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Please allow me a moment to share with you what it was like to have you in my home, in my artist studio.

It was like all the energy I have put into my paintings was radiating from the art, into the air, into your viewing eyes.

You then, in turn, were absorbing the essence of my artistic expression—my love, my soul, my feelings, good and bad…humanity, you know?

You absorbed it…and you emitted it! 

So then it was all bouncing around the room…energetically…from painting to painting, painting to person, person to person.

And hopefully you walked out of my home with a smile on.

I know I concluded the weekend as such. I feel that through being a part of this event, I gained inspiration and a deep confidence in my value as an artist. Through sharing, and through conversations with viewers and other artists about art and process, I feel supported and propelled to continue creating.


I was pleased to hear that many of you were inspired by my art and that my art makes you HAPPY 🙂

I dig that, that’s good.

Thank you for taking time to come by my studio…sharing with me your positivity, your smiles and your radiance.

In addition, I feel honored to have been a part of Portland Open Studios, the organization responsible for not only accepting me into the event, but acknowledging my art with a scholarship. I appreciate all the time and energy the board members, as well as all the other participating artists put in to making this event a success—the promotion, the organization, tour guide sales…etc. 

Thank you, sincerely, for helping me create one of my greatest days. Hope that you are all following your truest true and that I see you again real soon!


–Jennifer Mercede


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

Portland Open Studios Homepage

Learn more about the Open Studios weekends, where to purchase tour guides, see images of each artist's work, find links to artists' web sites, and much more at Portland Open Studios.


Listen to interviews with Portland Open Studios artists (and more) at Mike Turner's website.


December 2007
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