Open Studio is Online Only and Starts Nov 3rd at 10 am
Below is a history of how this show started for me, and I wanted to thank everyone who has brought my work over the years. I don't think it is fashionable for artists to be grateful to people who put down hard earned money for their work, but I am. I have worked hard in my life and know what a total luxury art is. I also know it is important and key to those of us who feel like we can't live without it, but that does not make me any less thrilled and flattered when someone buys a piece and takes it into their home. Couches and curtains will come and go but a good piece of artwork you will have forever and then your kids will have it. I really appreciate all the support. Truly- Thanks.
Many of you are familiar with my Open Studio concept that was started way back in 1996, in the Fan area of Richmond, Virginia SO MANY YEARS AGO! When your job is being an oil painter starting out you do just about anything to just pay your rent so that was my main motivation. So, while I was not trying to do anything crazy, I just had to try to make some money to avoid yet another bad day job (I was no good at ) and/or more bartending/waitressing shifts. This time, as in many other cases, necessity was the mother of invention. Selling artwork myself, at my own house and with only myself to blame if I failed should have been terrifying, but I had something wonderful on my side: pure ignorance and no fear of failure and a lot of super great local Richmond people who climbed the stairs to this random event and have come every year since. I have never been one to believe failure comes from not being able to sell a painting, feeling instead that failure comes from not painting the painting to begin with. In other words, If you do it, I feel like you have done your part and what happens to it afterward doesn't determine failure or success. However, the reality for artists is you have to sell art to complete the cycle. To make money to continue to make artwork, you simply have to sell it.
The reality of being a professional artist is you have to work and paint many hours to get any better (maybe even 10,000 hours, Malcolm Gladwell would say) and continue to paint that much to stay on top of your game. So painting A LOT of PAINTINGS is how you get better and continue to grow. Sounds familiar doesn't it? Turns out being an artist is like being good at anything. Practice makes perfect and all of that. The good news is the result of all that work is even if you are selling loads of work every year and doing a great job at it, you will always have more work than you can handle and in my opinion, it should be a decent amount. Trust me. If you paint 100+ paintings a year while holding down a weekend bar tending job and a full time graphic design one, or having 3 kids in 6 years, you learn. And then you have to raise the 3 kids and suddenly painting 100 paintings is the easy part, but I digress...
So, the Open Studio was born. And then ONLINE ONLY! Two years ago I opted to try an open studio only online. I did this for several reasons. I think shopping online has become part of our lives. Being able to shop at your own home, or sitting at work, or on the subway or while the baby naps has become part of our expectation. We are busy and our computers are filling some of our retail therapy. I also was not feeling well and just, to be honest, that along with everything else overwhelmed me and either I was going to not have a show at all or just try online. So I got to work and I trained myself to build this website, photo my art and stage my art and it is not at all any easier but it worked. Late nights on the computer were do-able but having a full blown event felt like too much that year. The great thing was once I tried it I realized it was the right time to do this. People told me over and over how they just could not get to this show, conflicts and life would get in the way and the convenience factor was suddenly there. And for people not local to Richmond it was the first time to be able to actually seeand buy work that had not been shown before. I have been shying away form showing in Galleries for one reason only and that is scheduling. Most galleries schedule their shows well in advance, a year or two sometimes, and with three kids, it became harder and harder for me to just drop all my parenting responsibilities (which is what happens when I have a show-over achiever) and commit to a date that I was certain would fall exactly when it was Prom Night or Parents Weekend and for anyone with kids, you get the drift. It just was a luxury I had to step away from for a while. Galleries are amazing places and absolutely important for all of us artists and they need to be supported, so please go to your local ones and see what they have! When it gets a little bit more about me, I will be back. But for now, it is here, online. Happy Shopping. I hope you find something you love! XO Laura