I am happy to write about my experience in not only researching, but also the process of photographing, retouching and painting my paintings for the Little Landscapes Exhibition. I would also like to add my impressions of the exhibition and the opening night.
Firstly let me say that I have never been involved with an art camp before and even though I didn’t stay overnight, I did get in very early in the mornings and stayed all day to experience everything I could.
There was a real feeling of comradeship in the camp. The encouragement not only from the teachers but students to each other was so encouraging that I felt very much at home. I enjoyed the tutorials from each teacher, but I also liked getting off to paint either with another artist or on my own. Which in reality was not strictly the case as someone was always popping by the have a look at what you were up to.
I spent each morning as I arrived scouting out locations to enlarge my photographic reference library. I use iPhoto to keep a library of images to use to either merge or just colour adjust for new artworks, especially when the weather is poor. I ended up with about 130 very nice images for future reference. I also managed to produce about eight paintings on the 9×5 format boards we were given to use for the camp. I was especially happy with about three to four of them.
I finished of a few of my paintings in my home studio using colour corrected photos as final reference, then put them aside to apply the final artistic touches out of my head. I don’t think I have ever been as focussed as I was getting these little paintings finished. I knew exactly what I needed to do and they were produced in a really efficient manner. Something I was thrilled about, as I have tended to “fiddle” too much in the past.
It was great to get positive reactions when I took in the last of my paintings, and I had no idea which ones or how many would go into the exhibit.
On the opening night I arrived with my husband as support and went up the stairs. We were greeted by David who told Stephen that I was doing really well, which was very nice of him to say – and a relief for me to hear.
It was even better was when we got to the top of the stairs when I saw one of my paintings and it had a red sticker next to it! WOW! I thought that is wonderful – a sale!!!! So feeling encouraged we worked our way around the room and I introduced Stephen to as many teachers and fellow students as I could whilst looking at how well everyone had done. After picking up a snack and bucket of red wine we worked our way around again to have a better look. We mingled and chatted and I thought I’d go around for yet another close look at some pieces that I’d particularly liked. Then I noticed as I wondered by, my name being mentioned, someone had just purchased another of my paintings!! It couldn’t really get much better! I had a chat to the buyer and gave him a business card (NEVER leave home without your business cards!!!!).We stayed for Nathan’s chat and mingled some more before leaving so I didn’t have a late night.
I liked the Bright Space Gallery, it was open and light and every work was in a place to be easily seen and not overpowered by another other painting. The framing of every painting in the same frame was good too, it put everyone on a level playing field so that the quality of the work showed through and not clever framing techniques. There was good wine (not great) and some nibbles to keep us happy and even though it was in St Kilda, we found a parking spot not too far away. I had a fun evening and left on a real “high”.
My husband is very proud of me and I am very happy with myself too! The whole experience from beginning to end has been a delight. I like exhibiting my work anyway, going into art shows and competitions is exciting, a challenge and rewarding. You don’t always get a sale or an award but you do get exposure and experience, sometimes you may also get feedback or a sale down the track from someone who saw your work somewhere but didn’t buy at the time. You never know where these things may lead but I definitely think they are worth it.
Here are the three paintings that were in the Little Landscapes exhibition.