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Great Experience @ Open Studios 2019

My inspiring experiences at Arches Southampton, Open Studios – 2019

I have been a resident artist at the Arches studios for 3 years and yet this was my first open studios experience. Every year to date I have been committed to other projects, so this year worked out very well for me. I was unsure how the whole event would go so I thought I would add more stress and difficulty to the event by doing a live portrait painting. As if talking to everyone and playing my small role in making the event a success wasn’t enough.

My inspiring experiences at Arches Southampton, Open Studios – 2019
Mike Jewson – Sitting during Live Painting Demonstration Arches Open Studios 2019

But as it is said, nothing ventured nothing gained, and at the chime of 11am Saturday morning I began as the crowds descended. I was a bit nervous as not only did I have a new model I hadn’t worked with before, I was also very conscious of the public scrutiny. My usual way of dealing with this situation is to stick my earphones in and retreat into my own world of thought and creative decisions. This was not to be, and I had to face the challenge head on. The first few hours progressed really quickly with lots of talking and distractions and I manged to get the basic structure of the portrait in. My model Mike was excellent and very patient which made me feel a lot calmer as I didn’t feel the need to speed up.  By the end of the first day I was questioned out and mentally drained but felt very happy with how the day had progressed and surprised myself in the process at what I had achieved.

Finished Study from the two day event Arches Studios 2019
The finished Oil Study from Arches Open Studios -2019

Day two I was really fortunate that Mike could sit for me again (he must be a bit mad!). However, day two was a lot more relaxed as I knew what to expect and could prepare a bit better for it mentally.  Interspersed with much conversation the portrait progressed fairly well and I decided by way of saying thank you, I would gift it to Mike for an excellent job at modelling. 3pm arrived rapidly with the portrait in an acceptable state I called it a day. I didn’t want to progress it further as I thought it captured my creativity during the event with all the different influences of the two days. I shook Mike’s hand and proceeded to clean up. Once I got home, I felt totally exhausted from the event and challenge, but found out a little more about myself in the process. 

My inspiring experiences at Arches Southampton, Open Studios – 2019