Tag Archives: studio tours

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

Artist Diggs: Angel’s Haven

30 Aug

Please enjoy this oldie by goodie while I spend the next two weeks camping, packing, visiting with the mom-in-law and moving from WA to OR. See you in September!

There are people and by people, I mean artists, whose life and art are so intertwined that almost everything in their life looks like their artwork.  Maribel Angel is one of those people and I mean that in the best possible sense.  The minute I drove up to her home & studio in St. Augustine, Florida, I knew I was in for a treat.

Maribel’s home & studio, which she shares with her husband, Cash, dog Miss Hannah and three cats, is on a quiet street removed from the bustle of tourists in downtown St. Augustine.  Entering through a green gate with a little bell,  I am greeted with a hug from the artist and meow from possibly the friendliest cat ever, Lulu. 

Trimmed in bright colors reminiscent of her paintings, the house, studio and workshop are like sweet little dollhouses.  Maribel and Cash purchased the property, which faces a lovely canal where Lulu loves to beg for attention from joggers, as a fixer upper and have done most of the work themselves over the years.  It is apparent that this is a place created with love.

Let’s go into the studio.

Sunlight streams through the windows, filling the diminutive studio with light and warmth. 

Every artist’s studio needs a comfy chair.  A place where an artist can curl up with a cup of coffee and read or dream about where inspiration will take them next.  Finished artwork or works in progress are all around the studio– like these sweet little horse paintings ( below ), which were big sellers during the MOCA Studio Tour a few weeks ago. 

The studio floors are reclaimed hardwood, which came from a local horse barn.  Maribel theorizes that perhaps the floors are subconsciously leading her to paint horses!  Whatever the cause, these equestrian inspired pieces are hard to resist.  However, I am even more in love with a new series Maribel is working on– inspired by the Anthropologie catalog! 

I told Maribel how much I loved these and when she told me her inspiration source, I was downright gleeful!  There is just something about Anthropologie that we artsy girls love.  Ask anyone who has ever been in one with me.  I get this joyous, glazed over look in my eye, which I’m sure is very similar to the look I had upon leaving Maribel’s.

On the opposite side of the room, are the quintessential elements of any artist’s studio– easel, work table and of course, stacks of works in progress.   See the horses?  I think the floors are working their magic. 

Ever wonder how Maribel creates those wonderful, collaged layers in her work?  First, she makes a color copy of the inspiration source, whether it be a textile pattern, page from a book or other ephemera, then soaks the copy in a medium solution which allows her to peel the transparent image from the paper.  The transparency allows for background paint and other elements to show through and using this instead of the paper itself will be more permanent and chemically stable. 

I can’t wait to try this out on my own.. I already have a few ideas!  If only I was as prolific as Maribel.. there is artwork and inspiration everywhere you turn in her studio.

Don’t you love the rustic window paned doors?  Maribel has definitely created a space that warms the heart and nurtures the soul.  I was there for less than an hour and came home incredibly inspired and ready to create!  I hope our visit to Maribel’s studio has done the same for you.

To see more of Maribel’s artwork, visit her Pick of the Crop page here at Artsy Forager or drop by her own website.

Artist Diggs: Daily Inspirations

11 Apr

I am so excited to bring you our very first Artsy Forager studio tour, featuring ( drumroll, please! ), Amelia Island artist Theresa Daily!  *applause*

Theresa and I struck up a friendship through the glory of Facebook long before we’d ever met in person.   This self-taught artist struck me as incredibly funny, generous and kind-hearted, not to mention talented.  Once I met Theresa in person last year, there was no doubt that my initial impression was true.

The artist in her studio

Though a Kentucky native, Theresa is definitely an “island girl” at heart.  Her work lovingly depicts the landscapes and life surrounding her on Amelia Island. 

You can usually find Theresa painting at Blue Door Artists on Centre Street in Downtown Fernandina Beach, FL– look for the blue door and crazy stairs!  She shares her sun-filled second floor studio with fellow artist, Carol Sprovtsoff.  You may even catch a glimpse of Theresa’s grandchildren, two adorable artists-in-training!

Potato-chip bag evidence, kids are about!

A peek inside her watercolor stash

Working in a collective studio like Blue Door allows the artists to share ideas and inspiration, as well as help each other out when they get “stuck”.  The idea of an artist working away in a lonely studio may be romantic, but not be nearly as much fun.  These artists feed of each other’s creative energy, which results in growth and more dynamic work.  For instance, when Theresa was struggling with her latest piece ( pictured below, behind the easel ), fellow Blue Door artist, Casey Matthews was there to encourage, offer suggestions and be a source of support. 

Theresa’s work has gone from mostly representational to more intuitive , abstracted landscapes.  But a consistent style and palette keeps the work coherent and instantly recognizable as hers.

The studio’s gallery space

Art for sale!!

Thank you for joining me on a little visit to the creative space of this local artist.  Stop by Blue Door anytime Monday- Saturday, 11ish to 5ish ( island hours! ) and you may be lucky enough to see Theresa Daily in action and enjoy a chat.

She may even share her potato chips.

Check out  Theresa’s website to see more of her work and be sure to fan Theresa and Blue Door Artists on Facebook.

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