OPEN STUDIOS Art 1,2,3,4,AP, Photo, Photo P.P. and I.S. – Oct. 5-6, Oct.12-13, Oct.19-20 – Due by Mon. 10/21


Over the next 3 weekends, Santa Cruz County artists will open their studios to visitors to show their art and art making processes.

For each art class enrolled in at GBK, attend a total of 3 artists studios. (Art 1, Art 2, Art 3, Art 4 – any type of art from glass to textile to painting, printmaking, or photography.)

Photo students must attend studios of photographers; Independent Study and AP 2D, focus on your medium.

For each visit, you must:

1. Post an account of your visit and your impressions of the studio, the artist, and their work.

2. Make comments about their techniques and processes (this information is posted in their studio, if you don’t see it, ask about their technique.)  AND,

3. Comment on the inspiration this gives you for your own art work.

For extra credit, ask questions directly of the artist and post results of your “interview.”

For extra credit, you may attend and post accounts about more than 3 artist studios.

For extra credit, attend the Preview Show at the Santa Cruz Art League on Broadway (see link.) Post name and artist for what you would award 1st 2nd and 3rd place in the whole show and explain why.

Students may attend the studios together but they should have independent posts.  You also may be inspired to visit particular artists by reading others’ posts.

Do all three on one weekend or one each weekend but don’t leave until the last day! You can post by each Monday or by the final Monday. Plan it out.

There is a Guide Booklet in the art room 216 and 222 with maps if you want to plan your weekend trips.  North County is the first weekend,  South County the second, and some artists are open for the third, Encore weekend.

For Art  1 – There is an hour, free choice, sketchbook drawing due at start of each week.


88 responses »

  1. This past weekend, I went to Hank Scott’s studio. I spoke to him briefly about potting wheels and then he directed me to his wife, who does mostly hand building. Her pieces looked like they were done on a wheel though because they were so circular. I was impressed. She said it just takes practice. Her main technique revolves around pinching the pots and not really coiling. Both of them were very friendly and she gave me her email and told me she’d be willing to teach me some things on the wheel if I was so inclined. Both of their pottery had cool painted patterns that looked like Japanese brushwork in blue flowers and bamboo-like stems. We also discussed what to do with scraps. She usually makes vases with strips from slabs of clay she had cut from to make other pieces. I told her I usually throw my scraps in a bucket and soak them. She said that was a good idea. She inspired me by showing me her teapot, which was shaped like a snail. It had a tiny hole in its mouth and a little lid on its back. If she hadn’t told me it was a teapot, I wouldn’t have known. She said she was creating objects to hide their real purpose. I thought that was really cool as I’m planning on making a teapot and set for my next project.

    I also went to Ron Cook’s studio, which is not ceramics, but it’s awesome because he makes medieval instruments and they’re just so cool. Unfortunately, he was only open last weekend. He’s super nice though too and in past years, he’s let me play some of his instruments if no one else is there. I recommend him to people for years to come! His wood shop is also very nice.

  2. The artist I saw and interviewed was Parise Pak. I see her paintings all the time. They can be seen downtown in the Rittenhouse building. My impression of the studio was that she uses many types of soft colors that give a dreamy, whimsical look to the paintings. Her paintings are unorthodox and I can tell many different mediums are used. I can tell she thinks about what she puts on the canvas before she follows through with it. She has various techniques and styles. She uses the impression technique where she paints on an article of clothing and presses it against a canvas. She then manipulates the painting further. She uses soft blended colors most of the time. She also uses paper mache in some of her paintings. She inspires me to use softer colors and use more mediums in my art. Here are the results of my interview.

    What is your process for creating your art?
    I find a dress or article of clothing I like and inspires me. Then I choose a color combination. Then I add smaller elements to the paintings. After that I use paper mache if I feel it is needed.

    What state of mind do you like to be in while you are creating your art?
    I like to be creatively inspired and relaxed. I work with oil based so I can change it later. I like to have tons of time and not be in a rush.

    Who are your two favorite local artists?
    Barbara Bailey Porter and Jennifer Welty

    What is your type/style called?
    There isn’t really a name for it, but I would describe it as whimsical. Not modern or provincial. Non traditional.

    • Great questions, including what state of mind she strives for while painting. Her response of “creatively inspired and relaxed” while being open to possibilities is a good approach. Looking forward to seeing her work on display at the Rittenhouse!

  3. The first artist I went to was Nancy Brookie-Connor. She was my favorite artist out of the ones I went to. She painted with acrylics and painted mostly birds, bugs, and flowers. I liked her use of paper in her art. I felt inspired after I went there to draw birds. I also noticed some chalk figure drawings that were nice. The use of color was talented.

    The second artist I went to was named Dana Harris. She drew a lot of old things like typewriters. Her shading was cross-hatching and it reminded me of an Edward Gorey-like style. I liked the steampunk style of her artwork and felt compelled to do more of that.

