“OK, let’s do it!
|Martin Stynes British Abstract Landscape Artist|
Photo by Nathan Mark Phillips
by Martin Stynes
Often this is the simple response to an invitation to meet for a coffee, but in this case they were the final words in a two year long conversation between myself and Betsy Gordon.
|Martin Stynes, Reflection|
Our conversation started in facebook; I don’t think this networking site ever envisaged its participants taking their contact from the realm of cyberspace into the real world. But in our case this is exactly what transpired.
Early on, Betsy was encouraging me to exhibit my work in the United States and through her mentorship and contacts in the Florida art world, I did just that at the Morean Arts centre in St Petersburg Florida in 2012.
Pretty soon the idea of actually visiting Florida then took centre stage. At first it seemed just wishful thinking, but obstacles were steadily dismantled until the point came when it was time to fix a date and book the flights.
The moment we all met at Orlando airport, it was clear that we were all just as we expected. Sharing the same interests and passions, having a mutual respect and interest in each other’s cultures and traditions, were just as we anticipated.
This set the scene for what I consider to be my best overseas trip ever. Yes we shared meals and riveting conversations and visited places of mutual interest, but mostly we talked of art and what it meant for each of us.
|South Carolina BBQ|
We visited galleries in Florida and later, on our way to Asheville NC, in Charleston SC and later in Asheville itself.
Seeing the incredible variety of works and the plenitude of exhibition spaces in these places was a feast for an artist. It also gave me much inspiration. So much so that, at Betsy’s invitation, I started painting in her Asheville studio. This painting was inspired by my time there and is now on its way to the Dunedin Fine Arts Centre for jurying at their annual show.
|photo by Martin Stynes|
Betsy Gordon is the most generous person and artist. Generous in her time, support and encouragement. She spent her life educating people in the wonders of art and is still performing this task, but now on a global scale through her blog, Rabbit's Moon Studio. It has a huge audience now and an impact that will only become evident in time to come. She brought me to America - and my work to a worldwide audience, and for this I will be eternally grateful.
But more than this, I am grateful for our friendship. A friendship that is still going strong even though I am back in chilly Manchester UK. And with good fortune, I hope to be able to reciprocate when Betsy visits us here in the Spring of 2014.
That will be just the next step in this fascinating world of opportunity opening up before us all through the internet.