Once upon an Art Market
Dear friends and fellow colour enthusiasts!
This weekend I participated in a fabulous yearly art event held in an apple orchard by having a stall showcasing my art. The whole event was a very nostalgic and reminiscent time for me as I remembered all the years that I attended markets with my art nearly every weekend. I consider my time at these markets a huge influence and prepration for me as an artist.
Here's a little peek at my stall under one of the 100 year old apple trees-
I had such a great day; tea and cookies, rose lemonade, old friends and new, so many cute dogs, great live music, then sweet gathering with all the artists at the end of the day where we ate chocolate cake and toasted one another. My heart is full! But I'm absolutely exhasted! I don't know how I used to do it every week!
As a child I loved going to the Fremantle Markets- one of Perth's biggest attractions. I loved the buskers, the food, the stalls, the face painting... I yearned to be part of that community.
When I moved to Sydney in 2006, the art market scene was bursting with possibility and so over a few months, I painted and painted, slowly working on a collection. On my first market stall ever I made around $15 in art prints, and I was so happy that I had sold some of my art. The next day I went to another market and I sold my first painting. The buyer was thrilled, I was ecstatic, I went home feeling so fulfilled.
Here is a photo of those very early days (2006)
What always attracted me to art markets was the sense of community. Both among the stall holders and the visitors. I didn't realise it at the time, but this would be incredibly important for me after my huge move across Australia. I was 20, just moved out of home and apart from the boyfriend I had moved with- I didn't know anyone! Through the markets I made friends that I cherish to this day (Kirsten, Jason, Malinda, Shaye, Holly- I'm looking at you!)
As the years passed my little stall grew, my display evolved and developed- and so did my art style. I consider my time at markets increadibly important to my growth as an artist (and business woman!) Here is a photo circa 2007 at Glebe Markets...
Glebe Markets was one of my favourite markets to be part of. Held in a Primary School grounds (aka elementary school) Glebe was a fun mix of art, second hand treasures, and food. There was something for everyone! I was a regular there for 1.5 years until I moved further up the NSW coast. Over the next few years I continued to move around and eventually landed in Melbourne. All the while I traveled with my art stall, setting up where ever and whenever I could.
In Melbourne, my new favourite regular market became St Andrews Market. It's beautiful bush setting was perfect for the colourful wares and people who gathered there every Saturday. I made so many important friendships there, I miss that market to this day.
Here I am at St Andrews 2010- cheesy grin and all!
By the time I moved to Canada in 2012, Facebook and Etsy provided me with an online and worldwide platform to showcase my art. While I don't miss those early mornings, or the physical toll lifting and shifting my set up back and forth, or battling with the weather trying to protect my artwork, I so miss the human interaction. Connecting with people over my art has always been a great delight for me.
So every now and then I dust off my fold up table, gather together my fabrics and art and join in a market.
Next time you are at a market, make sure to smile and say hello to the stall holders- they work so so hard! If you see something you love- tell them! Kindness and appreciation is priceless! I am so grateful for my time at the markets, and the people I connected with there.