Monday 13 October 2014

Carpe Diem

“Know thyself. Know the customer. Innovate.”
 Beth Comstock

'Eve's Temptation' Shevaun Doherty 2014

Something totally unexpected happened the other week.

 An opportunity arose to put on an exhibition with some friends in the Law Library (The Irish Bar Council), where Irish barristers and judges have their offices. The area is brightly lit and spacious, and barristers are good potential clients. Previous exhibitions have supposedly done very well there. 
I always remember Katherine Tyrrell's advise  (of Making a Mark blog) "to hold an exhibition where the people who can afford to buy your paintings live" (or work), so fingers crossed, this could be worthwhile. However it’s only five weeks away and I have nothing prepared. Five weeks is really very, very soon. 

Three little quail's eggs
We went for a coffee to mull things over and decided that it is simply too good an opportunity to let pass. Between us we have enough art to make this an interesting and varied exhibition, and so the planning for the Natural Law botanical art exhibition began.

There are five of us involved- Yanny Petters, Lynn Stringer, Holly Somerville , Elizabeth Prendergast and me.

Burren Meadow, Verre √©glomis√© panel by Yanny Petters

Crocosmia by Elizabeth Prendergast

Rhododendron delavayi by Lynn Stringer

Poppy, Papaver rhoeas by Holly Somerville

 Although I personally haven’t had a lot of experience in organising exhibitions, all of these artists are well versed in everything that needs to be done. They have all been very involved in both the Bloom Botanical Art exhibition, and  Aibitir, the ISBA’s Irish Alphabet in botanical art.

Lilies and Eryngium by Shevaun Doherty

So, what to paint? 

Calamondin orange, Shevaun Doherty

Well, there really isn’t a whole lot of time and being as it will be at the end of November, I’m going to work on some small paintings. Liz sells a lot of work, and she suggested doing lots of small affordable paintings, ones that could used as Christmas gifts. From her experience, paintings that have an emotional attachment tend to sell first, eg. a single flower (especially pink ones), dandelion clocks, apples, blackberries, even conkers. The weird and wonderful that we botanical artists like to draw usually doesn’t. Leaves, despite the pretty autumnal colours, also don’t tend to sell. Liz often grumbles that people seem to think that the leaves just grow on the page and that all the hard work involved in painting them is often overlooked. Of course, we will also have some larger paintings to bring a little variety.

King of Conkers

So now it’s a matter of getting my head down and getting some painting done. The next five weeks will fly by. I'll post more details about the exhibition once all the details are finalised.

This tiny vellum piece of Iris foetidissima seedhead will be perfect for the exhibition

 “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” 
Ralph Waldo Emerson


  1. Hey! great stuff. Best of luck to you all with the exhibition. Looking forward to hearing more about it!

    1. Thanks. I'll drop in an invite for yourself and B! xx

  2. Sounds super! You've always got some of your sketchbook work which is utterly divine...

    1. That's true. I've probably got loads of things tucked away that I've forgotten about. Thanks Jess!

  3. What an exciting opportunity! I am sure the show will be well received with such a line-up of talented artists. It's interesting to read about Yanny's experience with what sells...alas I love to paint the weird and wonderful...sigh...

    1. I know... I love the weird and the wonderful too! But I suppose it's always a good idea to think about what and who you are painting for. I'll let you know if this approach is successful... if not, it's back to the subjects that have character and a strange beauty

  4. Well, if this isn't a great challenge?
    Hi, im sure you will manage to find suitable paintings!
    Maybe something eatable like the figs?
    Great as a present...
    and of course its true that you should exhibit were "the customers" can effort to buy art. I never thought of that!
    Together you're all like the three musketeers, making it a fantastic exhibition!
    good luck with it!

    1. Thanks Maria. I'm lucky to know such a great group of artists and lucky that they all live quite near to me.


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