I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who stopped by during Somerville Open Studios this past weekend.
This was my third year participating, and it was a much different experience for me than my first year. This year (and last), I was located in the community space at Arts at the Armory and, because there were multiple artists exhibiting there, I was really looking forward to experiencing SOS within the community of other artists, and I knew that there would be a pretty good flow of visitors. I’m an introvert, and I know that sometimes it can be somewhat uncomfortable for either the artist who doesn’t know what to say beyond a meek “How are you, today?” or the visitor who may prefer to view the work without being glanced at frequently by an artist unsure of when to say something, or what to say. I brought a small painting to work on, thinking that would provide either a distraction or a focal point, and I could be productive during the lulls in foot traffic. It turned out that it prompted a lot of conversation, so thanks for approaching me to ask about the subject or my process or if I always paint upside-down, or any of the other great questions. One of the great things about visitors asking questions is that it prompts us to rethink aspects of our work in new ways, and sometimes we’re surprised.
Thanks to the ones who burst out laughing upon seeing Catch or Oops! or Imp. Thanks to the woman who asked if they were paintings or photos. Thanks for suggesting that I submit my work to a particular gallery or television personality. Thanks for showing me pictures of your pets. Thanks to friends, family, and clients who stopped by just to support me. Thanks to the man who recognized Dennie, even though it’s not a detailed painting! Thanks to those who told me that my work is worth more than I’m asking. Thanks for Irish whispers to each other while pointing at paintings. Thanks for sending your friends in. Thank you so much to those who told me that I captured a certain essence of the person or animal. Thanks to those who viewed shyly but then came up and quietly told me how much you enjoyed my work.
Because my area was loaded with big dog faces, it seemed to attract visitors of the tiny variety! Parents would be reaching out to grab a runaway child running toward a big tongue or wet nose, and it was all good. I heard so many parents saying “Don’t touch!” and I appreciate your respect and the respect for the work which you are instilling in your children; but it was fine, really. Thank you for bringing children to look at Somerville’s art.
And dogs! Quite a few dogs stopped by my setup, and of course I was happy to see moist noses navigating the space.
I am not much of a self-promoter, so I wasn’t out there flagging people down and handing out business cards and booking photo shoots. Still, I was surprised at the number of visitors I had, the amount of interest in commissioning work, and the number of business cards taken. Feel free to share them! And, if you have any questions at all, please just ask.
I am looking forward to SOS again next year, but I will be here in the time between now and then, making tea and painting away. Please stop by again.