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I’m often asked to donate work to help raise funds for charity and, where I can, I love to help out. So I was pleased to discover that at Reading Contemporary Art Fair they have a section where exhibiting artists are asked to provide a painting for a gallery wall.

Prince Trust Art FairAll canvases are supplied so the 20cm size is universal, but of course what each artist will do with it will vary enormously. It’s going to be a great display. All work is for sale for a fixed price of £45 which makes it a complete bargain. This a great way to start collecting original artwork, especially if you are just beginning to get the art buying bug. Or it could be a perfect gift.

All proceeds go to The Prince’s Trust and since the art fair has been running this collaboration it has raised over £48,000 for the charity. This year The Prince’s Trust ccelebrates 40 years of helping young people get work place training and support to find jobs or start their own business. They have helped 825,000 people and over 77% of the young people who have attended a Prince’s Trust course or programme go into jobs, education or training.

Here’s just a few of the things your money could help achieve:

  • £12 could help give advice and support to four young people calling the helpline
  • £30 could provide two hours of one to one mentoring 
  • £50 could provide childcare for a day to allow someone to attend a programme

Heck, why not buy two!

Prince Trust landscape Reading Art Fair

You can find out more about The Prince’s Trust here and if you would like to add your support you can easily make a small donation of your own:

• just text TRUST to 70555 to donate £5

• or call 020 7543 1384 from 9am-5pm
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If you can come along to Reading Art Fair 22-24th April 2016 you can print out your FREE invitation to the Private View here. This ticket will also give you 2 for 1 access throughout the weekend. It would be great to see you there.

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What happens when a piece of work is finished?

Sometimes, if I’m not ready to let it go, it stays a while. But the ultimate joy of making artwork is to see someone else fall in love with it, so much that they want to keep it and enjoy it forever.

So there is a whole other challenge that comes after making the work of how to connect with buyers who are looking for something unique and original.

There are so many options out ‘there’ now for artists as alternatives to galleries but it can be a crowded market place and hard for buyers to find what you like. Within an artist group we were discussing alternative places to show our work and someone suggested coffee shops.

abstract landscape painting by Alice Sheridan display at LaveliBut that’s not going to work… if I’m going in to buy a coffee, I’m not about to spend £xx on a painting! I don’t believe it happens. However I like experimenting and taking first steps, so I agreed to hang work at my local coffee shop and see what happened. This costs me. Not a fortune, but it’s a consideration. So I was thrilled when JUST ONE DAY after putting up the labels I had a call from someone wanting to buy a painting.

We agreed to meet, at my house, so she could see what other pieces I had, and she chose one of those. A soft misty landscape that was very peaceful… she followed a breadcrumb trail that led her to me; one step led to another.

The following week, someone got in touch to choose a painting for her husband who had arrived home, bringing one of my postcards and saying THIS is what he would like for his birthday. Happy to oblige!

And this week I took a large painting to someone’s home so that she could see it in situ. As soon as I saw the room I could see why she had picked it, and she had no doubt over her choice. What was interesting was that she mentioned she had been ‘visiting it’ in the coffee shop regularly to see if she had the same reaction. Did the feeling wear off? No, it felt right.

Although she has lived in the area for 10 years she has never visited the annual art trail I take part in each year. She wasn’t sure about the idea of going in to artists’ homes. It showed me that there are many people who prefer different ways of buying. She was more comfortable making her decision slowly, and then picking up the phone, whereas some people would prefer to browse as part of a crowd.

abstract collage seascape framed original artwork by Alice Sheridan

It’s great to see where my work ends up. This morning I was with a friend having coffee, who bought a small abstract collage from one of my first shows. It’s always good to see it at her home. At first I thought she hadn’t hung it because she wasn’t really sure or had bought it out of a sense of duty (artist fragile ego!), but one day she mentioned that she loved having it propped up because it meant she could pick it up and look closely at it whenever she liked.

Like having a cuddle! Which brings us back to the love thing:

I saw an article recently about how love sparks off chemicals in your brain and I wondered “Is this really why we buy art?”

You have an immediate emotional reaction, it’s like falling in love and if you buy the work you can get to keep it! That’s pretty powerful. If you follow this idea through you know that love also requires letting go.

Hanging work in a new space is like sending children off to university. New surroundings, you have to hope they can stand on their own two feet. By that stage you’ve done all you can. Put it out in the world and the other side of the deal is up to someone else.

Blue Horizon etching print by Alice Sheridan on display at Laveli

This week I have hung new pieces in the coffee shop; a pair of etchings and some other work on paper. I’m delighted with the four sales that have happened so far… and from a place where people only go to buy coffee. Well, that shows how much I know!

So my point is, don’t hesitate… art has the advantage of being original. Only one exists. One. In the world. If you fall in love, you don’t want it marrying someone else! Ok, that may be a little strong 🙂 but the internet is making it easier for all of us to make connections. You can contact me anytime about work you see here using the contact form.

If you would like to have first access to new work and monthly studio updates, you can just add your details below.

What are your favourite ways to find new artists and to buy art for your collection? Add your thoughts at the bottom of the page, it would be great to know.