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.
Dora Williams – painter
“I first took part in Worcestershire Open Studios in 2015. During the weekend I met a considerable amount of new people. It was a great experience for me as I enjoyed the interaction with visitors and talking about working processes and art in general. One of my visitors was music composer Liz Johnson. She lives in Colwall and bought a triptych called ‘Scarred Series’. I felt very honoured when Liz told me that she would compose some music based on the painting.
A year later, in 2016, the painting became the focus of a set of pieces for Baroque instruments. The first of these, Triptych I, is was first performed at the Elmslie House by Lucy Russell during the Autumn Malvern Art Festival.
A new project in 2017 saw Liz and myself researching the differences and similarities in the creative processes used in visual art and music composition and how these processes can influence each other. During the collaboration, Liz’s composition for the ‘Colwall Requiem for Aleppo’ influenced my work, migration and displacement a connection deeply felt by me, being a migrant myself. The artwork and music are currently been exhibited. Another of my paintings, ‘In Pursuit of Happiness’ was chosen for the cover of Liz Johnson’s ‘Intricate Web’ double CD.
Participating in Worcestershire Open Studio has brought me unexpected creative opportunities and collaborating with Liz has opened new avenues in my career and inspired my work. You never know who might walk through your open studio door!”
Francesca Currie – painter
“I took part in Worcestershire Open Studios in 2016. It was incredibly exciting. We had more than 150 people come through our doors and this led to some invaluable contacts for the following year.
As well as selling work, I gained an important painting commission and had the opportunity to connect with other artists, who I may not have met otherwise. The Bishop of Worcester was one of the visitors and earlier this year I had the honour of painting his official portrait. Open studios gives visitors an opportunity to see the artist in their habitat. I can’t wait to participate again this year.”
Sue Haslam – printmaker
“When redundancy from my job as a graphic designer loomed, I began looking for other artistic avenues to follow, particularly printmaking. I’d enjoyed it at art college years earlier, but had little time to pursue it.
I happened upon St. Peter’s Printmakers, in North Malvern, when visiting Worcestershire Open Studios, 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 that September. 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.”
Penny Vere – painter
“I took part in Worcestershire Open Studios for the first time in 2016 and found it to be a brilliant experience. It was great to welcome so many visitors to my home, to have time to talk about art and much more besides. Visitors were able to wander through much of the house, which became a gallery for the weekend. Tea coffee and soft drinks were provided. Looking back on the weekend, it felt like a three-day party……..enjoyable, if slightly exhausting!”