Successful first Open Studios weekend

Well, we had a lovely weekend weather-wise. Warm and sunny, inviting people to go out and enjoy it. It felt as though the warmer weather was at last arriving. I believe it is due to change tonight!

This first weekend, we had open studios on Saturday, Sunday and Monday as it was a bank holiday. This coming weekend it will be only the Saturday and Sunday. We had more visitors than ever during Sunday although the numbers were a little disappointing on the Saturday and Monday. However, the huge interest of those who came certainly outweighed the lack of numbers.

The Chichester Open Studios – of which I am a part – sadly had to compete with Open Studios in Emsworth and a fairly local food fair. However, we have no such competition during the coming weekend.

My husband manned the conservatory where my pictures are hung and I continued working in my shed at the bottom of the garden. I say working, but in fact I did spend a lot of time talking to people, describing and showing them what I am doing. I think that the main surprise for them was the huge amount of preparation needed before even commencing a picture.

I had my crab apple paintings (work in progress) laid out. Four of them have much of the apple composition on them, but little more. A fifth one I am considering re-doing in a different way and the sixth one is not started. I was able to show people my sketch book and additional sketches preparing for the paintings. This included a couple of pages of apples on the branch, dissections of all but one apple, the flowers as seem on the tree (for each apple variety and done during a ten-day window a year ago), and the preparation I am presently doing – dissections of each flower. As you can imagine, there was surprise at use of the microscope. In fact one person came down to the shed to see me working and felt I wasn’t doing so by using the microscope! They more than appreciated its use by the time they eventually left!

It was a very useful weekend for me, in that in talking people through what I am doing, I was also able to think through a little more clearly about what I might include or exclude in the final pictures.

Thank you to all those who have shown interest in the project so far – and of course my work in general. Please do take the opportunity to come and see me this coming weekend. The address is on my website.

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Open studios the next two weekends

Spring is coming. At last!

This coming weekend I will be opening my studio during the Chichester Open Studios event. It will be open from Saturday to the bank holiday Monday and again the following Saturday and Sunday.

My pictures will be hung in the conservatory and prints and cards will also be displayed there. Luckily my husband Robin will be manning this area whilst I am down in the shed at the bottom of the garden.

As the event is called ‘Open Studios’, I have the excuse to stay in the shed all day long. I will be getting on with either painting my current piece of work or doing the preparations for other aspects of it.

Normally people do like to find their way down to the shed to see what an artists studio is like. I expect all studios are very different, just as the mess in mine varies according to what I am doing – even though it is generally botanical.

During ‘Open studios’ I can’t say that I work too effectively. I enjoy the visits throughout the two weekends as people are so interested and have so many questions. As I work in coloured pencil, watercolour or graphite, I am given so many opportunities to explain and demonstrate the different techniques. Sometimes, visitors become so interested they want to learn more. This is exciting.

Presently I am working on a series if crab apple paintings. There are meant to be six different crab apples, but my neighbour has just gone and bought a new one which is quite beautiful.

My husband Robin bought me a microscope for my birthday and at last the crab apple flowers are beginning to open, allowing me to capture their detail. Hopefully, more of the trees will be coming into blossom, in which case I will be using the microscope when dissecting the flowers. This might well be art with a difference for those who visit me down in the shed during these next two weeks.

I do hope you will join me.

The address is on my website, but have a look on the Chichester Open studios website for instructions as to how to get here. It is http://www.chichesterarttrail.org/.

I really look forward to seeing you in my shed!

FRom an earlier ‘Open Studios’ event:

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The Artist at work in the shed!

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