Thursday, 30 September 2021

Fine and dandy


plenty to see in my studio . . .
© Teresa Newham

#HertsOpenStudios is well under way!  Sue and I have been welcoming people twice a week since 18th September, with two more Saturdays and the Wednesday in between still to go.  We've had a pleasing number of visitors and excellent weather so far.

. . . making use of all available space 
© Teresa Newham

The weather has been extremely important this year, as we are keeping everything as ventilated as possible, and sitting outside when we can, in order to give folk more space to browse. My own studio behind the kitchen is their first stop, where they can see most of the watercolours and reduction linocuts that I have made over the past two years.

Sue's display on my dresser, and her display board & browser
© Teresa Newham

Sue's work is laid out in my dining room as usual - a mixture of watercolours and drawings, and her lovely painted hearts.  Like me, she has made good use of her time during lockdown - but we are both absolutely delighted to be meeting people face to face again, some for the first time in ages.

more of Sue's work in my dining room
© Teresa Newham

I have some pieces in the dining room too, along with greetings cards.   Having kept so much of my work to myself for so long (showing it on social media isn't quite the same) I am loving the feedback, the comments, the insights and the interaction which Open Studios brings with it.

my dining room display
© Teresa Newham

We've both made some sales, and I've had the chance to try out my SumUp card machine for the first time - it works really well.  We still accept cash, of course, but it's good to give people the option because we want everyone to feel comfortable when they come and see us.

sketchbooks laid out on the dinner table - for now!
© Teresa Newham

Our demos have been taking place outside while the weather has lasted - although for the last three sessions we'll almost certainly be indoors. The watercolours Sue makes during Open Studios often become exhibits the following year. I've been printing Japanese Woodblock - but that will have to wait for another blog post!

Sue painting in the garden - well wrapped up
© Teresa Newham

Sue and I will be open again from 11am - 4pm this Saturday 2nd October, Wednesday 6th October and Saturday 9th October.  For full details of venue including directions of how to find us, click here.

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

virtually ready


the Wensley Arts page on the HVA website

It's almost time. I've framed my pictures and sorted out ideas for the online themes. There is publicity on social media and the #HertsOpenStudios section of the HVA website is full of information about all the local artists who will be taking part. Here at what we are calling Wensley Arts until 10th October it just remains to put the physical exhibition in place.

my studio, not at all open at the moment . . . 
© Teresa Newham

Not that you'd guess from the state of my studio right now.  To those in the know, exhibitions aren't just about paintings or prints; they're about easels, browsers, tables, display boards, card racks, signage, and all the other paraphernalia necessary to show artwork off to its best advantage.

. . . and in need of a good tidy up as well as an exhibition
© Teresa Newham

During the next few days my studio and my dining room will (I hope) be transformed into an enticing display of artwork by me and my co-exhibitor Sue Wookey.  Many other artists across the county are preparing their own spaces, shared or otherwise, or getting ready to join in online.

the dining room, similarly unprepared
© Teresa Newham

The HVA have retained and refined elements from last year's virtual Open Studios for those who do not wish to open to the public at this time. Those of us who will be welcoming visitors face-to-face are also taking part in the daily themes on social media - which increases the workload but also increases the fun. I've really enjoyed gathering images and putting videos together.

working in the small amount of space I have
© Teresa Newham

As if that wasn't enough, I am taking part on the second day of Art on the Common, which is happening the first weekend of Open Studios.  I'm sharing our usual pitch with Hillary Taylor, whose own Open Studio will be in the pop-up shop opposite Harpenden Waitrose from 4 - 10th October.

While all this is going on, I also have a couple of pieces in the Colourways exhibition at The Workhouse Dunstable, which runs until 9th October.  It's a busy time for artists and art lovers alike!