What to remember from that period. A very productive year though. I had exceeded more than 200 paintings, and sales respectively. But the best happened shortly before the time was up. In fact, 2017 was the basis for my new beginning. My first exhibition had just ended, just before the time came, and I was wondering, “Now that it's over, what am I doing? How do I keep living from that? ” I just had to go into the studio and start creating. The truth is that I was painting easy-buying themes, so it would be easier to find a house, while at the same time preparing the first works of Middle-earth. I tried a lot of techniques, a lot of experimentation, especially with abstract. There was an issue though. I didn't like the intense and embossed surfaces created by the knife. I was so used to the detail of surrealism that it alienated me.
After the successful series "Fantasy Landscapes" and the large number of projects of surreal and transcendental landscapes that now continue their journey abroad, Spiros Gelekas organizes his exhibition "Dreams in the Ocean".
This time realism gives the baton to a different approach, modern aesthetics always maintaining the fairy-tale image that our artist is accustomed to.
The exhibition will take place in the beautiful space of Puppet guest house. Its duration will last one month and will be open to the public, daily from early in the morning until late at night. Free entrance.
"… How beautifully the waves kiss the shores. Even if they chase it back, they will come back endless times. Dream away. No matter if they look empty from the dawn to the sunset..."
I started promoting every new painting on social media and I can say that it had a steady sequel. People started to show interest from abroad as well. Sometime in the spring, I was ordered to paint a seascape… By the knife!
I had no choice then; I had to pay the bills, so I accepted. I would do something I didn't like much, but at least I would have another project to go abroad.
I hadn't perfected the workshop yet, so I often went out to the studio yard to work. As the painting took shape, friends and visitors passing by told me that until then it was one of the best paintings of mine, if not the best I've ever done. I was speechless. How can such a work that doesn't even have the details be at its best? And what is better? What criteria? I'm still working on it, after three years. I'm still studying why that panic happened when I posted it on social media.
As usual, every new work I finish, I number it, archive it in a collection and upload it to social media. I confess that it was one of the few times I received so many warm reviews and not only, had they started ordering me similar projects.
I saw that it resonated, so I continued to follow this pattern of work. My best friend, John (R.I.P.) of course, had convinced me. I remember exactly his words: You will hear me, I will start ships and they will lift you up, listen to me.
And the name of the collection "Dreams in the Ocean".
By the time summer was over, the collection was almost complete. Then I thought, since it's going so well, why not make an exhibition? So I started doing exclusively all fall paintings that only had sailboats, but with a touch of fantasy, since I didn't want to "escape" from my style, leaving behind Middle-Earth and Fantasy for a while.
I was technically familiar with the knife, with which I finished the "second wave" of the collection. Like I said, I posted every day that I had a new project, but it didn't stay very available, so I kept some that I thought were suitable for the exhibition. Unfortunately, I thought about it a little late, because a lot of great paintings had already gone abroad. Speaking abroad, I had already started sending my first projects outside Greece for the first time. I also discovered Etsy (www.etsy.com/shop/SpirosGelekasArt) where it had millions of visitors, and so I opened an account where I keep up to date, with sales finally going up gradually.
In addition to Etsy, I also discovered a wonderful place where they made incredible coffee. The Puppet Guest House. Whenever I went to Corfu town, I didn't miss the opportunity to have my favorite coffee on the terrace. I met the owner Mr. Elias and while we were talking, he asked me what I was doing. To my surprise, he sent me upstairs, which I had no idea existed, to see a painting exhibition he was hosting at the time. I confess that the place won me over immediately. The hall had warm colors, with a touch of vintage, including a piano on the edge. He suggested to me if I wanted to do the next exhibition, and of course I accepted.
Once again, I had the misfortune to damage my car in the middle of the exhibition. This time, a mouse had eaten all the wiring and it took a long time to get fixed. It sounds funny, but it happened.
The dates we booked were December 10, 2017 to January 10, 2018. I wanted to make a gift for my name’s day, but also for the New Year. I wanted to be with as many friends as I could, but the universe had other plans for the New Year’s Eve *.
The first day I didn't had any opening, because I had something in mind. However, many well-known friends, artists and the entire Board of Directors of the Corfu Art Gallery were present. I gave some interviews this time, only in newspapers and within a month I met a lot of people from the island and not only, as it was Christmas time.
A few days before the end of the exhibition, I had given almost 20 of the 45 works. Much better than the first exhibition, but I had an instinct. So instead of inaugurating, I did a closing party. Something I established for all my next exhibitions. So I officially invited a lot of people for the close, and we filled the upper room exclusively for the party. I celebrated the New Year and my second exhibition, with a party full of friends, live music and plenty of wine.
The next night, very late, when Puppet closed, I went to download the works. The exhibition was sold out! As an exhibition, it was an achievement. But as a collection, it was the second sold out from the beginning.
After the exhibition, many orders followed through, and by the beginning of March, the third wave of the collection, with over 30 works, had already been sold. I confess such a will for sailboats I did not expect. This was followed by a fourth part of the collection, which over time has found shelter in many places around the world. I could go on and on about seafaring for much longer, but I really wanted to continue the fantastic world I started in 2016, so I closed this collection once and for all (?), with the best memories, starting something more risky. So, we'll talk about that, in the next blog. Thank you for reading these lines, and if you are one of the boat owners, or you were there too, thank you twice!
· The universe sent me on the first day of the exhibition, my girlfriend, who has supported me ever since then and she’s always by my side no matter what.
· I first saw myself on the front cover of a newspaper.
· My first diary for 2018 was published.
· A work from the Dreams in the Ocean collection was presented in the calendar for 2018 by the Corfu Events Organization.
· In the "Steampunk Theme" online competition, I took 2nd place.
· My work was created and exhibited in the main ELTA post office store in Corfu.