Sunday, 10 July 2011

Open Studios - An Artists own story by Christine Hopkins

News from the Sky Light Studio and Christine Hopkins.

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Acqua Alta

Open Studios happen every summer all over the country and are a chance to show your work to whoever comes in through your door. This may be someone who has seen your tiny thumbnail image in the brochure, or someone who has visited before, come by recommendation from another studio, or is just a curious neighbour or friend.  You have to be on duty for several hours each day, ready with a smile and a cup of tea, jelly beans, biscuits or mints, and put on the act of being a successful artist for a few hours. Pretending to know what you are talking about can be an awful strain! However most visitors are utterly charming, ask insightful quetstions and are just thrilled to have a small insight into your creative process. They think that artistic clutter is meaningful rather than untidy, and if you appear scatty or too talkative it can all be blamed on your ‘creative personality’.

At last at the end of two weeks you can shut the door for the final time, pack away the bunting and return the dining chairs to their rightful place. The spiders all come out of hiding, determined to recreate the webs that you so thoughtlessly brushed away. All the clutter that you tidied away into the spare bedroom can begin to creep back downstairs, and suddenly there are no more nice ‘visitor’ biscuits to snack on. For about 24 hours you exhale sighs of relief that the hard work is all over and that you have the house back to yourself. But you wake up on the following day feeling unexpectedly flat, and soon you are full of ideas for next year, and can’t wait for the merry-go-round to start up again so that you can jump on for the ride of your life.

With thanks to Caroline Jackman and all the others who make it all happen in the first place – three cheers for the unsung heroine. find out more on

And who could do this without an understanding family offering support and advice, climbing ladders and nailing up the bunting,  making endless tea and coffee, and not minding that their lives are disrupted too – thank you.

On the first day I started a Venetian-inspired mixed media painting, but over the course of the fortnight it evolved into something rather different. I decided the whole thing was too big and brash, so cropped it down and washed away some of the colour, added more collage and more washes to produce ‘Acqua Alta’ illustrated here.

Christine Hopkins....SGFA

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