One of the best moves I have made in being an artist is joining a local art group, in my case the SAA Frome Valley Art Group in Winterbourne, South Gloucestershire. Each year we hold our annual art show, our 26th, having taken place this last weekend. And boy, what a show!
In the 5 years I have been attending, the wealth and variety of talents across many mediums used has grown from strength to strength, this year’s event exceeding everyone’s expectations in both numbers of visitors, and numbers of works sold, and with over 60 members, there was much to see, although not all of our members exhibited.
The lead-up to the show is hectic, both from the committee’s point of view in organizing, and ours as the artists. In my case the busiest being that of deciding which paintings to put in, then pricing each work (always a problem). More so this year due to the current economic crisis. Would people want to pay what is a frivolity, a non-essential, when they have worries over fuel and food bills. Our exhibitions have always proved popular but the usual concerns as to whether anyone would come let alone buy anything are constantly there. Once entries are decided upon, next comes the business of obtaining suitable frames and mounts etc, not normally an issue but stores here supplying these, are struggling to obtain stocks or have limited choice.
My seven paintings were hung along a wall all to themselves, with the theme of water running across four of them.
From the moment the preview evening’s doors opened the room was packed. One of the many joys at these events is being able share and talk art with people who love your work, often more so than the satisfaction that comes from selling one. I was of the mind that even if nothing was sold, it was unimportant. To my surprise and delight one of mine, the bluebell painting, sold within half-an-hour. People love my bluebells, it seems. The purchaser was even more delighted to be introduced to me. A second joy came when another couple sought me out to chat about one of my works they had purchased in late 2021. Saturday proved equally busy, as did Sunday, the only lull being during lunch time.
Arriving for stewarding duty on the Saturday afternoon, I was greeted with news that 2 more of my paintings had sold that morning. On Sunday, arriving to enjoy an afternoon cup of tea and cake from the refreshment table before the raffle was pulled and the event closed, I didn’t notice at first that a fourth painting of mine had also been purchased.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable, and successful show for everyone involved, if tiring. Over 40 paintings sold, not including those from the mounted tables.
Many artists, including myself, are donating our sales money to our chosen charity, the Ukrainian Red Cross, as has one member who ran a table in the foyer selling her bespoke, hand-crafted and beautiful individual greeting cards.
What a show!