Every year around this time, to get ready for Open Studio, I clean out my flat files . . .and sometimes, I move furniture in my studio to readjust things. There is a serendipity that occurs, literally, every single year: I find works I had forgotten about completely. Many times they are simple musings, others they are terrible failures I had hoped to save at some point. Yet, once in a while, an old painting will surface that rocks me back on my heels and makes me wonder why it was hidden away. Here is one, “Parade,” which I cannot imagine why it was hiding. Of course, I had to put a few finishing touches on it, but, for one reason or another, I love looking at it.
Over the last several weeks, I have been planning a trip to Yosemite while preparing for open studio. To say the least, I haven’t been able to get Yosemite out of my thoughts. A special about our National Parks on TV hasn’t helped, either. It served to hammer me into a mental place of craving to paint. So, this is another of the Yosemite pieces done while prepping for Open Studio.
Oh! Did I just say OPEN STUDIO again? I did. It is only half over. If you didn’t make it by my home and studio last weekend, there is still one more weekend . . . .October 17 and 18 from 11 AM to 6 PM.
The first weekend of OPEN STUDIO was exciting! We had approximately 500 people come to visit. Not all at once, but it was a steady flow of people for both days. With over 70 framed pieces up and my studio set up to accommodate lots of interesting art thoughts and demos, people were glad they came. Won’t you join us on the 17th and 18th?
On another note, I should say THANKS to all who came to my open studio. Many artists, including myself, often measure the success of such an event in the numbers of paintings sold and the dollars brought in. I must take pause, however, this year for the obvious reasons relating to the economy, and make sure that I don’t drift too far into the mercenary mire of revenue versus artistic success.
Considering the financial climate we are all suffering, I had a fabulous open studio. The first weekend averaged about 130 visitors per day. The second wasn’t quite as well attended, but still, very worthwhile.
The studio was set up with several lessons that the lay person and artists alike would find to be interesting, such as a simple still life set up painted in 9 different color strategies to show how mood is often determined by the artist’s color choices. There was also a large board onto which I collaged (loosely) around 20 plus pencil sketches of preliminary studies. This board was next to two watercolor paintings (posted a few weeks ago) which were derived from those sketches. People found these displays fascinating . . . and the studio, too. ( Art studios are where mystical magic happens!) There was something for everyone from over 100 framed, original paintings on display around the property to the studio to the informative displays.
Open studios, as I reflect on it, are exciting and fun, like ‘open house’ kinds of parties . . . . . . . . .where friends and neighbors drop in, munch a little, chat, visit, update each other and eventually wander out refreshed and glad they came. This is similar, but there is much that happens in the way of expanded networking and being introduced to other artists and art events. In short, it is a function from which many new challenges and activities grow. Aside from selling nearly thirty paintings, this was a rich and enlivening experience. I could go on and on about the value (priceless!) of such events, but I shan’t bore you with my verbosity. Just know that with all the complaining about the amount of work, I will do it over and over again.
Thought you’d like to know how it went. If you came, thanks for coming. If you didn’t, I hope to see you next year!