I started my art exhibition yesterday at the Bournemouth gardens.
I was so anxious as the day drew closer and was worried about how my works would be received by the public.
It is one thing to be told my paintings were beautiful by friends, family and acquaintances. It is a very different ball game exposing my works to a diverse group of strangers.
Nevertheless, I felt a lot calmer when I arrived and met fellow artists who are veterans in the trade and had been exhibiting at the Pinewalk exhibition for years. They provided me with hooks (cos I had none!!) and encouraged me to relax.
Luckily I had my niece with me to keep me company and help me out (hubby was shuttling back and fort from the garden to our home.) She came all the way from Manchester to help me out. And my entire family has been of tremendous help. My mum looked after the kids and my hubby put his muscles to very good use.
I cannot begin to imagine how I would have been able to pull this off if my family were not supportive.
The preparation alone drained me completely. I guess it was because I was doing my full time work and still making out time to prepare for the exhibition.
The weather was sunny and beautiful (though a bit chilly!) and being a bank holiday Monday there were a lot of people in the garden. I could not have asked for a better day to start an exhibition as the traffic through the garden was impressive and very varied.
Many walked past while looking at the works. Others walked across from the other end of the walk way to my stand to take a much closer look.
There was a lot of interest in my works with a lot of comments and compliments. I found the comments very fascinating and encouraging. One lady took my card and promised to put up my work on facebook. Another gave me the number of a gallery owner she knew and encouraged me to follow it up.
I had Greeting cards, Giclée Art prints and Original paintings on display.
Many went away with the greeting cards (which is expected as greeting cards always do well at art shows...according to those who have sold cards before!)
Several of my colleagues came along. One made a box of cupcakes for me and another brought along his entire family to come and see my works. This was very touching.
As part of of my preparations I made some favorite forms which had all my works listed. The idea was to get people to tick the works that they liked (@ least 3).
This worked wonders because it engaged people and made them look at the works more closely and also gave me an opportunity to discuss my works and my sources of inspiration.
My stand was so busy at some point that one of the veteran artists came over saying she was wondering what was keeping everyone busy in my stand. I will reveal the results of the mini poll later.
Today was not such a good day as it rained the whole day. The weather will be a lot better tomorrow and I am surely looking forward to it.
It is just so different from my day job and is a very good way of having a first hand experience of how artists live and the efforts they make to sell their works and put their works out there.
So far it has been an awesome experience and I do look forward to enjoying the rest of my short stay at the gardens.