Tuesday, 17 June 2008

3 Counties Show

So, I survived my first ever tradestand experience! Here I am in the stand on day one:

It was an enjoyable 3 days. Friday morning I was a bag of nerves, not knowing what to expect. Luckily a member from the pet portraits forum that I belong to turned up to say hi and we wandered off to see the horses and that calmed me down a lot. Hi Dawn!

Sitting and working on a painting with people watching was a very strange experience. I never quite got used to it over the weekend but I'm sure that, in time, it will feel a bit more natural. I certainly hope so! I even had a couple of art groups asking if I'd like to come and do demonstrations for them but I had to turn them down as I'm really not at that point yet! I had a lot of wonderful comments about my paintings which has helped my confidence and I'm now wishing I'd started doing tradestands a long time ago as I might not have taken so long in believing in myself!! A lot of flyers were given out so fingers crossed I get some commissions from this weekend but it was definitely worth the experience and we're now thinking of doing other agricultural shows next year too. Being my first tradestand, we've learnt a lot over the weekend that we will use for future tradestands and we've also been surprised by a lot of things, such as the fact that people are more willing to spend extra to buy a print framed so they don't have to worry about getting it framed when they get home. Chris also took a poll as to which was the people's choice painting and Meandering came out on top.

Sadly though, I can't now relax and recuperate as I have 2 paintings I need to get finished by the end of the week but we might take off a week in September, when we finally have some spare time, and relax then!

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Tradestands, the saga begins

Tomorrow will be my first ever tradestand and I've decided, not sure whether foolishly yet, to go all out and have it at the 3 Counties Agricultural Show which covers Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire! I spent all day yesterday getting the last bits and pieces done, mounting and framing prints for display etc and today we took my stuff over to the show ground to set up my stall. All I can say is that it's been one of the most stressful and tiring things I've ever done and I haven't even spent a day there with customers yet! Seeing my little stand next to those with lots of money lavished on them made me feel a bit inadequate at first but I reminded myself that I'm self-employed and can't afford the best of display equipment, and I'm sure people won't really notice. As it is, this foray into tradestands has cost me an astounding amount so far, not only did I have to pay for pitches, but also get all the equipment together and get my prints and cards made up. I'd better sell some things and get some commissions or I'll be majorly out of pocket and in the bad books with hubby! It still makes me chuckle when people assume that us artists make lots of money, if only they knew the truth!! Now I just have to get the painting I'm going to work on started, tweak another painting I finished recently and then I think I'm all set. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Cambridgeshire Art Fair

Over the weekend I had 4 paintings at the Cambridgeshire Art Fair on a stand run by Nicole Langstaff Fine Art. It was held in a large hall at Chilford Hall Vineyard and attended by lots of incredible artists of many different styles. I sold one painting which was wonderful and paid for the weekend (that was hubby's main concern!) but whilst over in Cambridgeshire we also took in a short tour at the National Stud and it's reminded me how much I want to expand my art to take in racehorses but to try and change people's opinions of racing art and make it slightly more contemporary. Knowing that a lot of the racing industry like their traditional paintings, this could prove to be tricky to break through but I'm always up for a challenge!

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Commission - Angus and Tara

This was a birthday commission for Angus, here with his favourite lab Tara. This was painted on a canvas size 12x10". I chose to blend in the edges of the background to make it a bit more painterly, plus, to be honest, I'm not the best landscape artist so it helped make sure I didn't make too much of a mess of it!

Final preparations are under way for the Three Counties Show next week and I've just received my Fine Art Cards. I have had 8 designs made up and these will be in my shop on my website as soon as hubby adds them, might take a while!