25 June 2013

open studios 2013

a little belated but a huge thank you to everyone who came and visited me for open studios.

in between the catalogue going to print and the event itself i was invited to my sister's wedding which was something i just couldn't miss. this meant i was unable to be there on the first day. a friend kindly sat in for me but unfortunately sold a painting in the window which wasn't for sale! at first i didn't think that this would be a problem as he had taken the couple's email address. so i wrote to explain, thinking they would understand. however, that didn't turn out to be the case. they have refused to return the painting and after writing a second time, they haven't responded. they are willing to lend me the picture to exhibit but are insisting on retaining rights of ownership. i'm very sad about this as it wasn't a painting i was ready to sell. it was also sold at the wrong price - well below what it was worth. i'm very attached to this piece but really don't know what else to do. i have been trying to find out where i stand legally. if anyone reading this has any experience or advice i'd love to hear from you. and if you see this painting in your friend's house, please urge them to return it. thank you.

so apart from the shaky start the rest of the week was lovely. i met so many interesting people, among them a local crab fisherman, a guy who had the task of transporting a life size wired-together replica of the skeleton of the red rum race horse, a man who gave breon o'casey his first exhibition in london and told me about his lavender guinea foul, a man training for john o'groats to lands end cycle ride, a lady who talked to me all about armenian dancing and an enthusiastic rock-collecting drunken local who found my pole a useful support! probably the funniest moment was when a man walked in clutching a gps. it said 'you have reached your destination'. he switched it off and took in his surroundings looking very bewildered. staring at me he said 'where am i?' i replied 'well, you've reached my studio - did you mean to come here?' he still looked very confused. so i showed him a catalogue and where he was. he looked familiar and i was racking my brain trying to place him. he looked like my hebden bridge friend sue's dad but i wasn't quite sure as i'd only met him a couple of times. so i quietly said, 'you look like sue's dad' and he said, 'yes - i am'. but i wasn't quite sure if he knew who i was. so i explained and then said 'did you know you were coming to see me?' he replied 'well, i don't know your surname do i?'. so i chatted to him for a while but i must say i never really discovered if he had realised who i was and had planned to come and see me or if it had just been a coincidence.

the week grew steadily sunnier so it became quite difficult to stay indoors. i found a stripey deckchair someone had thrown out (strange behaviour in a heatwave) and snatched brief moments sitting in it in my doorway. i still don't have any electricity in the space but the wind-up grammar phone cranked out a few rumbas and night lights illuminated my lovely fireplace.

........at a wedding i think you'll find!

window display (with a little nod to former uses!)

window display of pigments

rock pigments and misleading crabs

lone flower - view from window

new wall and beach findings

boxes of coloured collections

more things from the sea

copper verdigris, turquoise, malachite, azurite, lead and rust
wall of birds

display of things found during renovations

interesting objects from nooks and crannies

my lovely fireplace

people often stop and chat in the doorway. beware - i can hear every word!

time for a crackly tune.....

family enjoying chips on the bench.


  1. Lovely, lovely studio Jo. Love the fireplace and your window display.

  2. so, your bird has flown. Be stronger for the fact, let the happening work for you. I had a similar, in some ways, experience forty years ago at the Barbican in Penzance when it was a craft workshops and gallery. I had all my best work stolen from the upstairs gallery. I had used the costliest materials, perhaps that was why, but I thought they were beautiful. I had a big lesson in letting go that has helped me enormously throughout my life. You are a creative, it is in you and you blossom. Let go; don't hold on to anything, except the knowledge that you will make more work. This may not be the advice you had hoped for but I assure you it worked for me so I pass it on with love. Joanie

  3. thanks joanie! i agree with you too. was a bit frustrated when i wrote this but then decided to let it go and move on to new things. i'm sorry to hear you had your work stolen but this is great advice, which i can hopefully pass on to someone else at some point in the future. thanks so much for writing x