I went to a meeting the other night about the Artist’s open studio trail for the next Bollington Festival in May 2009. Bollington is the town in Cheshire where I live. This is largely to chart the development of my work for the event and its associated exhibitions, my take on the organisation, and my involvement in it.



So what now, I, as usual have work I want to do lined up and work I seemed to start ages ago to finish. I am not sure if I want to finish them now I have the inclinations to paint over all my canvases and start again, start a fresh. I won’t I will just put them to the wall.

I am making lists in my sketch book, lists of what I like, what I like about my work and the way I want to progress. Some of the people who came to my studio picked up on the fact that I like to get in close on a subject so as to present what might not be noticed and get over looked. I like that and recognised it as a trait in how I like to work. Getting in close often means that you can’t quite see what the subject is until told, I also like that. The image can appear abstract forming pattern over the canvas/paper which I also like giving me scope for a more painterly approach. So there is a direction. I will continue on subject as always is whatever captures my eye. (Maybe not snails for a while but who knows). I have got my eye on some nice lichen.


Just sat down to write this and I am already out of time lunch hr once again taken up with domestic chores and getting presents for children’s parties etc.

I have to send some feed back to Emma as well about the strengths and weaknesses of the trail. This I could split in to two, the personal and the general. I think Emma wants the general the personal I can explore here.

Fiona at the white Gallery is sounding people out about taking the open studios to a biannual event (its 4 years to the next festival) I said I would be up for it but maybe just one weekend because of the effects on the family. The sense of guilt I felt at displacing my family over two weekends from their home was quite upsetting. I don’t think it was so bad for them but every time people came when the children were in they got so over excited. They jumped around cut in on me talking and screeched and shouted…all normal for them but I just wanted them out of the way and this is why the guilt. They had a great time with daddy, daddy had a good time but was tired, and I had a good time but was guilty.Mike says I can do it every year if I want. I think every 2 would be enough and of course the kids are getting older.

Next need to address how my work was perceived, how i felt about it and wher to go now, i have lots of ideas….but must get back to the job now.


Well what a weekend, Saturday was so busy I could not believe the number of people who came to the house on the trail. I was quite exhausted by the end of it and I even sold a few pieces. Sunday was quieter but I still had a good few despite the rotten weather some of whom had been sent by other people or spouses who had already been!

I have had such a lot of lovely feedback. I said a while ago in my blog that I hoped people would at least be interested in my work and I certainly seem to have succeeded in that. The visitors log is full of comments such as interesting, fascinating, unusual, and loved the snails! It feels very strange now that it’s over; I still haven’t taken the work down just all the notices and the banner. I am in work work today so will start to put things back to normal tomorrow. I just flopped with a glass of wine after the children had gone to bed last night. It has been quite an experience doing the open studio trail I think I still have a few more blog entry’s to go in its aftermath, but its 1pm and I have a 3d environment to export.

In the next blog I want to say a bit about how all this went with regard to the children, I am just starting to catch up with some of the other blogs about this issue particularly Rachel’s


Another busy week, but not as bad as last week I finally feel like I am ready to open this weekend. So I will have to look on the last one as a dress rehearsal. I have also managed to get a few snaps of the snail room to post.

I have spoken to a few more of the artists taking part now and it seems that every one had a good day, some spoke of having hundreds through their studios. I didn’t have that many but I had enough. As for sales I feel a little disappointed I didnt sell much I will re look at my prices but I don’t think it will make too much difference..we’ll see. I always said it wasn’t about selling but it would be nice.

Mike and I are going to get a bit more organised with the children this week end too. He couldn’t keep them out all day last weekend and when they were around they bounced around people like excited puppies. I don’t think people mind but I found it very hard to talk and answer questions.

I am starting to wonder what’s next, this has been on the horizon for what seems like so long now and I wonder if I did more snails than I would have because of it. I definitely think I have done the theme. People are saying oh you’re the one who does the snails and I am not sure I like it. It’s so not everything I am about! The next festival is 4 years away, so now I have started again there has got to be something in-between. I have three canvases on the go one old fruit (mouldy pomegranate) and two earth angel pieces I will finish them, take stock and explore things in my sketch book. Maybe I will have more thoughts on this when it is all over next week.


I sat down to write this entry yesterday but just didn’t get the chance. The open studio was in full swing and from 11am to 5pm I had a pretty steady flow of people through the house, and I thought no one would come. I was really impressed at the number of people who had set out to do the whole artists trail and most of them were doing it on foot!Saturday had started slowly because of the parade, I think everyone was walking it and of course the roads were close. I had taken down my mini eco-warrior (Frankie) and my flower (Molly) to walk it with Mike, I was sorry to have missed it and may as well have nipped down to the main road to see I’ll know for next time!The people who came seemed genuinely interested and I enjoyed showing them my studio. I don’t think my work was everyone’s cup or tea and some were surprised to see a whole room of snails, so I had to answer the question why snails over and over again. I sold one print but on the whole there was little interest in buying the work, although about three people did ask about pieces and said they may come back next week.

Later I went down to Fiona’s Garden party at the White Gallery which was wonderful, very nice to see the work down there and meet up with some of the other artists. Every one I spoke to had had a good day and some had sold well. Roll on next week end!