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Artsy Around Town: Hwy 62 Art Touring

29 Oct

It seems like every Fall when the Open Studios and Art Tours gear up we seem to just miss them.  So I was elated to know we would be able to spend a Saturday checking out some of the local work Joshua Tree and the surrounding communities have to offer.  A day spent seeing new places, meeting artists , getting a peek inside their studios and process– what could be better?!  Wanna go along for the ride?  Buckle up.  Safety first in the Artsy mobile!

Not MY Artsy mobile, but someone else’s spotted in Joshua Tree

Our first stop took us down a few long, lonely dirt ( OK, sand, really ) roads.  We hoped the trek would be worth it.  And when we came upon Judy Wold’s studio, something told me it would be.

Outside Judy Wold’s studio

Judy and her husband Bob live in Santa Monica, but the desert keeps drawing them in, allowing them to enjoy the best of both worlds.  We were greeted warmly and with mimosas ( my favorite kind of hello! ).  Her little abode/studio is tucked away from the rest of Joshua Tree, overlooking an undeveloped valley and a spectacular view of the mountains to the north.

Views around Judy Wold’s studio

Mr. Forager and I fell hard for the painting in the bottom right above.  My photo doesn’t do it justice– it was full of color, depth and texture in person.  We’re contemplating a purchase..

If you’ve ever been on an Art Tour, you know that artists not only open their studios, but utilize other spaces to create make-shift galleries.  Judy’s Airstream guest room turned gallery was our fave.  It had just the right boho vibe.  Definitely got our wheels turnin’!

Wold’s Airstream gallery/guest room

Next we ventured out to Twenty-Nine Palms to check out some work that had looked a bit interesting in the brochure.. unfortunately, the photo was very deceiving and I found the building to be much more interesting than the art inside.  Bummer.

Artsy building filled with so-so art. Art Tour number obliterated to protect the innocent.

Back to Joshua Tree we went, this time heading to the South and the studio of wood sculptor Mark Doolittle.  This artist is one of those fascinating creatives that begins in a largely left-brained profession ( biomedical research ) then transforms into a beautifully creative artist.

Symbiosis, amboyna burl and basswood with bubinga base, 32x33x6. George Post, photographer.

Mark Doolittle’s work bench and the fossils that inspire him

In talking with Mark, he related to us how he was always struck by the aesthetic beauty in microbiology.  The same quiet, patient methodology needed to work in the biomedical world equips him with the ability to spend hours carving meticulously.  Truly phenomenal work!

A few more stops, among them an installed re-creation of Western Motel by Edward Hopper, created and installed by Jenifer Palmer-Lacy and the studio of Marjorie Franklin and Janis Commentz ( click on the artists’ names to check out their websites! )  One of our last stops was the home & studio of Karine Swenson.  Her paintings of desert wildlife really enchanted me, as did her postings throughout of random facts regarding her work and her process.

One of Karine Swenson’s rabbits with a little note about her process

What I love most about this kind of outing is the conversation.  Not only with the artists, but with Mr. Forager.  Coming from outside the art world, he looks and questions with a different perspective, one that always makes me stop and think.  Hope you enjoyed this little virtual Art Tour as much as I enjoyed the real one.

Quick question for my readers– Would you like to see more posts like this in addition to artist features?

Rocks at Judy Wold’s studio

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Artsy About Town: Cocktails, Truffle Fries, and Dan Spalding

12 Mar

As the hubby and I travel, we try to experience as much of each area’s culture as we can.  Last Friday evening, we decided to meet a friend for a night filled with our favorite things– delicious food & drink, stimulating conversation and fabulous art!  I can’t imagine what could be better.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt that this ( below ) was our view for cocktails!

View of Lake Coeur d'Alene from Beverly's

We discovered the happy hour at Beverly’s and this was our second week in a row partaking of the fancy food & drink at affordable prices.  I have a feeling it may be a weekly habit for the rest of our time here.. hubby George is addicted to their truffle fries, while I am just addicted to fries of any sort!  As yummy as the fries were, they just weren’t nearly as pretty as our Hummus Plate.  I am a firm believer that we eat first with our eyes, so I love a colorful, artsy presentation of food!

Hummus Plate gloriousness at Beverly's

Caramel Apple Martini

Cocktails and conversation flowed, as we shared the truffle oil-doused (!) complimentary popcorn with our friend and fellow traveler, Kirsten.  This lifestyle we’ve chosen is fairly unique, so travelers always seem to bond together, sharing stories and experiences.  There is a great sense of camaraderie in knowing that there are others living such a crazy, wonderful life!

Kirsten, George and yours truly

It was a beautiful night in Northern Idaho, so we strolled downtown to The Art Spirit Gallery to attend the opening of their current show, Portraits by artist Dan Spalding.  The Spokane, WA painter’s exhibition centered around his beautifully textured and expressive portraits.  His use of light is really incredible, giving his work a raw, emotional power.

Dan Spalding show, Portraits, at The Art Spirit Gallery in Coeur d'Alene, ID

Isn’t the painting on the top row, second from the right amazing?  It draws my eye every time I look at this photo.  I’m usually not an opening night art viewer, preferring to peruse when galleries aren’t as crowded and I can hear myself think or as Jerry Saltz said this week “Please stop talking so I can hear myself see!” 🙂

More of Dan Spalding's work

But I do love the energy of exhibition openings and ArtWalks.  Seeing crowds of people enjoying and talking about art gives me goosebumps!  And I am always thrilled for the gallery & artist when I see lots of red dots! ( As I did last night– can you spot the one visible in the pic above? ).  What I really love about attending openings with my husband and friends is the conversations about the work we are drawn to and why.  For an non-artsy person, George actually has a fantastic eye!  He really loved the sculptural work of Simon Kogan ( below ).

Henry Moore by Simon Kogan, bronze

While I loved these stylized bird paintings from North Idaho artist Catherine Lemaitre Earle.  Aren’t they lovely?

Artwork by Catherine Lemaitre Earle

All in all, a delightful evening, artsy in every wonderful way!

A happy Artsy at the end of the evening

How about you?  Any artsy fun to be had this weekend?

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