Friday, 25 September 2009

The show must go on

It was quite a busy week, dominated by having to decide about the pending exhibition. Having nothing to lose, I stacked a few paintings in the back of the car and drove to the venue, an old castle with a moat. Very picturesque. Above is a view of it.

I was quite surprised that some of the other exhibitors were already busy as bees and there were a lot of paintings to be hung on far too few hooks! I've no idea how they solved that problem. I saw two of my paintings hung in fairly nice positions in the main room and left because there was nothing much I could do. The opening is on Sunday. This is the first time I've taken part in a group exhibition and there is such a conglomeration of styles and standards that I don't know if my work will even be noticed, but I've done it now!


Above are the paintings I hung.

Wednesday morning was the last session of the group I joined to paint with the artist who has organized this show for himself and them. NB the "them" was freudian. I don't think I ever belonged there. Some of the participants have been going to the group for years! Germans are very protective of their "inner circles".... They were painting something in watercolour on paper, but as I had missed the previous session I didn't know what was planned (yes I did apologize for not going and yes the artist could have mailed me to tell me what was planned - but didn't), so I turned up with canvas and impasto acrylics. I started with diluted acrylics, but wasn't enjoying the procedure so I did my own thing instead. I haven't quite decided whether to go to the next sessions, but it's on the cards that I won't.

Of course there are positive effects of such a group, even if one is more or less on the sidelines. But the negatives can weigh heavily. For instance, the right-handed lady sitting next to me at the large worktable which had the top end for the artist and his stuff for demos etc, 3 on each side and 2 opposite. I'm left-handed and offered to swap places with her, but she refused on the grounds that that was her place (next to the teacher!). At this last session, at which she spent the whole morning on futile attempts to draw a foreshortened boat, she did not use paint or water, but elbowed at me constantly for being in her way and told me to move over, though I'd already moved as far away as was technically possible. Fortunately the person on my right was absent! I got my own back, though! I'm not usually revengeful, but I couldn't help remarking - after the artist had made a few attempts to show her how to draw - that she should start with a matchbox if she wanted to learn how to draw. She was livid, and there were smirks all round. I've no idea what may have gone on before. Two weeks previously she had spent the whole morning trying to draw 3 geese with a 2 inch paintbrush and diluted blue acrylics. Her main tenet is that her talent is just waiting to be brought to the fore. She is not exhibiting at the show because she feels she cannot show enough of her innate painting talent yet. If I were in the north of England, I might be tempted to say "Some mothers do 'ave 'em". She is one good reason for not going to any more sessions. I admire self-confidence, but not when it's accompanied by self-delusion!

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