November 16th and 17th 2019 saw all members of Space 2 turn out along with our arty neighbours in the yellow house for an open studio event. I’m very grateful to everyone at The Space in Stavanger and their friends and family who helped with the smooth running on the day, and of course a big thank you to everyone that popped in for a browse, chatted and even bought our work. Also, a huge thank you to my wife, Jo for driving me around and providing moral support.
It was very exciting and we met some interesting visitors. Our work seemed generally well received and several pieces of art found new homes. That is such great news, personally I’d rather feel my work was invited into peoples homes and not slotted into my wooden browser or studio walls. Although it’s nice to have those stocked up too.
When we make art, I feel it is a very personal and sensitive thing. It takes nerves to paint for yourself and create the things I’m drawn to in a way I feel a connection to. It can be difficult to remove the invisible critic perched on your shoulder telling you how unlike a photo it is or will it match the new living room curtains… When somebody feels that same connection and wants your work in their home is such a very special feeling. It was a pleasure to have passed on some nice pieces at a fair price, I will get back to normal soon though. Commercially I am having to get to grips with the ‘business’ side of being a painter and a step along the way in organising this was my little SumUp machine. Wow! I can now take card payments in the studio – very helpful, I must remember to use the decimal spaces, I charged a lovely honest couple 10 Norwegian Kroner instead of 1000 – they very kindly emailed me and will sort this for me, how very honest!
Talking to several visitors has made me think there are many enthusiastic and talented people out there who really need to feel part of an art community and find a place to work and swop ideas with others of a similar mindset. With that in mind I’m strongly considering making my studio space available at set times with an arranged still life or portrait sitter so people can drop in with their gear and paint, draw with whatever medium they choose and be productive. I gave my card to several people along with that invitation to make a mailing list and organise it.
My Introduction to ‘People Who Connect’
Earlier last week I had the pleasure to meet members of a group here in Stavanger called People Who Connect. They socialise, attend events and mentor newcomers into life here. I didn’t know what to expect but my colleague Mirjam had said I have an hour to demo some watercolour. I was a little nervous because I use watercolour for sketching outdoors and to help with my design process for larger studio painting. Despite this I developed a plan.
So we created some handmade Christmas cards that were half watercolour and half linoprint! The day before I cut a seasonal linoblock and tested it out until it looked the part. Mirjam provided some beautiful watercolour paper and cut it to size.
On the day I was so pleased to feel the enthusiasm of this warm and friendly group. We settled down and I went through the basics of wet into wet with them, they all tried and totally went for it producing confident work and great use of colour, some work was really experimental. Then we popped into the printing room, I did a brief demo then before I knew it they were inking the slab, rolling out the block and transferring images! I wish I’d taken photos to show you because that afternoon gave me such a buzz!