Saturday, 18 June 2011

what a difference a day makes . . .

Art on the Common 2011
© Teresa Newham 2011

June means that it's time for Art on the Common again, and sure enough around forty hopeful artists arrived at 8am last Saturday to set up their gazebos and pitches on Harpenden Common for the first day of what we hoped would be the usual two-day local art event in aid of Cancer Research.  It was cool, but sunny, and we were relieved (after last year) that there was a gentle breeze rather than a howling gale.

my set-up, thanks to my husband's help
© Teresa Newham 2011

Because S had other commitments, I'd decided to brave the first day exhibiting on my own; of course my husband kept me company (and set up the gazebo and did the general dogsbodying, bless him!), but all the art was mine.  I managed to put together what I hoped was a reasonable exhibition of watercolours, prints and photos, and because we weren't fighting the weather like last year, everything was up and organised in time for the 10am opening.

I even had room to show some old photos . . . !
© Teresa Newham 2011

The Harpenden Common Discovery Day opened at around the same time, and we spent the day sitting in the sunshine and listening to the various events going on nearby (ferret-racing, birds of prey, dog show).  My husband read while I sketched and painted and resisted the urge to pluck at my visitors' sleeves and ask if they liked what they were looking at (quite a few said nice things without prompting, which was of course much better!).  We chatted to a lovely couple who knew Portmagee, and gorged ourselves on tea and buns supplied at minimal cost by the local Scouts.  Friends came and went, and my volume of card sales crept up steadily.  By 4.30 the passers-by were on their way home and some clouds were threatening; sure enough, as we packed up some rain began to fall but we managed to get everything into the cars without it getting wet, and dashed off to six o-clock mass, ahead of the second day of exhibiting tomorrow.

Discovery Day, Harpenden Common
© Teresa Newham 2011

We knew that some people had been put off exhibiting on the second day by a poor weather forecast.  Even so, around twenty were expected for Sunday's session, and we met S on the Common as arranged at 9am.  It was windy, wet and  miserable, and only seven exhibitors had turned up.  It only took a few minutes of struggling (unsuccessfully) with the gazebo to convince us to pack up and go home again.  What bliss to sit in the warm and dry with a cup of tea!  I was sorry that S hadn't had the chance to take part this year, but she didn't seem too bothered as she'd just had a highly successful Open Studios week in Dunstable.  And I was only just starting to realise how tired I was . . .

After we'd dried out and unpacked everything my husband went into town.  Only four gazebos were braving it in the driving, constant rain and by the time he came home again barely half an hour later, only two were left. 

Ah, the English summer!

1 comment:

  1. A really fabulous and enjoyable day on the Saturday. Although it was a shame not to be able to exhibit on the Sunday you had certainly earned a rest!