Sunday, 28 September 2014

Last day of Open Studios 2014

Today is the last day that my studio will be open for Herts Open Studios 2014. There's still time to pop round (until 6pm tonight -- see details at It's been great being 'forced' to spend hours on end in here and I've found it quite stimulating. I finished the 'dream' collage above this morning and I'm going to work on another two this afternoon.
     What I won't miss is the weird feeling of the studio and, by extension, the house, being open to the public. I find I'm hypervigilant, looking up constantly to see if anyone is coming down the path, jumping at sounds -- ridiculous, really. Especially as there hasn't been a constant stream of visitors so most of the looking and jumping is quite pointless.
     I've enjoyed showing people what I do and everyone who has come has been very nice but I'm not sure what I do is to most people's taste. It's strange, because I don't think what I do is very 'difficult' or 'way out' but I think a lot of people have a relatively narrow 'bandwidth' of what they like when it comes to art -- and I don't think Open Studios is a good way to sell paintings or anything that you want to charge more than a few pounds for. In terms of my experience this past month (which is, admittedly, very limited) people are not coming in looking to spend wads of cash. But I have sold some cards and prints and have broken even on the money I invested in joining the Open Studios scheme (ie going in the brochure and getting some 'Open Studios' bunting to put up) -- so all good. But this time sitting surrounded by my very eclectic artwork has focused my mind somewhat -- if I'm going to have a goal, going forwards, it's to try to get into a gallery or even more than one. We shall see if I manage to do this...

Sunday, 14 September 2014

I'm in my studio

I'm in my studio again for Herts Open Studios 2014 (my listing is no 53). My Swedish man in the moon lantern is smiling away to welcome people (though it's too late for crayfish) and I've just had my first visitor of the day.
     Manning the studio for the advertised hours has brought it home to me that actually I don't spend as much time in here as I could. It's stimulating just being in here, surrounded by all the stuff I've accumulated over the years. Yesterday I got my box of beach pickings out and just handling these strange bits of detritus makes ideas come.
I suddenly seem to be doing several things at once. I'm making a piece from the fragments of reflector I've picked up over the last couple of years -- I still need to wire the pieces to the metal grille:
And I'm working on a little collage which seems to be taking on a rather dark theme. I don't think it will look much like this when it's finished, though.
Nothing is stuck down yet. The moment where you start to stick is the moment of commitment. Not there yet. I'm enjoying myself.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Hertfordshire Open Studios -- my first time!

End wall of my studio
This afternoon at 2pm I'll be opening the gate at the side of our house and pinning up the signs to point people down to my art studio. It's the first day of Herts Open Studios 2014 and my first ever open studio session.
     I've got tea and biscuits (most importantly) plus loads of paintings, collages, prints and cards. There are the mugs I've designed too. I really hope someone comes and buys one of those as I like them so much.
Framed prints start at £10 for the little ones, going up to £25.

But absolutely no obligation to buy anything, of course. It will just be great to see people.
     These are the times when my studio will be open:

     And if you're in St Albans during September, there's a 'Secret Postcard' art sale by members of Herts Visual Arts Forum, including me, at Courtyard Cafe. Lots of little original artworks, all priced at £20, to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Care. The postcards are on display in a back room, so do ask if you don't immediately find your way to them.