Open Studio Pictures and a little Rant


Open Studio Pictures and a Little Rant


Despite popular belief, doing what you love is not ALWAYS fun. Yes when you are in the “zone” creating and coming up with new ideas, great! But sometimes “the voices” come back. They say things like, “what are you doing!!” and “this is obviously not working!!” and “you spent two weeks preparing for your open studio, where the £$%#! are all the people??”



So last weekend was my second experience of an open studio. Being part of quite a large group of artists (over 240) I expected the event to be huge, with lots of people coming in from all over London. Well, there were quite a number of people but because my studio is in a little cranny of unit 4 (we have 7 units) and despite my new white table cloth, wine and treats, not many people walked past my door, never mind came inside. Those that did walk past needed to be coerced  inside and I didn’t seem to be too good at coercing ;P


Eventually I put signs up on both my doors saying “please come in!”, thinking that obviously my wide open doors were not welcoming enough. Alas, even with the signs people were still hesitant to come in and have a look (did they not come there to look at art?). So I’m left a bit disappointed with the experience but also I think, a little wiser with what works and what doesn’t work in terms of turning what is essentially a private working space, into a public exhibiting space.


It is a nice thing to be a part of an open studio event and the most exciting thing about it was the artists I got to meet. I was a bit shy at first to meet other artists but it turns out all the ones I met were friendly, relaxed and very nice;) So that was the highlight for me. It was also a good chance to practice talking about my work with strangers:)



So my next goal is to search London for an awesomely cool yet reasonably priced exhibition space (a challenge in itself), maybe a group show space where I can exhibit my work. I feel that after I finish a couple more paintings I will be able to chose the best pieces and get myself out there!


At least in an exhibition setting people know it’s a gallery and that they are welcome inside. Maybe an open studio space feels too personal for visitors, not wanting to “intrude” ? Anyway, so I have had a little rant, I am sure some artists do really well at open studios, as for me, I think I am just still learning ;P



Here is a panorama of my studio with everything hung, I thought it looked great! In fact seeing everything come together was more exciting than the actual event!

artists studio, jessica ballantyne artist, panarama of artist studio

And here are some close ups:



artists studio, jessica ballantyne artist, panarama of artist studio

This was the first wall, with the painting I am currently working on, as well as the three lino cuts I have been playing with below it. Next to that is something very different from the rest of my work where I actually made monotypes of my breasts on circular paper, which I then varnished on to a painted canvas. I quite like that piece 🙂


artists studio, jessica ballantyne artist, panarama of artist studio

On the second wall in the corner I have a large 2.4 meter drawing done with pencil on wallpaper, next to that is a triptych in progress where I am focusing on subjective angles and views of the body. Next to the pink soft paintings are the first two paintings I did in the studio, the first is Carrion Wake up (see the making of here) and Foot Fetish#1.


So that is what my studio looked like for the weekend, If anyone is interested in a private viewing, I will be having one in the next few weeks (dates are still to be decided). Please sign up to my news letter (top right) so that I can keep you informed:)






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