Weekend 2 of the Artists Open Houses

After last week’s somewhat rampant start to the Artists Open Houses (in terms of sales that is!) – the 2nd weekend has been much more sedate. A lot more visitors, matched ironically by far fewer sales. Never the less, having started off last week by displaying the paintings that I’ve sold I feel somehow beholden to continuing in a similar vein. Below is the painting that sold over the weekend:

Sundown, Brighton seafront, a watercolour painting by John Haywood
Sundown, Brighton seafront

I wasn’t there when this was bought but apparently, it’s new owner lives immediately opposite this view. I do really like finding these things out – what people’s connections to the paintings are and what their motivations might be for buying. There’s something really nice about knowing, for instance, that this painting will be taking up residence so close to the view that inspired it.

I’ve also been trying to get on with a little bit of painting here and there. While I was on duty on Saturday, I had my easel all set up and returned to a view of Barcelona that I’ve painted once before. Last time I painted this scene, I recall that it was a bit of a watershed moment. It helped to lift me out of a certain creative rut that I felt I was in, and heralded a period of trying to paint with a much greater sense of both freedom and confidence.

Before starting this painting, I didn’t look at the previous version, I just wanted to paint it and see what might happen:

Barcelona street scene - a watercolour painting by John Haywood
Barcelona street scene

Because I was painting this during the course of a day rather than in one full-on, non-stop straight through session, I found it difficult to get into a rhythm. On one hand, it was nice to keep stopping: sometimes to let a passage dry thoroughly, sometimes to speak to some of the visitors, but it did make for a slightly disjointed approach to actually painting. It made me realise too how utterly engrossed and absorbed I get when I’m in full flow!

As usual, I find it really interesting when I see two paintings of the same scene, often completed many months apart, next to each other.

I like elements of both of them. If I had to choose one above the other, I’d go for my original painting (1) – mainly I think because of what it meant to me at the time of painting it. I recall feeling such a sense of liberation with this particular painting. I do like parts of the second one, especially parts the main tree and it’s foliage. It does also capture that strong sense of light that really fires my imagination. It’s another one of those instances in which they both work well individually. I do also however vividly recall one of the comments I received when I posted the original image. It was to point out in a most polite fashion, that the tree was slap bang in the middle of the composition and, that by moving it to one side or the other might make for a more interesting scene. Even though I had this ringing in my ears as I mapped this out, it’s still slap back in the middle again! I just didn’t want anyone to think that I didn’t read and try to take on board comments, suggestions and advice. Following such advice through however can often prove a little more tricky!

I’m away this coming weekend so won’t get to meet any visitors, but I’ll be back again for the final weekend in May and will hopefully be painting on both days.

Thoughts on Weekend 2 of the Artists Open Houses

2 thoughts on “Weekend 2 of the Artists Open Houses”

  1. That painting is lovely. I totally get the buyer’s reason. I painted a sunset scene for practice from a National Geographic photo and showed it in our class show but not for sale. When we were packing up there was a lady furiously writing a note. As I approached she asked if I had painted that painting and begged me to sell it to her. She was one of the secretaries that worked in the office. I was hesitant but sold it anyway, not for much because the inspiration was not my photo. She told me that the painting reminded her of the summers her family spent at the shore on the east coast. That’s why she wanted it. It was really a west coast sunset but that didn’t matter to her. It was the emotional connection to the memory.

    I will be curous to see after this show is over if you’ve sold more paintings of your local, recognizable landmarks than places people have never been. Or if you sell Barcelona or other places you’ve traveled to, if it’s because people have been there too and it has reminded them of their trips.

    1. Great story about your sunset painting! I’m so pleased that you ‘let it go’! I think it’s a wonderful thing when a painting really connects with someone.

      As for my sales so far, it’s something that I may dedicate a future post to! So far, most of the paintings I’ve sold were painted back in 2016 – when I was often paying tribute to some of my artistic inspirations (Seago, Wesson and HIlder). Like you, when someone else has done most of the hard work on these, I sell them for less than I do works that are entirely of my own making. It does make me realise however of the demand for ‘local’ paintings – and, how few of these I actually have! Something for me to work on perhaps over the summer!

I'd love to hear any thoughts you have about this

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