Soul Lessons from the Exhibition

Gallery Window

I’ll write two entries about my exhibition that started last week. One practical one, that might help artists looking to organize an exhibition. And this first one more as what it gives to my right side of the brain.

First of all it was truly fun. Having a first showing is a great chance to invite all friends and just enjoy. I’m really happy about everyone who showed up – even though it was impossible to give everyone the attention they deserved. Then again: Not that I was needed, everyone was busy meeting new people – all is well.

Oh yeah, and I would have been lost without the many friends helping out. Maroesja who made the whole thing possible at all. Maga who organized the awesome food – Sanna, Kaisa and Norma for helping her. Uno for making delicious Japanese cakes. Caroline, Ramon and Vika for taking pictures. Txell, Svetlana and Tobias for being handymens (if it wasn’t for them I would still be working). And Maryse for the professional marketing advice… plus many others I bothered for guidance :)

There is a lot to be learned about your own art at such an event. You see your images in a new light. Adding frames makes an immense difference. Some pictures that look average when lying in a huge pile at home, turn out into swans when getting a real frame with lots of space.

Here are some pictures showing the setup.

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Thomas presents... the main wall with the oil colors. I'm not posing!

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Wall two with watercolors and drawings.

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And Wall 3 with digital art and inks

Seeing the reaction of visitors is priceless. You can learn what they gravitate to – what they like and don’t like.
Surprising to me: My little sketches that I do in 5 minutes found a lot of fans. I do love them myself but I thought they are too personal for others to relate. I have a story about each image, but the viewer does not know them. Still, lots of good feedback.

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The sketchbook pages...

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...were hanging from the ceiling...

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in the center of the room.

The oil paintings were the center and did also get a lot of reactions. Viewers read a lot into images – it was surprising how strong you can affect people sometimes. The images and drawings that mean much to me did also get most reactions interestingly. Sometimes though the opposite of what I felt. The intensity comes through, the intention not always. And every now and then viewers see things I just didn’t realize. Painting happens to me sometimes like a trance, and I have to discover the image myself.
There was also some straight forward critique to images. Something very hard to find, and worth every effort.

Some long time artists gave me input on the pricing – very helpful, since I am clueless about that. I will adjust :)

What I take from all that: I am moving in the right direction. But there is a looooong way to go.
Painting more friends will be one way to get honest expression in my work. And I want to combine the looseness and depth of my sketches with the quality of the oils. This is my task and I hope I can find the time and money to go for that.

I sold some art, and I got some new opportunities through this. But if it really worked out I will judge when it is over – the gallery is still open every Friday and Saturday. Then I will also write the second self-review.

Here are more photos – thank you all for the great time.

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The first people just came when I put up the last image.

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The critics! They'll find any mistake!

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The food worked out nice...

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...and there it goes.

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I'm happy about the Japanese sweets. The wrapping was designed by Uno...

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...with the idea that I draw patterns on top of the stamp design.

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Behind the scenes.

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