Debbie Marble on her 8th Portland Open Studios experience

I always enjoy this weekend very much—my eighth year! What’s to not like? Nice people come and tell you how great your work is; some leave money and take something away. I find demonstrating easier every year and actually enjoy it. Seems like having the left brain otherwise occupied makes some of the painted scribbles better than those that are done with undivided attention!

Understand the importance of talking up the tour and *selling the Tour Guides*. It is the basic thing that gets people into your studio, as well as everyone else’s. *Get organized* and have your space ready in advance. For me, it has become part of the rhythm of the year to prepare the paintings and the inventory and clean the studio in late summer. Remember to “enjoy the Party”, bring in flowers and trays of snacks.

*Get to know the other artists who are near you*. Six of us managed to find time to look at each others’ spaces and work late this summer. In so doing, we realized the Guide did not show some short cuts between us so we made a little map to help visitors in our area get around. Seeing the work made it fun to talk with our own visitors too: “Where have you been?” could start a little conversation about the great stuff they had seen.

More visitors than ever this year! Thank goodness for friends who helped out; I could never have done demos plus greeting and the occasional sale. Have yourself covered with good helpers! I give mine a pack of cards or a tour guide or movie tickets or something, whatever I think they like best. My studio is over the garage so I don’t have to deal with turning my house around for tourers.

Debbie Marble

Below, Waiting Tables II, watercolor by Debbie Marble.

waiting tables II

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