Tag Archives | Open Studios

How to brighten up your life or home – Visit an Artist in their Studio?

Yes I mean it, a simple visit to see an artist in their studio, may just change your life in a good way!

thanet open studios 2017

Think about it, most artists spend their life creating original one off pieces which rarely see the light of day in a public place or gallery. So unless you are a keen Art Buyer, Collector or Gallery Proprietor, you will never see probably 95% of all the work created.

So how to get to see it? and will it be to your taste anyway? – Well you’ll never know unless you go looking for it.

A really interesting way to see some of these creations is to meet up with the artists in their own studios. There you can see what they do, how they work, they may have works in progress on the easel, if you wish, you may have a chat with the artist, and find out ‘what makes them tick’ – You can bet that their lifestyle is quite different from yours! So what inspires them? how do they get ideas? In how many other walks of life can this happen?

I’ve never seen an opportunity to meet one on one, with professional actors, or singers, or musicians, or even accountants for that matter, in their own environment. So for a unique experience – You know what to do, – go and visit an artist on Open Studio day.

a corner of my studio

a corner of my studio

It just so happens, I am opening my studio along with 30+ other local artists on the last three weekends in August, from 10am to 4pm each day ie: 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th, 26th, 27th and 28th Bank Holiday Monday.

Here is a sneak preview of works on the easel!

In addition I have invited my artist friends to come and paint in the garden on Saturday 26th August, so do come and say hi, we don’t bite! We’d love to see you.

The Address: 21 Seafield Road, Broadstairs, CT10 2DD

So what was that I said at the beginning about brightening up your life or home? Ah yes – well you may just see a little gem that reminds you of something good, or someone special – and studio prices are usually less than gallery prices – as there is no commission to pay. A win win situation in my books!

 

Painting in my garden

Painting in my garden

Meet up with your favourite artist in 2017

This is my New Year’s resolution! It could be yours as well?

using watercolour last summer

using watercolour last summer

What do we gain from meeting Artists? –

  1. Some insight into the way they work,
  2. We can learn what motivates artists to keep creating,
  3. We can discover what it is we especially like about their works,
  4. We can get a glimpse of their lifestyle and how far they have to travel, to gather ideas for future works,
  5. We can establish a rapport with the artist,
  6. We may decide to start a collection of their work,
  7. We can learn about some of their techniques,
  8. We can perhaps improve our own creativity as a result.

I hope to do all these things over the coming months with my favourite artists.

I will meet them at their Exhibition Previews, where they are happy to discuss their work, I will visit them in their studios, during an Open Studio Event, I will see their work on Facebook, Instagram and other social media, and LIKE and SHARE their work to my friends. More importantly when I see work I really like, I will leave positive comments, and perhaps visit their web sites and online shops. I also watch their You Tube videos, I have learnt so much from these, especially online demonstrations.

As a result, wherever I go people come up to me and say “Oh I know you, we’re Facebook friends”.

So in 2017 – Go and Meet your favourite artists! Enjoy!

 

 

Open Studios – See the Artist in their studio – Get the most out of your visit!

OK It’s that Open Studios time of year again.

Whitstable boats

Boats at Whitstable painting

The time when many artists throw open their doors and welcome all comers.

It is an opportunity to show much more work than would be possible in a gallery, also the artist may choose to show older works, which help to illustrate their personal development, their own journey of learning and experience.

By following a trail of studios, using the booklet provided, visitors can seek out artists working in many different genres, mediums and styles of working. Art appreciation is a personal experience, and we all have our own likes and dislikes. I learn a lot by talking to other artists.

If you enjoy making art, or wish to learn how, then try to visit a few studios, you will meet some very interesting and creative people and by seeing how others work, you may pick up some useful ideas for your own work. Also don’t be shy, if you have a question to ask about your own work, don’t be afraid to ask. Most creative people love to talk about how they overcame problems, and are happy to help you do likewise. Don’t leave it, you may wait another year before your next opportunity.

Open Studios

My studio is open on the last three weekends in August and Bank Holiday Monday. The dates are: 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st, 27th, 28th & 29th August.

Opening times 10am to 4pm on the above dates.

You will see many new works, and some older works, many of which haven’t been shown before. My next Gallery Exhibition isn’t until Easter 2017 in Margate and October 2017 in Ramsgate, so don’t miss this chance to catch up.

