The Fine Arts of Society of Milton (FASM) held their annual Fall Studio Tour this past weekend (Sat. Oct. 5 and Sun. Oct 6, 2013). This was my first time taking part in the tour, and I had fun decorating the outside of my house to make it look festive. FASM had provided the balloons and signage, and I decided to add some seasonal ‘pop’ of colour to my front door. I found a great harvest-themed wreath for the front door at Michael’s, and then pumpkins and bright yellow mums at the Superstore. The weather could have been better, but at least it was only overcast and no longer raining.
FASM printed a large amount of coloured brochures with maps and a snapshot photo of the artist’s artwork and their contact info and website. There were 36 participating artists at 24 locations in Milton and the surrounding countryside. Since I was a new artist on the tour, I was hoping since I was close to downtown Milton, it would be easier for people to ‘drop in’ to see my studio.
When you step into my front hallway, you are greeted by photographs of Parisian gargoyles from Notre Dame Cathedral that were taken by my husband, Dave. We had climbed to the top of Notre Dame (some 400+ stairs) so Dave could get some lovely up-close shots of the gargoyles. Of course, being seven months pregnant at the time, I was less keen to hike to the top.
After coming in from the front hallway, the Open Studio for Lexi Reid Studio (stop #12 on the tour) was set up in my dining room. The night before, I took down all the artwork that was not mine and removed the dining chairs to open up the space.
I covered my glass top dining table with black tablecloths and set up all my small paintings, art pendants, cuff links, and art cards (made by monoprinting on a Gelli Arts plate). I set up my scrabble tile pendants on one side, and the domino pendants on the other.
Near the front hallway, I had set up an easel with one of my newest works, “Tidal Ice”. This helped to serve as a visual ‘teaser’ for the rest of the artworks in the dining room, plus act as a visual block and physical to the rest of the house (the one problem with open concept – it’s all open to view).
I hung its companion piece, “Indian Summer” over my sidebar with my small encaustic paintings on display. The Chinese lanterns (from Michael’s) in the vase coordinated perfect with the abstract painting – perfect autumn colours!
I moved my large acrylic abstract painting, “Whirlpool” to hang over my side table, and set up my display board against the back wall of the dining room. This meant you could see the artworks immediately when you walked into the house. The first day (Saturday) was the busiest for me with visitors.
In fact, my very first visitors were my best customers – they purchased my large square blue mosaic, “Thought & Memory – Blue Agate”, several pendants and a mini-encaustic painting. Later that day, my “Blue Dreams” and “Summer Melody” also went to new homes. It’s funny how artists can become very partial to some of their creations (their ‘babies’) and “Blue Dreams” was one of my special babies.
Sunday was quieter, plus the weather was extremely foggy most of the day. Most of my visitors came late in the afternoon, rushing to fit the last of the tour in. One of my visitors was interested in my cuff links and wanted to know if I did custom work. But, of course – anything is possible! She really liked my encaustic collage, “Remembrance” and wanted to put the image of it onto cuff links as Christmas presents. I love receiving commissions after an event is over – a nice bonus to all the hard work of hosting an Open Studio.