After getting my name added to the ‘artists’ waiting list for the Windsor Emporium back in August I was really excited when a spot became free for the September event and said 'yes' to Jackie immediately. Excited - and a little bit apprehensive as well if I’m honest as I hadn’t expected a place to come up so soon and didn’t have a lot of stuff ready to exhibit or got the things that I needed to display it nicely on a table. A few emails later and Lis and Jules’ both gave me some ‘top Emporium tips’ and my initial panic reduced considerably!
I ‘borrowed back’ my remaining original pictures from Emerald Gallery and Cath also kindly helped me get organised by ordering some easels, archival tape for fixing prints and a portfolio / browser from one of her suppliers. I borrowed a large table covering from the Art and Crafts Society to go with a couple of smaller vintage table clothes that I have and emptied some storage baskets to provide some height to my display – and after a few frantic evenings of hand embellishing prints and making cards I was ready to go (thank goodness it all fitted into my Smart car).
It is a strange sensation to be sat at a table while people walk by a look at your art - and one that I am still a bit shy about. I’m also learning the best level of interaction as some people like to be spoken to, but others just like to look. I am pleased to report that my work seemed to raise more smiles than frowns so I’m taking that to be a good thing.
Jackie had a great mix of exhibitors this month and there were tables of antiques and vintage treasure alongside hand made bags and cushions; scented hand printed pillows; silk kimono-style tops and scarfs; different original art styles; different original jewellery styles; photography and next to me gorgeous scented candles and votives.
I recognised one ladies work from a Collective Art in Marlow show a while back but hadn’t had the chance to speak to her. Lesley De Matos under the name of Country Girl Corner had an array of shabby chic fabric gifts ranging from Kindle covers to soft toys to framed embroidered pictures that I just loved – and if it hadn’t been the wrong side of pay day for me I could have done some damage!
I also got chatting with another artist called Leigh Glover who had one of his works accepted for the BP Portrait Award last year – what an achievement given that thousands enter and only 55 were chosen for display. The Emporium is a relatively new venture for Leigh and he has found it an effective way to raise awareness of his art and visits to his studio in Perivale. I told him that my studio is my kitchen table that I aspire to have a ‘proper’ studio like his one day!
I was also pleased to be able to meet Caroline Crawford – a new ‘Emerald Gallery Girl’ who had a large display of work at the entrance of the Emporium. I had seen Caroline’s work at Cath’s earlier in the week when I had picked my paintings up – and it was nice that she recognised my work from visiting Cath's too.
My brother Jamie and chum Vicky popped in to say hello in the morning and Cath and Ann visited in the after lunch which was lovely. 4.00pm came around much sooner than expected and it was time to pack everything up. I am so grateful to Ben for helping with the bag carrying up and down stairs and ferrying to and from Windsor.
There is still a waiting list for dates for the rest of the year – so fingers crossed for another vacant spot in the not to distant future . . .
For more information about Windsor Emporium please visit the website or facebook links below: