Taking The Plunge!
I have been painting since 2007, and following on from my first exhibition last year in a local church, I decided to branch out in 2013. Semi-retirement, a helpful agent, a vacant shop in a shopping arcade, and Stourbridge On Sea was born.
The shop is open for 2 months on a 'pop up' basis - low overheads, and not much financial risk.
Since opening a lively interest has been shown - after two weeks, several paintings sold, but almost as important are the conversations with folks who roundly declare...
"I can't paint/draw/be creative..."
I invariably engage them and encourage them to think differently, to take up long abandoned brushes and so on, and the fact that I am actively using a corner of the shop as my relocated studio adds to authenticity and encouragement.
Stourbridge has an artistic community that seems to be invisible, but my final encouragement now is for a group of artists to form a co-operative to take the shop over when I vacate, to exhibit, run courses, and generally keep art alive in the town centre.
Early conversations leave me with cautious hope - so Stourbridge might well rule the waves!