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The Wirksworth Festival - What a weekend!

I'm back in my studio this morning after having spent the weekend exhibiting in the beautiful Coach House Studios in Wirksworth, as part of the annual Wirksworth Festival, Art and Architecture Trail, and it has been such a fun experience!

When I applied for the festival at the start of the year, (as suggested by my friend Abaigh), I thought it was worth a go, but didn't really expect to be accepted and so sent in my application and completely forgot all about it...until I received my acceptance email in early June!

Once my venue had been allocated I went to meet Carol who owns the Coach House Studios and was shown the room I was to exhibit in. I couldn't have asked for a nicer venue. The studios are a beautifully renovated period property, Carol's husband Paul being the architect, which feel modern and light but retains lovely period features throughout. Carol and Paul were fantastic hosts, looking after me and the other exhibitors at the studios all weekend. And actually the other exhibitors were looking after me too! Both Val Hudson and Sue Allanson were Wirksworth regulars, so they were happily giving me helpful tips, checking in on me and just having nice little chats with me throughout the show, as well as Val's partner Maisie, which made me feel much calmer. That and the fact I roped my husband into helping me, which mainly involved making lots of tea!

My room was light and airy, with lovely beams and a wooden floor and the most amazing exposed brick wall with a little ledge which was absolutely perfect for perching my work on. It's like it was made for me! Especially as there were some existing hooks in the wall for me to hang some of my other work on too.

Even though it was a bit of a soggy Derbyshire weekend, it was still busy and the people who came round to see my work could not have been nicer. I received so much kind feedback. A lady told me that she only had a short time at the festival so she had had to pick out the exhibits she had most wanted to see, all by just the tiny thumbnail images on the map, and that had included me! One lady even said that it was the nicest work she had seen this year at the festival. As my stag was the image used on the trail map, people would come into my room and say "Oh, it's the stag!", which made me smile because it was as if he was famous! I sold a few pieces and had some conversations about potential Pet Portraits and commission ideas, but also just chatted with some lovely people who were really interested in finding out more about my work and it was a pleasure to speak to them all.

The festival was a lovely experience and I'm really happy that I got to be part of it this year and thank you to everyone who came to see or buy my work this weekend - friends, family and all the festival visitors, you made my weekend!

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