Sophia Flowers, PA, First Trip to the SAA London Big Event

I was excited.  Up at the crack of dawn and raring to go, I caught the early train down to London.  A few hours later and I was walking into the Islington Business Design Centre shortly after opening time.

1The inside materialised before my eyes – a beautiful space suitable for all that was on offer.  Spacious, light and airy, the whole ceiling was composed of windows and everything was white and clean - perfect lighting and background for the colour to be unveiled by demonstrating artists, creative workshops and art equipment readily available.

Armed with my layout plan sent when booking the tickets, I had outlined a rough idea of who to see, what to watch and workshops to attend.  That immediately went out the window!  Fraser Scarfe had started his demonstration and I made a beeline for the seats to hear what he had to say.  20 minutes later and I was up and off (apologies Fraser!).  I just had to give the whole building a quick scan to get a broader picture of the event before narrowing my focus on what to attend.  Time was of the essence and I was returning to Norfolk later that day.

To begin with, I found myself wanting to look, watch and attend absolutely everything.  However, it soon became apparent which mediums and people I was drawn to.  The workshops were brilliant and everyone soon became engrossed in their own personal masterpiece.  It was an extremely friendly and interactive atmosphere ranging from those who had never touched paints to those who had more experience.  Each tutor took their group through step-by-step in a clear, concise manner with a friendly attitude.

3The set-up was laid out very thoughtfully so that if you’d completed a workshop in a particular medium, a stand would be positioned next to it that had someone on hand to talk in more detail and suggest handy tips and then, of course, plenty of  products were available to purchase.

They had everything – including the opportunity to mount your masterpiece.

The demonstrations were great, each artist with their own unique style of presentation – some quirky and humorous, some more technical.  Again, something for everyone.

Of course, it was also possible to meet members of the SAA team who I always find open, friendly and willing to come up with ideas in offering support to their members, so I was able to meet those I’d heard about and re-greet those I’d already met.

6There were also PA's demonstrating which proved very popular and the seats were always full.  Great to see their work and handy tips imparted.  It was at this point, I had a lovely conversation with a retired couple and guess how far they’d traveled... Norfolk.  They were half an hour down the road from me – it is indeed a small world!

Food and drink were available upstairs away from the hustle and bustle of the actual event.

A great experience and I left feeling happy I had made the effort to travel such a distance for the day, excited about writing this article and fired up with possible ideas in connection with the SAA as well as looking forward to painting all over again.

To be recommended.  Thank you to all those involved.

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