Can you believe it's coming towards the end of September already? It feels like it's just arrived suddenly and I'm not sure I'm ready for switching the lights on in the evening and turning up the heating.
I guess there will be some advantages. My studio has been so hot this year it's made finishing off the work really tricky as the work has been drying so quickly it's ended up peeling off the drying boards too soon.
I'm just back from London. I had an overnight stay as I was selected for the Royal Society of Marine Artists for a second year. Last year when I was selected, I was away on holiday so I couldn't attend. This year I was going to miss it!
For me it was kind of a big deal, getting to London on my own and walking into a gallery by myself it felt very exposing. I think most artists suffer with a bit of imposter syndrome right? Well that sometimes feels very heightened and seeing my work in The Mall Galleries certainly did that. The majority of the work on display was paintings, in comparison my work is much quieter with lots of negative space so it sort of stands out in a quiet way.
The position of the work is great, it's very visible as you walk in to the exhibition so that's great for me. I arrived mid afternoon and the place was fairly empty I had a quick wander trying to take in all the work and when I got around to my work there was a couple standing in front of it so I plucked up courage and engaged them in conversation. I explained a little of the history and the process. They thanked me and wandered on.
Sometime later as the place was filling up they came over and let me know they'd just bought my John Dory. I was so thrilled! It was such a nice thing to make a sale on the preview.
I met a good few people at the event and chatted happily, lots of other artists where there and it was interesting hearing their experiences of exhibiting, working and selling.
After the event was over, I checked into my hotel and then it was dinner for one! This is also a relatively new experience for me but I'm getting more used to it now. I was recently reminded by one of my oldest friends about how much we continue to change and grow as we age. At 56, I'm doing so much stuff that I've never had the opportunity or confidence to do in my life.
The following morning I popped into Shepherds to fawn over their selection of Japanese papers. Notes were taken and an order will be placed very soon. I didn't want to buy on sight as I'd have to carry them around London.
At lunchtime I made my way over to the Tate Modern where I sat and ate lunch alone. Galleries are fabulous spaces to feel comfortable on your own. The food is pretty good in the Tate too. I ended up being joined at my table by a lovely lady from Paris who was visiting London for the first time since Brexit. She was 71 and traveling alone. Her English was pretty good but it was great to see her having the confidence to be in London alone.
After a quick look around the galleries it was time to head back to the station for my train.
Now I'm home and all my focus is on Art Surrey which is happening at Epsom Downs Racecourse on the 6th/7th/8th of October. I've got some work at the framers now and some that I need to finish up here at home. I'd originally thought I'd just take white frames down. However I had a bit of a breakthrough with printing in Sumi ink so I'll be framing some work in black too.
If you don't know Sumi is the ink traditionally used in Japan for calligraphy and art. It's a black ink usually quite runny and you can either buy it premixed or buy a stick and and a stone and mix your own. I used a premixed ink and so far I've just printed sea bass. I'm really happy with the results as the ink picks up much more detail than the acrylic ink I use. Let's hope that the visitors to Art Surrey like them too.
If you are visiting the Art Fair, please be sure to pop by. I'm on stand 19