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My best open studio

The best open studio for artists is the one where they sell a lot of work. I mean, really, what else would qualify? Maybe having Person Famous in the 1970s come through the door and respond very positively to a series of etchings (actually happened). (Although he also left without buying anything, so...)

But I would say that one of the best open studios (the second best one, perhaps) was the one where I premiered a six minute stop motion animation film. Here in fact is a clip from that film:

I worked on it for six months in 2013. It was the first thing I completed in my new studio in the Cornelia Arts Building. I felt the need to explore subject matter and imagery related to my childhood in an English mining town, but in a medium other than painting or printmaking. A medium where you could tell more of a story, a continuous narrative as opposed to a static moment.

I was pleased with the film, and invited people to come and see it for the first time in an open studio at the beginning of 2014. A group of people came along and gathered in front of the monitor I installed on one wall especially for this "premiere." The guests were old friends, new friends, strangers walking through for the open studio, and artists from the Chicago community whom I deeply respect.

The response was very positive, which was gratifying. But more important was the good feeling and positive feedback from my artistic peers. That's something that money really cannot buy.

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