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Adventures of the DIY-challenged…

No one needs reminding that being a working artist isn’t easy, least of all a working artist!

Maria BeadellThe irregular income and competitive market is well documented. The stereotype of the ‘starving artist’ is well known. But I’d like to add a further difficulty to the list: hanging and displaying one’s work correctly. Yes, that’s right folks. Never mind the competition and the lack of dosh. The biggest problem for an artist? Attaching D rings to the back of a canvas. Especially when that artist is particularly DIY-challenged like me. I’ve only exhibited my work twice before, and both times I was lucky enough to be guided through the hanging process by the exhibition curator who took one look at my DIY technique (apparently I was holding the hammer the wrong way up) and promptly took over. But this time, at the Urban Art Fair, I’m on my own! I’m a big fan of horror films, but believe it or not it’s visions of my work crashing to the ground in a gust of wind that keeps me awake at night; - not The Exorcist!

So to get my head around it all I visited my pitch earlier in the week with a friend to figure out how much space I had and how on earth I was going to get all my paintings suspended from the railings properly. Tim suggested we tie wooden poles to the railings and hammer in nails but, not wanting to risk losing a finger or worse; I’m going to attempt to use gorilla glue, wire and D rings to get the job done. This was finally decided after endless visits to DIY shops where I was met with bemused looks as I produced my paintings and explained what I had to do. I definitely heard some snickering from the burly builders in B&Q!

Aside from embarrassing myself in B&Q, I’ve been trying to promote the Fair as much as possible this week. I have been tweeting and posting updates on social media and last weekend I leafletted in my local area West Norwood, visiting local businesses to tell them about the fair and ask if they’d be kind enough to put up a poster. Most of them were more than happy to do so, and I was delighted to see that all the flyers and posters I put up were still up yesterday! Let’s hope the Fair gets a great turn out!

So with three weeks to go (and technically speaking only two full weekends for me) I’m going to concentrate on putting the finishing touches to the work I’m bringing to the Fair. I’ve just ordered a chip and pin machine which means I’ll be able to accept card payments from now on (hooray!) and I’m in the process of getting prints done of some of my work, which will also be available to buy at the Fair.

More riveting tales next time…

Maria Beadell is a figurative oil painter based in South London. She paints portraits with a surreal, humourous or sexy twist, and will be exhibiting at Stand 23Hd at the Urban Art Fair.

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