2019 has been an amazing year in so many ways. I truly didn't realise how amazing until I took the time to sit down to plan for next year. Without trying to sound like an Oscar speech I want to thank everyone who has supported me...whether that is buying my paintings, words of encouragement on my stands at art fairs, likes on Instagram, sharing of posts or listening to me when I go through my not good enough phases haha.
I started the year with the decision that I was going to say YES to any opportunity that might come my way, no matter how scary. I know it may sound a bit woo woo, but I do believe the best things happen outside your comfort zone. I knew that whatever the universe was going to send my way was obviously meant to be. It is usually only me and my worries that get in the way. The big girl pants were out.
The Year of Art Fairs
The first time I exhibited at an art fair was The Other Art Fair in Melbourne in 2018. This was a huge leap out of my comfort zone. As an art student I had only ever dreamt that I would exhibit at one of these shows. To have to stand and talk about my work with strangers for 4 days was SO huge. The introvert in me was screaming to run back home and hide. I was truly amazed at how lovely everyone involved is...from the organisers, the visitors and the other exhibiting artists.
The Other Art Fair Sydney 2019
This year I applied to my first interstate fair, The Other Art Fair in Sydney in March. This was a big deal for me, not only because it was away from home, but also because I had to pack up my car and drive myself and the paintings all the way to Sydney. I had never driven this far on my own and to be honest it was a struggle driving 13 hours in one day, but I stayed awake! The Sydneysiders were amazing and apart from it absolutely pouring with rain for the whole weekend...apparently the only time it has rained in Sydney the whole of this year, I had a great time, met loads of new fellow artists and made great contacts...and sales :).
The wonderful Australian Technology Building in Sydney
The Other Art Fair Melbourne
In May, I exhibited at The Other Art Fair in Melbourne for the second time. This show was also fantastic, but if I'm honest, a little less busy than previous shows, but that's the way these shows seem to go. I have found that it is never a loss to put yourself out there, no matter how scary. You may not always make lots of sales, but you get to meet other great artists and have wonderful conversations with people who are genuinely interested in your work. I still get blown away by that.
Back to The Facility in Kensington for The Other Art Fair Melbourne 2019
The Affordable Art Fair Melbourne
After the May fair I was absolutely exhausted and ready for a break, to paint, for a while, but the universe wasn't having that. Out of the blue I was asked to form a 'gallery' with two wonderful artists, whose work I really admire. The Affordable Art Fair was returning to Melbourne after a 10 year break and would be setting up at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton in September. What a venue!
I decided the big girl pants had to be put on again and JAG Contemporary was formed, with amazing artists Gina Fishman and Joe Blundell. Though initially daunted at the prospect of the costs involved...pretty scary, I am SO glad we took this leap of faith, as it turned out to be the best experience of the year. All three of us had an amazing show, virtually selling out, and all of us having to raid paintings from home! Needless to say we are excited at the prospects for 2020.
The stunning Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton, Melbourne
One of the most exciting things to happen this year was the sale of one of my paintings to a client in New York! I don't know what it is, but as an artist there is something very cool about saying you have sold a painting to New York haha. 'Happier' was sold thanks to Saatchi Online. One of the best things about being an artist is receiving an email from a buyer telling you how much they love it. A lovely email was received from New York :).
'Happier' no living in New York
This year, the husband of a friend of mine contacted me from Germany, to buy her something special for her birthday. I was so pleased to be able to do this, as she was one of the first friends I made when I moved to Melbourne 11 years ago. We were both expats trying to make a home away from home...hers in Germany...mine in the UK. She moved back to Germany 9 years ago, but we have stayed in touch through social media.
Field of Dreams now lives in Germany
Work in New Galleries
Other highlights of the year have been starting to work with the lovely Lyn and Ron Hammond at the Watershed Gallery in the stunning Hunter Valley, NSW and Martine Vanderspuy at Martine Gallery in Northbridge, Sydney. As always Martha at Satch & Co in Holbrook has been amazing at promoting my work and the guys a Bluethumb and Saatchi.com have also been legends. I feel very lucky to be working with such wonderful people and am really appreciative of every single person who has bought work to have in their home. It enables me to carry on doing what I love and I will always be grateful for that.
Planning for 2020
Right now I am working out my hopes and goals for next year. There are are a few exciting things in the pipeline already and I will let you know details of those very soon. I am busy painting and will be releasing new work very soon. If you would like to check out work in progress my Instagram page is the best place to be.