Back in September, I took part in Hereford Art Week for the first time.
Hereford Art Week logo
Busy working desk during Hereford Art week
We decided to have a bit of everything on show, so her flower art prints were on the walls alongside my original framed watercolours.
Lea Gregory: Framed prints and greetings cards on sale
Lea does a good line in using her designs as decoration, so she had aprons and tote bags, wrapping paper and christmas cards on sale.
Lea's beautiful botanical tote bags
We both had browsers of limited edition prints, and greetings cards.
My limited edition giclee prints
I tend to accumulate an awful lot of original illustrations from commissions, and instead of framing everything, I’ll pop an original in a clear sleeve with a price on the back and sell it at a far lower amount than I could do it it had been framed or mounted. I had a couple of baskets of original pencil and watercolour paintings available, and was really pleased to see how well pictures from them sold – I think perhaps there’s an immediacy to something so unprocessed that appeals to folk.
Some of my original illustrations along with one of Lea's Hydrangea greetings cards, and a collection of cool beetles.
I decided to bring my sketchbook along so I could do some drawing and painting between visitors; from experience I know people love flicking through sketchbooks so I brought some past ones to the studio, along with my portfolio showing past work.
I got quite a bit done, a study of a rose, a hawthorn berry, Common vetch study, an anemone, and a little bank vole that the cat brought in. People seem to enjoy seeing the working environment, and watching as a painting progresses, so I was more than happy to work as they browsed and looked around.
Bank vole sketchbook study
I also had enough time to get on with commissions too, and completed an illustration for a honey producer.
Honey label artwork (this'll be framed and on sale at the Winter H Art weekend)
I completed an illustration of a Coal tit Periparus ater and was delighted to sell it the day I finished painting it! Believe me, this is a rare occurance!
Illustration of the Coal tit Periparus ater
I found the balance of chatting to visitors and getting on with painting rather refreshing, and we had some really fascinating people stopping by. There was a lady who worked for the Woodland trust and knew an enormous amount about oak trees as habitats, a man who was a draughtsman for OS maps in his youth, an engineer involved in testing Rolls Royce engines, another visitor who knew exactly where to go to spot snow bunting near Hay on Wye, some amateur artists, keen gardeners, and a couple from Merthyr who’d come especially to choose several of Lea’s framed prints for their lounge. To a certain extent the visitors are self-selecting, so I shouldn’t be surprised by how lovely they were, but it certainly made the week fly by!
We were so lucky to take plenty and more than cover the costs of participating in Hart, and had more than 200 visitors, which was remarkable considering how remote and tucked away Lea’s studio is.
Desk complete with paintbox, flowers, sketchbooks and reference for the honey label artwork
In fact, we were so taken with the event that we’ve signed up to take part in the Winter Hereford Art Weekend on November 25th and 26th.
Flyer for Christmas H Art Open studios
We’ve both been working hard since September, so expect to see some new stuff as well as firm favourites like greetings cards and Christmas gift ideas.
Ornithological illustration of the Common jay Garrulus glandarius
If you missed us in September we’d love to see you next weekend; 11-4pm at Pen Y Lan Granary in Hardwicke (pop HR3 5TA into the sat nav or follow the pink Hart signs from Hay on Wye). Other artists holding open studios this weekend are on the H Art website under the “Notice Board” section.
To those who visited us in September, thankyou so much for making it such a fun week. For those of you planning to come and see us, hooray! And for everyone else, watch this space, I reckon we might be doing H Art week in 2018 too…..
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