To see the booklet with full details of all 33 Open Studios click this link

And to see my online shop, click here

I recently spent 10 Days in Wexford Ireland, painting out doors with 170 other artists from 16 countries.

Ancient bridge at Tintern Abbey

Ancient bridge at Tintern Abbey

Here is a sample of my work  for you. To read all about this adventure, make sure I have your e-mail address, so you can get it direct to your inbox.  Until next time!

 

 

repairs at Ballymorerepairs at Ballymore

Meet an Artist – Ask him or her the Questions you need answered –

Are you trying to improve your drawings or paintings?

Whitstable boats

Boats at Whitstable painting

Do you have some questions you would like to ask an artist, but never get the opportunity? or you feel too embarrassed to ask?

Yes I’ve been there as well, remember no one is born with these skills, we’ve all had to learn them, step by step.

I learnt best when I created an opportunity to ask an artist, or an art teacher. It’s not easy, because everyone is in a rush. I used to go and visit artists in their studios, because they are much happier to answer your questions and talk about art, when ‘at home’ in their own studio. So although I didn’t always ‘get’ their art or their philosophy, I learnt by talking about it, and where I was hoping to go in my own art development.

For three weekends, from the middle of August, I will throw open my studio doors and invite anyone to come in and browse, to drink tea and coffee and to ask loads of questions. At the same time, another 40 artists in East Kent, will be doing the same thing. Most areas of the UK have an Open Studio event, during the year, and these are valuable opportunities to meet the artists, and talk about their work, but more importantly, to use the opportunity to talk about your own artistic problems and your progress. So Make the most of the opportunity, think up the questions you would most like to ask, choose one problem area of yours, and ask clearly, for advice on how to solve the problem, and to get to your next goal. Use your visit to learn your next step. You could even take a photo of your work with you to show where you are in your own journey.

Visit some studios, and Ask Questions!  You’ll be glad you did, later on.

Thanet Artists Open Studios     Weekends of 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st, and 27th, 28th and 29th August. Open 10am to 4pm each day.

My Studio: 21 Seafield Road, Broadstairs, Kent CT10 2DD

Full details are here: Open Studio Details     I look forward to meeting you!

Here is a video from a very successful artist and motivational speaker, you may need to turn your sound down a little! Enjoy!

 

If you enjoyed this and would like to see more posts like this, put your e-mail address in the box nearby, you will also get my FREE My 10 Top Tips Learning to Draw.

News from the Studio – Sun and Rain, Wexford Ireland, and Open Studios

What a Summer it’s been! Hot dry days and cold rainy days in equal measure!

But this isn’t a weather report, so here is some of my recent work, from my visit to Wexford, Ireland and then some ‘Open Studio’ news.

My visit to Wexford Ireland was to take part in “Art In The Open“. This is an annual event which attracts up to 200 artists from all over the world. Each day has it’s own chosen venue, a town or a harbour, and everyone arrives and sets up their easels, for a day’s ‘plein air painting’, as the title hints, Art in the Open. I like to get started early, to get ‘one in the bag’ so to speak, in case rain arrives later on. Here are some works in watercolour:

Stables, Wells House

Stables, Wells House

 

view from Hook Head

view from Hook Head

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

farm in wexford

farm in county wexford

You can see the variety of subjects chosen, I especially loved the farm buildings and the old homestead in this painting, which I did on the last day, which also brought warm dry weather.  It was most enjoyable to meet up with the other artists, in the evenings and to swap tales and experiences etc. Many are household names in their own countries.

What lovely friendly and sociable people and I even sold one work ‘off the easel’ to a cafe owner. The exhibition and dinner at the end of the week was brilliant and I found myself cementing long term friendships and promising to return.

 

My Open Studio was held over the three weekends ending on August Bank Holiday. I shared the studio of local artist, Andrea Chappell and we had the pleasure of welcoming over 80 guests, many of whom were unknown to us, and we both made sufficient sales to encourage us to consider holding open studios again next year.

some Open Studio works

some Open Studio works

Here is a view of some works on display, we had approx 40 framed works, and another 40 mounted unframed works, plus some prints and greetings cards, so something for everyone.

Open Studio

Open Studio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Between visitors, I managed to paint this watercolour view of our ‘Cabin Studio’, as a gift to Andrea, for her hospitality.

