Voted favourite picture at 2017 Exhibition - by Peter Martin 


Well, despite moments of terror, the exhibition happened. It's a bit of a beast and
needs a small army to service it and I have to thank all the volunteers, both
willing and press ganged. I'm also very grateful to the committee for
generously supporting me in the number of changes I made.   A couple of
people went far beyond the call of duty. Janet Green who not only beautifully
realised my tree inspiration, but took on the mantle of chief caterer when my
pleas for help fell on universal deaf ears. She was ably assisted by very new
members, Pat Ryan  and Michelle Reagan. I'd like to mention my press
secretary, who monitored my many missives before despatching them,  so if
I offended anybody, blame Chris Oliver. She also moved something like a hundred
of my books and bookcase in order to retrieve a small award certificate. There
again, the achievements board was her brain child, so some justice there.
Absolutely not least I have to thank Penny, who was there with suggestions,
welcome or otherwise, and relentless help from beginning to end, including
cards and catering. Cliché warning, she made my life so much easier.

I would like to thank all the exhibitors who rose to the occasion and took on
board the changes I made, largely without protest, though mutterings reached me
from time to time. The entries came in on time, likewise the fees, and pictures
were delivered and collected on the right day and at the right time. Stewarding
seemed to run smoothly and the shortened sessions fitted in better with car
parking. Thank you everybody. Picture framing: there was a huge improvement
both in the appropriateness of the frames and the hanging. A few pictures
required adjustment, but my endless nagging is bearing fruit. It made for a
smart display.

The exhibition was very ably opened by Simon Trapnell, director of Nature in
Art. Most of us could have pulled up a chair and listened for the rest of the
evening. I do hope you all took on board his remarks concerning pricing. It's a
polarising issue, and a debate for another time, but we do need to consider the
reflection on the society when pictures are for sale for less than a cup of
coffee. Simon also judged the competition for the Stagecoach trophy, which was
simply entitled Reflections. Although he chose a traditional painting by Sean
Dunn, in the manner of Joe Dowden, there were also several imaginative
interpretations of the word which made for interest. Sean also won the trophy
for the members favourite picture voted for on the opening night.

Next year's competition will be of a very different nature, free to enter and
an extra to the permitted number. We're indebted to Simon for facilitating it.

I must mention too the sketch book table, which attracted a lot of interest and
it was gratifying to see people take a seat and really study them.

The downside of the exhibition was the poor number of sales. There are a myriad
of possible reasons, but, and I've been told not to mention this, so I
won't,  but, regardless of sales, despite all of us improving in our
chosen medium, I think we need to address whether as a society we are as
progressive and exploratory as we might be. The choice of media these days is
exciting and vibrant, if we care to embrace them. Anyway, as I said, I'm not mentioning it.

My final thank you must go to John Griffin for trusting me with his baby, and
being sceptical enough at times to spur me on to prove him wrong.





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