Sunday, December 30, 2007

Heron Gallery Talk, Workshop and Exhibition Update

Braving the awful heavy rain and, occasional, thrashing of sleet, a small but enthusiastic group of ladies attended both my talk and workshop. The gallery is quite small, so the low numbers proved a blessing particularly for the workshop where, with all the equipment and large frames, space was at a premium to work comfortably within.

On the Friday evening I gave two Powerpoint presentations showing the varied aspects of my job at the zoo and an introduction to batik. I’m very new to the concept of giving talks in this way but I am completely won over by it. So much easier, if you have lots of images to view, than carting around loads of slides that can easily be upended and then take forever to put back in, not only in the correct sequence but the right way up as well! However you need access to a laptop and for larger audiences a digital projector and a screen. None of which I have got, so I can only do this in venues that can provide such equipment.

The workshop was fun and I chose a pansy head for our subject. I did this before in another workshop earlier in the year and it proved successful in that it’s a familiar subject, can be done with a few colours in the same range and best of all… the patterns are varied - so no matter how badly a student may think they’ve done, the finished result is still very acceptable. Most of the students in the workshop had not done batik before – so this was a whole new experience for them. It’s a medium that can completely flummox some, whilst others take to it like the proverbial duck to water.

The difficulty most seem to have is thinking the image through from highlights to dark and allowing for future colour and wax layers. This obviously would come with practise… but in a day or two there’s not much you can do in that sense. However, once that concept has been grasped – away they go and have fun with it! At the end of the day, everyone went away with a finished piece and not one of them was a disaster! They all produced something to be proud of and I love that! To see the change from the puzzled and even one or two scared faces as we start the workshop, to seeing the smiles and enthused faces at the end is something I don’t think I could tire of. It was therefore very pleasing when I was asked to do another workshop in batik with them in 2008.

The ‘Farming Landscapes’ exhibition started the evening before my talk- due to preparing for the following two days I was unable to get down to attend the Private View. Which is a shame, as I would have liked to been there- it’s a lovely little gallery and it would have been nice to have been amongst the supporters that evening. The gallery is new and not yet well established but I think it will do well in the future. When I had arrived on the Friday evening for the talk, I was surprised and delighted to discover one of my paintings had sold. ‘Misty December Dawn’ went on the Private View evening and Emma, from the gallery, kept the news as a surprise for when I arrived.

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