A Blog about Finding Inspiration

"We have a wonderful world to be inspired by and each new day is like an adventure into the unknown, where things that require a second glance can be captured in time on a canvas for anyone to enjoy forever." (Louise Corke)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

C Campbells Fine Art Open Studio Reception 5 '10

I ( Cece) belong to a fair number of social organizations: a book club, a gardening group, four local artist guilds, dine around, not to mention the country club, etc. I am constantly being asked for an invitation to view my paintings. I'd love to invite each and every one of them over for dinner. It would be fun, and great word of mouth publicity, but that much entertaining would unquestionably interfere with my painting schedule. Such a dilemma! What to do? What to do?

Then I remembered the popularity of Open Studio Receptions in California to show off one's work. The event is a cross between a social open house, and a art gallery solo exhibit reception. The focus is on the art, and how it is created, without the hard sales pitch.

I sent out 60 invitations in April for a May 23rd 3 - 6 pm Open Studio Reception. This first set of invitations went to people who had expressed an interest in seeing my work. I also mentioned the event at each of my social organizations, and asked anyone who would like to receive an invitation to put their contact information on a list. From this , I followed through with another 15 invites. Frankly, at this point I was getting a little nervous, as there is no street parking where I live (my neighbors came to the rescue and offered their driveways for the event).

I'm not likely to tackle an event that large in my home very often, so I decided to go all out. The paintings were clustered into themes ( e.g. Local Landmark Series, Pawley's Plantation Series, etc.) Below Pawleys Plantation Series and one of State Park Series.

My husband, Bruce helped me hang as many of the paintings from each series as the space on the wall would allow.

Above: Graphics and Abstract Art
Below: Part of the Local Landmark Series

Power point presentations were run in a loop on two televisions to visually convey things that the visitors might want to know (e.g. On one TV I had a presentation showing a photograph of each painting followed by a photograph of the area each represented. )

In the Carolina room, all of the California Plein Air Series were on display, and Plein air oil painting equipment was set up for guests to inspect.

In the Art Studio Miniature Paintings were on display, and each of the different work areas were set up with the equipment I would use and examples of the results.

Above: Water media work area and paintings.
Below Oil Painting Work area

Above: Still Life set up with miniature still life example
Below: Art Photo stand with illustrated directions

Above: Composition Sketch White Board

Above: Desk and business work area
Below Mobile Media cart

Well you know what they say about the best laid plans. The skies had been clear and beautiful the entire week before the reception. Sunday morning we awoke to dark skies, and warnings flashing the the TV that people should stay home due to the possibility of tornadoes, hail and wind. By the time the Open Studio Reception was to begin there was a torrential downpour coming down. Needless to say we did not get  a huge  turnout, but given the circumstances, more people came than I would have expected in the storm.

We all had a good time, and all I gave lots of tours. All our guests were very enthusiastic about my work, and took a lot of business cards to spread the word.. And the good news is that I now have all the materials (right down to the Parking signs with my Business logos) ready should I choose to have an Open Studio event of any size.

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