Many artists need time alone in order to focus enough to get their work done. While I consider myself very sociable, even I think twice before I go to an art event because it’s still time away from my studio. It’s fine to have your alone time, but I want to encourage all of you to get out of your studios and go visit with other artists whenever you can! Local art events offer an easy way to visit many studios in a short period of time, so that would be a good place to start.

We just had a big one here in Oregon, called Portland Open Studios, and I was happy to visit with a number of artists I’ve never met before as well as those I try to visit regularly. I often post photos from my studio visits on my Facebook timeline.

My Facebook posting about Randall's work

At every studio I try to ask other visitors “what was your favorite stop so far?” This year several people mentioned Randall David Tipton. I hadn’t heard of before so on the list he went and boy am I glad of it! David is a talented painter, generous and joyful, and lots of fun to talk with as well. I was so taken with his work that I posted some of it on my Facebook page (with his permission of course) so my friends could enjoy his work as well.

During my visit we talked briefly about things like painting techniques, favorite materials, my online classes and the (sometimes) dreaded marketing that goes along with being an artist. I offered to share his work on Facebook and David invited me to come to one of his demonstrations on the second Saturday of the month at 10 am. (5373 Lakeview Blvd, Lake Oswego, Oregon. Free.)

I was disappointed that his demos are on the same day that I usually teach my live encaustic classes, but we figured we’d see each other again at some point. That time came sooner than we thought. A few days after I posted photos from his studio, the sister of a friend who had recently passed away contacted me. I had never had direct contact with her, I had only heard the wonderful stories about her from her sister Beth. She said that she saw Randall’s paintings on my Facebook page and one of them reminded her so much of hikes she used to take with Beth that she bought it! (It’s the one pictured below.)

Northwest November 2 by Randall David Tipton

“Northwest November 2” by Randall David Tipton

After emailing back-and-forth with Randall about this exciting turn of events he and I decided on a trade. Soon I’ll go to his studio to see a private demo of how he works with his watercolor on Yupo paper and I’ll teach him a few new things about sharing his work on Facebook!

If you needed a reason to get out of the studio for a few hours please use our new relationship is your example. I made a new friend, Beth’s sister has a new painting to remember her by, and Randall has a new collector. And we all had fun doing it!

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