A wonderful watercolour feeling

Heart Research UK’s ‘Anonymous HeART’ fundraising auction came to an end at 9pm on Sunday 11th November. I’d been following the auction closely – especially my own watercolour submissions – as I was really keen to see how much they might raise to support such a great cause. As the auction was anonymous, this is the first opportunity I’ve had to share with anyone what I contributed. The format for all submissions was a 2d A5 format, that had to be completed on or attached to a card that was supplied by the charity. Here are the three little studies that I donated for auction:

French farmhouse, Dordogne
Trafalgar Square, London
Hay bales, Dordogne, France

It was great to watch the bids gradually inch up over the week of the auction. In last week’s post, I mentioned that my donations had accrued a combined sum of just over £100. I had no expectations as to what these might eventually achieve by the end of the auction. My view was that every little bit helps. Of course it’s a wonderful cause, but there were also hundreds of submissions competing for attention plus all of the vastly different approaches and, dare I say, ‘quality’. To cap it all, there was also the lottery of ‘who did what’ – with many people trying to second guess which works may be from a celebrity or well-known figure. I can’t begin to imagine who anyone thought ‘I’ might be, and I doubt I’ll ever find out!

Anyway, here are the scores on the door for my donations at the close of the eBay auction on Sunday evening:

I was totally taken aback that my three sketches raised a total of £358.66! I’m actually finding it hard to put into words but it’s a wonderful feeling.  I don’t know as yet what the total raised is but it feels great to have played a little part in this initiative. There’s no way that I could support this charity with a financial donation anywhere near this sum, but to submit a few watercolour studies and see them raise that much money; it’s simply staggering, hugely gratifying and humbling! I know that the auction was anonymous but so too are the bidders. Should by any fluke of google/twitter /Facebook etc lead any of the purchasers back to this site – then I’d just like to say a huge ‘thank you’, firstly on behalf of Heart Research UK for supporting their amazing work, and on my own behalf. I’m sorry that I’m not the famous person that you may have imagined me to be, but I hope that you may also have been prepared to bid so generously because you also liked the paintings!

Here’s what Heart Research UK have said about how the money raised will be used:

Everything raised by the auction will be invested in pioneering medical heart research: making hearts healthier in local communities: masterclassses for clinicians and driving innovative education in schools. Together, we can take on heart disease and keep those we love around for longer.

Heart Research U

As much as I have my own personal milestones on my watercolour journey, there’s a certain irony that one of the most heartwarming of them should come from something that I had absolutely no idea about until about four months ago. Should I ever receive similar invitations, I certainly won’t hesitate to participate again and would also encourage others to do the same. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to contribute something so readily that would otherwise be so far beyond my financial means. 

Okay, I think that’s enough gushing for now, time to get back to some painting!

Thoughts on A wonderful watercolour feeling

53 thoughts on “A wonderful watercolour feeling”

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  7. John–I am so interested in the money-raising auction (re: your paintings) and plead abysmal ignorance of English money. So, in American dollars please, what did your 3 paintings go for? Oh, yes—only if you know the exchange rate…. : )

    1. Hi Carol and many thanks for your interest. I’ve just done a quick conversion check and, as a ball park, the three sketches that sold for a total of £358.66 is approx equivalent to $457. I’ve recently had word from the organisers that the auction in total raised £43,000 – equivalent to $54,734 which is amazing. I still don’t know how many ‘postcards’ were submitted but I think some must have gone for quite a tidy sum! Let me know if there’s any more information that you think I may be able to provide on this Carol. Kind regards, John

        1. Thanks Carol – I was taken aback by the amount and think it’s more of a reflection of how deep people are willing to dig into their pockets for a good cause than any particular demand for my sketchs!

  8. A hearty congratulations to you. Whoever bought the hayfield got a steal. An original watercolor of that quality for around $100? You should be so proud. You raised almost $500 for the auction. I hope you are able to participate next year.

