Total Art Soul - for artists

" Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind. "
Dr. Seuss

Vernissage Expo Moulins Feb 2011

Posted by: Cathy

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Cathy

Front window

So following on from the opening, the first week went well with the sale of my 'zesty triptych'.  We arranged to arrive early for the vernissage on 9th February so that I had some time to change some of the paintings with those that had come back from Belgium.  I wasn't too keen on all the little ones and wanted to add some larger works.

Setting up the food and drink

Quick chat with Jean the gallery owner

Jean was showing me literature from a previous expo

Just as we finished that, the local newspaper turned up. We had a quick interview and the photographer took some photos of me.  I've yet to see the article so I hope that went OK.

Next, the caterer came with a very strong punch (it smelled strong, I don't drink) and some lovely canapés.  There were tiny pieces of pizza, cheese croissants, small sausage rolls and pistachio pastries.  We set it all out and then the first guests already arrived.

The small gallery soon filled with people and I was really happy to see so many people appreciating my work.  I had some lovely compliments which really boosted my confidence and has inspired me to keep going.

I did not make any sales on the night but today someone returned and purchased half artichoke.  There are still 2 weeks to go so fingers crossed for a few more sales.


My Exhibition Opened Yesterday!

Posted by: Cathy

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Cathy

I'm delighted to finally have my paintings hanging at the gallery in Moulins, here in France.  Preparations for it seem to have gone on forever.   The exhibition was in fact first organized for May but just 5 weeks ago I received a phone call from the gallery owner asking me to bring it forward to February. This threw me into somewhat of a panic because a lot of my larger paintings were still in Belgium from a previous exhibition.  I worked like a mad woman, managed to rework some of my older works and finally got together 20 works.

2 days ago we were there to hang all the works.  I always find that nerve wracking and I come away thinking maybe I should have hung them differently.  Dream of Beans was definitely a eye catcher and the lighting generally in the gallery was superb.  It really brought out all the colors in my paintings.  It was lovely to see them take on a different life.

The show opened yesterday 1st February but the vernisage is on 9th February.  By this time, a friend of mine has gone to Belgium to collect my paintings which means I will have my paintings back so that I can replace some of the smaller works.  Phew, glad that worked out.  Let's just hope that it is well received.  The local paper will be coming on 9th February and will do an article on me so hopefully that will bring in some more visitors.  I intend to take more photos later and let you all know how it went.

The exhibition is open from 1st - 26th February - 9.30am - 12 noon and 14.30 - 18.30 Tuesday to Saturday.  It's at 34 Place d'Allier, Moulins, France. Tel: 0033 975 41 22 90.


The light went on!

Posted by: Cathy

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Cathy

 

 

I've had a really big realization. No, really, this is serious. ;-) I've met a whole bunch of new people recently and almost all of them have wanted me to do them a painting.  Good for you I hear you say.  But, the reason I mention is is that I did not even try to sell them a painting.  I honestly never even mentioned it.

I have often said that to sell as an artist, you have to have face-to-face contact or have some kind of relationship with people.  I've lived in a busy place where I exhibited a lot, held private shows and received many commissions.  I didn't have to try hard, it just kind of happened.  I thought it was coincidence, that maybe times were good and that maybe people were just trying to make me happy.

Then I moved to a very isolated place.  My only contact with people was mostly online.  My exhibitions stopped, I could no longer do private shows as there was no one to invite and my commissions dried up.  This is also a very poor area with mainly agriculture.  Very beautiful, a wonderful place for holidays but not great if you need to have a career.

Suddenly, out of the blue, I met a whole bunch of new people.  Some in person and some online going way back in my past.  I suddenly began to get commissions again and sold some paintings.

To further back up my theory, if you look at some famous artists and how they lived or live, you'll see there is much to this theory.  Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, Tracey Emmins were/are real social creatures.  Andy Warhol spent most of his life partying. He was always out and people were strangely drawn to him because of his strange dress sense and peculiar manner.  Tracey Emmins today is a total social butterfly.

What I've learned over the years is that selling art is as much about the personality of the artist as it is about the art.  Andy Warhol, by his own admission said it was easy to copy pictures so why would he do something original since he was successful at copying.  Personally, I would like to have a bi more integrity as an artist but you get my point.  He was successful mainly because of his personality and because he was 'out' there.

I think it's so easy as an artist just to lock yourself in your studio and immerse yourself in your art and never come out. The key is that you have to be able to go to these extremes. You have to be able to lose yourself in your work, be solitary to think creatively but at other times, you have to be the total opposite and be out there and show yourself to the world.

This is clearly why so many famous artists lived or live in cities.  Tucking yourself away in a rural part of the country is all well and good if you want to create but it's useless if you want to show off your work.  Much as it pains some of us, it's the ability to show off that gets you noticed. It doesn't come easy to me. I'm always filled with self-doubt. If I want to sustain a life as a full time artist, I have to push myself in this direction and come out of my comfort zone.

It made me realize that if I lived in a more populated area, just sat in the local cafe drinking coffee all day and talking with people, I would sell paintings!  I would not have to try, people would be naturally curious to know what I did just like the people that have just come into my life.  How easy it is! Now I really can't wait to move!! Anyone want to buy a house in France? ;-)

 


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