I headed for the hills at the end of last month for the Dandenong Ranges Open Studio weekend. Artists across the ranges opened their studios and homes to the public. It was so exiting to meet the different artists and get a tiny peek into their world. Jewellers, bookbinders, sculptors, painters, dyers and more had opened their studios and their hearts.
Each artist participating in the Open Studios weekend submitted an artwork for an exhibition at Burrinja Cultural Centre in Upwey. The quality of all the work was incredible and there was a wide range of styles on display. Next year I'll definitely be visiting the exhibition before the weekend to check out the works on offer and then plan which studios to visit.
It was delightful to catch up with artist Jacqui Grace of Beautiful Wasteland Create. She makes stunning eco-dyed silk and merino clothing. I fell completely love with her dedicated studio space at Burrinja. A studio of my own is now on my wish list! I also visited Nadia Turner, an artist who I have been following on Instagram. I love her pictures of fey folk. They look like they've just stepped out of a wonderful world filled with fantasy and adventure. I wish I could step into one of her pictures and join them on their adventures.
A highlight of the day was spending a couple of hours in the beautiful home of artist Susie Parry as she gave a demonstration in botanical watercolours. Spending so much time in nature lately has made me curious about capturing it on paper, not just on my camera. Botanical illustrations are so beautiful, it would be wonderful to be able to do them myself. Suzy made it look all too easy with her simple explanations and great skill. However, when I had a go at it myself the following week, I found just how hard it really is!
It was a lovely day, meeting artists and getting inspired by their studio spaces and processes. A big thank you to all of them for being so kind and generous and opening their studio doors.