    1. Hi Mary and thanks so much for this! Yes it was a great initiative and I heard only yesterday that they raised £43,000 in total which is amazing. It felt great to play a small part in this and I’ll definitely keep my eye out for similar ventures in the future.

  9. Well done, John and congratulations! I’m glad this brought you so much satisfaction. Lovely little paintings! I can see why they sold well!

    1. Hi Jean and many thanks for this, much appreciated. I still feel like I’m basking in the warm afterglow of making a small contribution to a great cause – hopefully I’ll be able to seek out more opportunities where I can help to make just a little difference!

  10. wonderfully written article… great job John… its truly interesting and very much skilled in the way, I hope still many more such articles and writings i would expect from you. keep it up.

    1. Thanks so much for your kind and generous comments – all are much appreciated! (And yes, I’ll try to keep it up!) thanks so much for commenting.

  11. If I could just add my two-penn’orth of congrats a little late in the day. Someone’s great idea and nice little paintings, too, John. (I only hope ebay waived their usual fees….)

    1. Thanks Rob – never too late in my experience for a “two-penn’orth of congrats’ – much appreciated! (as for ebay, I have no idea, but I daresay they’ll have found a way to do all right out of it!)

  12. Great paintings and congratulations for raising fund with your paintings. Worthy cause. I am committed to Canterbury Medicsl Research Foundation in Christchurch NZ and auctions yearly to raise fund. Next auction early December.
    You are a very good artist and using your work to raise fund is your huge contribution. You are a very special person. Do keep up the good work and GOOD LUCK.

    1. Hi Bala and thanks so much for your very kind words – I really appreciate it! Great to also hear about your charity auctions in Christchurch. I know it’s only a coincidence but I have dear friends in Christchurch and one of my paintings that I sold recently was also destined for Christchurch so I sort of feel an affinity for the place, even though I never made it there when I visited NZ! Thanks again Bala.

  13. Wow…congratulations again John. You seem to be going from strength to strength! The future is looking bright for you!
    Happy painting,

    1. Hi Carole and many thanks for this – I think it’s more a case of everything coinciding all at once rather than going from strength to strength but it still feels like a great way to be ending the year!

  14. Oh my, things have been turning for you lately, so excited for you. Amazing journey you are having of late, the door is wide open for you now. The song by The Byrds come to mind, Turn! Turn! Turn! Anyway, wonderful paintings and exciting times! Now I want to know what’s next?!

    1. Haha, thanks so much for this Margaret – great tune to be reminded of – shall be listening to the Byrds as a result tomorrow! As for wanting to know what’s next, I’m as curious as you! I’m afraid the next few weeks and months may feel a litttle anti-climacitc as I don’t really have anything coming up now! (at least not that I know of!)

  15. Fabulous, what a wonderful idea. Your paintings are lovely and I am not surprised they all sold and at very good prices. I love the concept and I experienced it in Bradford on Avon when they raised money for Parkinsons by putting on a show of little paintings enclosed in CD cases, it wasn’t an auction, each painting cost £10. Again by anonymous artists. Your story made my day, well done.

    1. Thanks so much for your very kind and genourous comments! I’m afraid I can’t lay any claim to the idea but, purely as a contributor, I think it’s a great idea. It’s also brought me closer to the charity and has led me to read up more about its important work. So pleased that this story made your day – I think your comments have made mine!

  16. Well done! I really like your work.
    I organised a “Secret Art Sale’ early this year and had over 500 ‘works of art’ donated that I displayed in a gallery and sold each for £40. Despite it being the beast of the East weekend and most of the surrounding villages were cut off, we raised £12,000+ for the local hospital Cancer Centre (having to fund the build ourselves). As you say it’s an easy way for people to ‘give’ to a charity. I’ll be doing another next year too!

    1. Thanks so much for this, so pleased you liked the works but far more importantly: Wow! hats off to you for your fundraising initiative – really inspiring and I can only imagine how good it must have made you feel to be able to make such a contribution to your local Cancer Centre! Please do let me know if it would be helpful to have any artistic contributions for your next fundraiser! Thanks so much for sharing this with me.

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