August Open Studio Tour, August 19-20.

As I write, I am preparing for the season’s second South Coast Artists Open Studio Tour, August edition, to be held this weekend. Tents and banners, straighten up the studio, label the art, trim the grass.. it’s a lot of work. I’m even making lavender lemonade. This is a marketing event, with many artists hoping to find collectors. Artists Need Collectors! Yet it is really about finding my people, some who may buy now (before it’s gone) and those who follow, perhaps one day to own an original of mine.

Queen Lime Zinnia, oil on panel, 2023. 6×6 in.

It’s people for whom my paintings resonate who assure me that I paint pictures not merely for myself, but also for the others. My people.

Long ago, I found my life long people at the Swain School of Design. I had the smallest inkling then that Swain would be a friendly place, and no idea that it would mean altogether more than that to me. I fully formed as an artist there and by the end of four years at Swain, I knew people who since have always resided in my artist’s mind, the people of whom I think when I wrap up a painting. I first look at my work and ask the question, “Is it good enough for me?” I then ask myself, “Is it good enough for them?” My teachers, comrades and peers, my Swain people.

Greet the chickens of Fogland Ferry Farm, then into the studio!

So presently, I am still talking to and meeting with my people among a wider audience of those who look at art and come to studios to see good stuff and the places where it is made. It helps me find new people, the widening group who come to see my studio. It is a solid week to prepare, open and clean up. And I have a buzz afterwards because, in addition to (hopefully) paying the rent of my Fogland studio, I get to see my people. That is a very excellent buzz.