Robin Clark | Bay Area Coach & Photographer for Women » Coach & Photographer for Women

Art Studio Open House

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This year has been FILLED with firsts and last weekend was another one – participating in an open house for my new and first photography/art studio! It was fabulous, fun, colorful, creatively inspiring, filled with people, and also completely at the whim of life’s comical timing as we had expected to get the keys to our studios 6 weeks ahead of this date… as opposed to 5 days before!!

Needless to say I spent a lot of time last week attempting to set up my studio… only to have everything I tried to set up not happen. The benefit of this was that I got encounter my perfectionist, see just how wildly worked up and stressed out I can get when I let that part drive me, have a heart-to-heart “you need to chill” conversation, and show up to this event simply.

This is how it went: I had a 13×25 ft. gorgeous white studio with one wall of windows empty save for 1 table I had made into a display table and altar. On it was a goddess statue from my grandma I’ve always loved, flowers, a few different business cards, and my laptop running a slideshow of my images. The goddess in multiple expressions!

What I loved about this set up is it gave total focus to my images. People would stand in the doorway, get sucked into the slideshow, and sort of float into my space asking what I did. This led to many long conversations about what I do, the experience of it, and who would benefit from it (my opinion: all women, especially any woman who has ever felt insecure or unattractive). It also opened up the door for people to talk about their desires and fears of being photographed.

One surprising conversation I had more than once was with men who would come in and say, “Women are so beautiful! But they don’t seem to really know it. It’s sad to see the way they carry themselves because they’re so lovely. I wish they could see themselves the way men do and they’d feel so light, so radiant.”

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There are, I believe, 30 artist studios at the Peninsula Art Institute (the name of the art studio). My delightful friend Erin stopped by after teaching her weekly Saturday morning Bikram yoga double header and we walked around. It was practically the only time I left my studio and here’s some of what we saw…

Wayne Wichern’s Millinery is a FANTASTICALLY FUN place to visit with tons of fabulous hats! You can see Erin here trying on a few and ladies admiring themselves in a gigantic mirror. And – can anyone say gold ruffle unicorn hat? Oh yes!

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Another studio we stopped in was Roberta Selma’s. Her space was inviting, cozy, and filled with bold, bright paintings – a girl after my own heart! And painters take note: is this not one of the more creative and effective ways to organize your paints that you’ve seen?

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Another studio we got sucked into was Leigh Toldi’s, who’s right across the hall from me. Her studio has such variety from tiny drawings you have to use a magnifying glass to see to these gorgeous paintings.

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One of the things I like about being a part of an artist gallery is the variety! Seeing the same thing day after day gets old, no matter what it is. Here are some examples of artists within a few doors of my studio. From left to right: June Levin, Rob Browne, Werner Glinka, and Barbara Berk.

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There are two main galleries. This is the smaller of the two and for the open house each artist displayed one piece of artwork. I loved seeing mine front and center under proper gallery lighting.

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The larger of the two galleries housed a show by Ira Yeager, whose work I loved! The bottom right image is an image of him in his Napa studio.

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And last but not least is this lovely courtyard that’s just below my studio. Not only is it lovely, but the way the light bounces off the walls and back into the studios is part of what makes my studio so wonderful. As I get it set up I’ll share more pictures with you.

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Happy Saturday! May your world also be blooming with creativity that lights you up!