Monday, June 14, 2010

Otane Arts and Crafts Exhibition 2010

I've been working hard towards our annual exhibition at Otane, especially as The Friday Portrait Group were the featured artists this year and I had volunteered to paint a nude. I also decided to complete the work in oils as skin tones would be easier to blend than acrylics plus colours don't change when they dry. Of course oils have a much slower drying time so I began painting a couple of months prior and spent an hour each day working in the spare room on an easel to protect my Sleeping Beauty from the attack of the cat fur. Of course I still ended up doing a last minute dash which was not aided by my red background which was still tacky days after I painted it. We were hanging the exhibition a full week before opening so I figured it would have dried out way before then which it did.

To make the featured works pop black tablecloths were hung on the wall and the pictures pinned and nailed on top. There were a mixture of working sketches and completed paintings from our life sessions. There was a positive reaction from the public- especially the men. One gentleman took a particular liking to my Sleeping Beauty and asked if he could have the model's phone number. Then he asked if the price meant the model was thrown in as well. I told him he had more chance getting the artist at that price. One old man headed over to the wall with a very determined look on his face only to have his wife grab him by the arm and drag him out of the room. Then there was the local radio announcer who was phoning in reports to Central FM over Friday morning. His eyes firmly fixed on boobs galore he remarked that "the paintings are really superb- you wouldn't think they were done by locals at all!" Did hear on the grapevine that some women in the centre found the works "offensive" but they find us a bit uncouth so that was no surprise.

I had a very strong feeling that with the recession and the tough financial times we would be very lucky to sell as many paintings as we did last year. In the end we sold one- a watercolour by Donna Dahm. However cards went extremely well as did Marie N's art dolls and my hand painted soaps and stone brooches. Marie had brought in four bookcases and painted them white the night before she and I were setting up. I thought I'd made sooo much stuff but when I arranged everything it looked quite meagre. However the display created a great deal of interest with the public and we sold well.

As leaders Glenys and I felt we had to be on duty perhaps more than we needed. I had twisted everyone's arms and had a full roster to help out. I set up my jewellery stand on Wednesday June 2nd, we went to the members' opening on the 3rd, spent Friday the 4th there, Saturday morning and the whole of Monday the 7th. The weather was extremely mild, there were good numbers of people coming through and Glenys had chocolate hidden under the table so the exhibition turned out to be a good thing.

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