Artists’ studios have a reputation. They hold secrets. They are brimming with works in progress, ideas half-realised. Notes, sketches, drafts – everything is piled in layers, and the layers are filmed with dust. They are not to be touched by the fortnightly cleaner. Visitors and grandchildren are escorted down by invitation only. They are almost sacred places. I did say almost.
So the Open Studio?
If you google artist studios lots of images come up. Not much dust in sight, but lots of activity in most. They are exciting places.
What was I thinking in February when I decided to open my studio for the South Australian Living Artists Festival? Something different for me. A chance to talk to some punters, hear what interests them and hopefully have some interaction about my work. It definitely will burst the dust bubble and force open the front gates. They are usually closed against the sand and salty winds.
Now for the BIG upheaval.
Floor space: There is a track for me to step back about 10 paces from the easel to view my work. This has to change.
Seating: one usable chair on wheels, one buried lounge. More than one person might like to sit down.
Refreshments: fridge hidden in the corner. That could be an asset.
Walls: little nails banged in here and there to support a few paintings. Added a hanging track this week.
Works in progress: that’s easy, but they need to be small.
Dust, paint splatters: leave the paint splatters, get out the vacuum cleaner, probably.
After this: marketing materials, brochures, mailing list sign-up cards, catalogues. Perhaps I’d better do that first and clean later?