Demonstrating at Patchings Festival yesterday, June 2012
Tickets for each demonstration and copies of my new book sold out!
Yesterday was fantastic. I gave my first appearance at Patchings Festival as a demonstrating artist. I have a confession. I was completely knocked for six by the number of people who attended each of my sessions. I couldn't hide it either. A huge thank you to everyone who came to see me and I do hope I meet you again in the future and have more of a chance to speak individually.
I have heard so much about Patchings Festival over the years but have never had the chance to visit. When my publishers first contacted me last year and asked if I would demonstrate as part of their 2012 programme I readily agreed. Mainly because I knew the timing could coincide with the launch of my new book. And then I almost completely forgot about the event over the last few months. Due to my already hectic diary of exhibitions,DVD filming and workshops which took place earlier this year. So far I have been in five exhibitions and two of these were major solos.
When the day approached for me to leave for Nottingham it finally hit me how far I would be driving. Almost four hours. Considering I used to avoid going anywhere, once upon a time, unless someone else was in the driving seat this is pretty much a miracle to get me to agree to go! But I have changed so much and I now love meeting new people in new locations. So much so that the driving is just part of the experience and I am beginning to enjoy it!
I arrived in Nottingham the night before my demonstration and in the morning had breakfast with Mary and Vanessa the fabulous team representing my publishers, who would be helping me the next day. They laughed when I explained I didn't think many people would be there. I expected four seats to be taken in the front row and these would be friends who had told me they were heading up to see me. How wrong I was! I had a huge shock and everyone in the tent at both demonstrations knew it. I couldn't hide my amazement at the sea of faces enthusiastically waiting for me to begin.
In the morning the tent filled up gradually and it became obvious we would have a full house which we did. Tickets had sold out. I gave my first demonstration including how I feel about watercolour, how I work with my exercises to warm up and gave an insight into my washes. I absolutely loved the questions everyone asked as they were fascinating. Sometimes you need this kind of stimulation to feel you are connecting with an audience so I loved it.
I left the Search Press tent after my first demonstration to wander around the other marquees. They were amazing so please visit if you ever have a chnace.This is an artists dream of an art event.
I returned for my afternoons demonstration to a further shock.We had not only sold out of tickets for my next session but people were still queueing trying to get in. Artists who had watched me in the morning had also returned to see my second slot. Before I started demonstrating I stood outside the marquee with the organisers and tickets sellers. They joked that we needed a bigger " Jean Haines" tent next year as I had proved to be so popular. I was so taken aback!
So when I started my next demonstration you could say I was on an enormous high because I had no idea that had been going to happen. It was a terrific afternoon. I loved laughing with everyone when certain problems about working in watercolour arose, this is a sign of a happy relaxed room and the energy felt brilliant. I met so many gorgeous people and signed many of my books. In fact we sold out of "Atmospheric Watercolours" and I hope a new supply will be there at Patchings today and tomorrow. My new book is receiving so much attention and everyone is letting me know how inspirational they are finding it which really thrills me and overwhelms me a little at the same time.
You may laugh at me but I headed to another stand selling my books during my break to sign a few copies there for them to sell. As I leant over to pick up a book to sign, one lady said to her friend " That's her!". I turned around quickly to see who it was they were talking about not realsing they meant me.
When I told my friends over lunch they laughed at me too and kindly.
You see, I am a very ordinary person who just happens to like working in watercolour. I am not famous and heaven knows, I doubt I really ever will be. But I am adapting to the idea my style might be popular and my way of working too as I am a happy,positive personality.
I owe a huge thank you to everyone who came to see me yesterday, I really hope you enjoyed my demonstrations and I am very sorry all my workshops are fully booked this year. I am looking at ways to hold workshops differently next year to try to alleviate the problem of not having enough spaces available for everyone who wants to come so do watch my web site for full details. They will be added in October of this year.
But on a more positive note if you missed my demonstration at Patchings I will be demonstrating again soon. This time in London at the Mall Galleries during the SWA,Society for Women Artists Annual Exhibition 2012. And guess what? The night before I will go through the same dilema of imagining only four people will come to see me.
I do hope you are one of them!