Well thank you again to all the wonderful visitors and art lovers at Rusten House and those who popped in over the QPRC Arts Trail (15 – 16 Oct 2022) as well the wonderful team at QPRC Cultural Arts team for their sponsorship grant and Rusten House Arts Centre team, especially Janita Byrne, Nicole and Victoria for all your amazing support, curation and general help in getting my ‘Valleys Views and Vines | first solo exhibition up and launched so smoothly. The Hon. Nicole Overall MP did a wonderful job helping me launch my exhibtion on the Saturday the 1st October. A good sized crowd of people attended and two hours later many of my paintings were finding new homes. Janita Byrne was always by my side to guide and support me, with some brilliant frank and fearless advice, along with helping me draft all my promotional materials, she was amazing. Thank you Janita!
Rusten House itself, I felt, was the perfect venue for hosting my landscape exhibition. Being sponsored with a QPRC grant also was wonderful and timely.
Rusten House is packed with history and story, so it matched perfectly with my theme of painting the stories and light in the valley’s views and vineyards of this region.
Rusten House Arts Centre was previously the old hospital. It is also one of the few galleries in this region with superb internal lighting set up for paintings. The kitchen area, workshop room and outdoor balconies were also very handy for my Launch function. In fact, I challenge anyone stepping into the building entrance for the very first time, not to feel its history along with the enormous sense of good old fashioned Australian ‘country welcome‘ from the staff. The staff were always on hand to help me and often went out of their way to make me a cup of tea and or help me set up, pack up and or arrange my weekly artist talk and demonstration table. So thank you Rusten House and all the staff there.
Since my exhibition opening, the weeks have flown by and there are now only five days remaining until my Rusten House Exhibition closes its doors. There were well over 150 visitors in the gallery and over 25% of my paintings were sold over the first two weeks. This my first solo exhibition has been kindly featured in the QPRC Arts Trail 2022 ; the Southern Tablelands Arts Website ‘Stories from the Studio’ and also the Goulburn Post, Queanbeyan Age Newspapers, Sutten Chatter, Wamboin Whisper and Braidwood and Bungendore newsletters as well as City News and then online also via Canberra Living Arts Blog and Radio Station Interview with Barbie Robinson. So thank you to all the journalists I spoke with, community newsletter coordinators and Rose Marine and Erin from the Southern Tablelands Arts, it was great to meet you and have your support.
In summary, my exhibition could not have been a more successful and memorable experience thanks to all the support I received! Thanks to the many visitors who purchased my paintings and or came and said hello. Thank you especially to the people who shared their generous feedback about my landscapes, telling me, ‘it was drew them into nature’. or ‘You have captured this region’, ‘Beautiful work!’, ‘Great mood and movement in my grasses’ ‘Great capturing of the light ‘ ‘Atmospheric’, ‘Interesting’ and ‘ Very memorable’.
As a contemporary figurative landscape ‘en plein air’ and portrait painter, I planned my exhibition on capturing the story and light of the valleys, views and vineyards in my region of NSW, So it was with much delight to receive so many positive comments, Not to go on too much more, but it was simply awesome to hear people say they felt as if they were actually standing inside my painting. That was perhaps the most important feedback, as it really reminded me just how important it is that I continue to paint ‘en plein air’, something I am passionate about and blessed to continue. (Subject to the rain stopping, of course!).
If you haven’t been to Rusten House, yet please stop by. (Open Wed – Sat 10 – 4pm) I’ll be there this Wednesday between 11 – 2pm so come say hi, have a cuppa and check out my artist talk about the equipment you need to paint outdoors plus a FREE watercolour demonstration. Don’t forget to bring your watercolour paper, I’ll supply the rest.