Well, the first week is over… I was footling about on the first day, convinced I was to receive no visitors (on due reflection, perhaps trying to hold my Private View on a Saturday night was a non-starter), and heard a knock on the door…
And there were people galore!
As it turned out, my cousin had spotted Open Studios approaching and thoughtfully prodded several family members into coming – not only said cousin but my aunt and uncle (a painter himself), plus one surprise neighbour with her own interest in art 1. They all turned up on my doorstep within half an hour of each other…
… and we held our own impromptu Private View, which made my day 2.
I’m also pleased to report we all ate the shortbread and passionfruit cake threatened in the previous post… and survived!
The following day someone from St Albans Art Society also visited, and very flatteringly quizzed me all about my work 3.
And yesterday, which was another very pleasant surprise, the lady who produces the local Park Street newsletter came to visit… with formal interview to follow ^_o…
I’m still pretty sure my house is still too far from any pass-by traffic to get many visitors (although we’ll see if there is any increase in footfall next week when nearby artist Sarah How is also opening her studio), so I’ll probably be changing my approach next year.
However, I’m hardly one to talk… I’ve not yet even planned my visits to the other local artists myself >_<…
Mosaics, intriguingly… I wonder if she’s involved with the local marquetry group…
We discovered (when on the obligatory 3-hour tour of all artwork in the house) by dint of hey-I-recognise-that-still-life, that my uncle and I have the same occasional painting tutor, Caroline Bays… … this also means we both paint well enough to accurately identify objects in our still lifes. A mutual win!
His own speciality is in maintaining very intricate and informative sketchbooks – something of a diary, something of a scientific journal, and illustrated throughout with very beautiful line-and-watercolour sketches.
Yep, it’s that time of the year again… the time I realise I haven’t actually started preparing for my Herts Open Studios and it begins next week.
Cue frantic shopping for refreshments, brochure distribution (which can handily be done simultaneously… or at least some supermarkets put them up on their community noticeboards) and slathering nearby street furniture in fluorescent yellow signage.
This year there are a few other artists in the vicinity, so I’m hoping we might encourage visitors to tour us all…
So yes! Come to Herts Open Studios, and take a look! There will be artwork! There will be tea and shortbread! There may also be passionfruit cake… unless it ends up like my last attempt at passionfruit cake, in which case, well, there will just be tea and shortbread.
The question one asks as one sticks the 56th of 80 greetings cards (and its envelope) into its acetate sleeve, and realises that all the envelopes have been obscuring the card designs.
The question one asks as, juggling one heavy frame and two folders full of delicate unfixed pastels in one hand, and one ill-advised eco-friendly mug of coffee in the other, one’s trapezius threatens to part from one’s spine.
The question one asks as one totes a picture into an exhibition, weighed down physically but buoyant in spirit1, to replace a sold painting, only to find that the customer has brought it back again2, and the precious, precious sales money refunded3.
And so, I drooped off home to drown my sorrows in tea.
Fortunately, a kindly next-door neighbour salvaged my mood by dropping by to deliver some chocolate biscuits as thanks for mowing their lawn while they were away, reminding me that sometimes, pleasant surprises happen too, such as…
After spending the morning chatting to a fellow local artist and admiring their beautiful artwork.
This also means that, tragically, my puns of the previous post were wasted, since it was the donkey painting which had been returned.
I’m glad to say that Bricket Wood Art Club nonetheless let me hang my replacement picture anyway, since I was on the warm and grumpy side after lugging it in and finding I hadn’t sold anything after all. I then made an ass of myself repeating to the staff all the donkey puns I could think of.
Which makes them, of course, hot cross puns.
Whoops. So. This announcement is over a week late now, but at least it’s not as late as my formal announcement of Bricket Wood Art Club’s first exhibition of the year, which finished at the end of March and has as yet received but a throwaway mention in February Update (part 1).
So. Come along to the lovely summer exhibition of Bricket Wood Art Club inside Burston Garden Centre, open from 10am to 6pm1. Entry is free, and there is a restaurant/cafe inside, open until 4pm, which I can attest does a decent cup of tea2.
The address is: Burston Garden Centre N Orbital Road St. Albans Hertfordshire AL2 2DS
… Burston Garden Centre has a bit more info on its own webpage here… ooh, and apparently the parking is free too. I tend to forget to mention this, not having a car!3
…despite unfortunate and wide-reaching confusion of several stewards… all right, mainly me… which resulted in several people signing up until 5pm, not realising this left the final hour of the exhibition unattended!
Not that I spend all my time stewarding chain-drinking cups of tea, you understand.
