Blue Stone Cottage Studio Gallery
Blue Stone Cottage Studio Gallery is set in acreage in a bushland area, not far from Ballarat. It is in a converted, renovated industrial-sized shed which adjoins Blue Stone Cottage where I live with my family, various animals and friendly, visiting birds. It is perfect not only for making art, but also for viewing. It is very difficult to create large paintings without the room to step back and get a good look at them as you work, so this space has been of tremendous value to me.
Visitors also enjoy it, there is plenty of room to move around, have a look at the art and chat (especially useful in these times of social distancing). It is a fairly informal, rustic venue, which visitors find relaxing. I still consign works to other galleries, but it is quite a special thing to have a space where I can meet some of the people who take an interest in my work, talk to them about it, discuss commissions and offer the opportunity to see a wider range of pieces.
The property is set back on a quiet wooded road, close to the historic village of Smythesdale, with its antique shop, 'Thru the Gate Cafe' and Court House bistro. A little way from the Haddon studio, you will find the fantastically well-stocked 'Avalon' garden centre, and 'In the Sticks Cafe'. The wonderful 50km Ballarat to Skipton Rail Trail is nearby. Just around the corner there are the studio galleries of painter Kate Wise, award-winning print-maker Vida Pearson and artisanal furniture-maker Fred Ross (ask for details from the studio here), and a few minutes drive away there is the Raintree Art Gallery, with a wonderful array of original first nations artworks and designed products. All these venues taken together make up the Hidden Gems Artist Studios initiative.
Ballarat itself, a beautiful old gold-rush city, is about fifteen minutes away, and offers some memorable cultural experiences including the Art Gallery of Ballarat and Sovereign Hill - a journey back in time to the gold rush. Ballarat hosts the Archibald Prize, the Biennale of Australian Art, Ballarat International Foto Biennale and White Nights. It has a thriving art and music scene. It is about an hour and a half from Melbourne by car, and provides for a memorable day out or weekend away from the city. Daylesford is also a short drive away, with its many attractions, I often have consignments of work available in the exceptionally beautiful Convent Gallery. A visit to Blue Stone Cottage Studio Gallery may be easily combined with a tour of any of these lovely places.
I normally open the studio to visitors on the first weekend of each month (pandemic restrictions allowing), as part of the 'Hidden Gems Artist Studios' project. I also open by appointment, just call on 0475521501 or 03 53424598.
(COVID-SAFE PRACTICES APPLY, SO PLEASE BRING ALONG A MASK, USE SANITISER, LEAVE A BIT SPACE AROUND YOU, AND BE PREPARED TO SHOW ANY REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION DEPENDING ON GOVERNMENT DIRECTIVES)