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August 22, 2010

Salt Spring Re-experienced in Photos

Blue Horse  Folk Art Gallery

Saturday rolls around so quickly each week, beautiful and hot with throngs of market-goers. August is definitely the main tourist month here.

I enhanced my display by purchasing a large easel made by hand by Keith of Keith and Sherrin who are leaving the island after 19 years. They've sold their beloved home and B&B and I know that they can't help but be a little sad about leaving. She's a watercolour painter who paints whimsical scenes of Salt Spring and of flowers and scenes around the Mediterranean. I bought the easel at their yard sale last week and it really helps to show off my matted photos better. They're such nice people and they've had a few setbacks in the past month. I know things will turn around for them again and I just know it has to be positive to have a piece of their good energy behind me every week.

A sweet little older lady bought four of my photo cards and told me she'd been coming to the island for 37 years! I asked her where she stayed and she said she always stayed at Birdsong B&B. I'd never heard of it but almost every review on Tripadvisor, except for one, was overwhelmingly positive.

I also met the editor of the alumni magazine for the University of Washington. He bought two of my matted prints  - the leaves on the pond at Duck Creek and a barn at Ruckle and he seemed to genuinely love my photos.  There's even a possibility of work coming from that meeting.

I like to know where my photos go after they've been purchased.  Last week a woman who was a chef in a high end restaurant in London, England, bought a large 11x14 of my red window so she could take it with her to New York when she moved there to a new job in some other high end restaurant there.

I like to think of my photos travelling where I haven't been able to get to yet and just the brief interactions with the folks who are touched for some reason by one of my photos is really the best part of the market.

When I'm selling my photos I have to remind myself of my own experience of purchasing someone's work. I went to the big island of Hawaii in 2005.  I bought a small watercolour painting that I absolutely loved. It was an old tin-roofed cottage set back on a property with a little lane leading to its front porch and dwarfed by huge palms and massive ferns. It had the words "old style" scrawled across the bottom in pencil.

I look at that print almost every day and it still brings me joy and transports me back to that little village of Volcano where I purchased it on a day when the rain was teeming down shiny on every piece of greenery and making the giant fiddleheads droop.

I just think of that to remind myself that it's about capturing an aspect of their experience and presenting it back to them as a keepsake. They're buying their own experience. My photos, just happens to re-ignite that in some way for the people they resonate with and since I know what I love about Salt Spring and what captured my own heart, I feel I just have to remind myself of that to help capture theirs.

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