• Karen Thomas

The Lion Sleeps tonight (in Bath!)

Back from a wonderful weekend at Bath Art Fair. I love the city of Bath, but it is the first time I've had the opportunity to stay for a few days and soak up the atmosphere.

After a stressful couple of weeks with family illness - so much so that I worried I may have to pull out of the show - I had the sort of three days that restore one's faith in human nature.

The Private View happened on the Thursday night. I was so far off my patch that I didn't have anyone to invite, so expected to have a long night of smiling and trying not to look desperate for company. Only to find I had the most wonderful show neighbours! Having talked all evening, I wandered back to the hotel with a couple of them and ended up in the bar till well past my bedtime. Lifelong friendships were made, along with a few future collaboration ideas.

Day two arrived, along with a steady stream of visitors. Heaven! One of them was a lovely little girl (hello Annika, you made my day!) who was very interested in art. We had a great chat. A couple of sales sent me to the hotel that night with a warm glow. There's no telling what paintings (if any) will go at these events - it is totally reliant on the seemingly flukey 'love at first sight' between viewer and painting. Interestingly I came home with some British wildlife, which are usually my first to go, but said goodbye to a giant water buffalo called Delilah and an Iberian wolf, among other things. As I said, there's no telling!

I'd just arrived on Day three when I had a tap on the shoulder from a lady who'd taken a flower delivery for me. Annika had sent me a thank you card, and her parents had added the flowers. You can imagine how amazing that felt. Four very special art buddies arrived for a catch up, and as usual I nearly expired with excitement. I had jaw-ache after they left ;) Shortly after which, I said goodbye to my largest piece, my latest painting of Jasiri, a lion, to the same couple who bought my wolf the day before and are sure to give them a good home.

Having decided that was it, 'good job done', the organiser of the show appeared with certificates and awards. Apparently I won the Bath Artist's Choice vote, from the public and my fellow artists. My lovely neighbour, Carole Ann Ingram, a fellow watercolorist who paints gorgeous pieces, came second. I call that watercolour, well represented. I have to say, I couldn't believe it. Here we both are, with our prize vouchers (thank you Art

Discount!) There you have it, three exhausting but very special days, and I'm feeling really fortunate.