Monday, 13 June 2016

forewarned is forearmed . . .

Saturday - two gazebos with home-made bunting!
© Teresa Newham

. . . and we were certainly forewarned about the 'traditional' June weather expected for this year's Art on the Common.  This year more than forty artists were due to spend two days exhibiting just by the Park Hall in Harpenden - it was going to be a much bigger event than usual!

our work: L-R:  Sue, Hillary, me
© Teresa Newham

Three of us were sharing a double pitch - myself, Hillary Taylor and Sue Wookey.  Thanks to Opal Seabrook of Starburst Glass, who lent us a second gazebo, we were confident that we'd be able to keep everything - including ourselves - relatively dry. According to my mobile phone, the Met Office were updating their rain warnings every couple of hours as heavy thunderstorms crossed the whole of Southern England.

colourful costumes in the Carnival Parade
© Teresa Newham
But - on the Saturday at least - we were lucky. Once again, we were running alongside Harpenden Carnival, and our pitch was next to the main road.  So we had an excellent view of the colourful parade which wound its way from Lydekker Park to the Carnival showground onto the Common proper.  There were plenty of people about, and even a heavy downpour at lunchtime didn't deter the crowds - or us!

Sunday - this ceramic artist has everything under cover . . .
© Teresa Newham
The Sunday, however, was a different story.  It was chucking it down from the moment we arrived to set up. Some artists had decided not to turn out but there were enough hardy - or should that be foolhardy? - ones prepared to give it a go.  The weather was supposed to improve, and crucially there was very little wind. So up the gazebos went again.  This time we kept everything well away from the edges, including ourselves, huddling damp and chilly behind a table of greetings cards.

. . . . our neighbours didn't worry!
© Teresa Newham
Our neighbours didn't have a gazebo, but their pottery was robust enough to withstand the constant rain.  Everyone else did what they could to keep their art dry - towels, dust sheets, even a shower curtain - and it was worth it; at first a trickle, then (as the weather cheered up) a steady stream of visitors arrived.  At one point the sun came out . . . I even put up my home-made bunting!

exhibitors stayed cheerful despite the weather . . .
© Teresa Newham
Having recently started to use a new supplier - - to print greetings cards of my paintings and photos, I was keen to gauge the reaction, which was most encouraging.  One or two cards of new paintings had slipped into the boxes by mistake (I usually keep them back until the paintings have been exhibited) and proved to be popular!

. . . some just relaxed with their dogs!
© Teresa Newham
All together I believe the event raised over £2000 for Cancer Research (commission and pitch fees).  And there were some excellent sales.  So it was worth hanging on in there!

the rain did not keep visitors away
© Teresa Newham

Special thanks and congratulations to David Whitbread and the rest of the team from Harpenden Photographic Society, who organised this year's Art on the Common.

1 comment:

  1. A great event, despite the weather's best efforts. Really encouraging that the new cards are already starting to sell!