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The Old Potato Yard, Lydeway
Devizes, Wiltshire
SN10 3PU

01380 848550

The official home of Susie Brooks and other great British Artists

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Women of Mystery - our Curator's latest finds.

Stephanie Szakalo

Have you ever been tempted by a painting only to talk yourself into not buying it because… ’you’ve no more wall space’, ‘you already have enough paintings to fill at least two more houses’, ‘it’s too big’, ‘it’s too small’, ‘it’s too blue’, it’s not the right shape’….the list goes on.

And then, when you get home, you realise it was the most stupid thing you ever did because now you really, really want it?

I’m not normally known for showing restraint when it comes to buying paintings and so what on earth stopped me this time I’ll never fathom.

I was at a local (very good) vintage bazaar recently and I went back at least twice (or was it three times?) to look at this lovely lady. Why oh why did I resist?

The one that got away...

The one that got away...

It’s made even more annoying because the woman in the picture I didn’t buy, shows an uncanny resemblance to something else that I already have... you might have spotted her already and wondered about her story. This second lovely lady;

Mystery Ladies 22.jpg

 I spotted her some years ago outside of a church in Lymington. She’d obviously been doing a grand job for many years tempting people in for a coffee (she’s holding a sign saying ‘Open for Coffee’). We asked the vicar if she’d ever considered selling her and with a sigh she said that if she’d had a pound for every time she’d been asked that question... I think they must have eventually got fed of being asked and stopped putting her outside (at least I hope that’s what happened), because she’s since been replaced with something with much less appeal. Thankfully on that occasion too, I’d taken a snap to remind me of her.

Sadly, there is no happy end to this tale. I contacted the stall holder about the mystery lady as soon as I got home…only to find she’d sold her! How could she? I was gutted.

And so now, I only have a snap to remind me of what I’m missing (again).

The moral to this tale of course is to never, ever dither when you see a painting that you love. Just buy it. (Of course that will mean that I’ll soon have enough to fill at least three more houses, but I say that it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry and you can never have enough paintings...).

And if you’re reading this and thinking….’I bought that painting recently in Devizes’, then I would love to hear from you!