My first art exhibition was moderately successful today. It was only one day; at Happs Winery's Annual Art & Craft Fair but the response and feedback from the punters was very positive. The many favourable comments were only backed up by one sale, but that in itself meant the venture was worthwhile. I had a great location, a long walk through gallery lined with wine bottles on one side and the other available for hanging once we removed the collection of framed photographs that are normally on display there. I was able to hang over 20 pieces along the wall.
I sold a painting called "Green Spiral" which I did a couple of years ago. It had been in storage at the Courthouse Gallery so I brought it home yesterday. Mrs Holt Press proved remarkably prophetic when she said, "I reckon that will sell for sure". Way to go Mrs HP.
I did sell a number of postcard prints of my art to a couple of different people, and one of my framed drawings at a discounted price to a fellow artist we were talking to late in the day. She, a glass artist, "Glass with Class" and her Mum, an art curator both had some useful tips and observations regarding displaying my work and useful materials I might be able to use.
The "moderate success" assessment is not based on sales only but also on the consistent praise and admiration offered by people coming through and the enquiries by a couple of people wanting my contact details. You can tell sometimes whether someone is genuinely interested and a I won't be surprised if I end up selling one or two more pieces to people who saw them today.
Art of course is highly subjective and one man's masterpiece is another man's rubbish. The couple who eventually bought Green Spiral asked their little boy if he liked it? "No" was his unequivocal reply! I was impressed that they came back later and bought it anyway.
Certain pieces attracted a lot more attention than others, none more so than a piece called "Moments in Time" (the painting that won first prize at the Busselton Show recently) featuring 55 of the watches that I have been busy collecting over recent months. It was easily the most popular exhibit and drew multiple comments but not everyone was impressed however! One lady who waxed lyrical about it went and found her husband and brought him in to look at it. He made no comment until after a minute of his wife's praises turned around and looking behind him said loudly "Nice table" in reference to the beautiful Jarrah table I was sitting at! End of discussion!
Another lady, noticeably pregnant, came back a second time, to show her husband a piece I call "49 Squares" but Mrs HP calls "The Tablecloth". He took one look and gave a short sharp judgement, "No". When pressed by Mum-to-be he repeated his assessment, "No" "No".
Elaborating he added, "It's wrong for us". Curious by this time I gently enquired what he didn't like about it. "Too symmetrical". Fair enough. I appreciate a man who knows his mind and can make a decision!
Well known local artist Jenny Taylor came through and was very impressed. In fact she said "If I still had my shop in Fig Tree Lane I'd be getting some of your work in there for sure"!
The extra bonus at the end of the day came when Jackie, the winery owner, invited me to leave my paintings hanging in the gallery. She couldn't promise how long they'd be able to stay there but said she'd like to keep them on display and for sale on a commission basis. That is a great outcome for me. Happs is one of the most beautiful, and popular, wineries in the Capes area and considerably more people will be able to see my work there than they do in their current location, our living room walls!
Having thrown the exhibition together in a couple of hours last night and improvising titles tags and prices this morning I need to do a bit of work to smarten up the display. After that, hopefully the "product" will do the rest.
Mrs HP took Sport Boy to Bunbury to play tennis this morning but once they got home she came out to join me at the winery. The plan had been for her to help me pack up at the end of the day but the change of circumstances made that a much simpler task than setting up had been.