Artists’ Stories

There are some great stories from artists who have participated in Worcestershire Open Studios and what happened to them and their artwork as a result of taking part in previous years. Here are just a few of them.

Susan Birth – mixed media painter

sue birth at the coach house theatre“I first took part in open studios in 2018, I so enjoyed welcoming guests to my home studio and art display. Since then I’ve been involved in a range of other events including pop-up galleries and art markets and I’ve had a successful solo exhibition. To cap it all one of my paintings was selected from a record number of entries to appear in the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours 2019 Exhibition in London alongside paintings by some of Britain’s leading watercolour artists.

I like to convey my personal impressions of landscape and floral type images in my work with occasional forays into still life. I also love experimenting with new techniques and mixing up my media. This year my open studio visitors will be able to have a go at creating their own multicoloured/patterned/decorated/marbled/uniquely styled collage piece. I can’t wait!”

Anna Cumming – painter

Anna Cumming at work Worcestershire Open Studios“I have participated for the last two years and found it to be a brilliant experience for many reasons. The first year I took part in Worcestershire I put the signs out on Saturday morning, and thought, “What if no-one comes?”… Shortly after, a couple from West Malvern walked down the drive, and spent a long time looking at my paintings and chatting, and I relaxed and thought, ‘this might be fun after all!’ The sun shone all weekend, and visitors were cheerful and interested. Some wanted to discuss technique, which I was happy to do, and a surprising number bought my paintings.

Undoubtedly Worcestershire Open Studios has helped to raise my profile and given me a massive confidence boost.”

Trudi Foggo – mixed media

Worcestershire Open Studios“This year’s event is my third time participating. I thought year one was great, especially as I was paralysed with fear at the thought of doing it and then last year was absolutely brilliant and I had an exhibition at Elmslie House in Malvern as a result.”

Sue Haslam – printmaker

Worcestershire Open Studios“When redundancy from my job as a graphic designer loomed, I happened upon St. Peter’s Printmakers, in North Malvern, when visiting Worcestershire Open Studios. I admired the work on display and had a chat with some of the artists. Andrew Judd runs the group and gave me the information and encouragement to come along and try a session of printmaking and I’ve been happily cutting linos and printing ever since.

We’ve acquired some excellent equipment at St. Peter’s, through funding and through gifts, including presses and drying racks. More importantly, we’ve accumulated a lovely group of printmaking enthusiasts, whose hugely varied work is an inspiration to us all. I’ve enjoyed many Friday afternoons at St. Peter’s Church, drawing, cutting and printing – and when the muse has a holiday, I can always chat with the others and enjoy their work and a cuppa! For me, this is one of the best products of Worcestershire Open Studios – finding fellow artists to create with.”

Christopher Hughes – painter

Worcestershire Open Studios“My first open studios was 2018. It was brilliant for visits and sales, to promote my newly built garden studio and my new Upton upon Severn address. As a result I also applied for a role as an art tutor for Worcestershire County Council. I am now qualified and teaching all around the county.”

Cherrie Mansfield – painter

Worcestershire Open Studios“This is my fifth year. There have been so many benefits of being involved, not least meeting so many other talented local artists, learning from them and sharing ideas. It’s proved a great motivator for creating new work to share with lots of different people, some of whom have become clients. It’s also resulted in me showing my work in a pub and gaining confidence to enter and be shortlisted in national competitions.”

Sally Anne Morgan – painter and printmaker

Worcestershire Open Studios“I have taken part since its inception in 2015 and my art career and artwork have grown as a result. After the first event I started to run workshops at home in printing and was then asked to run workshops at a local gallery, who now hang my work. I have gathered a growing audience for my website, entered local and international print exhibitions and had my first solo exhibition in 2017. My style has developed year on year and I have also developed friendships through taking part and that has been one of the bonuses.”

Penny Vere – painter

Worcestershire Open Studios“It was a daunting prospect the first time I opened my house. But I was surprised how many people came, and the interesting conversations we had. To find that people actually liked my work, and to read the lovely remarks in my visitor’s book, was an amazing boost to my confidence. I can believe in myself as an artist and enjoy the work I do.”

Frans Wesselman – printmaker and stained glass artist

Worcestershire Open Studios“Worcestershire Open Studios is one of the few occasions in the year when I get to meet the public, it is good to get direct feedback, and it is sociable. As a result of taking part I have made friends in the area, I have sold work and got many interesting comments which have helped me developing new work.”