come in or not

philadelphia open studios

Visitors looking at work in my open studio. It’s really interesting how this all works. If I sit or stand in my studio waiting for visitors to arrive they look in and pass by… but if I step away, maybe visit another artist in the hallway — people wander in.

I tested this numerous times throughout the weekend.

Sometimes I sat in the studio and a passerby would stick their head in the doorway. Some wouldn’t even break the plane of the space in the doorway. If I waved them in they would walk on by. What was this moment of indecision all about? Did they feel as uncomfortable as I did? Did they want to look at my work without me there? Did they want to talk about the work and not have me overhear?

In this image, which I took while standing outside the studio, people seemed quite comfortable wandering around the space and looking at the work. The only thing I could do was disappear. Then they weren’t concerned in any way. This isn’t to say that people didn’t ask me questions about the work. There were many folks that thought my drawings were prints. Several asked about how I actually made the different marks. Many were intrigued by the techniques used.

Adirondack lakeside retreat

plein air drawing

We have been back from our vacation in the woods for almost two weeks now. The pace of life has changed and this is the first time I have had to write about the trip.

Each morning began with a simple ritual. Sleepy eyed and rumpled I put the the kettle on the stove to make the coffee. While waiting for the water to boil and after the obligitory trip to the outhouse was made I would assemble my drawing materials on the deck positioning for a new view each day. By the time the coffee was ready the sun offered enough light to consider making a drawing. The plein air experience created a whole new set of marks and approach that I hadn’t tried before. It yielded different shapes and textures. It was a fabulous experience to make drawings outside. Much has to be considered to create a workspace that allows for spontaneity and order. The image above is a typical set up for the nearly two dozen drawings I was able to make.