Hello. Well, it’s been a while since my last post. Although I’m still not really painting at the moment, one of my acrylics from earlier in the year has been ticking along nicely, and has now popped up in a county open exhibition and been short listed in a national competition.
In April my 14″ by 10″ ‘Gnarled trees on Colmers Hill’ was accepted for this year’s Staffordshire Open Arts. It was exhibited from May to July at the Shire Hall Gallery in Stafford alongside very stiff competition. The standard, as usual, was high and unfortunately, I didn’t win anything, but having the painting accepted was a very welcome boost.
In addition to the chance of it being judged by a panel within it’s category (landscape), it’s also open to a public vote. My fingers are well and truly crossed. Do visit the page and check out all the wonderful entries (mine is on page 2).
And if you fancy it for your wall it’s framed and for sale at £140 to UK addresses only (sorry rest of world). See my notes on sales and email me if you’re interested.
After what seems to have been a long run up, yesterday, October 25th, finally marked the arrival of the Closer to the Art exhibition and fair in Stone, Staffordshire. It was the second such exhibition organised by renowned dragon sculptor Andy Bill.
I’m no stranger to craft and country fairs. A long time ago in a previous life I both organised the former and represented my employer at the latter. So I already had a good idea how much work was involved.
However, this was the first exhibition where I’ve represented myself, and the butterflies were fluttering in abundance in the hour or so before the doors opened. Together with Carole, my wife, we set up on two tables right next to the main entrance.
Once the doors opened the show became very busy, very quickly; there was lots of local support. I had no real expectation of whether or not we would make any sales, but by the end of the show Carole had sold a needlecraft brooch and a beautiful beaded needlecase, and I sold three paintings, all of local landscapes.
All told it was an enjoyable and successful day. Would we do it again? We’d certainly consider it. I think we both learned a lot, although I might take a slightly different tack next time. I’d definitely consider offering more paintings with local interest, and possibly back them up with prints and cards to appeal to all pockets. Buying an original painting at a fairly small show doesn’t really strike me as an impulse buy.
And now it’s all over, I think I’m going to chill for a bit – it’s all been a bit intense. Besides something I have in mind for the Twitter challenge #portraitnovember, I’m going to revisit my Spider-man and Hulk sculpture as a bit of light relief. Heck, it’s about time I finished it…
Well, that’s all done and dusted, the die are cast. I made my first submission of three entries to the Staffordshire Open Art exhibition this morning. Now all I can do now is wait.
It’s odd, but to be honest how I feel has taken me by surprise. A touch of the butterflies is usual of course when trying anything new, but running underneath there’s something different too.
For me this feels like I’m laying down a direct challenge to the selection panel and in someway exposing my soul: “Here’s my work; go on then, judge me!” Now, I post up my paintings for the world to see on Twitter all the time, so it’s not just the idea of presenting work at play here. I think the physical hand-over has made it feel a lot more personal, and now I’m ridiculously nervous.
Ah well, deep breath and a glass of something soothing served as a double will set it right. At least I don’t have long to wait for the decision – sometime next week. Fingers crossed.
Apologies for not posting for a week or three. A few things are behind it really. First, I’ve just been sooo tired – most evenings I’ve been putting my black belt in chair-dozing to good use. Second, my mojo got up, blew me a raspberry and ran off. Finally, I’ve been trying to finish and prepare three paintings to submit to the Staffordshire Open Art exhibition – difficult enough without constantly dropping off and feeling generally ‘meh’.
For me this feels like a big step, I’ve never submitted work for consideration to any exhibition before. It’s a little intimidating if I’m honest as I’ve always been very impressed by the high standard of entries. Nothing ventured as they say, and so I decided to enter the maximum of three works.
My choice for two contributions was guided by a favourable reaction to a pair of recent acrylic paintings on Twitter. I framed up a couple from the #skymarch challenge using bespoke black frames from Jacksons Art supplies:
The Jackson’s frames came as ready cut components and fitted together seamlessly with nothing more than an hour-glass shaped plastic fillet tapped into a precision routed slot. Very accurately cut – I was impressed.
My third is the Sir Gawain and the Green Knight inspired acrylic painting I’ve been working on for a while. I’ve called it ‘A fox for Sir Gawain’. It’s taken a while, but I’ve got it to a stage now where anything else would just be fiddling.
Honestly? The photo really doesn’t do it justice (it’s 18″ by 24″). The sunny area of the sky doesn’t resemble a fried egg (honest), it’s a lot more subtle. The camera has distorted the subtlety of the colours to leave a rough approximation.
This is currently placed with a local framer. I’ve chosen a white, 45mm flat faced frame to set it off. Going to be ready for pick up on Wednesday morning – I’ll post it again.
So, that’s it, all ready for next Friday’s submission. Wish me luck 🙂