What do you do when an invitation arrives in the mail saying ‘your artwork is great and we would like you to bring it to our exhibition ‘Life Art Worldwide’ at Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland? Well of course I’m excited and honoured that the jury has viewed my work and invited me to participate in this inaugural event but then the logistics start swarming into my mind – what does it cost? do I have to stay the ten days? who is the exhibition aimed at? what benefits for me? who sells the artwork? And the list goes on…….
After a good discussion, a decision was made and I’m off to my very first Life Art Worldwide Exhibition at the Coast. The curator even asked me to do painting demonstrations for the public, so after much to and froing, I packed our car, collected, labelled and bubble wrapped paintings, packed all the art materials, easels and new canvas’ into the car. The only place to fit my clothes port was on the front seat!
With not a space spare, away I go with my trusty Navman to guide me, I head to the Tafe College, Sunshine Coast with a little fear as I knew no one at all and for the first time would be staying by myself in a unit. After many wrong turns I found the tafe, unloaded a car full of paintings with some wonderful young tafe lads and then a kindly gentleman arrived to hang my paintings in the booth with my name on top, it looked really good I must say!
Now off the find the unit! Elouera Towers and I’m here on the coast for 10 days, I unpacked and went over to the fish and chip shop to get tea then decided to have a shower and get ready for bed but to my surprise I had left my wet pack at home. Like Hello!!!! I remembered all the paints but forgot the toothbrush! Who remembers that TV show ‘Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush’ Well I forgot mine and the shampoo, conditioner, make up etc. You just can’t live with out the essentials :(
A very quick morning shop for the essentials was needed and then I headed off to Life Art Worldwide, it started at 9.00am every day for the artists and this provided a wonderful time to meet and have a much-needed morning coffee together. I was allocated an upstairs booth with a small group of artists and by the end of the ten days we have formed friendships that are going to last for a very long time. We are all very different from the ethereal to realism, photography to mixed media, small to large but we complemented each other beautifully.
Each day there were people coming and going asking questions and taking business cards, I took a box full and by the last day they were all gone, I found that amazing!
There were Maori dancers, singers and traditional weaver’s show casing their beautiful items and sharing the stories of their culture.
The Ken Hinds Exhibition was outstanding with such famous artists being put on display for every one to see them, there was a Brett Whitely, Picasso, Albert Namatjira, Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri and many more. This collection is one of Australia’s most individual and extensive collections of art and other objects. Its more than 30,000 items include a vast collection of toys, books, ancient artefacts from around the globe, and more than 3,000 Australian works of art.
There were many questions of how do you paint that? what inspired you here in this painting? what is tone? which brush do you use? After the nerves of my first day talking and demonstrating, I settled down and enjoyed the experience, not expecting to paint a Rembrandt, just getting paint onto canvas to show the various ways I do things.
I have met wonderful artistic people from different countries and culture’s who are experienced in International Art Show’s and marketing of art and they offered so much advice that my head was spinning every day. Now I have to process all this advice and apply what is needed to increase my art business and get working.
This has been an amazing experience for me which I must say I was truly sad when we packed up on the last day. The learning and sharing from one another was invaluable. The contact’s we all have made and the inspiration that we have given one another is priceless. I am certainly going to try out new techniques and remember with fondness the artist who quite willingly shared her methods with me. I may not incorporate this into my works but then again I may, we’ll see what happens.
After enjoying ten days of stimulating creative conversations with so many talented hard-working artists, thinking art, breathing art, doing art. What a shock to come home to a mountain of washing, dusty house, dry garden and endless amounts of book work. Arghhh!!! I’m certainly missing the freedom of time to have those artistic chats where ideas flow so easily with no daily responsibility’s.
Would I do this again? I not sure. I only sold one painting but spoke to so many people about my art. I didn’t win the prize money but learnt so much from such experienced artists and business people and made some amazing contacts. How do you put a value on that? So I think yes I would. I think I would pack paintings up again, pay the money and go to a city to show my work. This has been a great time for me to be involved with other serious professional artists, it has certainly encouraged me to go further and add changes into my art practice. So here’s to the future! Let’s see what happens and where the art leads me……..
PS: On the esplanade at Mooloolaba while we were waiting to get into a restaurant one night, this mummy and baby possum were climbing down a palm tree not at all worried by the passing parade of people. No fear at all!
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