Author Archives: Nancy Farmer

About Nancy Farmer

Self-employed artist & year-round outdoor swimmer

Teeny Weeny Swimmers

I am painting teeny weeny swimmers!
These are more 4 inch square ‘Mini Swimmers’. The mini swimmers all started when Glastonbury Galleries put on an ‘Anonymous Art’ show two years ago, where they asked lots of artists to create 4 inch square artworks, and sold them all framed the same size and unsigned. I did paintings in watercolour and gold leaf. These ones are not the actual paintings I’m putting in this year’s exhibition, I’ve done something slightly different… though you will all probably guess which mine are in any case I expect.
These paintings will be for sale in the end, but there is a lot of work to do before they are finished…. I know you like a bit of work in progress.
Oh, and I even have a few paintings of chaps as well, but not many as the un-wetsuited ones I know mostly swim at Clevedon and that’s rubbish for underwater photography!

The Ponds film, talks & artwork at the Curzon Clevedon

Sunday 12th May, 7pm

The Curzon – Clevedon’s community cinema – opens its doors again for a second swimming-themed evening. I cannot put it better than the text from their own website – below – though I was tempted to use Emma’s write-up instead, which describes my hats as ‘legendary’.

This evening is expected to sell out, so make sure you book if you want to come.

“In the second of our popular open water swimming events, on Sunday May the 12th we combine a screening of The Ponds with an exhibition of early 20th century photographs of the very pools that this charming film depicts. Before and after the film we have talks from Emma Pusill and John Myatt, two engaging local open water swimmers with quite different stories to tell.

In ‘Travels with My Towel’, Emma will take you on a tour of some of the pools she visited when researching her recently completed book. The Lido Guide (featuring Clevedon Marine Lake), is a practical, beautiful and inspiring guide to the open air pools of the UK & Channel Islands.

In the second talk, in his inimitable style, John Myatt discusses swimming 1km in zero degree water, unconventional Russian recovery techniques, and how the right mind-set led him to his rightful place on the podium at the World Ice Swimming Championships in Murmansk this year.

Nancy Farmer will be selling her exquisite swimming caps, calendars and other works of wet art, and the bar (which sells cake, naturally), will be open before, during and after the event.
Water belongs outdoors!

This event is part of our Curzon Roof Festival, a series of events with the aim of raising funds to repair our leaky roof and save this wonderful cinema.

The Ponds is a film about the brilliant community of outdoor swimming. In a world of constant flux and chaos, it’s almost a shock to discover some experiences remain natural, unhurried and unchanged. In the middle of metropolitan London lies Hampstead Heath, 320 hectares of forest, parkland, wildlife plus three swimming ponds. People swim in them all year round, whatever the weather, just as they did in the time of Keats and Constable, and our cameras filmed them over 12 months as they swam, laughed, sang, complained, ruminated, philosophised and simply sought respite from all that life threw at them.”

 

Prof Wolf’s Evening of Medicine, Music & Channel Swimming

Join us for a fantastic evening of talk, Q&A, live music, and cake!

Sunday 19th May 7.30pm
Cossham Hall, Chapel Street, Thornbury, BS35 2BJ

Professor Andy Wolf recently retired from a career in medicine and proudly became the oldest
man to solo swim the English Channel in 2018 whilst raising funds for revolutionary 3D printing
technology for children’s cardiac surgery at the Bristol Children’s Hospital.

In his fascinating talk Prof Wolf will take us through the trials and tribulations of the training and competition of his Channel swimming exploits.

We will also be treated to explanations about the revolutionary 3D printing technology that Prof
Wolf is helping to fund-raise for and develop which is enabling surgeons at the Bristol Children’s
Hospital to print exact models of patient’s hearts so that they can plan and practice complex
surgeries. The 3D printing will also allow surgeons to bio-print using stem-cells, meaning that
the implanted organ grows with the child and never needs replacing.

Prof Wolf’s talk will be interspersed with live music on a watery theme from local musicians and
the opportunity to enjoy some lovely homemade cakes followed by Q&A

Tickets £6.50, available here.
(school age children go free)

Skinny Dipping: a hypothesis

Skinny Dipping: a hypothesis

Skinny Dipping: a hypothesis

Skinny Dipping: a hypothesis

I will  not say that this happened, this is merely a hypothesis.

If it had happened, if it had happened that close on a dozen girls had skinny dipped in the lake, in a place remarkably close to the centre of a seaside town… if they had, they might have found that the cover of darkness is quite exceptional, the bright lights being all around, but not actually in that place. If they had, there would only have  been the squealing of delight to give them away. They would have been invisible, but not, it is true, inaudible. But the Outside is a big place, and giggling would have carried only so far. The Outside is good for swimming.

If they had swum there. Hypothetically.

 

Sophia, swimming. Digital drawing by Nancy Farmer

Sophia, swimming

Sophia, swimming. Digital drawing by Nancy Farmer

Sophia, swimming. Digital drawing by Nancy Farmer

Little commission I completed a few weeks ago – a digital drawing. And yes, you can ask me to match your wallpaper / paintwork as Sophia did, as long as you can send me a sample of the colour.

A little point here – I do know some artists would be outraged at the very thought of being asked to create art to match the decor, but seriously, would you go into a gallery and say, “I’d like to buy that painting, it’s lovely and it will look absolutely awful in my front room”. If it‘s a commission, an artist should be able to fulfil a brief be it subject, colour, size or whatever, or they are just pleasing themselves… and there’s another word for that 😉

Just saying this, as sometimes I think people are worried about getting a stroppy reply if they ask a question like that. If you do, find someone else to ask….

Changing a brief half way thorough is another matter we needn’t go into here (because this was not the case!). This was a lovely drawing to do, helped in part because of the natural grace in the initial photos I worked from.

Mind you, I can invent grace, where necessary. Trust me, I’m an artist 😉

"How to Stay Dry" ...on Clevedon Beach - sketch by Nancy Farmer

How to Stay Dry on Clevedon Beach

"How to Stay Dry" ...on Clevedon Beach - sketch by Nancy Farmer

“How to Stay Dry” …on Clevedon Beach – sketch by Nancy Farmer

It was a little breezy down at Clevedon Beach this morning. Not as bad as it had been yesterday: a couple of floating trees, a bent iron bar on the beach and multiple heaps of seaweed up on the road above the sea wall bore witness to the weekend weather, but still, the water had that washing machine look to it. And it was a chill wind.
So as well as my cossie I also brought my sketchbook. I had a cold which came back for an encore, and wanting to discourage it from a second curtain call, I still managed to feel that the journey up the M5 was worth it by drawing everyone else getting in instead. There may have been just a little shrieking…
Of course the company, coffee and cake was worth the journey on its own. Especially the company, and being nice and dry and able to enjoy watching the shrieking!

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Drawing in Action! – photo by Row Clarke

Lake Mural by Nancy Farmer

Nature catching up with Art!

Lake Mural by Nancy Farmer

Lake Mural by Nancy Farmer. Photo Joanna Richardson

This isn’t new artwork I just wanted to post this photo, courtesy of Joanna Richardson. This is a panel I designed for Marlens (the charity which maintains the Marine Lake at Clevedon), one of three printed onto tiles and installed at the lake. Usually it’s not underwater, but on Friday it was a very, very high tide. And below is me on a different day, next to it, just for reference!

Me and the Mural!

Me and the Mural! Photo Mary Stanley-duke  (I think!)