And as many locals will know this is the first week of North East Open Studios or NEOS! (http://www.northeastopenstudios.co.uk/neos/index.php#.Ui-NPODR2lI)
NEOS is a big event for artists and art lovers in and around this rather beautiful if cold part of Scotland (excluding this rather wonderful summer we've just had). I can't be the only person who looks forward to this brilliant event that brings sparkle and colour to the North East.
Having just Graduated after 4 years of art school I'm now revelling in having free time, or at least I was until I realised that I'm now busier than I ever was in my stressful last year of studies. Trying to build up a steady trade and a portfolio of saleable works is exhausting (stay tuned for photos of my latest beautiful Mokuhanga prints). But given that the Open Studios can be written off as valuable experience I'm taking fulll advantage!
The main advanges of NEOS are that you can go to studios that aren't normally open to the public and have a proper nosey about and you can also attend special workshops held by artists working locally enabling you to gain new knowledge and make great new contacts.
Today I went to a brilliant workshop with the local artist and illustrator Gabrielle Reith (http://www.g-r-a.co.uk/small/) which was held at Oriel Studio just out side of Westhill. She does the most beautiful ink drawings as well as a wide range of wonderfully quirky and unique items including hand made broaches, (great for birthday or christmas presents!)
In the Small Stories Workshop we were given the opportunity to make our own versions of these beautiful broaches and then write a small story on the back of the piece. I took my friends Lucinda and Sophie with me and we had a brilliant day, what was meant to be 2 hours quickly became 5 (we'll blame the Brilliant Sophie for this as she is a stickler for perfection). we each came away with truly unique pieces and a great experience!
If you are in the North East of Sunny Scotland I highly recommend going out and seeing some galleries and studios, even if your not that into art, if you choose wisely in where you go you'll come away inspired and with a memorable experience.
Defiantly go to the Oriel Studio if you can!
Here is it's address:
01224 743 575