This weekend I had the pleasure of visiting the Northumberland Hills Studio Tour. It was my first time in many years to be free on this weekend and the thought of seeing other people's work spaces was what really motivated me. Well, that, and art and the chance to speak with the artists. I did not visit every site listed but I marked off the few that were of interest to me, in particular, painters. Since I work out my house I really wanted to have a good snoop around those studios in particular. I was NOT disappointed. We have so very many talented artists in our area and the fact that so many can make a living with their art speaks volumes to the community we live in. I enjoyed every artist and studio that I visited but the following were my favourites (in no particular order):
Stephen Gillberry based in Cobourg, has a beautiful studio built into his home. His work is abstract and in sizes from tiny (bookmarks) to large. I loved looking at his paint splattered floor and easels and was happy to see that I'm not the only artist to get paint all over my bathroom light switch. I was very taken with his use of texture in his beach and water scenes. I also really LOVED that he didn't offer prints but instead does small originals in a 'print-like' way so as to offer more affordable art for those that can't purchase a larger work at that time. I may have to steal that idea in the future!
Betsy Miller based in Cobourg, works from her home like so many of us do. She told me she painted in her laundry room (a perfect spot to make art) and she turned most of her house into a gallery for the studio tour. She paints large pieces in an abstract expressionist style and I very much enjoyed chatting with her about technique and influences. She uses palette knives for her work (yes! one of my loves) and her artwork is as bright and colourful as her personality. (I hope you enjoyed your wine after the show Betsy!)
Dorothy Siemens based in Port Hope, has a studio in her home (or a home in her studio?). It is a beautiful light-filled space that showcases her artwork perfectly. From mandalas to soft florals and natural images, her work reminds me of fabric or tapestry. It is richly textured to the eye but only slightly textured to the surface. I have to admit I was extremely taken with her work. We talked at length and I liked her calm energy as she explained to me how she uses wax, paint, and oil sticks. I urge you to see her work in person and not just on the computer screen, it really looks much different. I am so glad I did!
The next time there is a studio tour in your area - go! Just by attending you are supporting the artists. Go, have fun, make a day of it, tell the artists what you think of their work and ask questions. That is what these events are for. Maybe you will find a new piece to take home (or save up for), maybe you will learn something new, maybe you will find a new artist to follow. You will definitely see some beautiful, interesting, thought-provoking art. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
I will keep you updated on my latest work and perhaps some insight into my creative process.