Sunday 9th July saw the 6th annual Brunswick Square Art Fair – a celebration of the local community’s creativity. I visited this event last year and had tentatively earmarked it as a future possibility. As I’d done so much mounting and framing for my recent open house exhibition, it made sense to grasp another opportunity to meet the public!
It felt like a quintessential English day, the beautiful setting of Brighton’s Brunswick Square, hot summer sun, some nice live music in the background and lots of lovely people milling about in a very relaxed fashion.
I met some really lovely people and enjoyed some great conversations – some about watercolour painting and some about nothing more than how pleasant a day it was. As with my open house experience, it was really nice to speak to people that were interested in my paintings or just generally in watercolour painting.
I wasn’t really anticipating to make many sales at this event and saw it more for the experience of putting myself and my work out there. It was obvious that a lot of the other stands exhibiting were much more familiar with this type of occasion – many had considerable volumes of stock, particularly prints where people could buy the original, a limited edition print or the same design as card or mug or t-shirt or fridge magnet etc. I was a little unsure at first about how I’d fit in but once I’d set myself up, I like to think that the old watercolour adage that ‘less is more’ helped to make my display a little more distinctive. It was also much to my surprise and delight that I sold quite a few paintings too, although this has led to some gnashing of teeth!
As many of you know, I do love my travelling, and often feel much more inspired when away than when at home. I do also like the idea of my paintings travelling too, but I’m beginning to get a little bit jealous that my paintings are now doing much more travelling than I get to do. Of the paintings that I sold over the weekend, one is destined for California and another is heading to Sitges in Spain! Fortunately some others are definitely staying more local otherwise I’d be pulling out my conspiracy theory card! The main thing of course is that my work is finding happy homes where it will hopefully be enjoyed and appreciated for years to come – but it’s also nice to think this this is happening in different countries too!
Here’re a few pictures from the day:
While the view I had on the day didn’t particularly inspire me, I did try to make the most of things by doing a painting. I really enjoyed having this as a distraction, partly because it kept me out of the direct sunshine, partly because it was good for conversation and partly because the more I paint outdoors, the more confident and comfortable I’ll get with it. I tackled another view of La Placa Reial in Barcelona. My previous painting of the square generated quite a bit of interest and was the first painting to sell on the day (and will in due course be returning to its new home in Spain) so I quite liked the idea that I may haven another view of it by the end of the day!
While I enjoyed painting this, and do like lots of elements – the background buildings are too brutal, cold and oppressive. It’s more reminiscent of a prison exercise yard than one of Barcelona’s finest public squares! Still, it was fun to paint and also served to reinforce my affection for this particular subject matter so I expect there’ll be more Placa Reial paintings to come!
I don’t have any more events like this on the horizon so it will be nice to return to painting just for the fun of it, without any weight of expectation that it’s for a particular show or event. For now, I’d like to thank everyone that dropped by to visit me on Sunday – it was a pleasure to see so many friends and familiar faces, and to meet so many lovely new people too. A special heartfelt thanks too to those of you that paid me the ultimate compliment by buying my paintings – I feel very honored – thank you!