I was one of the 38 international artists participating in this years 9th annual art walk in Competa, which is organised by Dutch artist and Competa gallery owner Lieuwke Loth. Competa is a beautiful white village with sea views, perched in the mountains of the Malaga region. The town has a long history of being a huge magnet for all sorts of arty types.
Here is a nice documentary of the event made by Dutch film maker Jeroen Stultiens He interviewed me and others for the documentary, see me sculpt and speak at 3:00 minutes in…
People were coming up to my stall and laughing their heads off at my sculptures. I had my usual diverse collection of art on display, including flamenco prints and paintings, greeting cards, large oil paintings, A3 watercolours and various cheeky sculptures. There were loads of tanned Dutch women there and a healthy sprinkling of Spanish in amongst the generally northern European audience of Germans, English, Norwegians and Swedes. Random musicians could be heard as they walked around the various shops, galleries and art studios, following a numbered map. Lots of conversations were had with lots of really interesting art lovers and we connected over our fascination with art.
There was a lot of really interesting and high level art on exhibition. I didn’t get around to see everything but I did catch the amazing ceramics of Linda Gunn-Russell, the truly deep abstract paintings of Sally Hirst, the steam punk moving mechanical sculpture of Merel Holleboom, the beautiful woven circular textiles by Beatriz Constán and the gorgeous turquoise ceramic sculptures by Anne Barbara Lenzin. I was also set up next to the most warm and wonderful artist Linda Roffel, who paints folds of fabric and female backs to the most seductive effect.
Selling Art is Never Easy
I occupied myself with a sculpture demonstration, instead of just sitting behind my stall scowling at the visitors all day long, like I normally do. Apparently I can be very off putting! I have worked out why I do that, it’s because I hate selling my art – it’s mine, I love it and I want to keep it all but I know that’s silly. Then, when the buyer is insistent, that they really want to buy a piece because they have made their own connection with it, then I want to cry and hug them. I sold three pieces of sculpture and a framed cyanotype art print and it hurt. I felt my heart wrench each time but I’m also excited that the artwork will go beyond me now and live it’s life and be treasured and touch people I would never otherwise be able to reach.
The pictures below are of me doing a stoneware sculpture demonstration in the town hall using a fine grog, white clay. I made two wall plaques:
- a female torso body cast, planter, decorated with roses and thorns.
- a love heart shaped, female bottom cast with lots of flowers on.
One lady held her little daughters up, one by one, to watch me work. I felt real value, as they got to see me doing a very practical and technical demonstration on how to properly apply a leaf to the main form. This is done by scratching the surface of both elements and using slip to stick them together.