Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Considering doing an Open House?


Holding a Studio Open House is not for the feint of heart!  I've held them on and off for 25 years so I've got lots (and lots!) of experience.

First and foremost (goes without saying), unclutter and reorganize your studio space (start early!).  Every time I put this much effort into cleaning up my studio, I uncover "surprises" I had forgotten about.  I came across a painting I had started and tucked away, unfinished.  The smile that crossed my face makes me think that one's gonna get finished now!

I have 4 grandchildren who each have a corner of my cottage as their own.  I share my studio with my  1.5 yr old who has a portable crib up there, along with all the other paraphernalia that comes with a young one.  (Don't worry...I don't use solvents, only water-based pigments, so no dangerous fumes to contend with.)  But all of his "things" had to be removed/hidden (then it all has to be pulled back out, of course).  Maybe I should have left the crib set up, with a painting or two displayed in it!

This is what greeted my guests as they came onto the front porch.  I invited MARIGOLDS (for the Home, Garden & Soul) to sprinkle my house with their many beautiful treasures that add such character and warmth to a home..perfect for gift-giving.  It made the event that much more special!  Thanks, Marigolds!

"The Reveal" (acrylic by moi) along with treasures from Marigolds.

One corner of my studio was set up to show all of my various works-in-progress.  I was able to discuss traditional 300# ARCHES PAPER versus WATERCOLOR CANVAS versus YUPO.  I also love AMPERSAND AQUABORD.

Another work-in-progress.  This time, an acrylic on canvas (Tuscany).  I was excited to see one of my collectors light up when she saw this one.  I agreed to let her have "first right of refusal"!  I imagine this one will get my earliest painting attention now!

Anne Peterson (left) 
I've been mentoring Anne Peterson (in watercolor painting) for the last several months.  When she started as my student a couple of years ago, I knew she was someone special.  While holding a full time job, she dedicates precious time to her art, always striving to improve.  I invited Anne to show two of her paintings at my Open House...we got such good feedback about her work!  Here's a closeup of one of her paintings:

"Around the Bend" by Anne Peterson.
Available for purchase by contacting me!
Lastly, while cleaning out my studio, I set aside a large amount of art instruction books that I've enjoyed over the years but was now willing to part with.  Artists who visited the Open House had a chance to add them to their library.

All in all, a lot of work goes into setting up such an event.  But, boy, it was well worth it!  (and my house is now already cleaned and ready for the rest of the holidays!!!)  Mark your calendars for next year!

See you at next year's Studio Open House!  Happy Holidays, everyone!


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