12 days to go!   Are you ready?


For Helen Rawlinson each open studios at the Chocolate Factory (somewhere in the UK) is a mad panic of tidying up and pulling it all together at the last minute, whilst keeping up with orders for her lampshades and screen printed textiles sold through various online stores. There’s always a run of tea towels in new colourways on the go and a first peek at new designs in the making.


I BEG you to read through the package of material I sent you so that we may all coordinate and do the same thing at the same time. From my side, everything is in place – all the publicity that I could have done has been done apart from one last thing: Sunshine Radio. Is there anyone who would like to be interviewed and speak on behalf of all the participants? If you are willing, please let me know and we will set up an interview with one of the radio stations. I would be so grateful.


I am still waiting for 15 people to pay their contributions to the costs … some of whom have been in touch but others have been quiet. I need to pay my bills and without your contribution I will have to be on bread and water for a while – so, please may I have your payments? Thank you.


I need to make special mention here of two extremely generous people: Jochen Hipp who paid three times (and over) what he needed to and Margaret Paraskos (Cyprus College of Art) who paid twice what she needed to. I shall be in your debt and you will be rewarded. Once again, thank you for your kindness. This was extremely welcome as three participants had to withdraw, all with crises to deal with. That means that there are 28 of us now instead of the original 31.


I have had a request from Angela at Kouklia Arts and Crafts and I quote from her email:
In the meantime, do you know of anybody who would like to teach Adult classes in Kouklia? We have a holiday website for arts / crafts holidays, and in anticipation of bookings for 2016 it would be great to know of a ‘SMALL pool’ of available teachers.
If you would be interested in teaching in Kouklia, please contact Angela on angwin54@yahoo.co.uk


It occurred to me that many of you don’t really know me.


A very short history :
I was born on a farm in South Africa and after 12 years of schooling, I matriculated in 1962. I was trained, amongst other things, as a secretary and that was what I did for most of my working life, coming up through the ranks. When I retired from a 9-5 job to get married for the second time, it was as Administration Manager for the (then) largest shopping mall in the Southern hemisphere, Sandton City in Johannesburg. And believe me, it is big!


gauteng-sandton-richest-square-mile-590  See more on Google : Sandton City


In 1988/9 I started up a business promoting artists, and in particular unknown ones. When my mother-in-law passed on, her quarters became available and I converted them into a small gallery to stage exhibitions. A by-product of the gallery was a framing business on the same premises and I did all this without employing any staff apart from a housekeeper. It worked well and I enjoyed the inter-action with artists whom I promoted to large organisations such as banks, hospitals, hotels and other commercials organisations. We also had exhibitions that ran for 6 to 8 weeks each, kicking off with a lovely opening night. I did this for about 10 years and although I didn’t make pots of money, I enjoyed every moment – especially seeing someone’s face light up when they sold a piece of their creativity.


My late husband, when he retired in 1999, was the CEO of the largest fashion retail business in the Southern hemisphere – yes, we both aimed high! During the course of our careers we travelled a lot and I always made a point of visiting galleries, museums and artists’ communities wherever and whenever I could. We didn’t want to live in South Africa after retirement and during our travels we always kept a look-out for possible places to settle upon retirement. Cyprus came as a bit of a surprise as we never even considered it! But, it ticked all the boxes and, at that time, had the second strongest currency in the world! Yes, really – the Cyprus pound was coveted.


Donald was diabetic and the move here was not kind to him. He lost half a leg shortly after our arrival and throughout our time here since 2001, struggled with his health. Suffice it to say that he passed on in 2012 and here I am, filling the gap with the one thing that I am addicted to: ART and artists.


When David Lester and Sue Harding started up Open Studios in 2005/6, I was one of the first to sign up. I gave as much as I could under the circumstances and was devastated when it all went wonky and ran into the ground at the end of 2011.


Let’s not kid anyone – my own art is entirely self-taught apart from courses I took from time to time and 3 years spent with Elli Lestas, who taught me the finer points of drawing. But I love playing with the tools and messing around with paints and brushes; the smell of turpentine always quickens my pulse.


Since the original Open Studios’ hibernation, the people who participated year on year were left high and dry. When all the red tape and mountains of paperwork in the Probate process had been sorted, I was left with a void. In fact, it was more like a black hole …


I fell pregnant and gave birth to a new baby called www.art-en-route-cyprus.com in an attempt to give those artists who once participated in Open Studios a platform from which to operate. The website has always been intended as a directory where artists, residing in Cyprus either permanently or part-time, could be listed and network with each other. It was never intended as an event organiser.


However, I still had a heavy heart about being without an Open Studios event and after the last long winter, I came out of hibernation in June this year, but I was still dreaming … and in 12 days’ time, I am hoping that the dream will manifest without becoming a nightmare!


As the original Open Studios were registered as an NGO, we cannot use the name “Open Studios Cyprus” – it is still kept on ice. I need to state clearly that I am not in any way affiliated with that organisation or the organisers. art-en-route-cyprus is entirely my own with no other connections.


And that’s it in a nutshell.



I am fortunate in having a home, a car, a dog, enough food to keep me going, as well as my health and what I do with art-en-route-cyprus is for pure joy. It is my dream to build something worthwhile for the benefit of people who love art – in all its forms – as much as I do.


I am somewhat disappointed with the response – or shall I say LACK of response – on the blog. I have gone through my list of followers and there is hardly anyone from our website on it! Conversations usually take place between two or more people and I honestly don’t see many people who seem to be interested in a conversation. There is a comment section – please let me hear your thoughts!? I would appreciate it if you could let me know what topics you would like to discuss on the blog or on the Facebook page. Talking to myself is really boring …


Till next time, get ready for the BIG WEEKEND!         balloon-20clip-20art-Birthday1


9 thoughts on “21.8.15 – NEWS FOR THIS WEEK

  1. Many thanks and very interesting !!!!

    Keep on going we are all in this together ! X☺️

    I am telling everyone I know !! H ah a over and over

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Hello Maria, from the cockpit of a sailing boat moored in Kalymnos! Sorry you feel let down by the lack of positive response to your valiant efforts with your baby! However, take heart. I am sure these things start slowly; we are after all, mainly retired people who are feeling their way into the art world but also run pretty busy lives on The sunshine island. I know I am. But with a little perseverance the fruits will ripen. Maybe, people need a little reassurance and a bit more knowledge about what indeed they want to achieve or how much time they can afford to contribute.
    You might surprised soon by the success of your endeavours! James

  3. Heck just reading is exciting… Preparing is another matter… You asked for suggestions … I often surf the net for tutorials and find interesting stuff on you tube… just a thought

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