I can't believe how fast this year has gone. Tomorrow is the start of September, which means that North East Open Studios (NEOS) is about to begin again! This year, 229 artists and makers will be opening the doors of their studios, living rooms, sheds, garages and village halls to show the public what they do.
There will be woodworkers, jewellers, painters, sculptors, glassmakers, ceramicists and textile artists taking part. Not to mention a number of photographers, mixed media artists and even some multimedia folk. I'm opening the doors again to the cabin in my back garden. I'm looking forward to meeting new folk and refreshing existing friendships and contacts. Every year, after NEOS, I remind myself how good it is to have contact with people, and promise myself I will get out and about more in the future. Sometimes it happens, sometimes not.
Today has been put to good use, tidying and hoovering and generally trying to make the place a bit more visitor-friendly. I know the place can look "arty", but I don't think that should include cobwebs and bits of dried leaves and the odd dead millipede on the floor. It's a work in progress. It will be tidy by next Saturday. I am convinced of it. There might even be some paintings on the walls. ;)
Instead of posting photographs of an untidy shed, the photos above are of a couple of paintings (the Hydrangea is a work in progress) I did on Friday evening at a wonderful workshop with Sofia Perina-Miller, a Russian artist based in Helensburgh. She paints, among other things, fantastic watercolour paintings of flowers and plants, all beautifully drawn into afterwards to create a very fine finished work of art. It was fascinating to learn a different way of working with watercolour. I ordered some of the paints we used at the workshop this morning - can't wait to have another go. Once the shed has been organised, of course.