I'm still recovering from what was an eventful and amazing week. It was the first time I took part in ArtsFest in Birmingham on the 10th and 11th September 2011. If you attended this free arts event I hope you had a fantastic time.
The lead up to ArtsFest was stressful with all the preparation. I had been in Dublin and returned just a few days before the event, so there was a lot to do, especially because I had only found out a week before that I would have double the space to fill. Luckily Andy of Fairford Frames was at hand to help and saved the day. He beautifully framed two prints at short notice and kindly helped us transport everything to the ArtSpace marquee in Victoria Square for the set up.
Setting up was made so easy with Thomas's help. I didn't have to think about calculating the exact position for the paintings, he did it all for me. Thank you! While I was in Dublin I had drawn some plans of how I wanted the paintings to be displayed. This also helped.
Both Thomas and I felt exhausted but relieved on Friday evening. Everything that needed to be done was done. I just had to turn up the following morning.
I hadn't anticipated the large number of people visiting the ArtSpace marquee. Some people were already there when I arrived at 10am. I did feel nervous to begin with but was soon put at ease once I started talking to them. I met some lovely people over the weekend.
The one thing that amazed me was how people reacted to my romantic landscape paintings. They connected with them on an emotional level. I asked how they made them feel, and on the whole they felt happy, uplifted and positive. They felt as if they were there. They also felt the descriptions for the paintings were appropriate. I was really moved to see the emotional response, especially when tears were shed. I wasn't expecting my paintings to have such an impact. It really touched me.
I also sold a Signed Limited Edition Giclee print of Shine. The lady who bought it related to the image and the message. I will be seeing her again next week when I take her print over. She asked for a thinner mount but with the same frame.
The weekend couldn't get any better, but it did. Thomas and I started taking everything down around 6pm on the Sunday. Andy kindly helped us bring everything back home and dropped us back in town for us to see the Guillemots. Luckily we had enough time before the performance to grab a delicious ostrich burger which was then accompanied by a double shot of Hennessy Cognac.
I couldn't contain my excitement about seeing the Guillemots perform. They were fantastic. Thomas and I had the perfect view as we managed to get close to the stage. Being tall has its advantages and Thomas was able to take some photographs.
The Guillemots performed tracks from their latest album Walk The River along with some of my favourites including Made Up Love Song and If The World Ends. The 45 minutes flew by and it was over before we knew it, but it really was the perfect way to end an amazing weekend.
Almost a week has passed and I still feel overwhelmed by ArtsFest, especially by the way people responded to my painting's. They have given me more than I could have wished for. They made me realise why I paint. I am emotionally involved while I am producing a painting, but once it's finished I don't have any attachment to it. I have always felt it wasn't for me. I hoped it was for others to experience and enjoy. This weekend showed this. Thank you to all the people I spoke to and for making my first outing at ArtsFest so special.
The Guillemots will be performing at the HMV Institute in Birmingham on the 9th November 2011, so if you've had a taster and want to see more please visit www.ents24.com for information and tickets.