Not a lot of painting seems to get done in the summer unless it's the porch steps. I can't say I've done much painting since the end of May (not even the porch steps, which Lorraine did last week), but that does not mean I've been slacking off with my art work. The work this summer has revolved around my participation in the Nanoose Bay Studio Tour, organized with 15 local studios for the first time this year.
My studio, pictured below, is on the upper floor of the boat house at the bottom of our property, 75 daunting steps down from the house, which is an even more daunting 75 steps up from the Boat House Studio. What comes down must go back up. I needed to install both directional and encouragement signs to coax visitors down there.
Taking advantage of the incredibly great summer weather we have had, I chose to set up most of my display of product under the gazebo on the lawn beside the studio. Although the view is already spectacular, to make the stair trek even more scenic, I planted a palm tree and a banana tree in strategic locations, and Lorraine had a driftwood bench, itself a work of art, installed on the landing halfway back up the stairs for visitors to catch their breath. Factor in the cost of the appropriate liability insurance I had to secure, and you can imagine I'll have to sell one pile of art to recover the cost of all this.
Opening day I had about 30 visitors, and that was very encouraging. Since then the weekend traffic has ranged from none to as many as 10 in one day (welcome to retail), but I firmly believe it will take time for this concept to catch on and become ingrained in the minds of the local populace as a way to shop and entertain their visitors. I am trying to ensure that my studio is open at least one day of every weekend (11 am to 4 pm), and when I'm down there painting anyway I can be open the entire time because I not only don't mind visitors while I'm working, but rather enjoy the company. So, if you are in the Oceanside area on Vancouver Island, pick up a "Tour" brochure from any of several locations, including the Parksville Visitor Centre and the major resorts, and come up (I mean, down) and see me sometime.
Posted by Peter Kiidumae at 10:39