Our fifth year at The Birdfair and due to the dreadful weather this summer it wasn't until August 1st that we knew for certain that the event would be going ahead. Still, conditions in the art marquee were less than ideal. You can probably see from the photograph how muddy the ground inside was, and to make matters worse it soon became cloying and sticky in the humid atmosphere.
Nevertheless, it didn't stop the public visiting, though I suspect numbers were down from last years record intake.
Friday started quietly, which bucked the trend for us based on previous fairs but mid way through the morning I sold my first original, "Ebb Tide, Dunlin & Ringed Plover" (see below). After that print sales picked up and we ended the day in profit, which is always a relief in the precarious life of the artist!
Saturday started much the same as Friday though the weather was glorious, perhaps a little too glorious in the marquees where temperatures touched 30 degrees. Definitely an ice-cream day. Quite a few print sales but just one small original sold today - the last of the puffins painted the previous week which was still wet! Thankfully, due to the hot weather it was dry by the end of the day when the buyer came to collect it.
Sunday at The Birdfair is usually quieter for us and tends to attract more family parties. It was certainly another hot day, interspersed with sudden cloudbursts and thunderstorms.
Just to prove that you can never second-guess any event, Sunday typically ended up the best day of the weekend. Two paintings sold to a couple who had previously bought one of my bigger originals (of oystercatchers) at The Birdscapes Gallery in Glandford, and at the end of the day one of my framed puffins was on it's way to it's new home in Bristol. Add to that two unframed puffins which had sold off my newsletter a few days before and 2012 had suddenly become our second best Birdfair.
I would like to thank all those people who bought paintings and prints over the weekend. It was lovely to meet you all, to chat about your wildlife experiences and to share my own thoughts and observations on the natural world with people who have a genuine interest in how I paint and what inspires me.
It's quite easy as an artist, working for long hours in isolation, to develop a blinkered view of both the world and your own work. Meeting and chatting to new people and fellow exhibitors and seeing other artists' work can act as a catalyst, giving you new ideas and helping you to see a subject in a whole new way.
I'm already excited by the thoughts of tackling new media, more of which in the future, and of pursuing new subjects both here and abroad. Some of this new work will be on display at The Birdfair 2013, so see you there next year!