Bliss Complementary Therapies

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Arts Writer Alison Summerfield meets with Victoria Bell owner of Bliss Complementary Therapies Sidmouth whose favourite work of art is ‘The Fisherman’ by renowned naive artist Simeon Stafford. 

Victoria was immediately captivated by this painting as she said it reminded her of her childhood when she and her father would go out in his boat from Branscombe Beach to fish for mackerel. 

“I was an 8 year old Tom boy and loved fishing, after a successful catch we would go back to our beach hut and grill the mackerel on the BBQ. It is amazing just how much  this painting evokes those special memories.”

Victoria’s father sadly passed away about 7 years ago and it was during this time that her journey into Complementary Therapies began. “It was while he was losing his battle with lung cancer that I gave him foot massages which was a comfort to us both.” she says.

“He was a flamboyant, charismatic and much loved character, she continues, as well as a great observer of people, seeing the humour in most situations.” Victoria is right to be proud of her father who created the Homepride flour graders and Tetley’s Tea folk the delightful cartoon characters of the iconic tv commercials that many of us grew up enjoying. 

Perhaps there is something in the bold, honest and unpretentious simplicity of Simeon’s painting of The Fisherman, that shares qualities with Victoria’s father’s work, of this particular painting, he declares “it is one of my favourites of the Beer series of paintings … one of those divine accidents,” he comments without elaborating further.  Simeon visited East Devon for the first time last Summer and was instantly charmed by the coastline from Sidmouth to Beer and so began his new collection of work and the subsequent still lifes and beach scenes. The unreserved directness and the concentration of colour and texture in this painting nevertheless evokes a strong sense of tranquility as the Fisherman sits contemplating his catch and perhaps he too is looking forward to a leisurely BBQ on the beach!

“It is the simple things in life that appeal to me, says Victoria and adds that her love of nature and the sea has stayed with her since her childhood and is why she lives near the sea today. 

For more information on Bliss Therapies at the Beacon Medical Centre Sidmouth, contact Victoria Bell, Tel 07762 405375 or visit www.bellebliss.co.uk

Simeon’s work is in many private and public collections while currently these East Devon paintings can be seen at Marine House Gallery Beer www.marinehouseatbeer.co.uk - Tel 01297 625257.  

Simeon’s Beer paintings are framed at Georgian House Framing Ottery St Mary 01404 815914