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The Faberge Big Egg Hunt

The Faberge Big Egg Hunt Auction

Written by Susan Bell
Wednesday, 11 April 2012 11:57

The Big Egg Hunt was a great success with two Guinness World records broken. One for the most entrants in an egg hunt competition at 12,773 egg hunters and the other record was for the most expensive chocolate egg which was auctioned for £7000.
Thank you to everyone who sent me photographs of my egg in St James's Park especially Karen Hollis a fellow egg artist of Art in Bloom who kindly took photographs and a short video of my egg. Unfortunately I was unable to go and see my egg in London as I was setting up my own art gallery at The Wheatcrofts Garden Centre in Nottingham so it was great to see any photos sent in by egg hunters.
After the egg hunt and a Sotheby's auction the remaining 180 eggs were all brought together at the piazza in Covent garden for the public to see them all in one place.

Then on Monday 9th April the bidding for these eggs finally closed. Excitingly my egg which started at £5000 at the beginning of the day crept up to £7500 and then finally closed at £9000 making it the 8th highest bid out of 180 eggs! I was so pleased with this result and would like to thank the people who bid on the egg raising so much money for the two charities, Action for Children and The Elephant Family.




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A Painting Commission for HSH Prince Albert of Monaco

Painting for Prince Albert of Monaco

Written by Susan Bell
Friday, 06 April 2012 12:14

In May 2011 while exhibiting for a second time at the RHS Chelsea Flower show I received a commission from the Principality of Monaco to paint the gold medal winning Monaco show garden designed by Sarah Eberle.
Roger Shine who was on the steering committee for the garden and a close friend to Prince Albert commissioned the painting which I then presented in person to Prince Albert in Monaco. After meeting Roger on my stand at Chelsea I then had a meeting with him and Sarah Eberle, the gardens designer, on the balcony of the Monaco show garden above all the lavender to discuss how the commission would proceed. We discussed which angle of the garden was favoured for the painting and then it was over to me.
After being commissioned I was to move house and live through renovations on the house whilst trying to concentrate on the painting which wasn't always easy as you might imagine. Luckily although the painting took me longer than anticipated everyone involved was pleased with the results.
So in December 2011 my husband and I flew out to Monaco for the presentation of the painting to HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. The private event at the Princesse Grace Theatre involved a screening of a short film by Jonathan Shine on the making of the Monaco show garden at the Chelsea Flower Show from concept to finish. In front of an audience of over 200 guests there were also presentations of medals for members of the design team including Sarah Eberle and Peter Dowle.

Finally at the end of the evening I went on stage to present the painting to Prince Albert. His comments after we unveiled it were that I had really captured the garden so of course I was really pleased. I was told that Prince Albert would put the painting in his office.
After drinks and further photographs with the Prince at the theatre we were then kindly invited by Roger to join the team for dinner at the Cafe de Paris. Sitting next to the retired England cricketer, Ted Dexter and his wife Susan made the night all the more special.

"It has been an honour to paint such a wonderfully designed garden and a challenge along the way also. There is a lot of geometry in the architecture of the design, which slightly moves away from my more impressionistic pointillist style.
I had to try and forget that this was a painting for royalty in order to keep the creativity flowing. My four year old daughter however really loved the idea that I was painting for a Prince and of course I did too”
Garden designer Sarah Eberle commented on Susan’s painting,
“How stunning is that!!! I just love it as it captures the character, the colour and the ambience of the absolutely true likeness which Susan's style suits so well.”

For anyone interested in owning their own version of this original painting I have released a print of the Monaco Garden painting. See under PRINTS.




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Macmillan De' Longhi Art auction

Macmillan De' Longhi Art auction

Written by Susan Bell

Tuesday, 11 October 2011 20:00

This was the 5th year of the Macmillan De' Longhi art auction held at Bonham's auction house on Bond Street in Mayfair on 27th September. All funds raised from donated art work went to Macmillan cancer support. This worthy cause became a lot closer to my heart when my mother was diagnosed with myeloma this year so I didn't have to think twice about being involved with the auction.
On the night I was unable to attend so my husband and brother stepped in for me (the free bar didn't have anything to do with it apparently). I was really pleased to hear that my work sold at the auction and amused to hear about the paparazzi inadvertently photographing my husband and brother in the background behind some current young actress from Made in Chelsea. I do not admit to knowing anything at all about this programme.

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The Valley Gardens - A Royal Landscape


The Valley Gardens - A Royal Landscape

Written by Susan Bell
Saturday, 07 May 2011 20:46

My latest garden visit took me to The Valley Gardens on the northern shores of Virginia Water in Surrey.

The mission was to photograph the flowering azaleas in the area called the Punch Bowl. This visit was for a commission I will be undertaking of a wide but narrow painting which takes in all the azaleas which sit in a bowl shape as the name describes.
After phone calls to the park office and a keen eye on the weather this really was perfect timing for the azaleas as well as being a beautiful, bright, sunny day to take photographs. Like many flowers the azaleas were flowering early due to the extra warm weather.
If you do get the chance this spectacle is well worth a visit. These photos were taken on 27 April so the flowers may be over for this year.

The next day I made a long awaited visit to see the 22,000 tulips at Pashley Manor gardens near Ticehurst in Kent. This was the first day of the tulip festival which runs until the 8 May so if you are in the area this is a stunning display of tulips en masse in every colourway you can imagine.
I will write more about this garden soon as now I'm right in the middle of preparing for the Chelsea Flower show in 2 weeks time. Eeek!











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