Monday, 28 September 2009
Tip 18 - Don't over burden your lives with work you don't get paid for
This week I shall be mostly gallery-sitting. Otherwise known in the trade as 'invigilating'. Although I did think that was something people did at school exams. This doesn't feel quite the same but perhaps equally as boring.
Dearest blog followers, many many humble apologies for not having posted over the summer months. It has been a fairly hectic one with Hobbits on school holidays, trips to France and way too much work. Quite frankly I feel that I have aged at least 28 lifetimes over the past 10 weeks.
However, Hobbits are now back ensconced in their relative educational establishments (Medium Hobbit now having moved up to 'big school' or The Holy-land as it ought to be known since he visits on a daily basis still thick in the euphoria of freedoms, variety and being allowed to take mobile phone to school!)
This time of year in sunny Somerset, in which the Hobbit clan reside, it is Artweek! A fortnight (I know, I know report us to trade descriptions why don't you) during which the artists and galleries of said county open their doors and welcome all and sundry to peruse, criticize and hopefully purchase. For 2009 Artweek I agreed to organise and man (or should I say person) a gallery venue at a lovely local conference/cafe complex. Which is what i am currently doing. I am in my second week here and apart from having drunk copious amounts of coffee (thank you http://www.themonksyard.co.uk/ for keeping me awake with your wonderful cappuccino!) I wouldn't say it has been the most successful or profitable two weeks of my life. The concept being that I get commission on what I sell. Hmmmm, sounds excellent in principal, but in the current economic climate perhaps not the wisest of deals to have made. I wouldn't say the art is selling like hot cakes, a bit more like tepid porridge.
Oh well, at least it has given me a grand opportunity to partake in one of my favourite hobbies - People Watching! I have been quite staggered to see the variety of people that visit these types of events. And I feel really obliged - Dear Blog Reader - to tell you about some of my favourites.
One common group of art venue visitors is the lesser spotted middle aged lady. Often to be found in small groups, chirruping to themselves as they spend what appears to be hours closely inspecting the works of art but never actually purchasing anything. My particularly favourites (said in the loosest sense of the word) would be a group of three 'ladies' who visited last week and without exchanging any sort of pleasantries with me wandered aimlessly around the gallery for a great length of time commenting in tones of authority on the paintings. Comments including 'Well she's obviously used the wrong sort of paint as it has soaked into the canvas and gone all blurry' about a lovely piece of work by a very renowned Somerset artist known for her soft-focus interpretation of the landscape and also 'This one must have run out of paint because this bit (pokes wildly at canvas) is a bit blank'. Visitors like this I can do without!
A lesser common visitor would be 'The Family'. This to a point is a huge relief because (and I apologise in advance to any families of young children - I have been in this same situation with my boys so can't hardly complain) whenever parents with small children wander in I have some kind of icy cold descend over my heart and I spend the next few minutes, or however long they stay, in a state of constant anxiety. Parents of said young children are usually overheard saying things like 'Charlie, please don't touch that' or 'Rebecca, walk don't run, this is an art gallery you know' but then their attention reverts to the paintings, leaving Charlie and/or Rebecca to run, touch and cause me major heart failure.
Some visitors like to peruse in silence and some love to chat. I enjoy the chatters. Some stop for hours on end and join me for coffee. These ones i like. We indulge ourselves in random topics of conversation from the weather, to music to Brazilian art (of which I know very little). If I had more visitors like that I would very happily while away my days in the gallery. Come visit me more often!!
So here I am, for one more week, hoping to sell lots, earn myself a descent commission and looking forward to enjoying next weeks lay down in a darkened room to recover.
Quick plug for http://www.westcountrygalleries.co.uk/ for whom I am working this week. Thank you for all your support in putting together this exhibition. I hope it turns out successful for all of us. So don't forget to come visit me at http://www.themonksyard.co.uk/ or visit our sister exhibition at http://www.provender.co.uk/ where there are equal amounts of lovely artwork on offer.