Spring Into Art

This open morning which took place on Saturday 5th March 2016 was a new venture and effectively the result of many ideas that we had mulled over last year. This was to be a much more lower key event than the Art Event. We were to meet and to paint as normal, but from 9.00 until 12.30pm. Painting was to be at tables or at easel, as we normally do, with no formal demonstrations. However, part of the fun of an open morning is for members to talk about their work to any visitors. This could lead to impromptu demonstrations and letting the visitor have a go! You can’t have an open morning without refreshments and homemade cake – next year we must have scones!

An open morning is also a good excuse to have paintings on display to exhibit and to sell. On this occasion we used small display stands around the room, and the art browser. This is an excellent excuse to showcase what we’ve been doing, and what we can offer to tutors, painting support, and those interested in commissions, etc. It also readily advertises WHAG and our exhibition and tutorial programme with leaflets listing all our activities, and posters demonstrating the visits and events that we have been involved in over the last year. It is always good to sell some paintings, but with the open morning that isn’t our main emphasis, it is more to promote the group and our work in the Brentwood, Billericay and Basildon area. Another major ingredient is to have fun, to meet new people and invite members of the public, friends, family and others to come along. In the future it would be good to produce some greetings cards, postcards and prints of paintings. Also, for those technologically inspired, to have access to the WHAG website with a projector and screen.

Most importantly, on this first occasion, the Spring Into Art event gave us the chance, at the eleventh hour, of producing a memorial exhibition of Valerie Hooking‘s artwork. It was a pleasure to be involved in, and I would like to thank all those who appeared on Saturday morning with spare mounts – we were overwhelmed!

A BIG thank you to all those who turned up, exhibited, advertised, organised, setup/took down, served refreshments and cake, and painted. Thank you very much for being there. The weather was decidedly un-Spring like, something you can never bank on, with the chance of wintry showers. Also, unexpected events marred our usual faultless organisation. For some people, after the recent, heady, success of the Art Event in November 2015, where everything went amazingly well, this may have been a disappointment. However, this is a different kind of event, as I have highlighted above, something that we haven’t done before (?), something that we need to grow into, and I think Mavis summed it up beautifully:

Coffee, with friends … and painting too. What could be a better way of spending a Sat am? These photographs, they represent the comfortable, relaxed atmosphere of the open day … So much talent in one room, too!”

As Terry said, we actually had a chance to look around at other people’s work and saw what they were doing. This is particularly relevant in the case of those who only come on a Wednesday, and those who only come on a Saturday. For some reason I was imagining a different type of set up in the hall, but this most definitely worked, and everything came together well. Well done Terry!

As ever, we had too much cake … which is never a bad thing!

RSC/SMW 31 Mar 2016