My students are a modest bunch, but every few years it is very good to allow their progress to be seen and appreciated, and it was fantastic for me to share their day to launch my book, Notes from The Atelier.
|David McKnight, my editor, allowing me to show off his photo at the back of the book! |
(page 255, for your reference!)
Around half the illustrations in my book were made by my students, so some of those were mounted and displayed on long tables under the windows.
|A broad sweep of one of the rooms in the gallery, before everyone arrived|
|All set up, raring to go...!|
|Some student artworks, which were used to illustrate the book - by Sara Colhoun, Jayne McClenaghan, Ciara Clearn and Nisa Viney.|
|More student artworks as in the book - Hilary Johnston, Sarah Bruce, Fernando Perez, Pat Pinlay, Nisa Viney, Alan Leacock.|
|And from the book, artwork by Sara Colhoun, Alan Leacock, Sara Bruce and Emma McWilliams.|
|Lisa doing a wonderful job with refreshments! In the background, Judith who made the lovely food.|
|Fernando (centre), June (left) and Maeve (right, who came from London)|
|Dawn, Gennie (who travelled from County Clare!), Colin, Margery, Claire, Judith...|
|Gennie and Alan catching up!|
|I spy Liz, Jackie, Ainnien, Sara, Ciara, Margey, Erin, Emma, Alison...|
|Avril and Claire!|
|Christine, left, David McKnight (editor) and Barbara.|
|A selection box of students at the drawing board|
Meanwhile, Judith Cowan was mingling with the crowd sharing the delicious nibbles she'd made, and Lisa and Nuala were washing and rewashing glasses to keep everyone refreshed!
|Chad with Julie|
|Visitors taking their time to enjoy every folder - with the colourng-in table in the foreground!|
|Display of Julie's paintings and drawings|
|Preparatory drawing next to finished painting, Julie Douglas|
I gave everyone a small piece of paper, which they held behind their back, then all together we ripped it into the shape of an elephant!!! Well, the looks on their faces... No cheating, no peeping, just ripping...
|The serious expressions as everyone ripped out an elephant behind their back!|
|The concentration of ripping elephants...|
|The elephant used in my book! An original ripping by Claire Bruce!|
|Elephant shortbread, made by Judith Cowan|
|Paper elephants hanging along the window|
|The most tremendous Elephant Cake, made by Maria Wylie - delicious! It broke my heart to have to cut into this, but I shared it in classes the week after the opening, and it was really yummy!|
|Queen's Guitar Quartet, featuring my son Rory on the left|
|Holywood Culture Club representatives on the left, Dermot and Tim!|
I can truly say that I have never felt so supported in all my life. The atmosphere was so loving, warm and generous. The good feeling was tangible. Thank you everyone - to all who came, and to all who leant their artwork, thank you for making it a wonderful event. I admit that it was, at times, a little overwhelming to see SO many people - there were hundreds of you! As I look through the photographs, I see that there are so many that I didn't have a chance to speak to. Your presence was much appreciated. I hope these photos show the flavour of the afternoon, and remind you of the buzz.
|David's inauguration to the Ali Cat's Motorcycle Club (for girls).|
A special thanks to all who helped me. From David McKnight at my side (correcting my spelling when I signed books) and Margaret McKnight who took lots of photographs, to Nuala and Michael McCavanagh, Lisa McCausland, Ciara Clearn and Rory Douglas-Smith who helped transport all those tables, folders, props, easels, books and bottles up the lift, for hanging up the elephants and helping with the display, I am so grateful. You made an enormous task completely manageable and seamless. To Merlynne Knott for tidying up all the bits of ripped elephant from the floor, thanks! To Maeve Huttly and Gregor Douglas, Nuala and Michael and Rory, for helping take everything back down again, to Michael for helping me park the hired van (no laughing, it was a challenge!) and for getting it out again without even a tut, to Judith Cowan for making all those lovely nibbles, Maria for the cake, and for Clifford at the gallery for being so welcoming, I thank you whole heartedly.
I really look forward to doing it again!