An Open Studio trail is a wonderful opportunity for both artists and visitors to indulge in art. When I lived in Sydney I loved the atmosphere of our local studio trail, there was always lots of people at each studio and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. I remember one year I had saved up with the intention of buying art from two artists whose work I had admired. Years later I still get a buzz and a smile on my face when I walk past their pieces on my wall and I remember the excitement I felt making the purchase as if it were yesterday. I loved learning about their story and about their process.
Now living on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, I have just participated in my second Open Studio Trail. This program is getting more popular each year here and this year the artists studios were open for two consecutive weekends.
A lot of hard work goes into producing artwork, setting up the studio and house to present it and preparing everything to ensure the studio visit is an enjoyable experience. I'm blessed to have family and friends that help and who also love to share the experience with me. I struggle at times with those annoying negative voices in my head so I feel so lucky to have my little tribe of supporters.
Its exciting and humbling when a visitor loves your work enough to want it in their homes but that actually is just one part of what makes this experience wonderful.
Talking to visitors is of course a major part of the day but that doesn't necessarily come easy to me. What I'm learning over time though is that just like I am interested in the artist's stories when I visit a studio, so too are visitors to my studio. They genuinely want to know about me, my inspiration, my techniques and that is uplifting regardless of whether they buy.
Its interesting to hear how others interpret my art, how it makes them feel. I get that warm feeling in my belly when I can see that a piece resonates with a viewer, when they stop to take it all in, when they come back to it for another look. It suddenly hits me in the face that I have made something that has brought joy to someone and that little realisation is truly amazing to me!
Well its over for another year and I was both physically and mentally exhausted by the end but also happily content in the knowledge that I had taken another little step forward along my path as an artist.