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Gauging reactions

One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about having an exhibition (L’Esprit Insolite) has been watching people’s reactions to my pictures and getting feedback. I touched on this before, when the show had run its first week. Now it’s over and it’s time to take stock. It’s certainly been quite an educational experience.

One reaction I got over and over was, “Are these photographs?”. A couple of times people asked me, “Are you the painter?”. And on one occasion a man nabbed me and asked, “Are these photos?”. When I confirmed they were, he called his wife over and said, “See, I said they were photos.” He then turned back to me and said: “But they’re photographs of paintings, right?”

You can understand people’s confusion. The images were all 120 x 80cm prints on canvas, mounted over wooden frames. That said, I chose the lab that makes the prints because of the fine grain of the canvas. You have to peer close to see it. I didn’t want that fake Old Master look. I’m not interested in emulating paintings and chose canvas primarily because of the sizes available, the fact that the pictures don’t need framing and the way the matt finish works well in any lighting. Above all, I was keen that the photographic qualities of the images – in particular, the fine detail – were retained.

And I think that worked, because a number of people told me they were impressed by the detail and sharpness of the image. “Quelle finesse” was a phrase I heard more than a few times.

There were 12 pictures in the exhibition, and every one of them turned out to be the favourite of someone. The one that got the most reaction was the most obviously manipulated.

But the one that actually sold most, and which arguably got the most passionate response was my picture of riders on the beach at Bec d’Andaines, with a view of Mont St Michel.

This is one of my favourites, too, and it hangs in pride of place in our living room.

However, one lesson I took home from the show is that not everyone has space in their house for a 120x80cm picture. So I am looking at producing a smaller version, perhaps as a giclée print.

All the images from the show are available for purchase in the online shop. I’ll be adding smaller versions soon.

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