Artists, all creative types in fact, suffer from crippling self-doubt from time to time. And when the self doubt kicks in, it's good friend artists block comes to play too. So here are my top tips to banish them both and get back to creating the art, life or business you love.
Yesterday I delivered some paintings to the beautiful Ytene gallery in Brockenhurst, right in the heart of the New forest , Helen is busy preparing and I'm so excited that my solo show opens on Saturday.
I’ve been going to the new Forest show every year since I was a child. I’ve been exhibiting there as a trader for the past three years and this show never fails to disappoint. So if you’ve never been before, or if you haven’t been for a little while; here in my top 10 reasons why the New Forest show in Brokenhurst in the heart of the new forest is the place to be on the 24th 25th and 26 July.
It's been a busy start to the Summer season in my art studio.
After such a roaring success at Reading Contemporary art fair back in April I've been busy creating new works for the Summer round of fairs and exhibitions.
There are plenty of ways to see and buy my work this Summer.
Firstly there's the fabulous Open exhibition currently at Salisbury library, mounted by Plain Arts Salisbury. I have two locally inspired landscapes in there of Stonehenge and the Cathedral. It's such a varied exhibition, that's there's something for everyone.
The marvellous thing about open exhibitions are how eclectic they are, they are great places to visit with friends and family as you debate the merits of a variety of work. Our Open exhibition isn't a competition, so it's not about agreeing or disagreeing with judges decisions, but with such a variety it's always interesting to discover why something ends up being your favourite.
This Summer also sees a departure for me, in terms of the types of shows.
The New Forest Show 26-28 July will be my first horticultural fair. I've been every year for as long as I can remember, but I've not been an exhibitor. There are always a some really super stands at the NFS, and a huge variety in the Craft marquees. This year, I'm in Craft Marquee A, on stand number 3. Preparations have been full speed ahead, as Dad helped construct my stand structure and Mum is busy making rustic bunting! It's going a to a lovely stand. I’m going to be exhibiting my popular Countryside companions collection. There'll be some super eye catching large works, on natural linen, beautifully framed. Also they'll be some limited edition prints, cute cushions and some small canvases too. Do come along and see me if you're at the show. The Craft marquees are on the West hand side of the show ground, by the Village green.
Throughout August I will be exhibiting some of my landscapes in Boston Tea Party in Salisbury. A great chance to see locally inspired landscapes and seascapes, and have a refreshing cuppa while you’re there.
Hot on the heels of the New Forest show and Boston Tea party is BBC Countryfile Live at Blenheim palace 4-7th August. The inaugural event promises to be nothing short of spectacular.
I will be in the Craft heroes marquee this time. Hero? Why yes, I’m going to be demonstrating oil painting techniques. I’ll be creating more countryside companions and beautiful landscapes during the four day show to add to my collection. All works will be for sale, though you might have to wait a bit while they dry! I have a couple of complimentary tickets left, so please email me if you’d like them. First come first served.
In August I’ll be heading up some more fantastic workshops at Salisbury Museum. On 16th August is Salisbury museum’s discovery day, where you can come and explore the Cathedral collections and join some arty workshops while you are there. For all ages. I’m also doing some workshops at Salisbury Cathedral, which are sold out, however there are some more coming up in the Autumn, and I’m taking bookings for Tuesday 1st November
So plenty to keep you going through the Summer, and if you make it to any of the events listed, please pop by to say Hello, I’d love to see you there.
Do you wish you knew how to navigate your way into the art world?
There are plenty of articles, blogs and books for artists, on how to approach galleries to sell their work. There are almost as many books on how to sell without gallery representation.
But there doesn’t seem to be much advice for first time collectors to buy art!
So here are some ideas you might want to try.
Have a good look at your home. Where do you want to put your artwork? Have you got a minimum or maximum size? Have you got pallette in mind?
Have a look in your locality.
Go to a small gallery,often they are coffee shops too, so have a nice cuppa and slice of cake and start working out what sort of things you like, and how much they cost. You are allowed to browse.
In August I'll be exhibiting in Boston tea Party in Salisbury. In fact they have a different artist there every month.
Go to an art fair. Small or large you’ll find something that will at least help you hone your eye and make up your mind what you like.
Some art fairs are for galleries to show the work of artists they represent, others deal directly with the artist. Either way, its good to go and have a look. Collect plenty of flyers and cards so the you can look them up later.
Keep your eyes open in hospitals, hotels, restaurants - many artists are showcasing their work now in public places. They might not be for sale, but you’ll get a name to look up later.
There are some surprising places to find great art works. This Summer I'll be at the New forest show with my Countryside companions collection and I'll be a BBC Countryfile live at Blenheim palace demonstrating oil painting techniques. There will be other artists and crafters there too. It's a great opportunity to find out more about art, as there are so many other things going on too, noone will expect you to be an expert on art. Simply rock up and enjoy yourself!
Most professional artists have their own websites, but you might not be able to find them based on a google search. Once you have a name go directly to the site.
Some artists have an online store don’t be put off if they don't. You might be able to arrange a time to visit their studio.
If you make an appointment to see an artist in their studio, keep that appointment - they will have set aside time for you. Do not worry about buying straight away. Often artists anticipate visitors to their studio, might end up commissioning work rather than buying what is already there. Often couples visit together, then they want to go away and think about it, then come back another day.
If you have seen their website, or work elsewhere, and you like it; tell the artist you’d like to see something similar. If an artist is setting up for an exhibition, they may have far too much work to display in their studio, give them a chance to show you what you wanted to see.
If you feel unable to approach an artist to arrange your own appointment, then email them asking if they are doing any open studio events in the future. They’ll get back to you with date you can visit.
Try to have some alone time! I always try to leave any clients alone for a bit (I offer them a cup of tea and go off to make it) that way they can have a moment to get to grips with the work without pressure. Many artists do the same.
Ask them about their work.
Ask them about the medium they are working in.
Tell them where you’re thinking about putting the work - they might have a great idea for you. Discuss what you might want, even if you're still unsure. The artist will want to help you.
If you want to buy; go for it! Start with the work you like, if that’s too expensive ask if they have anything in your budget. Many savvy artists take the time to ensure they have a variety of works at different prices for this very reason.
It’s honestly a really lovely experience visiting an artist's studio. I love welcoming people to mine and showing them my work and how I create it.
You’d be welcome...
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