Often they are artists themselves, from all over the world. Working away on your own can be lonely, so it's treat to have another artist sit down and talk about stuff for a while. Wherever they're from, they seem to face the same issues as me, and it's always interesting to hear how people have solved problems, discovered new ways of doing things or thought of new ways to tackle old subjects. Sometimes these travelers speak little or no English, but somehow we manage to mime our way through an enthusiastic "conversation" about what and how they create. Likewise , when I've called in to other artist's studios both here and in Australia I've always been welcomed .
Today's visitor was a lovely girl from Brisbane , backpacking her way around New Zealand for a few weeks. She explained that she hadn't brought her paints with her , and regretted that decision- it's expensive to start from scratch when you have no gear with you and your budget is already committed to petrol and accommodation. Lucky for her that I have a secret stash of spare visual diaries , so she has left for the West Coast armed with the tools to record her memories of our beautiful country.
In these troubled times when many people seemed to live in fear and mistrust it's nice just to be able to meet a stranger when your paths cross and spend a few minutes relaxing together as friends.