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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