Each Year the Open studios event occurs throughout Buckinghamshire. For 2 weeks in June, artist’s across the county arrange exhibitions of work and demonstrations in their artist studios. Sadly, through ineptitude on my account – the usual procrastination coupled with a conviction that the deadline was early February- I remembered to enter, exactly 5 days after the deadline passed on 26th January! Oooops!
(As it is, I still have half my kitchen in the living room so there would have been a few practical problems.)
Not to be downcast, I’ve decide to use the opportunity to check out other artists, get hints and tips and network in general. So far I’ve been to 5 studios. Seen some interesting work and quite a bit that isn’t really me. Technically good in most cases but no “Wow” moments, if you know what I mean.
So far I’ve concluded _
- A centralised location near a town is a good idea. Whilst a drive through the countryside is wonderful, not many people want to do it! Especially if it’s just for one studio.
- You need lots of display space – of course.
- Make sure you can stand some distance from the painting – one exhibition was in a church and you had to clamber over the pews, which is irritating when you want to step back to view the overall effect then move close to look at details.
- Demonstrations are a good thing. The ones I’ve enjoyed most have been creating work as you go around. Some even holding workshops e.g. on fused glass decoration.
- There should be lots of information available for visitors. Fliers, business cards, handouts etc…
- Be prepared to answer some unusual questions.
- Make sure you look open and visitors don’t feel they are trespassing when they come in. I’ve been to 2 studios where I’ve had to walk through beautiful gardens, along very narrow paths through the flowers before reaching the studios.
What next? Well, I’ve been plotting the guide book, working out where to go next. But I think location of the studios might be tempering my choice…
as well as artistic appeal, of course!
Update…Last week I made a statement of intent “To go out, armed with portfolio, visit a Cafe and approach a gallery to get my work seen.”
Well…Carpe Deum has been my motto this week!
Pam’s place, a cafe with a bohemian atmosphere, who’d asked me to take in some work at the Music in the Market event. I’d already arranged to go in last week, so this one was easy. Too easy, they were hanging the pictures almost as soon as I went in!
Spurred on, I took the bull by the horns and went into Yellow Kite Gallery in Buckingham. I nervously approached the owner and asked if he’d like to see my work. He had a quick look and after some pleasantries took me around to Ginny Gray Gallery ( their other gallery) to discuss with his wife – the Gallery’s namesake.
How did I fair?
Ginny Gray Gallery are going to show 5 of my pieces!
Pam’s Place have 4 painting on the wall, 2 more to follow and a selection of my abstracts in a “Browser” (translation a box)
I’m trying to stay calm, on the wall is not a sale, yet, but it’s very, very encouraging!
I did the painting above while still on the initial high! Hence the title “Inspiration”.
I wonder what will happen this week?