So, now the excitement of the first episode is dying down and it's back to doing normal everyday things.
Yesterday morning I sat as a model for a portrait painting class. It's not something I do all the time, just occasionally. I enjoy it. You get to meet and chat with new people, all amateur artists, many retired and looking to be creative and sociable at the same time. This group is very much in that vein. They had all seen the Big Painting Challenge, asked about it and made various comments as to what they thought. The general concensus seemed to be that they didn't like the judges (too harsh and not enough encouragement), they thought it was sad that someone gets 'evicted' each week (would rather see people progressing instead) and the lack of back story on some made it difficult to appreciate where each artist was coming from and what they hoped to achieve. I guess a background story is a nice way for you to either warm to a particular character or dismiss them, which is part and parcel of the fun of these types of programme and it is also interesting to know why other people do things, to hear their thoughts and hopes/dreams for the future.
Anyway, I think I did a good job of sitting still! During the second half I struggled to keep my eyes open which is what happens when you have to stare at the same spot on a wall for an hour. Most of them worked in watercolour, one in oils and one in pastel. At the end it was amazing to see the variety of styles and colours, some students very pleased to show their work and some hiding theirs away. One man, the one who worked in pastel, pretended to be Daphne Todd (one of the judges from the BPC) and critiqued his work in her style!!!
The afternoon was spent at the Hastings Arts Forum, a non-profit gallery on the sea front in St Leonards, where I volunteer and create their e-newsletter promoting exhibitions at the gallery and art-related events. Even put in a mention about the Little Painting Challenge - the beeb competition inviting the public to make a painting or drawing on a postcard and send it in. They're a great group of people at the Forum, all contributing to keeping the place running through volunteering. I got a lot of quizzing about the programme and a few attempts to trick me into uncovering the winner. One thing I have learnt about myself lately is that I'm actually extremely good at keeping a secret. My lips are well and truly sealed!