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Open the door to creativity
Encaustic wax artist Phil Madley from Tring employs an iron and a paint stripper to create his abstract works, while Paula Watkins, one of the artists at the Paper Trail reinvents books and embellishes photographs using collage and stitching. Therein lies the beauty of Herts Open Studios. Each artist is different – sometimes in process and technique but always in terms of ideas and personal expression.
The event, which this year runs from September 8-30, showcases all artistic mediums from painters practising in oil, acrylic and watercolour, to ceramics, jewellery, photography – both digital and film; glass artists, sculptors and engravers, calligraphy to graffiti artists, printmakers, textiles and fashion creators.
“This year, more than 160 local talented artists and designer-makers are waiting to greet you when you visit them in their studios and workshops,“ comments project manager Linda Warminger. “Herts Open Studios offers three glorious weeks of art right on your doorstep.“
Not only can you marvel at the diversity on offer but visitors also get the perfect opportunity to see art in the making and learn from the enthusiasm and vision of the artists at work. Quite a few have chosen to share studio space this year. Paula has chosen to display her mixed media creations at the Paper Trail in Frogmore Paper Mill alongside paper pulp painter Angela Paola Rossi and printmakers Janet Nadimi and Beverley Paterson. At Mudlarks in Sarratt Patricia Peddle’s ceramic animal sculptures and water features are on display with Tracy Ford’s textured, folded bowls.
Jan and Gerry Langton at Oxhey Road Studio are exhibiting with fellow painter Ken Haslar and ceramicist Judy Haggar, while at the Sunlight Studio in St Albans Road, Sarah How’s semi-abstract paintings and photographs inspired by British coastline and countryside share studio space with painter Kay Horsfield and ceramicist Patsy Geraghty. At The Stables Studio in Hemel, you can witness a range of techniques from mixed media and abstracts to oil painting and printmaking. The approach is even more all encompassing at West Herts College where both students and staff across all art disciplines will be showcasing their work.
The use of computer graphics has experienced a marked rise this year. To Kings Langley graphic artist and printmaker Will Maier and St Albans photographer Catherine Gearing, these methods may be second nature, but increasingly they are appearing in the works of more traditional painters as well.
New to Open Studios this year is Suzy Taylor in Oxhey, who recently exhibited in Rickmansworth with Artistsmeet. A paper cutting artist, Suzy is very proud to reveal that she has been asked to
create the poster of this year’s Lord Mayor’s show – all is very top secret and she can’t give anything away about the final image that she will be creating, but what she can tell and show you is
the technique of this very unusual art form.
“During the Open Studios I will be working on various private commissions and also pieces for my stand at the Windsor Contemporary Art Fair in November where I’ll be exhibiting for the third year,“ comments Suzy.
Herts Open Studios runs from 8-30 September. Pick up a brochure from your local gallery, library or tourist information office. Details: hvaf.org.uk