Worthing Open 2018
Friday 2nd November was the Private View of the Worthing Open 18 exhibition. I was already in a good mood having spent a lovely day enjoying the delights of Worthing with my daughter who was still on half-term holiday. This good mood was bolstered even more when, on arrival at the exhibition and after having done a ‘hunt mum and dad’s pictures out with my daughter, I discovered that my watercolour painting had been ‘shortlisted for prize’! Suffice to say I was bowled over at this! Out of 563 entries and 148 selected for the exhibition, my painting was one of only five to be shortlisted for a prize. It felt like a tremendous accolade and, even though I didn’t actually end up winning anything, that didn’t really matter – it felt great just to be in the running!
The private view was really busy and there was a lovely buzz in the air – due mainly I think to the guest list being made up of the artists and their friends that had either been selected or those that had submitted work. I really would have liked to have been a fly on the wall near to my painting so that I could have overheard any discussions about it, but it felt slightly awkward and predatory to be about hanging around my own work too closely! During the speeches, it was announced that due to the success of this year’s exhibition, in 2020 the gallery will be dedicating even more of its rooms to the exhibition which is great news. The gallery and one of the judges were also at pains to express that had the judging been done by the same people on another day, it would probably have turned out a very different exhibition and that anyone that was unsuccessful with their submissions should try not to take it to heart. After having fruitlessly submitted my ‘shortlisted’ painting to about six or seven other competitions this year, this carried a personal poignancy from which I hope others may also be able to take some solace!
At this point, I jumped off to seek out an inspiring quote about persistence. I found many, but only one that induced a wry smile:
If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.W.C. Fields
As a slight aside, I rarely publish any prices for my paintings on this site, preferring instead to direct people through to my ‘how to buy‘ page. I can imagine that seeing the price tag on this painting may raise the odd eyebrow so I feel compelled to do a ‘just for the record’ explanation. This price is more than I would usually charge for a half imperial sized watercolour (including conservation quality mount, backing and oak frame) when I’m selling directly via my website or through an open house etc. In this instance, however, the gallery charges a commission of 40% plus VAT on any work sold – so if this work were to sell via the gallery, I’d receive less than half of this purchase price. This commission rate is not dissimilar to most of the other competitions I’ve entered this year and, on each occassion, I’ve deliberated long and hard about the price I quote. I daresay I’ll continue to deliberate long and hard about the ‘value’ of my work for many years to come!
The anonymous heART project
This charity art auction went live on Friday 2nd November and runs until the 11th November, so you still have a few days to check out what’s been submitted, have a guess at who might have submitted what, make an offer on something totally unique, and support a great cause!
Here’s little promo video from Heart Research UK:
It’s quite hard to go into much detail about my contribution to this initiative as it’s supporsed to be anonymous! I don’t think it’s giving away too much, however, to say that so far, the combined value of bids that my submissions have attracted is already over £100 mark. This is obviously great news and, with five days still to go, I hope this may go even higher! I really hope that whoever wins my pieces won’t be disappointed at not securing the work of anyone famous!
You can see a list of all the contributors or visit the auction and place a bid until Sunday 11th November. I’ll be keeping a close eye on the bidding as the auction progresses and look forward to being able to provide an update in the near future.
A composite watercolour
When it comes to my own painting I’ve felt a bit short of both time and inspiration recently. On reflection, the old adage of ‘necessity being the mother of invention’ seems pertinent as I’d been hankering after a ‘big sky’ to wrestle with but wasn’t sure in what context. Then, while perusing a friend’s Facebook feed, I came across a really lovely silhouette. While I loved the silhouette, the sky wasn’t quite what I was after but I knew that I’d taken some photos of some skies in Brighton recently. After a little bit of digging around the archives I decided to try a quick painting based loosely on these two images:
I must confess that one of the main aims of this exercise was to not get too bogged down in anything particularly complex. I really just wanted to paint, have some fun doing it and hopefully end up with something effective. How do you think I got on?
I really like the photograph of the boats and can imagine using this as a motif with which I can practice quite a few different skies. In this particular instance, I do like the silhouette I achieved, and the sky is sort of okay, but perhaps feels a little heavy handed. It was good practice for working wet into wet and to be constantly assessing and judging how wet the paper was and how much moisture and pigment I was carrying in the brush at any time. I suppose it’s a little bit chocolate-boxey in some ways but it was a quick and fun exercise to do.
Hopefully, with all of the excitiment of this month almost out of the way, I’ll find something to really get my teeth into soon (not to mention finding the time to get my teeth into something!)