Monday, 22 November 2010

First Public Outing

I've been talking for some weeks about the fact that I had decided to exhibit at a local Art Fair and have related tales of the tasks involved. Well Sunday was the appointed day and I duly arrived with a car packed to the gunwales with paintings and various bits of impedimenta to support and display the work. An hour to set up prior to the arrival of the public and dismal weather conditions outside guaranteed to put off any but the real afficianados.

View down the hall prior to opening

The Carney Collection

What an interesting day. Numerous conversations with other artists and passers by were a fund of information about the prospects and the likes and dislikes of the public. There did seem to a general consensus that one off events are not the best way to attract sales, people seem to enjoy a number of browsing opportunities prior to making decisions about picture purchase.

Trying to second guess the taste of visitors was responsible for me loading the front of my display with watercolours, largely flowers and a couple of local scenes. However, I was to proved wrong on this occasion as there was more interest in the oils than there was in the watercolours.

Well there was a steady stream of people braving the elements and showing a real enthusiasm for the efforts of the exhibiting artists, but there was little evidence of purchases being made. In fact at the end of the day most were reporting 'no sales made'. So for me it was an even greater surprise to find that I had bucked this trend by selling four of my oil paintings. The paintings leaving me are the ones pictured below.

It will take a few days to process all of the feedback and reasoning why these rather than other pictures were the ones to move people sufficiently that they put up their hard earned cash to acquire them. A big thanks to them for the way they have appreciated my work and more than covered the not insignificant outlay in preparing for the show.

Wingate Quarry - 12" x 10" Oil on canvas board

Chemical Beach, Seaham - 12" x 10" Oil on canvas board

Gun Hill - 20" x 16" Oil on canvas board

Canyon Light - 16" x 12" Oil on stretched linen

Friday, 19 November 2010

All Framed and Ready to Go

Just finished the framing and other bits and pieces in preparation for Sunday's Art Fair. A selection of nine water colours and eleven oils are ready to be loaded into the car. Still struggling with ideas for how they might be displayed, the important thing is that they are ready. I'm taking along a comment book in the hope that viewers will leave feedback about what they see. If nothing else it could be a valuable learning exercise for me.

I'll post something about the show at the start of next week.



Monday, 15 November 2010

Tenerife Sketches

Home from a wonderful break, sun, mountains, family and good food and wine. What more could one ask for? Well, a bit of painting, in fact. Travel restrictions and baggage charges make it difficult to pack for a family holiday and painting break. This is definitely the time to ensure that a small watercolour box, well stocked and a couple of travel brushes get sneaked in to the case. Along with a couple of pencils and a sketch book it's possible to have a few rewarding hours making images and collecting small snippets of material to inform future work. There is also something relaxing about knowing that the contents of the sketchbook are not going to be the subject of critical viewing by others, they are a wonderful private record of impressions and places, that is unless you open them to the blogging community when you get home. The other thing is that there is no pressure to 'complete' a picture. Fragments and unfinished pieces are just as valuable as source material as a fully realised smaller picture.

The return home was the usual joy of chatting to the kids and the grandkids as well as being able to witness one of the most fulfilling 90 minutes of football.

Church Square, Los Gigantes - Watercolour sketch

Los Gigantes Cliffs from Apartment Window - Watercolour sketch

Church, Santiago del Tiede - Watercolour sketch

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Take every Opportunity

We're enjoying the sun and the leisurely pace, not really conducive to concentrated activity, but the paint box goes everywhere. And so the opportunity arose, a long lunch where time had no meaning but the itch to paint was still lurking. So, reluctant model in place, the pencil then the paint went into operation. Apologies to Sheila. I will get round to painting the cacti and Los Gigantes at a later date.

Sheila - Watercolour sketch

Sheila - Detail

Monday, 1 November 2010

October Project

Portmeirion - Photograph

Some weeks ago Sheila and I spent a few days in Wales, the weather was dreadful but we did venture out and visit some of the interesting nooks and crannies, one of which is the Italianate village at Portmeirion, something of a shrine for fans of the sixties TV series, The Prisoner. My guitar case still bears a sticker reading ' I am not a number, I am a free man'. Those were the days. Oh, do I hear the title to a song?

A big lesson learned in this, the latest instalment in the series of projects that Peter Ward and myself share. The lesson being to plan carefully before committing to paper.

I harboured the thought that I might try to loosen up a little further and planned to leave a lot more untouched paper, but in the dash to complete it in between framing and varnishing for the Fair on November 21st I found my self falling between a number of stools.

You can find Peter's version on his blog

Portmeirion - Watercolour on Rough paper 16" x 12"

I'm not sure that there will any activity on the blog in the next couple of weeks as we fly out in search of some sun tomorrow and internet access might not be convenient.