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WASPS Open Day - Irvine | Scottish Landscape Art - Scottish Landscape Paintings

Open Doors

WASP Art Studio - Irvine, AyrshireWhen I moved to the Courtyard Studios in Irvine some 5 or 6 years ago, I took the decision to have my door always ‘open’ so that anyone could wander in and see the work I was doing.  Now, as you may imagine this caused a few raised eye-brows, ‘why do you want people coming in and disturbing you?’ ‘What’s the point?’

The reasons are two fold.  Firstly, I have over the years had a couple of studios in commercial building….and these cost an arm and a leg.  The Courtyard Studios on the other hand are run by WASPS, (Workshop and studio provision Scotland) and they are the most remarkable studios you could ever wish to be working in.  WASPS have studio buildings throughout the whole of Scotland ….some, as in Glasgow and Edinburgh, are large complexes with many studios, other like the Courtyard are more modest (we have around 15 spaces).  They even have one studio up in the northern isles.  What’s so impressive though is that the rents are very reasonable, and once you’ve paid your monthly rent ….there’s no other cost, no rates, no heating or lighting costs.  And so as you can imagine, they’re very sought after.

The second reason for having my door open throughout the year is that I get such a great deal, I feel that my work should be accessible to anyone who wants to visit,.

Of course, you do get interruptions and sometimes it’s just at a vital point in the painting or when the painting you’re doing is sh…!  But it’s not a problem and it’s much more often a really enjoyable, informative and worthwhile experience …you never know quite who may call in to see you …and every now and again someone comes in and buys a painting.  I just feel it’s so important that folk can come in and see work in progress, see the process behind the finished article …it’s not that great a secret.

Anyway, taking this to a different level, each year WASPS studios hold an Open Studios Weekend.  This is taking place this coming weekend Sat / Sun 3rd / 4th Oct.  In Irvine we have 10 or 11 artists taking part and opening their doors to the public.  Apart from anything else, it gives us all a good excuse to clean and tidy our studios.  We put up a fine display of work that’s there for people to view, admire, criticise or buy.  Each year we have something in the region of 200 – 300 visitors to the Open Weekend event in Irvine and it generate a lot of sales, interest and occasional commissions.  It’s a great opportunity to see the wide variety of work being done in Irvine and helps to put us on the map.  Indeed, many people who find us for the first time on one of our annual Open Weekends then return more regularly through out the year.  If you haven’t been to a WASPS open weekend before, check out your nearest studios.  Details at the WASPS website.



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