Open Studios 2023 – That’s a wrap!

 In Journal, The Studio

There is something so very special about opening the studio doors and inviting people in … to look, touch, see, chat, explore. This was the third Open Studios Sunshine Coast event I have participated in, and the 4th time I have opened my studio doors to the public. And I can’t wait to do it again.

200 people visited this year. THANK YOU to each and every one of you ❤️? It means a lot to every artist participating in the event that people take their time to visit us.

The program ran a little later than usual this year, starting Friday 19 May and finishing Sunday 28 May. I was open Friday-Sunday 19-21 May.

So much preparation goes into getting organised for the event – creating work, making items, cleaning the studio! The Open Studios Sunshine Coast organising committee from Arts Connect Inc did a fabulous job, again, this year. No one sees how much work goes on behind the scenes, but we all appreciate it.

I had a lot of help getting ready this year. My brother helped trim, pack, fold and wrap. And did an excellent job tidying the yard for me! Thank you Bro ❤️ Stephanie helped manage sales and all the necessary admin over the weekend. THANK YOU both so much!! I could not have got through the weekend without you!

By about 10pm the night before, we were ready to open!

The three open days flew by and were a bit too busy to get photos. Stephanie did manage to get a few. Nothing captures the energy in the room like actually being there. It is such a buzz to chat with people about printmaking – reintroducing them to something they may have done in high school or college; or introducing for the first time the almost limitless possibilities and diverse media that can be explored with printmaking.

One (of the many) things I love about opening my studio is seeing for myself the diversity of work I have created and want to share with people interested. Printmaking offers so much … creative respite, fine artwork, fun and play, process exploration, release the attachment to the outcome. So many different processes and approaches, all bundled into one modest art form.

It was lovely to put my Sky dancers book on display. I was able to show the linocut plates, mockups, drawings and working elements that all went into making the book.

It was also great to share my Field Notes and Sky Dancer embossed print series.

I love that people are interested to see what goes into making the artworks, and I especially love watching people’s faces as they connect the working elements to the final pieces. The hope for me is that they may want to explore and have a go at creating themselves!

This year I started my own “merch” (aka merchandise) line. I love the word “merch”. It’s cheesey and fun at the same time. I have created a line of tea towels, 5 in the series, each with one of my prints. An everyday item like a tea towel can be a beautiful item in the home. And with my love of the natural environment, the images I selected are a way to bring the beautiful outdoors in.

I have also produced new giclee (fine art reproduction) prints of some of my favourite sold out reduction linocut editions. I’ve not created new linocut pieces for over 12 months now (some life hurdles and 30 years of bad posture in front of a computer catching up with me), and I really wanted to share these feathered beauties …

The weather in the lead up to the Open Studios event was magnificent … as it usually is in the Hinterland during the in-between seasons (Autumn and Spring). I created a series of 10 wet cyanotype prints especially for the weekend. Many went to new homes. Thank you ?

You can see the full collection here, and a few prints are still available listed in my online shop here.

I really enjoy pushing the boundaries of the 180 year old process, and that’s what I did with these prints. And very exciting news – I have created a Cyanotype Extension workshop where I will share how I made these (you do have to have attended my Cyanotype workshop to be able to attend the Extension workshop).

The human visitors to the studio are fabulous! But I can’t write this post without acknowledging two very special friends … Kermit my green tree frog (exact species I don’t know, but he is a beautiful green and yellow with orange eyes). But he is beautiful. He was hiding in the sliding doors and I hurt him while opening them because I didn’t know he was there. But he was rescued and safely returned to some bushes to surprise me another day.

And Ben, my equine neighbour across the road. He quietly watched the comings and goings over the weekend.

Thank you again to everyone who visited. I can’t wait to open again next year. I hope to see you again, and I hope to meet new people – all for the love or sharing printmaking and moments of creative respite. Just follow the signs …

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