Sunday, 17 July 2016

Art at The Orchard interview with artist Clive Bilcliff

We're delighted that artist Clive Bilcliff has agreed to do a little interview for the blog, he's exhibiting a selection of his original paintings here at The Orchard throughout July.

Clive please tell us about your work? What are you currently working on?

 Having started with watercolours - mainly landscapes and seascapes - I then tried oils and more recently acrylics - which I mainly use for  animal pictures and pet portraits, and pastels -  which I use mainly for people portraits.  I now bounce around all of the mediums depending upon the
subject matter. I usually have several works on the go which I dip into as the mood takes me, unless I have a specific deadline to meet for a commission. 

Having just completed another dog portrait commission in acrylics and a rose in watercolour, I am now finishing off a pastel portrait, a still life in pastels, a steam train in watercolour and am about to start on a picture of a horse-drawn plough scene, probably in acrylic.

How did you decide to become an artist?

I have always had a talent for drawing and painting from a very early age - probably inherited from my dad who was also good at sketching.  On leaving school I went to Art College for an Art Foundation year where I was able to sample all forms of art, including painting, sculpture, graphics, ceramic,
fabric and photography before deciding to concentrate on Product Design. I
studied 3-D Product Design at Newcastle Polytechnic, achieving a BA at the
end of my studies.  One of the guys I studied with was Gavin Bocquet, who
went on to work in the film industry and became Design Director with Lucas
Films and worked on most of the Star Wars sets designs.  

However, I realised that I really wasn't good enough to make a living in
design and instead used my degree to go into Human Resources management,
where I spent all of my working career, initially as an employee and the
second half as a consultant with my own limited company.  It was during a
gap between contracts that I rediscovered my love of painting, after
watching Watercolour Challenge on television about 15 years ago.  I joined
Wisbech Art Club about 3 years ago and I am now the Publicity Officer for
the club. Since retiring last year, I have been able to devote more time to
my painting.

What's the best advise you've been given as an artist?

About 5 years ago I joined a watercolour painting class by Ian King
(local professional artist) and one of the best things I learned from his
tuition was to try to be looser in style and to be much more bold with the
use of shadow, which can really bring a painting to life.

What do you do when you are not creating?

In a way, I am always creating - even if it's just in my mind.  I am
always taking photographs of potential subjects for paintings and thinking
about trying new techniques or subjects or experimenting with different
media.  My art studio is full of books, art materials, canvasses, frames,
finished paintings etc.  

But away from painting I also run the Wisbech Acoustic Club which meets
monthly at the Locomotive pub where we play instruments and sing all types
of music.  I enjoy singing (including karaoke) and have taught myself to
play a bit of acoustic guitar and dabbled with the ukulele and blues
harmonica.  Additionally I am captain of a weekly pool team from the
Locomotive.  I child-mind my 2 years old grandson one day a week.  I often
wonder where I ever found time to work in the past!

What are your life and work goals for the future?

I don't really have any life goals except to continue to enjoy life and
what I do already.  I mainly paint for my own enjoyment, but when other
people also enjoy my work, it adds to the satisfaction.

Clive you're currently exhibiting some of your original artwork here at The Orchard where else can we find your work?

I have just had three paintings in the Wisbech Art Club Summer
Exhibition, all of which sold, including one bought by the Mayor of Wisbech.
From 27 August to 2 September 2016, I will have eight paintings exhibited in
St Matthews Church, Sutton Bridge.  I will also be exhibiting at the Wisbech
Art Club main exhibition in St Peter & St Pauls Church, Wisbech in
October/November 2016.

Facebook Page:
SAA Gallery:

Contact details: 
Mobile: 07946 527832

Many thanks to Clive Bilcliff for agreeing to be interviewed for The Orchard Tea Room and Farm Shop Blog. You can view his art daily 10am -4pm until the end of July 2016 at

The Orchard Tea Room and Farm Shop
Redmoor Lane
PE14 0RN

Telephone: 07527 046184
Website: Twitter: @OrchardTeaRoom Facebook: The Orchard Tea Room

Friday, 15 July 2016

Strawberries health benefits

Wimbledon might be over for this year, and what a fabulous year it was for Great Britain, but it's still strawberry season and the good news is that not only are strawberries truly delicious, they're also good for you:

Just 10 strawberries will supply you with the recommended daily amount of vitamin C.

Strawberries are a source of folic acid


strawberries are high in omega 3 fatty acids.

So go on treat yourself to a punnet of delicious goodness!

The Orchard Tea Room and Farm Shop
Redmoor Lane
PE14 0RN

Telephone: 07527 046184


Twitter: @OrchardTeaRoom Facebook: The Orchard Tea Room

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Clive Bilcliff Art Show at The Orchard, Wisbech this July

Following the success of Moira Johnson's art exhibition here at The Orchard Tea Room earlier this year we're delighted to welcome another very popular local artist Clive Bilcliff. Clive will be exhibiting his art in the tea room throughout July.

Born in Newcastle Clive and his family moved to Wisbech over 20 years ago. Now retired from working Clive paints in most mediums across a wide variety of subjects, especially watercolour landscapes and seascapes, acrylic animal portraits and pastel portraits of people. He also works in oils and paints some abstract works.

Clive has been a member of Wisbech Art Club for about 4 years and exhibits his work in their Summer and Winter exhibitions, as well as other local exhibitions. His paintings are available for sale.

Opening Hours 10am -4pm daily

Free entry

The Orchard Tea Room & Farm Shop
Redmoor Lane
PE14 0RN

Telephone: 07527 046184

Website: Twitter: @OrchardTeaRoom Facebook: The Orchard Tea Room