Stepping up

Stepping up to the plate is a baseball term and in essence means: Throw me that ball so that I can hit it for six!   baseball-player-clipart-tumundografico-2-baseball-player-clip-art-1000_823

Life has a way of throwing curve-balls at one. If you know anything about cricket, there are more ways to throw a ball than batsmen would like,  especially Shane Warne’s googly. the googlyWe are all batters or batsmen, constantly stopping those balls ending our innings.

Now that had absolutely nothing to do with art or artists! Just felt like having a bit of fun…

Sometimes that canvas sits on the easel and you look at it with suspicion; it could at any moment throw you a ball you were not expecting. It could go either way, causing you to have a brilliant end product or… binning it. I’ve had one on my easel now for the best part of five or six weeks which started off really well. Then came the ‘leave it for a bit’ period and let it talk to you. Well, this one spoke loud and clear and said it was all wrong. Scraped off lots of the oils in certain places and let it rest… and that’s where it still sits. I honestly feel like binning it, as the only way I could rescue the thing would be to use my electric sander and get rid of all the impasto oil paint – and start again. Time will tell…

The time I spent learning from Jerry Fresia at Lake Como in Italy resonates within when a painting doesn’t work. His lesson was simple: When you paint, become more of yourself. He was so right!    Jerry painting

This makes me wonder how I could wander so far away from myself when I painted that painting – or attempted to paint that painting! Where did I take the wrong turning? Time to retrace my steps and look again.

So it is with the creation of all art; we need to keep on track, stay focused and aim for self-satisfaction. There is nothing Narcissistic about that; you simply do what you were put on this earth for in the first place: to create. Reach for that place within that makes your Being sing with joy!

I guess that is one of the reasons – if not the main one – why we love doing what we do with Cyprus Open Studios. It is almost as good as going to an art gallery or museum, familiarising oneself with the work of the wonderful creators who live and work in Cyprus. We feel as if we are getting to know each one rather intimately when they share their reasons for creating their art, even though we have never met.

The good news is that we do have the opportunity to  meet these creators of beauty and joy – each October during Cyprus Open Studios month. We are still accepting registrations until the end of May!

More good news is that we will be hosting, in collaboration with Paphos2017, a one-day open studios event in Makarios Street in the old town, between the market and Kennedy Square.

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Several of the shops selling arts and crafts will also be participating, with artists working on the spot and ever ready to tell you more about their techniques, passions and inspirations. Pafos2017 will be creating a route map and COS will be in one of the shops currently awaiting a new tenant, where visitors will get a taste of what’s in store in October. We would love to see you there – watch the press for further details and we will also keep you updated on progress on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Last, but most certainly not least – in case you have not seen it before, COS actively assist artists to exhibit in London at prime venues. Six COS members tried their luck with the Royal Academy of Arts and, following on, can be seen at the Salon des Refuses venue in Islington from 1 June 2017.

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We are preparing to follow on to another venue later  – more information will follow once available.

Opportunities arise all the time and it is heart-warming when someone from abroad, planning a visit to Cyprus, contacts us to ask for information about workshops. That is where we want to be! It is not all about October; it is all about the entire year of your membership!

In closing, this quote from the Dalai Lama caught my eye: 

“The intelligent way to be selfish is to work for the welfare of others”

— The Dalai Lama

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Wishing you days of great creativity!

The COS Team

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DEADLINE EXTENDED!

Registration for participation in the Cyprus Open Studios event in October has been extended until

15 May 2016!

If you haven’t already registered, now is the time to get going – the website is

www.cyprusopenstudios.com

Click on MEMBERSHIP and complete the form. Please note that the fee scale varies with the number of participants working in one venue: a single artist pays €95,00 and it comes down by €5,00 for every extra participant up to 5 or more, €75,00 being the lowest. Just click on the drop down menu next to “Membership plan” to see the scale.

You may also pay offline if you don’t like using the internet for financial transactions. Simply click on “Cash/Cheque” under the Payment button and we will supply you with an alternative method.

You will receive a notification that your form has been sent and after that you will receive an email, asking you to attach your images. Don’t forget to tick the box(es) to show which weekend(s) you will be open to the public.

There is still misunderstanding regarding the purpose and process of opening one’s studio/workshop – or kitchen table – to the public. The sole purpose is not (necessarily) to sell your work; the aim is to engage with the public on your home ground and make the viewers understand better what artists and artisans actually do. We, the organisers, will do everything in our power to bring those visitors to you and your work. To better understand how others do it, please Google open studios in other countries, for instance look at the fabulous Surrey artists here :  and also this one:  The networking possibilities are endless when you are a member of an open studios organisation.

We still have a long way to go to before we are that brilliant but, believe me, we are working on it!

 

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COLOURS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN

When I went to Italy for lessons in Impressionism, Jerry Fresia, my tutor, used a palette of rainbow colours starting from the left with ultramarine blue and ending on the right with purple, covering all his chosen blues, greens, yellows, oranges and reds in between. Of course, white takes centre stage as it mixes with almost everything. Never use black! He teaches at Lake Como in Italy and his palette is perfect for the colours you see there.

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However, around the Med the colours seem to be more vibrant; not that his aren’t – they are just different. On the Med, we are influenced by the spicy colours of North Arica, the ochres and burnt orange, limestone and burnt sienna, mixed with azure blues of all hues of the Middle East, and verdant greens and colourful coastlines of southern Europe. It makes for a heady mix!

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I have come to the conclusion that Jerry is absolutely correct in that it is well-nigh impossible to put these colours on a painting surface using photographic images; you need to paint en plein air to do justice to Nature. One other thing I learned from Jerry was that one should never ‘paint like’ someone else; by all means use the role model’s methods, but paint like YOU. There is only one of you and you are unique; no one else in the Universe can do it quite like you. He said: “When you paint, you enter the zone where you do not see objects – you see shapes and colours. When you paint, you become more of who you are.” And that goes for any creative process, be it painting or sculpture or wood carving or whatever means you choose to express yourself in.

Now here’s the thing. All over the world there are people who cannot do what you do, the way you do it. Those people are interested in seeing the magic happening in front of their eyes. Yes, it comes back to that: an open studio is where you invite the world in to see how you make your magic. It’s like a visit to the circus or a magic show where things appear and disappear in puffs of smoke and people do amazing tricks. Do you remember how enchanted you were watching that? That’s what the visitor comes to look for in your studio! Magic!

Let’s give it to them – make them happy. In the process, you will be a much happier person as well.

 

For further information or any questions, please make contact on info@cyprusopenstudios.com, Facebook’s Cyprus Open Studios or give us a tweet or two on @COS_Promotor – we are here for you!

Remember, 15 May will come around in a flash – register now!