Sunday, August 28, 2011

Creative Spaces - Open Studios IV

OK, its official, we're exhausted!

After another amazing weekend we feel tired, satisfied, weary and exhilarated - a heady mix! Today we counted 100 people coming through and visiting us which seems truly remarkable; after having seen around 80 people yesterday as well.

Yesterday, the mist and drizzle set in, offering visitors the very special mountain magic known as "mizzle" in the Dempster-Smith household, and still they came.

Today dawned sunny and bright and the studio looked great - photo taken from the house.

We found it very special to share our world, the way we think about our art, what we are hoping to achieve, and the different ways we go about it with the different folk who visited. Today I had lots of interest in the calligraphic side of things - from calligraphers, through to sign-writers, to young folk fascinated by Japanese kanji scripts to lots of people who have enjoyed picking up a pen a long time ago and writing beautifully.

I was doing a little practice piece throughout the day - writing each letter of the alphabet in layers on a single piece of paper so it became quite abstracted - and we talked about abstract versus literal calligraphic art. This piece offers me lots of options and in my spare moments I pondered if it would have watercolours added to it, if it would become a background piece for  a print or if I would add more letters or words to it in different ways. Just a joy to be fiddling and playing and pondering...

One of the nicest things to happen was as I turned around to start tidying and packing up at the end of the day; I realised somebody had left a message in the pebbles!

And here we are, two tired artists, with paper rusting mess in the background; rusted wheels and timber in the foreground, pleased to be sitting and having a quiet cuppa at the end of it all.

Many thanks to the many people who visited and talked and shared - our lives are richer for your visits.


  1. Love the big calligraphy letters. Well done on 2 fabulous weekends sharing your passion with others xoxoxoxo

  2. A sigh of weary satisfaction .... I can feel it. As I said on Barry's blog I really enjoyed this peek into your open studio .... not to mention the glorious view.

  3. Well deserved satisfaction! What a great turn out.

  4. It was great to be able to visit, and I'm glad it was such a success. I'd planned to return on Saturday, but was thwarted by the 'mizzle'.

  5. Wonderful studio, wonderful artists, wonderful artworks; no wonder you've got hordes of wonderful (and appreciative) visitors... I wish I was one of them!

  6. Sounds like you and Barry had a delightful weekend. How wonderful to have so many appreciative visitors to your studio. Hope you have time to relax now.

  7. oh your studio and studio garden look spectacular! I'm having serious studio envy right now!

    I know what you mean about the energising yet exhausting fun of chatting away to visitors in your creative space.... (this is something I've missed since I shut the doors to my very large studio up town way back in the 1990s) It's intriguing getting instantaneous feedback to what you do, while you do it... and the action of creation sees to mesmerise visitors.... but it IS exhausting talking and making and thinking! I'm pleased you're having a wee breather! (and that at least one visitor showed their appreciation handsomely)

  8. how wonderful for you both to have so many visitors! and a message! i love your layered letters. very fine.

  9. Hi Noela - thank you for all your support! I like the letters too - wonder where to next?

    Robyn - I'm not surprised you could feel that sigh across the miles! It was a BIG sigh! And yes, we are truly fortunate with that view - altho it was hidden by mist all Saturday!

    Lesley - thank you . It was an amazing and unexpected turnout; but great that so many folk wanted to see and talk about art.

    Jo - I can understand the mizzle deterring you! But there is still a silver leaf up here...

    Hi Anna - thanks so much - it would be wonderful if you COULD visit one time!

    Thanks Jennifer - relax or collapse? I can't quite choose! It was great and an experience we will reflect on and ponder for a while yet - lots of questions about where to next...

    Hi Ronnie - yes its a real sub-tropical garden from that angle isn't it? All that green! You're so right about the mix of exhaustion/exhilaration - fascinating to observe as you participate in it. I was thrilled to see that little message - how gorgeous!

    Hi Velma - It was amazing to have so many folk thru - and what a fabulous message to receive! Glad you liked the letters; I think they are intriguing and am enjoying watching them, talking to them, wondering about them...

  10. If distance allowed I would have been there too Fiona. I know I would have loved the atmosphere created by the two of you as well as the work! Love the layered script photo. Beautiful, beautiful marks made there.Reminds me of the Denise Lach type of calligraphic marks. I do so love that type of lettering too.

  11. Yes, you describe perfectly the feeling after an Open Studios weekend - part deflated and part elated! More than the sales, I think this is the true value of such events - the new energy you take with you into your next projects, knowing there are people supportive of who you are and what you do. So happy it was all such a success for you both!

  12. Congrats guys! It was such a huge weekend. I can relate to that photo of you both, I was out on my feet. I'm looking forward to visiting your studio too, I love the pebble message of thanks.

  13. Hi Lesley - it would have been so much fun to have you visit too! I really like the layered letters too - and Denise Lach's work is to die for, yum!

    G/TT - you know that feeling don't you? There is so much energy flowing, you have to try and harness it for yourself and your work and your next steps.

    Hey Kim - we have been to bed early every night since! It will be nice to have you visit - and yes, that pebble message was very special.

  14. Sounds like a terrific week-end, love the abstract letters and love the studio shot. Now I can 'see' where you work. Thanks so much Fiona!

  15. Fiona, sounds fabulous! I've been away from reading blogs for all of August, so am way behind on what you and Barry have been up to....will have to dig back on both blogs and get caught up! Love the idea of layering/overlapping those letterforms....beautiful! Charming photo of you and Barry....exhausted and happy!

  16. Liz - thanks so much; it was a wow of a weekend. Its so great to be able to 'see' where folk work isn't it? I love those abstract letters too - now to make something with them!

    Hi Patti - yes, exhausted but happy sums it up. And I'm glad you liked the layered letters - I am fond of them too! good luck catching up with things - its nice to have a break; but fun to come back and visit again too! Go well.


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