torchlight for supper.
Although I find Tresco wonderful at all times of the year, as each season brings different moods and colours, winter is particularly lovely. The weather can be as beautiful and sunny as any summer’s day or, may be very dramatic with fast moving clouds or peaceful and quiet with soft grey winter light. The sea too can be amazing. I really enjoy walking up the north end of the island and watching the big sea’s rolling in between Tresco and St Martin’s and the waves crashing into Piper’s Hole. Another scene I must paint!
Several years before I went to Art School in 1974, I was lucky to discover the Isles of Scilly as a child with my Parents. I feel very privileged I am now able to spend my days painting all its beauty.”
You can view Nicola’s work along with that of many others on the gallery’s website: http://www.tresco.co.uk/what-to-do/gallery/default.aspx