Artists Open Houses opening weekend

After the pressure of getting everything ready and set up for the Open House Exhibition, it was an enjoyable relief to finally open the doors to visitors.

There’s been a steady flow of visitors over the weekend and, as on previous occasions, I really enjoyed meeting and talking to people about my paintings and painting in general.

It has also been great to get a few sales under the belt too! Here’s what has gone so far:

Of these, the interior painting of The Set restaurant has been particularly popular. Frustratingly for someone that steadfastly refuses to do prints, I could have sold this one three or four times!

What’s always interesting on these occasions is seeing what sells and which paintings people reference most in their conversations. From the limited time I’ve spent talking to people so far, each of the paintings that have sold has a particularly personal resonance or significance. A place that each person has visited and has a connection with that my paintings evoke fond memories of. This is obviously such a wonderful compliment and always thrills me.

The only exception to this might be the one of The Set, in which it’s less about the specific place, and more about the light and atmosphere. A number of people have mentioned a certain Edward Hopper-ness about it. This isn’t something I was striving for when painting this view, but again, I take it as tremendous compliment.

Another painting that seems to have stimulated a bit of interest and discussion is this view from Firle Beacon in the South Downs.

This isn’t necessarily surprising because it’s a relatively local and much-loved vantage point, known for its expansive views. I’m still digesting a lot of things from the weekend but some thoughts that are simmering their way to the surface are to seek out more interiors that excite me and to seek out more views of Brighton. It appears that there’s a definite market in local paintings for local people!

For now, however, back to the Open House. On Monday, I enjoyed a nice day of on and off of painting. As the first painting to sell was the recent view of Porto that I’d done as a quarter sheet, I decided to do this as a half sheet. I choose this because I knew that this was a view that I could do in a number of clearly defined stages, which suited my purpose well. It meant I could paint for a while. Stop and chat, paint a little more, stop and chat etc. Here are a few shots of the little set up I had in the garden:

As an irrepressible fidget, it was nice to be doing something and I think people quite enjoyed seeing someone pottering about! I certainly had a number of really interesting and enjoyable conversations with people throughout the day.

Here’s the finished ‘demo’ painting:

Demonstration painting – On the bank of the Douro

I was quite pleased with how this turned out and always feel that any time spent painting outside using my plein air set up is time well spent.

I’ll be back at the venue and painting again on Sunday 19th and Monday 27th May. In the meantime, I’m really looking forward to getting on with some painting in a more secluded and unobserved setting.

Thoughts on Artists Open Houses opening weekend

10 thoughts on “Artists Open Houses opening weekend”

  1. Pingback: Cool and warm watercolour paintings

  2. Carole Rogers

    Congratulations John…what a wonderful success it’s been for you. Lovely to see your plein air set up too.
    Yes I’m sure it will be lovely to be getting back to painting for yourself and on your own again.! Well worth the effort doing this though.

    1. Hi Carole and thanks for this. You’re quite right and thanks for reminding me of this! In the run up I was questioning why on earth am I putting myself through this. Now it’s all done and up however, I can hopefully relax a little and enjoy it for the next few weeks.

    1. Thanks so much Margaret and I appreciate your enthusiasm and encouragement! I think once the dust settles on this little venture I need to explore more opportunities to exhibit. In the meantime, I’ll try to enjoy the rest of the artists open houses as much as possible!

  3. Margery Griffith

    Congratulations! BUT … I am shocked to see in one photo that you left 2 brushes sitting in your water pot? I know rules are to be broken but never this one! What gives here? I found when I was a member in a gallery in a popular town I lived in in Florida, that most visitors just wanted small souvenirs of that area, not serious art. Sadly! I’m proud of you for not having prints made! Calendar art I call those and they cheapen your art! Shows you don’t value your own art.

    1. Haha yep – you’ve got me Margery, I’m afraid I’m guilty as charged! In my defence, I don’t think they were left in there for long! Thanks too for vindicating the decision not to do prints. This may change one day but for now – it’s originals or nothing!

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