Doing the Open Studio

For those who don’t know, apparently October is the Open Studio month in the art world. This is the time when large groups of artists in various cities open up their studios for people to come around and see the “grit” or art making, as well as hopefully buy something.
One of the first cities where I checked this out was up in Chico. Their studio tours took place over a couple of weekends this month, as well as in the neighboring towns of Oroville (my hometown) and Paradise (a deceptively blissful, yet wholly inaccurate town name.) Overall, I was quite impressed with the tour and enjoyed it a great deal. Sure, there were your part time soccer mom artists on it whose work wasn’t the greatest, but there were also a lot of genuine artists as well. There were people who were much more interested in the craft than the being of artistry if that makes sense.
This was something of a contrast to San Francisco where the studio tours seemed to bring out much more of a “scene” group of people. The number of artists that I truly respected the work of were quite few. There seemed to be a suspicious amount of Art Academy students who had learned the basics of technique, but had no clue how to actually make something that was interesting.
There were some highlights in the group like Hilary Williams (a print and doll maker) and Paul Madonna (graphic artist I suppose is the best description.) Paul is rather well known in the city and his studio, which was actually his apartment, was freakin’ flooded with people to the point where it was hard to walk around in. It was there that I finally saw the bored housewife in a track outfit with painted toenails that I know so well from my days growing up with artist parents. Paul showed himself to be a good professional by giving her a lot of “Mmm hmm” and “Right, of course” as she was annoyingly hogging him to ask about a commissioned work. Maybe she ended up following through, but I seriously, seriously doubt it. These groupies are trouble.
At any rate, these studio tours are very cool and a lot of fun. Whether you’re unable to draw a smiling sun with a crayon or able to paint like Van Gogh, I think that they’re something anyone can get something out of. Of yeah and there’s the art buying. I way, way, overspent.
Doing the Open Studio