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  • Writer's pictureLeo Davey

Why Somerset Art Weeks Works

Updated: Sep 25, 2020

Somerset Art Weeks is brilliant. In fact, if it wasn't for Somerset Art Weeks, I wouldn't have become a professional artist in the first place! Let me explain...

Back in 2008, I was sitting comfortably at a 9-5 desk job that I wasn't particularly passionate about. Don't get me wrong, I loved the company and all, but I wasn't doing what I loved.

So, being made redundant was just the kick up the ass I needed to give painting a good go. Thank you Jamie!

Setting up a business as a professional artist was really exciting! Like a new lease of life! For the first time ever, I was my own boss. I was literally living the dream. And, to top it all, sales of my artwork started coming in strong.

Celebrations were called for, so I spent the entirety of my redundancy pay and my hard, self-made income in one fell swoop. On a holiday to the Canaries with a group of mates. It was amazing!

And then I came home. And reality struck. Sales started to dwindle and I became really worried that selling paintings might not actually make for a sustainable future. Furthermore, I realised that pretty much all of my sales to this date were to friends and family.

Were my mates to kind to tell me that my work was rubbish? How much money did they have left?! Would I have to get another desk job?

Enter the legendary.... Somerset Art Weeks!

I decided that this would be the real indication of whether the life of a professional painter was going to work or not.

What a massive sigh of relief. Somerset Art Weeks was fantastic. I got recognition and exposure. My work got praise from a good handful of people I didn't even know! And I made enough money to make ends meet.

To give you an idea of just how important Somerset Art Weeks 2009 was to me, £6,000 of the £12,000 of paintings that I sold that year was thanks to those 14 days.

It was the proof I needed to keep on going. I'm very happy to say that I still haven't had to get another desk job! And I've proudly exhibited at every Somerset Art Weeks since.

Art Weeks alternates each year from open studios (in which artists exhibit and welcome people into their place of work), to group shows were artists find suitable venues to show off their wares. Every year is very different to the previous.

Venues are extraordinarily varied from ramshackle outhouses in the middle of nowhere to grand stately homes. There is something lovely about the range of surprise settings and approaches to exhibiting dotted around our county. Some are themed, some not, some are considerately curated and some are thrown together but all are done with a passion, a passion to communicate, a passion to share and a passion to achieve.

We are now 6 days into art weeks – with another 10 to go.

This year I’m involved in 3 shows with 10 artists. Each one unique. Pick up a SAW guide for more details.

  • Venue 3 - Leo Davey Studio/Gallery

  • Venue 14 - Halsway Manor

  • Venue 30 - Nynehead Court

Get out and about and treat yourself to the cultural, visual feast that is SOMERSET ART WEEKS!!

Below is a little taster of some of my available works this year, currently exclusive to Somerset Art Weeks venues.

Please do keep the feedback coming, both positive or negative it's really helpful. And the best feedback of all... buy a painting!

Happy Art Weeks Y’all!

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