We have just spent 2 days (14 & 15 October) at the Burgersdorp Somerfees. It was the culmination of weeks of painting, framing, card making and endless packing & preparation. John had framed 24 new pictures, and big folders of unframed paintings featured more prominently at this exhibition that ever before.
We arrived early on Friday morning, at 6.30 am and spent most of the morning erecting the stands and planning where to hang all the paintings. But the wind was a constant nuisance and by the end of Friday we thought it had all been a big mistake! Our first day was nothing short of disastrous and the very strong north-westerly wind blew all the cards and anything that was not tied down. We were also told that our north-facing tent structure had blown over on Thursday night! So we requested some extra ropes and tent pegs to try and secure it more firmly but with every gust of wind the whole roof ballooned; the structure shuddered & shook; and all our paintings rattled precariously on their stands. By the end of the day, with thunder and lightening looming and the wind gusting continually into our stall, we decided to pack up all 65 paintings again, and bring them home for safety-sake! I had taken photos of the arrangement of the paintings on Friday, which made it a simpler process, early on Saturday morning to remember the position of each one, as we re-hung them again. Saturday morning was a beautiful sunny and mostly windless day, so we could confidently pack out all the cards and calendars into the card-stands and lay out the folders of unframed paintings on the big table; along with the smaller items like gift tags and bookmarks.
Saturday also brought many more people enjoying a day out at the festival, and lots of familiar friends & visitors to our stall. With the state of the economy we did not expect to sell much, but felt that the exposure was important. Many of the local folk had never seen our painting display before.
Ultimately, we were really fortunate to sell a couple of paintings along with several cards and calendars.
How wonderful it was to see so many old friends that we have known for years, and to meet many new visitors to the festival who had come from neighbouring districts. Their warm-hearted friendliness & enthusiasm certainly has made it worthwhile in the end. I am even hopeful that there may be a few orders to follow, and those are always a welcome bonus!!