Back in late 2015, I took part in the World Record Challenge run by the Society of All Artists to create a display of the largest number of original works of art in one place. It was intended that entries would be mounted on a series of display boards, showcasing every card received. There was no prize involved. The challenge was open to all members of the SAA worldwide, professional or beginner, any art group, art tutor, family and friends, there was no age limit – anyone could take part. There were no rules other than the piece submitted had to be of trade card size 64mm x 89mm, (think business card size), on any theme and in any medium, and no limit on the number of pieces any one person could submit.
Sounds easy, right? No. I wanted to be part of this unique display but what to paint? Something simple? Something abstract? Something totally off the wall? It took me ages to decide, especially as I’ve never done anything so small and as most of my work includes lots of detail so the subject matter was a hard one, let alone painting it. In the end, I decided to go with an image which basically sums up my work, and that for which I am well known for producing. Yes, you’ve guessed it! I painted a miniature bluebell scene. One card, one entry… and duly sent it off. I wish I had painted a few more as the exercise of creating such a tiny piece of work was indeed challenging, and good for me. I learned a lot.
The submissions received amounted to over 32,000. Yes, that’s right: 32,283 to be precise. That’s 32,283 little cards to be mounted on what eventually became 70 boards holding around 480 miniature works of art, including mine. All the paintings can be viewed here: http://www.saa.co.uk/worldrecordgallery.
I have to admit when I looked at each and every painting (not all in one sitting, I might add) I was amazed at the quality of work. You can find my little effort on Panel 22, Row 20, Column E And I have to say I felt I had not done as well as I could have. It is not my best piece and perhaps I should have painted the underwater scene with jelly fish and coral I originally had in mind to do but hey, it doesn’t matter. I’m there, I’m part of it, as are over 10,000 other artists. Oh, all right. If you really don’t want to pop over to the site and trawl the boards, here’s my little effort. Not much, I admit. And yes, I could do better (to quote my art teacher at school) but I don’t care. It was worth it to be part of this marvellous and unique event.
The SAA has opened the exhibition to members to visit on special days; sadly I am unable to make the journey otherwise I would have loved to go up to Nottingham to see this spectacle. A lot of work has gone into this effort, both by the artists and the team at the SAA. I think it’s amazing and I thank them for giving all of us this opportunity to take part. I do hope it is run again with a view to breaking this record. Meanwhile, I’m working on what I can paint next time.