The Grahamstown National Arts Festival kicks off at the end of June each year. It is a wonderful occasion that stands out in South Africa as a beacon for the arts. Eleven days of celebrating of all that is artsy-fartsy in this small cathedral city. I love it. I went to university there and I have not missed a festival since. But are festivals like this still relevant and sustainable?
It is You, Not Your Materials That Count
Pretty heady stuff. Painting genius? I know there is a big chunk of work involved in producing world class paintings. But let me ask you this. If you worked on your painting consistently for an hour every evening would your paintings improve quickly and consistently. Of course you must agree, because this should be self evident. Time is something we can manage if we want to. But what is really holding you back?
A painting workshop is always a bit nerve wracking as you are not sure what the response will be. Add a long trip to another location and the potential for hiccups grows. But thankfully artists are a keen bunch of people with a passion for painting. The group that I met in Greyton were all that and more.
Set in a stunning village, nestled alongside the Sonderend mountains in the Western Cape, Greyton has all the natural features for outdoor painting. I had the good fortune to host a workshop there recently and it was a pleasure to meet a dedicated and fun group of artists. We had an active day with lessons and practical painting outdoors. A sneaky Autumn wind arrived later in the day to keep us from getting too adventurous, but this was no problem. The weather behaved and we had a good time.
You can see a few highlights in the video below.
I am looking forward to the next workshop in Greyton and if you would like to stay in the loop for dates please add your name to my mailing list below.
A BIG thank you to all the participants for making this a lovely day. I hope to be painting with you again in the future.
Plein Air Painting Course:
If you would like to learn more about outdoor painting you may also be interested in my online course. This course aims to show you how you can easily add another dimension to your painting through the medium of plein air. See more details here.
A question that comes up often is how should new artists price and sell their paintings. I get asked this usually through email because most artists are not comfortable talking about this face-to-face. At least that is my experience of it. This is a pity, as business tips and anecdotes from artists can be enormously helpful. It is a fact of life - we make a living partly or wholly from art. Let’s talk about it. So here goes!
No More Starving Artist
Let us agree to get rid of the starving artist myth. Sadly Van Gogh is often used as an example, but this is grossly unfair. Surely if Van Gogh had a healthy mind he would have reached financial success too? I am confident of that. Your art business, whether full time or part-time, is simply a business with a reasonable chance of success.
In Part 1 I look at the essential qualities you will need to grow your business.