Monday, September 25, 2006

Painting Demonstration

Yesterday was a beautiful hot day although we were warned that the ozone layer was at a dangerously low level and to watch out when we were in the sun. I was a bit tired as I'd already spent all day Saturday finishing up three cat brooches for Waddle Inn Carding's shop in Otane as I had promised Kim that I would drop a box of stuff off for her at her Mum's place in Taradale after my demonstration on Sunday. Also did a run of cards from my patchwork animal series so it will be interesting to see how these sell down there as Otane is an arty community with a pretty active quilting group.

Got down to The Craftsman at 10.25am and was sitting painting at a table just inside the front door by 10.30am. There were many people in the street enjoying the entertainment (a band played once, a man wandered the streets playing a saxophone etc.) and the outside stalls were creating a lot of interest with people searching for bargains.

Maureen and Bob kept me supplied with cups of tea throughout the day. There were quite a few customers doing early Christmas shopping although I don't know how they managed to keep their tempers with some tourists who were trying to haggle down the prices on the sales pieces. They seemed to be there a long time chattering in their own language except when they were insisting "You sell me for $2". Considering they were only buying cheap items I felt they were pretty cheeky but I guess this is the way it's done overseas.

I managed to finish a tiger pendant during my time there and half finished a tuxedo cat brooch. Found kids were fascinated by the process and three prepubescent girls kept coming back in the shop to see how the work was progressing. One lady took a card as she is keen for a larger painting of her black lab. In the slow periods either Maureen or Bob would have a chat so the time passed extremely quickly.

Fortunately last week they'd sold a sheep pendant plus two cat brooches so it was worth going in just to hear that. As they're gradually shifting the focus of the shop from gift items to souvenirs Maureen has asked me to paint items with native birds and flowers and other New Zealand themed subjects as this is what tourists like buying.

Got home at about 3pm very tired but the phone went just as I got inside with an upset friend so talked to her for half an hour. Another had left a message so I rang her back and carried the phone round while I saw to the animals outside. Kept nodding off all evening so made it an early night. Can barely move around this morning but it is worth the hassle as getting out in public like that does give you a good idea as to whether people like your work or not.

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