Have you been to Wexford in Ireland? or even visited an Artists Open Studio? I’d like to hear your stories.

Meet the Artist – Open Studios and Art Trails – What’s it all about?

Would you love to meet up and chat with artists in their studios, but are too scared to do it?

Bow open studio sign

What will they be like?  Will I get halfway down their path and turn around in trepidation?

Can I think of anything to say and will we have ‘anything’ in common?  Will I be expected to buy something?

Do you recognise these thoughts? Have you been there? Would you prefer to visit the dentist?

I’ve been there, many times, – and I’m an outgoing sort of fellow. I love to visit Artists in their Studios and in practice, it never takes long to establish friendly conversations, and I rarely buy a work of art. So why all the scary thoughts?

I think it will take a psychiatrist to explain all these feelings, but suffice to say, do go along, with a friend if you like, and meet up with your local artists. You’ll be amazed at the variety and scope of their works, and wonder how they were made. If you’re very lucky, the artist may have an item on the easel, and be working on it as you arrive.

Artists at work

Artists at work

Needless to say, once past the front door, I’ve always had fascinating experiences at open studios and met some really wonderful friendly and creative people. So what are you waiting for. Almost every area in the country now has an annual Open studios event or an Art trail as they are sometimes called.  You first need to get hold of the booklet for all the details of times and addresses of venues etc. The booklet will usually have an example of each artist’s style of work, so first of all you need to choose two or three studios, not too far away, who seem to have works that you might like. Some studios show the works of several artists, so it’s almost like two for one. Choose a day and time when those studios are open, and take a friend along for the trip.

I guarantee you wont regret it, you’ll see lots of artworks, meet lots of creative people, perhaps consume lots of tea and biscuits, and maybe make some new friends. You may even acquire a permanent reminder of your day out and I bet you will want to do the same again soon.

In my area of Kent, there are three organisations who run open studios,

South East Open Studios  – more details here       held in June each year.

Thanet Open Studios    – more details here     held in August each year,

East Kent Open Houses     – more details here        held in October each year.

This year I’m sharing the studio of another local artist, Andrea Chappell whose work is really exciting. Here’s our leaflet, with all the details:

My Open Studio

My Open Studio

 

To check out some of the works in my studio click here

 

 

 

Suddenly – Its the Exhibition Season again!

Folkestone Spring Art Exhibition 2014

Folkestone Spring Art Exhibition 2014

Yes – It’s here again.

That means artists up and down the country are madly charging about trying to get a load of different tasks done in order to prepare themselves. So in my studio, that means taking stock of recent works and deciding which will be exhibited where, and when. What exhibitions or competitions should be entered, shall we have an ‘Open Studio’?

How many works will be needed at any one time? Then its on to mount cutting and framing the watercolours. For convenience, I buy in ready-made frames of specific sizes, so I know that my mounts only have to be those sizes, to fit the frames. I do like to double mount watercolours setting a coloured board between the painting and the top cream coloured board. All these have to be accurately marked up and bevel cut with neat corners. Presentation is so important, I have seen many excellent works, ruined by poor presentation. Consequently they have little hope of selling. Then I have to clean the glass, both sides, insert the painting and mount board assembly, securing and sealing the backs, fitting the hanging cords and lastly, printing labels for the backs and sales labels, as required, for the faces.

Walkers at Kingsgate Bay, Kent

This is very near to my studio, an inspirational place to visit!

Some works will be displayed unframed, in browsers or on table tops, these will be mounted as before, backed with a board and wrapped in cellophane, for a neat presentation. My Acrylic paintings are mostly painted onto stretched canvases, of various kinds. I usually paint the edges of these, so they don’t have to be framed, saving on cost to the buyer. I do varnish them however, to protect the paint surface from dirt etc, and they still need hanging cords and labels fitted. These tasks are In addition to the task of drawing and painting new works for future exhibitions etc. A busy time of the year, but the warmer weather means I can soon start to go outdoors and do some ‘plein air’ painting again! For me, a ‘warm weather plein air painter’ – that is my reward for the extra work!

To see an example of presentation, click on this photo, it will lead you to my online gallery, where it is shown, double mounted and framed and an example, already wrapped in cellophane. Enjoy!