For the Open Studios this year I chose to show just work that I had made during the year since the last open studios. From that year's work I curated a show on the freshly painted walls of my studio.
I hung four paintings on brown linen I made in August on the short wall near my door, 10 paintings on the long wall, 5 large framed works on paper were on the tables leaned up against my shelves on the back wall, and 10 small (50x40cm) works on panel from the Elusive Memories series were hung on the side wall.
This was a good year for discussions about the work.
Vertigo was the favourite painting by leaps and bounds. Everyone loved the depth achieved in the layers. (Which I cannot seem to capture in a photograph.) I also got an unexpected response of a number of viewers doing a sort of interpretive dance in front of it. They bent forward a bit and stretched their arms wide and made big swirling motions with their fingers.
The next best liked was the newest work on brown linen.
Some comments I remember:
"The longer you look at them the more you see." (The most common comment after "Nice colours".)
"I can't buy them cos I think it needs four paintings hung together and I can't afford four." (referring to the 10 paintings from the Elusive Memories series)
"I really like your new work. Except the panels on this wall are not to my taste. I'm sorry, I don't mean to be mean, but you know they are just too hard for my liking. Well... they are better as you get closer to them aren't they. Oh... I like them much better when I can see just one of them, they are not hard at all then." (also referring to the 10 paintings from the Elusive Memories series)
"I like that you see more in them as you keep looking at them, that is what you want for a painting on your wall, isn't it."
"I like the paintings on paper best. But then I love paper."
"How do you decide on titles?" (I work in series a lot and am glad when one title gets to last for a bit. Titles for single works are hard for me.)
"The brown linen paintings are so different to the others." (Discussions about responding to the surface followed.)
"The right frame makes a painting look even better." (Started by me talking to other artists about the framed works on paper.)
In my comments book- in addition to the expected comments on my "great use of colour" I also got a "challenging work" which I think is really good.
I also had my bookworks out and had some nice discussions about some of those.