Tag Archives: Open Studios

A Window of Opportunity

Walking for exercise is all very well, but walking for a purpose appeals more to some people. The Easter Art Walk 2 – 5th April achieved both, with walking for pleasure thrown in. Plumstead Open Studios involves quite a lot of effort for those who take part. With current restrictions precluding visitors in the house, but 6 people being allowed to meet outside, Plumstead became an ‘open air studio’ instead. 35 local artists used their windows to display a selection of their work. Tidying the front garden and cleaning the windows involves less work than preparing for Open Studios!

Based on the map made available shortly before the launch, the Art Walk seemed to split naturally into two sections – from Lower Plumstead up to the far end of Swingate Lane to include the Common, and the other section to encompass Shooters Hill. Both are substantial walks, with hills to climb. By the time everyone had bumped into everyone else and enjoyed a decent chat, a couple of hours had gone.

As a bonus, Saturday saw a series of hourly alphorn recitals by Anneke Scott. The alphorn is a magnificent beast, rarely seen or heard in the UK. You can find out more about this instrument here, and the following video is of the alphorn being played in a local park – not far from where Kate Bush grew up.

Waxing Lyrical about Watercolours

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A chance to mass-produce Christmas cards

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All similar but all different

The theme for the last watercolour session of the year at St Marks during the Plumstead Community Market was how to capture winter scenes. It was a particularly well-attended session with just enough room for everyone who came. There was a selection of suitably snowy pictures for the benefit of anyone who hadn’t brought their own to work from. Several people used candles to create a wax resist while others used masking fluid as they had been taught several workshops ago. Luckily for us, the heating was working more effectively than in the main hall with the consequence that everyone who came into the room exclaimed at how warm it was.

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Andrew showed how he had produced his Christmas card for this year by basing his composition on a standard landscape scene and then imagining it covered in snow, inventing the colours. Usually there is an air of intense concentration but as it was the last class of the year a more lighthearted atmosphere prevailed with a bit more good-natured chatter than usual. In spite of this a number of accomplished paintings were produced. Now that most regular attendees have built up a body of work, the idea of participating in the Open Studios during Plumstravaganza was mooted.

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Not a woodcut, but a watercolour, showing the source material

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Based on another picture, but with new colours imagined

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A relaxed atmosphere at the last watercolour class of 2018

With half an hour to go before the end of the market, homemade spicy apple cookies, shortbread and a selection of chocolates were produced, all washed down with a bottle of sherry and a bottle of port for the benefit of anyone who fancied a festive drink. A couple of regulars who hadn’t been able to participate this time also dropped by and socialised, before we all packed up and went home in the perishing cold and rain.

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A Maxfield Parrish moment, but not based on one of his pictures!

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Local street scene after rain, working from mobile phone

Plumstravaganza – Open Studios

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The final weekend of Plumstravaganza allowed local residents and visitors to see artists’ work in their own homes. This is the very first time Open Studios has taken place in Plumstead, but it has been in the pipeline for a number of years.

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The idea is to pick up a leaflet, then visit the houses in turn. Naturally, not all the work will be to everyone’s taste, but that is not the point. It is a social occasion as much as a chance for the artists to showcase their creativity.

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Feedback was very positive; from the artists, who were pleased to receive visitors to see their work, and the public, who couldn’t believe Open Studios was taking place in Plumstead. Now that Open Studios has happened, there is every chance that additional artists will consider being part of future similar events.

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