"Earth’s distant orb appeared the smallest light that twinkles in the heaven; whilst round the chariot’s way innumerable systems rolled and countless spheres diffused an ever-varying glory. It was a sight of wonder: some were hornèd like the crescent moon; some shed a mild and silver beam like Hesperus o'er the western sea; some dashed athwart with trains of flame, like worlds to death and ruin driven; some shone like suns, and as the chariot passed, eclipsed all other light." From "Queen Mab" by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1813)
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
The Folk Art of Cactus County #22
Sunday we had the preview show in the evening but before we could get to that we had to put all the pictures up and decorate the windows. This took all day and even by the time of the preview opening we still had a few things left undone. Little things though, nothing major. I got a bit worried during the setting up when one guy poked his head into the room asking if he could buy one of the books I was using in the display, followed a little later by another bloke asking if the candles were for sale. Again, they’re part of the display. They completely failed to show any interest in the actual work. This spooked me a bit I can tell you.
Anyway, we had almost 30 people attend the preview and everyone was very positive about the show. Both Mrs Kitsch and I even sold a couple of pieces, which was nice.
The next day we opened the gallery up to the general public for real. Monday was a bit quiet but we sold a few items, mostly badges and postcards but we had some good feedback. Tuesday Mrs Kitsch stayed at home while I held the fort. A few more people came in and there was more positive feedback. I even sold a very small picture. Not a bad day.
Today, the weather was much better and we had a lot more people come in for a look. I sold quite a few badges, a couple of postcards and had loads more encouraging comments. Then with about 15 minutes to go before we closed for the day this couple came in with their young daughter. The mother and daughter had popped in the day before for a look. This time she wanted her partner with her to see the paintings. At this point, Mrs Kitsch and I were being distracted by another person in the gallery who was intent on chatting at us about her trips to the States, when I realised the couple were trying to decide which of two large paintings they wanted to get. It appeared they were going to buy a painting. A large painting. A quite expensive large painting. After a short chat they had made their decision and wanted to buy this picture.
I was absolutely chuffed. They talked about the picture being up in their home and it being something of a talking point. They genuinely liked the painting, obviously, or they wouldn’t have bought it but it’s a new experience for me to have someone like my work so much that they would part with a three figure sum for it. And the fact that they had to decide between two pictures, well, how cool is that?
Now I’m going to have to sell a lot of paintings at this price before I’m bringing home a living wage but it’s a start. And as much as I hoped that I might sell something at the show I really didn’t expect to sell one of the large pictures on a Wednesday just a few minutes before we closed up. When they left the gallery, I was in shock. Now I just want to jump up and down shouting about it!
Today has been something of a validation of what I’ve been working on for the last year or so. Not just selling a big picture but many of the comments have confirmed that I’m on the right track with the concept behind the work. Earlier today, one woman said she liked the fact that I was doing an atheist version of the Day of the Dead; there have been a number of similar comments about the secular nature of the work; also other people have said how much they like the bright colour I use. It’s always felt right to me but until someone else says, ‘yeah you’re right, I like that’, well, you never really know for sure.
So, just three more days to go and if we don’t sell another thing, it’s already been worthwhile.