click here), were selling wonderful figurines they had brought over from South Africa. Masks, paintings and assorted animal pieces such as giraffes, cats, elephants, alligators and owls filled their tables. We struck up a great friendship and, with their permission, I was allowed to take one figure at a time over to my booth and paint it. And, in the process, I learned how to interact with my fellow vendor and brainstorm on ways to help market both of our products. I even made a bit of a story out this, telling people wandering in that the figures had walked over to my booth, clamoring to have their portrait done.
This was a great exercise for me. I have done little painting when I am in a public arena (except for painting outdoors with fellow artists), so this was a perfect opportunity to stretch myself. My husband wanted me to sit right in the aisle so I could be more viewable to the public but strollers and people walking three abreast kept me staying a little more tucked in. And I was right next to the small cafe so there were some hungry campers coming through. As it was, at one point I knocked my water cup over. Well, I'm glad I did this myself but still....accidents happen. But, really, it was more than just being exposed to the public. I needed to feel safer internally, within myself. Art-making is a very personal experience, sacred even, and I feel I put my heart and soul out on the line each time I create. My inner child/artist needs to feel protected in order for me to access and tap into this deep part of me. I think creative types can understand this! Anyway, once I finished the giraffe, I felt more comfortable and was able to keep going with other images. I also painted a small fairy girl which Ethnic Arts Africa also sells (yes, they have a variety of merchandise), and I shall post this magical creature here in the near future.
I got some nice feedback on the creations above. Even kids and babies seemed charmed by the whimsical creatures. And isn't that what it's all about too, spreading the artistic joy to those who come into our lives? I pushed my creative boundaries, tapping into some resistance and then working through it and moving on. And I learned how to interact with my fellow vendor and brainstorm on ways to help market both of our products.
So I took a chance with this fair, with no expectations and came away rich with new visions and ideas. I do miss all my african animal figurines from the fair who came over to keep me company and am glad I have their painted portraits to remember them by! Thank you, Jan and Jack, for entrusting me with their care for a few hours. I am grateful to you both for helping my artist self to grow just a little bit more!!