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Lins partner is all heart

Lin Watson and Mick Barrett outside Lins new art studio
Lin Watson and Mick Barrett outside Lins new art studio

A Bishops Stortford artist is to open her own gallery and studio this weekend in the garden of her partner, who built it for her.

Artwork by Lin Watson
Artwork by Lin Watson

Lin Watson, 62, has lived in the town for 20 years, having moved here from London. Her claim to fame is that she previously worked for music legend Sir Elton John as his housekeeper.

While she worked for the 70-year-old singer-songwriter, Lin cared for his beloved pet pooches. An animal lover herself, and possessing a creative flair, Lin made two papier mache sculptures of his dogs.

Lin now cares for people’s pets for a living. “Realising they all have their own personalities, I started capturing them in watercolours and papier mache sculptures,” she told the Independent.

“I studied art and art history what seems like a lifetime ago,” she said. “My passion has always been nature, travel and animals.

Artwork by Lin Watson
Artwork by Lin Watson

“Capturing a moment of colour, fun and memory has always been reflected in what I paint. I love to see the fun side of life, which is why I love naïve-style, quirky art.”

Opening her own studio and gallery is something she has wanted to do for years. Her partner of two-and-a-half years, Mick Barrett, 61, decided that he could build her a summerhouse in the garden of his home in Birchanger, and with the help of a friend, Rex, the pair completed the project, ready for Lin’s grand opening on Saturday (Nov 18).

Between 10am and 2pm on Saturday and Sunday, Lin will welcome guests with fizz and chocolates. She will exhibit her own pieces as well as works by guest artists Shaz Bilyard, from Portugal, who paints onto mannequins, and Gregory Beasley, a painter from Brisbane, Australia. Lin said: “His paintings ooze raw but powerful energy with drawing and vibrant colours.”

Lin will also sell cards, from her Charlee collection, named after her own dog, who died a couple of years ago.

Artwork by Lin Watson
Artwork by Lin Watson

The cards are sold to raise money for Many Tears Animal Rescue, based in Carmarthenshire. The charity takes in and rehomes mainly ex-breeding dogs who are no longer wanted. Many of the dogs it cares for have never seen the outside world.

The charity resonates with animal lover Lin. “The lady, Sylvia, who runs the place with her husband works tirelessly to find homes, foster or permanent, for all the thousands of unwanted dogs that pass through her gates yearly,” she said.

Lin’s gallery and studio is at 30 Birchanger Lane, Birchanger CM23 5QA.


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