I should probably also mention, not that I’m bragging or anything, that the Hee-Hawe-some painting of a Wonky Donkey at the top of the page was in the exhibition, but has now sold… which I’m very glad of, since it was a Bray-ve Attempt which took Donkey’s Ears to paint…
OK, I’m done now.
To be fair, the problems this year can mostly be ascribed to
Acts of God, and have also mostly been inflicted on other people (a fellow SAAS
committee member comes to mind, as does the person I go to for frames who,
having received my order, promptly went into hospital with a collapsed lung1.)
However, this does mean that I spent this evening eyeing my
newly-framed artwork, with its rather stark white mount glowing against the
dingy backdrop of my pastel pictures, thinking….
Hm. Sure wish I’d had time to tint that mount.
In fact, given I’d finished all the artwork going in for
this exhibition by the end of May2, it’s amazing how
much time drained into the black hole of my life before I actually started
getting the framing done. I’m sure there have been psychological studies done
on this phenomenon. So sure, in fact, that I decided the best use of my time now
would be to create a beautiful pie chart3 about
the overheads on producing a piece of artwork4.
Having now tentatively signed up to Instagram as well @TraceysDrawings (#shamelessplug), I fear this overhead will only increase. I’m sure there’s something to be said about working more efficiently but, having spent the last two hours5 waffling on about nothing to do with St Albans Art Society, I shall now finally reiterate/return/wander back to the actual subject of my post, which is:
Come to St Albans Art Society Summer Exhibition!
Come to St Albans Art Society Summer Exhibition!
Entry is free
Open to the public daily from Wednesday 31st July to Saturday 3rd August
Time: 10am to 6pm
At Upper Dagnall Street Baptist Church Hall, St Albans, AL3 5EE
…and still somehow managed to finish the frames. I can happily report they are now up and about again… and their efforts are very much appreciated *bows*.
The same cannot be said for the artwork going into the pending Bricket Wood Art Club exhibition at Burston Garden Centre in St Albans, which is due in less than two weeks, for which only four out of five paintings are finished, and for which I as yet have no frames… this is sure to end well.
Pie chart as beautiful (and accurate) as fifteen minutes of work could render it.
… case in point. NB the so-called ‘Daily Painting’ Challenge was a satisfying exception – but as a result, I now have a backlog of 20-odd paintings to properly process, fix, file and upload to various locations … on top of my previous backlog.
Yup, this took two hours. It was adding in the emojis to the pie chart that did it. The explanation for that black-hole effect is becoming clearer…
Well… in all honesty, the same details, repeated again.
OK. So. In a discussion with an artist friend, we decided it would be good for us to try and do a painting every day for a month (from 8th May to 8th June… yes, yes I know that was over a month ago now…).
After achieving my target, by dint of creatively redefining both ‘daily’ and ‘painting’1, I thought I’d better get round to posting them (in completely random order) before I forgot entirely2.
Several of the below were sketched while holidaying in Scotland, so many thanks to my hosts for generously lending their collection of shiny objects to the cause…
i.e. By dint of applying the following cheats:
Deciding completing a painting every *other* day would be more my style. Wouldn’t want to overdo it, would I?
Redefining ‘painting’ as ‘whatever I felt like’.
Adding on an extra day to my deadline, because I spent the entirity of two of them travelling between home and Scotland. Hm, really I should have added two on… missed a trick there.
And finally, counting the picture I *finished* on the day I started the challenge. Sadly, the Mouse did not in fact take only a day to complete.
As has apparently happened with the ‘Springtime Sketches’ posts.
While I fail to do this in general, I’m holidaying at the moment, pretty much being waited on hand and foot… occasionally extending said hand towards a pencil for a sketch… and then going back to sleep. Ah, so relaxing…1
For me, if not for my hosts. Ooh, almost got away with no footnotes there…
Just a quick post to plug the local Berkhamsted Art Society Exhibition1, which is running until 5pm this Saturday (18th May2). It is a beautiful exhibition of local artists held in Berkhamsted Civic Centre, open daily from 9am to 5pm.
I was very surprised during my stewarding slot to discover how few visitors the exhibition was getting – considering the attractive venue, the location bang in the centre of Berkhamsted (barely ten minutes walk3 from the nearest railway station), the free tea, coffee and biscuits on offer, and of course the quality of the artwork on display4.
So – do please come and have a look if you’re in the area over the next few days!
Or, as I have affectionately heard it phrased, Berko.
And not in fact the 8th of May, which was the date I so cunningly wrote on some blameless visitor’s receipt today…
Or – as I discovered dashing for the train home – 4.5 minutes flat-out running with a heavy backpack.