Sharon Hurst - our Film Star for a Day!

Sharon Hurst.  professional artistFrom what I have heard, I believe that “every dog must have its day” and there is also something about us all having our moment in the spotlight…Well, this “dog” had its moment in the spotlight this September and it was quite hot, thank-you very much!

Having written an article for the SAA (Society of All Artists) magazine “Paint”, I was very pleased to be invited up to Nottingham for a spot of filming.

During the course of the phone call, I had been asked for a screen test of myself working, and before I had a chance to think about it, I boldly said, “Yes of course!” and chaos ensued. Oh my, I obviously wasn’t sophisticated enough to have a DVD of myself and I didn’t dare admit that we didn’t even have a video camera! Oh dear, the things we do and say when we are in a corner…

Luckily a friend came up trumps and loaned us the equipment. I had a workshop that very weekend and I planned with military precision for this event. My husband (Nick) was free and agreed to be cameraman for the morning and we were in business for the screen test.

Would you believe, I have demonstrated, been filmed and miked on hundreds of occasions, but because my old man was behind the lens, I was a bundle of nerves! It could have been a disaster…we were working in a village hall and in the room next door the local band were rehearsing! I carried on regardless (ignoring tubas and screeching cats that I can only assume were maybe violins) and the only dodgy moment was when someone dropped the cymbals out in the hallway and the camera danced about at a funny angle for a bit.

A wonderful painting by Sharon HurstNick recovered his equilibrium quite quickly, but I think he was quite pale and sweaty for a while…

The day for my visit to Nottingham arrived and I packed the car, being sensible and taking spare “everything's” for emergencies (but NOT the cat who had to be thrown out of the boot at the last moment).

My instructions from the SAA had covered 4 x A4 sheets. No watches, no thin stripes because they make the camera strobe, no black, no white…take 2 of your favorite outfits.

This ensures continuity in case of an accident. Well, you have got to be kidding me! I found it hard enough to find ONE thing that didn't make me look fat, make my bum look big, flattered the right bits, was the right colour, didn't wrinkle…shall I go on? You get my drift…

I took myself up to the “northern territories” the night before so that there could be no problem with traveling and maybe chance missing my…wait for it… slot in production (doesn't it just sound sooo exciting!) I spent the evening in my room nervously rehearsing to my case on the bed.

The next day I was raring to go. For those who know me, it will come as no surprise that I chose orange to wear, neon orange shoes too (for some Dutch courage). I tell you, they needed sunglasses, there was nearly a warning posted for planes leaving the local airport!! I walked into reception and…they were all absolutely lovely!

Into the TV studio we go

Ed and Gary - part of the SAA TV studio teamI was taken straight to the studio and it was so very bright. Lights everywhere and fire wire cameras at every angle. These little babies have no wires. They feed all of the images directly to the editing suite literally through thin air. Consequently it saves hours that would normally be spent downloading data from the video onto the computer.

An easel had been set up for me and I was to work in front of 3 cameras. One above, one to the side and one behind me. Having explained that the colour orange was my brand, the lights on the backdrop were adjusted accordingly. Production staff Gary Templeman and Ed Cole were just so helpful  and kind, I felt that I had known them for ages.

They put me at ease instantly with their tips for good presentation and with a simple count down, 5-4-3- (2- 1- 0… had to be in my head)…YIKES!...I was off!

Richard Hope-Hawkings - MD of the SAAMuch to everyone’s surprise, I filmed my 15 minute clip in my allotted time of 1 hour and this little star felt like she was twinkling!

Meeting the SAA team

Still hyped, stars in my eyes and stumbling over my tottery day- glo heels. I was then taken in to meet Richard the Managing Director in his office.

I kid you not, it was just like going to see the Headmaster.

But hey, just like everyone else, what a lovely man! We had a talk about the equipment that I use and the products. We came up with some ideas for the future…maybe a Sharon Hurst palette that I could design myself, or a set of brushes that I could endorse. We will see, it would be a dream come true to work with the experts.

Then finally, the lovely ladies in the office, Elizabeth Moore and Louise Bowyer. Those of us who deal with the SAA will have spoken to them in the past when we have wanted dates or info inserted into the magazine, or had any need to call. They were all a lovely friendly bunch who made a daunting task so easy.

Louise and Elizabeth at the SAA main office in NewarkAll that was left for me to do was jump into the car and head off home. I sang all the way back with just a brief stop for a Costa…Well, it has to be done, doesn't it?

The SAA motto

The SAA has a motto…
To inform, encourage and inspire all who want to paint”.

I wish that I had thought of it first. This is all that I have ever wanted to do with my painting.

After 2 serious health scares (I was a bit more than scared! I didn’t quite fall off my perch but I was teetering precariously…), it really kicked me in to touch. I thought that I wouldn’t have the chance to paint all of those pictures that I had in my head and I really resented it.

I realized that life isn't a dress rehearsal and that none of us really spend enough time doing the things that make our hearts quicken and make our souls feel good.

Why I demonstrate painting

Somewhere along the line, we have been told that messing about with paint is a treat and that we can’t do that until the jobs are done. I say, “Rubbish!” My sole reason for demonstrating is to inspire people, give them the knowledge to have a try and to encourage them to carry on. If just one or two people walk away stoked up with enthusiasm and have a go, I consider it to be a job well done.

Sharon Hurst with the painting she painted in her webclip recording at the SAAAre you a professional artist and a member of the SAA?

If, as an artist, you feel that you can help too, please get in touch with the SAA. You too can create a web clip that can reach out and help others. After all, isn't that what we are all about?

Find out more about Sharon

Sharon's tip for painting “Weepy Skies” will soon be available to watch on the SAA website and on Sharon's own website

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