Sunday 26 August 2012


Yesterday we went to Topsham, a village in Devon on the estuary of the river Exe, near to the cathedral city of Exeter.
We were attending a private view of paintings and drawings at 'The Art Room' on the Strand.

The artist Robert Hurdle is ninety-four years old, still active, producing beautiful paintings. This exhibition was showing examples of his early work.
Robert and Himself taught together at art school.
Robert's style has changed over the years. 
I particularly liked this period
and would have very happily taken this little one home!
These two paintings, from the late 30's have their sitters standing before them.
"You looked like Johnny Depp" I told Robert of his self-portrait.
"Never heard of him" he replied.

'The Art Room' is on the Strand, a narrow road that runs parallel to the river estuary. The houses are on one side of the road and their gardens, beside the water, on the other.
Many of the houses are very beautiful and Dutch in style, due to the trade links with that country. 


The doorway of Shell House.

One of the gardens with a glimpse of the estuary beyond.

Some of the houses  have large upper windows to take advantage of the view.


(A huge block of flats has been built right by the water and they must have a wonderful outlook. But the building is so ugly that I have chosen to ignore it. Town planners, what were they thinking of!!!)

We went to Topsham's small, friendly museum, run by volunteers, for tea and a slice of cake.

Salmon caught in the Exe!
A recreation of Miss Holman's sitting room. She was the founder of the museum.

You can tell from the photos out of doors that it was yet another dull, wet day, but, in spite of it, we had a lovely time.


  1. Beautiful art and architecture. The paintings are a style that I love. We'd have to arm wrestle for that little painting. That's a beauty!

    1. Arm wrestle - sounds fun! But the little painting has a BIG price, clearly Robert is not interested in selling it. I shall photograph some of his recent paintings for you when we visit his house.

  2. Rosemary, You always take the most wonderful day trips. Two of my and architecture. I loved seeing the portraits and the models. Wonderful!

    1. I couldn't resist placing Robert and his model in front of their former selves. The woman's portrait was a beautiful piece of work. I was surprised that it was for sale and that she didn't seem interested in owning it.
      In spite of the weather it was a lovely outing. The volunteers in the museum were so friendly and their home-made cake delicious!

  3. What a wonderful way to spent a day. The houses are beautiful, and rather quirky, what with having their garden's on the other side of the road. I love the photo with the two people in front of the paintings they originally stood for.

    1. We thought twice about going, Gary, when we woke up to wet weather and contemplated bank holiday traffic, but we made the right decision. (Though I did pootle along the Strand in rather damp shoes.)

  4. What a quaint looking spot and a great day for an art exhibit. There is so much charm in those old structures.
    I quite like the artist's style and had to smile when he mentioned that he'd never heard of Johnny Depp!

  5. Thank you for sharing your delightful trip!

  6. This looks like such a beautiful part of the world. I loved seeing your photos of this lovely village with its Dutch inspired houses. And your visit to the art gallery looked very enjoyable. The art work is excellent and isn't it fun to meet the artist!

  7. Rosemary, How wonderful it would be to sit and chat. I am very cautious of publicly posting dates of travel plans. My email address is One day I believe it is destined that we meet. Bonnie