    The third (and last) artist was a photographer named Tamara Kley-Contini. Her art didn’t pop out to me as much as the other two. She didn’t have a lot of pictures. Her lighting was pretty good. She didn’t spark much inspiration.

    • What were some of the photographs that you saw?
      The style of figure drawing you noticed during your first studio visit could be a good place to try out chalk pastels. We have several class sets that you might consider using in some of your sketchbook work.

  4. Lucy Martin’s watercolour and gouache paintings are really beautiful. She makes extremely intricate paintings of mushrooms and moss and the flora and fungi of the forest floor. She begins by Walking through the forest until she finds a cool mushroom and photographs it. When she begins to paint, paints the mushrooms and then works her way back until she has completed the background and finishes by accentuating highlights and shadows. Her work has inspired me to try and paint a small mushroom or something and makes me wish it was rainier weather so I could find one to paint.

    • It seems that both artists offered much inspiration to you. Wonderful description of Romanini’s studio – it sounds like a visit to a natural history museum. Which reminds me, I’ll soon borrow some objects through our local museum (from birds to insect specimens) for our class to draw/paint.

  5. Elizabeth Romanini’s studio is really interesting. She has cases of feathers, shelves of nests, cases of animal skulls, and boxes of deceased invertebrates. Her beautiful artwork starts with a brief sketch of a plant, animal, skull, or feather and gets more and more intricate until it looks incredibly realistic. She then sometimes goes over it in micron pen or watercolour. It’s really inspiring to see how she can start with a blank sheet of paper and end up with something so intricate. It make me want to try and draw something from my own Skull cabinet or maybe watercolour an animal.

  6. I went to the studio of David R. Flemming, who does abstract oil on canvas. There were literally painted canvas in piles everywhere; it was as if he didn’t do anything but paint. It was rather messy, but it was the sort of messy you see in the workplace of an extremely productive person who simply doesn’t have time to clean. There was so much art, it was difficult to really take it all in. Flemming himself was exceptionally tall, barely fitting in his garage where most of his art was stored. His work had a general 40s-50’s urban theme for a subject, with the style in very vague and general strokes. Nothing had concrete detail or defining features. There were characters in almost every work, with only a few landscapes. If I began to imitate Flemming’s style, It might help me not concentrate so much on perfect proportions or appearance, and instead capture the full sense of the painting.

    The next studio I went to was the studio of Peter and Donna Thomas. The art was mainly on display in the garage and the basement, set out with handmade signs and on thin tablecloths. The couple worked on crafts using books and ukuleles, occasionally combining them (a ukulele with a tiny bookcase put in, a book with a ukulele as the front cover, a ukulele made from a book, et cetera). They also made tiny books out of homemade paper, book covers that fold out accordian-style, and small book earrings! Peter and Donna were very friendly, answering questions of people visiting and welcoming them in. I took a book arts class at one point, but seeing professional works has inspired me to perhaps do something more than gluing magazine pictures to the inside of a textbook.

    The final studio I went to was that of David McGuire, an old watercolor artist that made incredibly realistic pieces. These pieces were all landscapes, and were framed and hanging on the walls of the small studio. Compared to the last two studios, McGuire’s was exceptionally clean. He had his friend Howard there as well, with whom he had worked with as an art teacher at Cabrillo for thirty-five years, and the two of them told us about their work and how long they’d been living there. McGuire’s work was very realistic, with exceptional attention to detail in every piece. Each watercolor stroke was placed perfectly, complimenting the rest of the piece and completing the picture presented. Since most of the serious drawings I do are landscape sketches, McGuire’s work touched me personally. I might actually be interested on trying out watercolors again now that I’ve seen how fantastic a piece can turn out using that medium.

    • Great descriptions of your visits! Through your words you painted vivid pictures of each studio. From abstracts to ukeleles to watercolors, you saw a nice variety of creative work. We’ll also do some watercolor sketches/paintings in class this year.

