ARTISTS in Musselburgh are preparing to throw open the doors to their homes, businesses, the local art club studios and a church hall.

Members of the public will be welcomed to view a variety of artwork during what is thought to be the town’s first Open Studio Weekend this Saturday and Sunday.

Alistair Samuel McIntyre, known as Specky Al in his artwork, had the idea of holding the event and, after attracting support from other artists, it was full steam ahead.

He had his own studio built in his back garden after he was unable to exhibit his work at The Brunton, following the temporary closure of parts of the Ladywell Way venue due to “structural issues”.

Alistair needed to hold an exhibition for his graduation from the Open College of the Arts so decided to have his own studio/gallery built in the garden of his Mayfield Crescent home.

He explained: “I decided to try and organise an open studio event for a few reasons. Other areas around Scotland have such events and it’s a great way to meet other artists from the area.

“I was building my studio for displaying my artwork and didn’t know how to get people I don’t know to view.”

His art career started when he moved to Musselburgh just over five years ago, and he now paints mostly in oils but sometimes uses acrylic or watercolour.

He said: “Organising the open studio weekend has been hard work for all involved. However, it is very exciting, although nerve-racking as the weekend comes closer. There are all those last-minute things to do for all the artists and organisers to make sure everything goes smoothly.”

Alistair explained that more than a dozen artists were showcasing their work in 11 venues throughout Musselburgh, including Northesk Church Hall and Musselburgh Art Club Studios, both in Bridge Street. Everything from painting in different media and drawing to jewellery, stained glass and prints can been viewed.

Alistair added: “We are hoping this is the beginning of an annual event and that it will grow bigger as more artists get involved. All the venues will be open between 11am and 4pm both days.”

People can find out where the venues are from leaflets available in Miro’s, Musselburgh Library, Uppercut barber, S Luca and the artists themselves. They can be picked up from Musselburgh Art Club, on Bridge Street, and are also available on the Musselburgh Artists Open Studio Facebook page.

Alistair said: “It is too late for artists to take part this year but next year we’ll be putting out an open call for artists again, or they can email musselburghartist for more information.”