Warwickshire Open Studios – Giving and Receiving

I’ve approached my first year at Warwickshire Open Studios with intense anticipation, partly because I’ve been preparing artworks and prints for it months beforehand, partly because I was looking forward to diving in those light hours of creating surrounded by wonderful arts and crafts and seeing new and familiar souls looking to immerse themselves in the magic behind the scenes. I am also totally overwhelmed with the opportunity I was given to exhibit at Leamington Art Gallery on 17th June and the upcoming 8th July.



The first demonstrating day – 16th June – I set up my wall with prints at Lott Bazaar – and spent the day working on a new painting. Currently there on exhibit until 30th June you can find my limited edition prints of ‘Ode To The Apple Eaters‘, ‘Nyx‘, ‘The Fairy and The Lighting Bugs‘, ‘Phantasm‘ and ‘Soul Sisters‘. I’ve also created a number of miniature paintings – a moth, a bunch of black cats, a night scene and a sepia. I’ve also completed a mini painting of a mermaid with a red fish titled ‘It’s just a fish’ and it’s now on display at the front window.

It started relatively quiet but with some lovely surprise visits from friends. I was quite nervous on that Saturday as on Sunday there was another set up at the Leamintgon Art Gallery. I was pleasantly surprised by the new set up in the gallery – the space that has been specially created for artists and for the kids to get creative. It was wonderful to see so  many people living locally who were visiting the arts trail of Warwickshire Open Studios. Then around lunchtime (at such events my meals consist mainly of chocolate cookies haha) Grace Newman: a friend, artist and the founder of UK Artists, showed up and brought me life-saving espresso. I had some weird and wonderful conversations on that day and couple of kids that watched me paint and shared creative experience. They were quite impressed by the small size of some of my brushes, there was a fan of dragons and a little girl who really liked dark art, she said ‘the stranger, the better’. There couldn’t have been a better end to the event as I saw an old friend who came out of the blue and ordered one of my drawings  – ‘Hidden Depths’ – which was not on display but which is a perfect match to a previous drawing he had – ‘Deep Waters’. Both mermaids soon will be levelled on a wall looking at the deep blue ocean, couldn’t have thought of a better home for them!

Yesterday was an eventful day too. I had a visit by a lovely couple who’ve seen my art at ‘Art in The Park‘ festival and came specially to see my new artworks at Open Studios. We had a chat about mermaids, fish, bold colours and childhood memories. Later in the day a little boy and his dad came in. The boy was really interested to see my paintings, turns out he’s also into using bright colours and has regular shopping sessions at ‘The Works’ for his own creations. He was delighted to learn I’m from Bulgaria because apparently his favourite Bollywood movie has been shot there and the main actress who gets kidnapped by the mafia is also Bulgarian. So he keeps on asking his dad to take him for a holiday there, haha

It was the first day of the Leamington Canal Boat festival and had a little wonder round during my lunch break. Some of the arts and crafts of the people there were fascinating! My favourite were the leaded glassware and mirrors, as well as the fused glass jewellery. In the afternoon at Lott I met Kevin Parrish who paints in oil mysterious Warwickshire town-scapes and midnight trains. He seemed intrigued to try out honey watercolours.

One of the sides of Warwickshire Open studios I love most is that you discover the works of fellow-artists. I do believe that art is about giving. It enriches your soul with colour, texture and meaning. During the last couple of weeks I came across Emma Gluyas Art – felting art, Charlie Fowles oil paintings, and Nicola Richards ceramics. Each of them have brought different emotion and shape to my life. Have you discovered other creators recently? What is that you like about them?

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