This weekend St.Arnaud hosted the REAP(Rural Education and Activities Programme) roadshow. Over the two days we had workshops and speakers including felting, creative writing, health, antiques, music for kids, watercolour painting(!),geocaching, geology, hotsmoking fish AND meeting a live NZ falcon! This was extra special for me as I've just been painting one. This amazing bird (and his beautiful handler) were the stars of the show, He is a 5 year old trained falcon based in Marlborough, part of the breeding programme to increase the population of these endangered birds. He was so calm, sitting happily on his handlers arm as they moved around the crowded hall- difficult to imagine him in killer mode, though he is the ultimate bird of prey, able to fly at speeds of up to 230km per hour. It was humbling to look him in the eye and realise that. once again, humans are responsible for another threatened species.
The worst part of my job is pricing my paintings. As in any other business, I need to take into account the hours I spend collecting reference material, materials, marketing, rent/insurance, doing the office work etc etc. Unfortunately, if I worked all of this out to come up with an hourly rate no one would be able to afford to buy my paintings! And that's the crunch. One of the biggest pleasures I get from my work is seeing the look on someone's face when they connect with a painting. If I can transport a viewer to that place and moment, then I've succeeded. I'd far rather people can afford to buy the painting they've fallen in love with than paint stunning but unaffordable pieces. Someone who buys one of mine will, hopefully, have many years of pleasure from looking at it, and that's worth quite a bit! So, next time you look at an artist's work, please remember all the hours that have gone into it's creation, and think of the price as an investment in future pleasure!
This site is well worth a look- Robert Genn generously shares his wisdom about both art and life in general. I always enjoy reading his newsletters...
Yesterday's workshop was good fun- I'm amazed how differently everyone tackles a subject. Mary tried splattering to make this very cool artwork..
I've spent the past month agonizing over what to paint for the local (Nelson) Art Awards. The theme is "Reflection" to be interpreted however you like. I've wrestled with various cunning ideas, but nothing has come of them. Finally, my dear husband suggested I paint our beautiful Lake Rotoiti,which usually mirrors the mountains and bush. So I did. And there was my entry. Unfortunately I can't show you a photo until the competition has been held, so , watch this space....
Next time I'll try not to think so hard, simple and obvious are sometimes the best answer. Thanks, Darls.