TWO Bendigo neighbours have filled their studios with so much artwork, they've decided to throw open their doors to the public.
Belinda John and Joan Halpin will open each of their gardens and studios on the Mother's Day weekend. The pair have painted together for years as fellow members of the Bendigo Art Society.
Mrs John said the exhibition was inspired by a similar event a few years ago, where they had an open studio at Neangar Park in aid of the Bendigo Health auxiliary.
This time the display will support the Cancer in Kids Auxiliary of the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, through a gold coin donation.
Mrs John said the pair hoped to sell some of their works, which consist of both paintings and ceramics.
It's partly a practical move: their studios are just too full.
"I've got a studio full of paintings," Mrs John said.
"I have more paintings now than I can afford to keep. I need to move them to make room for more."
I love colour, I love line. I just love the whole idea. I love being in my studio, it's just a very peaceful creative place to be.Louisa John
But it's also a self-confessed contradictory move. For Mrs John, exhibiting her work can feel a bit like being "hung out to dry". This feeling vies with a secret liking of being acknowledged, she said.
"Probably a lot of artists are the same ... we get ... resistant to exposing too many of our inner thoughts and creativity," Mrs John said.
Mrs John's work consists mainly of landscapes, often related to the earth and featuring rocks, tree roots, and the like. She also enjoys creating figure studies and still life.
She said Mrs Halpin's paintings were mainly of the bush, while she also created beautiful pottery.
For Mrs John the feeling of creating something was key to her enjoyment of painting, a feeling she knew Mrs Halpin shared.
"I love colour, I love line. I just love the whole idea. I love being in my studio, it's just a very peaceful creative place to be," Mrs John said.
Artwork has also been a point of connection in their longstanding friendship. The pair regularly drop in to see each other.
The open studios will take place on May 8 and 9 in Strathdale, from 11am to 3pm each day.
Entry is by a a gold coin donation, for the Cancer in Kids Auxiliary of the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne.
For address details contact Belinda John on 0407 425 801, or Joan Halpin email@example.com.
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