Giving a Presentation at Daniel Smith Store in Seattle.
It has been a truly whirlwind month. I was a celebrity guest artist at the Annual Plein Air Convention in Monterey which was fabulous. Then I headed for Seattle where I was hosted by Daniel Smith to hold workshops and give an in store demonstration. I have to say I loved it!
Can you imagine for one minute, standing in front of a group of artists and talking about your favourite colours and if they want to they can simply pop into the next room which happens to be a huge art store to buy them? It was amazing! Anyone who has been on my workshops will know how excited I am about colour and how passionate I am about watercolour. Well here I found myself landed in Aladdin's cave! Seriously!
When I arrived I received a warm welcome and walked in to a beautiful display of my book "Atmospheric Watercolours" which is the main reason Daniel Smith knew about me. It has become so popular that the union between myself as the author and the colours I have fallen in love with seemed absolutely natural. The display of my books dwindled long before my book signing event which was also thrilling.
I held two , two day workshops and each were fully booked with long waiting lists for places. To anyone who couldn't get in I have good news. I am going back next year! I met wonderful people in Seattle that I have only talked to on line via Twitter or Facebook. And it was fantastic seeing them in person. Hello Hap and " A Woman Who is"! My instincts were right. These are lovely people online and I can tell you they are fabulous offline too.
"Jean Haines World of Watercolour"
The advance copy of my new book was raffled at my in store demonstration.
And won by a very happy winner! Hi Sharon!
But back to my workshops. they went wonderfully. I am still trying to catch up with emails so please bear with me to everyone who has kindly written to me to say how much they enjoyed my courses and love their new found inspiration. I am passionate in everything I do and throw my all into my courses. Which usually has everyone leaving them feeling overwhelmed with, as someone put it recently, a feeling of "over stimulation". I had one professional artist contact me to say they have never felt so enthusiastic about painting in all the years they have been painting which is really humbling. Thank you so much to everyone who came.
And to everyone who watched my demonstration thank you too. I will share the magical moments that really knocked me sideways. At the beginning of my demonstration a lovely lady came up to me and asked if she could have her photograph taken with me. This lady had changed her chemo appointment so that she didn't miss being there. I painted a rose as one of my demonstrations and gave it to this lady because she touched my heart in a way I cannot describe. How can someone I have never met know about my work and turn up at a demonstration, and even in these circumstances? I am so touched because I had no idea that was possible. And I am thinking very hard about how my books or blog posts do seem to reach all over the world. You see, when I write them they are almost like a personal diary for me. I don't actually expect anyone to read what I am writing or sharing. So after all these years this is a shock for me , still.
On the day of the in store demonstration I went for lunch with my hosts from Daniel Smith which was wonderful. Exchanging ideas and hearing all about the history of the colours I adore. It was fascinating to hear how my gorgeous watercolours are made. I then had a tour of the production which was eye opening. And I felt privileged to see the " behind the scenes" scenes.
The store seemed to fill quickly as my presentation time drew near and as the chairs for the auidence filled up people started to stand at the back. the atmosphere was terrific. Alive with anticipation and I must add, warmth. That may sound strange but I felt the enthusiasm in the room. It was tangible. I started with a brief introduction and then started painting. While I was demonstrating I noticed what I thought was the familiar face of a young man at the back of the room. But with a sea of faces in front of me and my presentation flowing I couldn't focus on this. Until one of the store assistants brought him to me explaining he had made a special trip to see me but unfortunately had to leave. He wanted to say Hi before he left. In front of the whole audience, all of a sudden, I recognised this wonderful young man as one of my youngest sons best friends, Neils. I was thrilled and I know my excitement was obvious. I explained to everyone in the room that I hadn't seen him since he was about 16 when we lived in Hong Kong ! Many fabulous memories of teenage boys racing through our home on their way to the swimming pool or coming to stay for sleep overs raced through my mind. It was such a happy time in our lives. Wow, he has changed, is still very good looking and still thankfully absolutely gorgeous in personality. He is now a happily married Dad of three. So I was knocked sideways, excited and so happy. How kind of him to come to see me. And then I had to pull myself together and carry on with the demo! What was so wonderful was the genuine happiness in the room as everyone shared my "moment". But what I hadn't shared was why I gave my demo painting to Judy in the audience. I know if I offer to sell a demo piece that there is only one painting, and it is awkward when more than one person wants to buy it. I hope you agree with me that giving a demo to someone it will mean so much to is far more rewarding than money changing hands. And I am afraid that is me, how I feel. So I hope I didn't disappoint anyone that day.
Anyway.,my second workshops was fabulous too just like the first. I met some terrific artists on it from Portland, Oregon. Now I have to explain that my husband and I travelled by train from San Francisco to Seattle and I was blown away by how beautiful the scenery in Oregon was. I said straight away that I have to go there. Well these artists would love a workshop fo rtheir Art Society so if we can work things out that might be a future destination. I also met a fabulous artist from Utah who has invited me there. Hi Colleen, I hope my painting is making you smile and inspiring you daily!
Artists ask me how can they get on my workshops? Because they fill so quickly. Well I can tell you a little secret. I work well in advance for my tours. This fall I will be in USA on tour again in four location's. But places were fully booked up as soon as the dates were announced a year ago. I am now looking at 2017 . I may also have one location slot free for Autumn 2016 if anyone is interested. As soon as the dates for next year are announced please book early. That's the best way to get a place. And you are welcome to contact me with suggestions of new destinations. I am always open to new ideas and as 2017 is still being arranged I can look at adding to my tour then.
But one thing is for sure. I will be back with Daniel Smith and it will be a very exciting return as I have a lot to celebrate. But that news is for a different blog post!
Now its time to race for my colours. The question is, which will be my favourite colour today!
Just a few of my favourite Daniel Smith colours!
A huge thank you to everyone who welcomed me with open arms on my recent USA tour. Its been fantastic and I know I am so lucky to keep meeting wonderful people all over the world. I am blessed and I know it!.