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It’s tough going, here at the Open Spaces residency—inspiration strikes at all hours, and at all hours I’m either researching online, or in the studio applying my research to canvas. It’ll get tougher, as the end of residency show opens on 15 November, and I’m not where I should be. Close, but no cigar.

Fortunately, when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping, but not at the mall or department store. Most of my shopping has been at the hypermarkets (Migros, Coop, Landi), at the traditional village markets, and at my favourite, the brokenstube. A brockenstube is a second-hand shop. Founded in Switzerland from about 1895 by the Salvation Army, the name apparently was inspired by the Lutheran translation of John 6:12—feeding of the multitude.

The one nearest the residency is in Saanen, open twice a week and on market days. I’ve been 3 or 4 times and every time I’ve been astounded at what is available at seriously reasonable prices: household items (paintings, frames, furniture, pots and pans, crockery and cutlery); clothing, luggage and baggage, and these days, winter gear (skates, sleds, skis, clothing and accessories). What astounds me is the quality of the items…many look like they’ve been barely used! The farthest one I’ve been to was in Aarau. I was impressed by the set up: more like a department store outlet than a rummage shop. This one also offered shopping points, accepted card payments, and provided baskets and trollies. I was told that many migrants and newcomers to the country, make use of the brockis…I certainly could outfit my house (actually lots of houses) with the things I saw there. As I was leaving with my purchases in hand, cars were pulling up to the offloading bay with boxes of donations. I could only imagine the treasures to be had!

Discarded sofa finds new home in the studio

I’ve bought (CHF in brackets): coffee mugs (2); pressure cooker (10); 16-inch ceramic casserole (5); glasses (2); fondue pot (5); French press (5) and handmade wood picture frames large (15) small (5). There was a hard-side suitcase and a leather briefcase each for 10 CHF that I thought long and hard about, but declined to buy. I also closed my eyes to the furniture and various brick-a-brac that I could establish several yard sales with—a business opportunity I’m turning over in my mind.

On another note, once a month, house owners toss their used furniture on the sidewalks and anyone can take what they want for free. I understand that on those days, vans from France appear, and the stuff gets hauled off to be refurbished and/or sold as is! We took away a discarded sofa that fits nicely in the studio. No doubt I’ll be back to the brockenstube again…who knows what I’ll find!

Meantime, work continues…surrounded by cows, my latest pieces have a distinct bovine influence!

Please join me on this journey, and receive at the end, an original made-in-Switzerland-by me artwork of your very own. Of course, along the way, you get to follow my blog (online or via email), and see progress reports. Visit my original blogpost with a Paypal link — and help yourself to an original painting made-in-Switzerland-by-me sent to you at the end of my residency. Thank you.


  • USD $50 support: (acid free mixed media paper, 6×8 inches.) Still available #27
  • USD $100 support: (acid free mixed media paper 9×12 inches.) Still available #16
  • USD $200 support: (handmade South Indian paper A4.) Still available #5

I will also provide updates about my journey on my blog as well as a special pdf diary of works in progress and extensive studio photos. BONUS: I’ll also send select digital images from my extensive Grenada Traditional Masquerade series, direct to your email address.

PS if the link does not work, OPEN IT IN YOUR BROWSER or please email me at artstung@gmail.com or inbox your email to https://www.facebook.com/artstungingrenada/ and I will email you a Paypal invoice. Thank you to my family, friends, OLD and NEW collectors of my work!