  7. I just visited James Aschbacher and Chris Johnson’s studios. Chris Johnson did glass blowing and his pieces were really cool looking and creative. One of his favorite pieces was a redwood made of glass that he attached to some petrified wood. Some people were blowing glass in the back and watching them was very interesting. There are so many little techniques that perfect the glass into smooth shapes. Chris Johnson said that there are many people who are good at shaping glass but not so many who work originally and who are good with colors. He explained the different variables when it comes to coloring glass. How there are solid and opalescent or transparent colors and there are different techniques to color glass with a more solid hue or a more transparent one. He said that most glass-blowers’ art ends up very similar to their teacher’s art. Chris Johnson taught himself to sculpt glass after realizing that art and not construction was his passion.Seeing his art has inspired me to explore with color more and different mediums and types of art. Chris Johnson went in depth with how he reached his particular art and strongly advised me to find my own way and to choose a career that I am drawn to. He said to always be looking for that thing thing that touches my heart and to follow it whatever it is and wherever it goes and whatever anyone else says or thinks. Over all the most prominent thing that I achieved from talking to him was that Chris Johnson is extremely passionate about his work and though it is a challenge and has is bad moments, loves it dearly. James Aschbacher’s art is completely different from Chris’ glass art. He does oil and acrylic painting on wood. His pieces, though seemingly light and simple, have great depth and symbolism if you look closer and read his titles. Where Chris Johnson’s studio was in a garage, James Aschbacher presented his work in his house. Most of his art was mounted on the walls surrounding the entryway and were well-lit with mostly natural lighting. He paints whimsical figures with interesting settings and mostly cool yet bright colors. All of his pieces have usually a blue border with white and colored symbols. When asked about a specific piece of his, he replied that it was originally a piece for the library and he said his symbols were all created by him. Though the same symbol might be used in many different places, he thought of each one not necessarily first but at least didn’t intentionally copy it from somewhere else. At the back of his work area is a piece in progress. Though it didn’t look like much when I saw it, as I looked more closely I could see is as the base for a great piece. This inspires me to not judge a future finished piece because it doesn’t look like anything special now.

    • It’s great that you had the opportunity to chat with the artist for insights on a new art form. It seems that you also took away some ideas and encouragement for pursuing one’s interests in life.

      Watching the artist manipulate and transform liquid glass to solid form can be mesmerizing!

    • This was from last weekend but it didn’t post for some reason:
      I visited another studio today. Jennifer Almodova paints with watercolors. Her studio was small and filled with numerous pieces depicting plant life and forest settings. She also had some big potted plants in her studio which I found neat. She said she sometimes has high-quality pictures taken of her work so she can replicate them. When I asked her how long it took to pain a certain painting showing a Chinese bowl with fruit and a butterfly, she replied that it took her around 16 hrs. And this piece wasn’t big. Her work has inspired me to explore more with watercolor and to not be discouraged when a piece takes a long time.

      • That reminds me of two of those great sayings regarding art: “Art is long, life is short.” and “art is 5% inspiration 95% perspiration”. You can really see the difference when an artist puts a lot of time and energy into a piece as Almodova does.

  8. For my adventure in the open studios, I visited three places. The first I went to was studio #196 in Live Oak, featuring the works of James Aschbacher. His works and techniques were unique. He used abstract objects and figure with strong, bright colors. He also incorporated simple shapes and symbols into his artwork, most of which were geometric in nature like triangles and squares. Even though the figures were postured in different ways, he used the same or similar body shape for the people. There were several animals in his painting, including dogs and cats. You could see that he was an animal lover. For the people and dogs, he added a little red heart on their chests. He used oil acrylic on wood for all of his works. Each picture was framed on an outline filled with symbols. They appeared to look native in design. You could also tell that he had a sense of humor because of his fun, interesting titles, such as “For the Love of Apples”, “Mother’s Joy”, and “Kittys Cosmos”. I spoke to the artist and found him friendly, laid back, and funny. I asked him how long he had been participating in open studios. He told me 23 years in all. As I was leaving, I noticed that his garage was framed with the same symbols that were used to frame his artworks inside.

    The second studio I ventured to was #284, Timothy Lydgate, the “Wizard of Wood”. We weren’t able to actually see his studio because all of his works were displayed in his kitchen and living room. As soon as I walked in, I saw tons of boxes, ranging in size and length. Some were square, others rectangular. He said to feel free to look around and even touch his creations if I wanted to. When I asked him what inspires him, he said one word: “wood.” He said that he didn’t have a basis or a design, but just goes with it and mixes different wood together. The blending is fluid; the woods never contrast each other. He also had wood magnets with magnets imbedded into the wood piece. Very cool! His works appealed to different people, for some were symmetrical and others were not. Another interesting fact he shared is that much of his wood is from Hawaii. I also asked him how long he had been doing open studios to which he replied, “Fifteen year.” He added that he wished he could go see other artists, but he had to stay there to show off his own.

    My final destination was studio #194, Myra Eastman. From the outside of her house, you could tell that she loved color. The front of her house was painted in bright blues and purples. As we walked around to the back of the house, we saw her backyard and detached studio. Her artwork was displayed along the fence outside and inside her studio. Her paintings were acrylic on canvas and the paintings themselves were black and white or in color. She had a mix of detail and abstract paintings. You could tell in her studio that she painted a lot because of all the paint markings on the wooden floor. There were several windows as well, letting in natural lighting for her to work in. She preferred to work in series because she could continue a theme she was exploring until she felt finished with it. She told me that she’s been painting for 25 years and has done open studios off and on for 20 years. She also said that she taught part time and used the rest of her time for her own work. When she asked what school I was from, she lit up and said, “My son also went to Kirby!” She also asked who my art teacher was and immediately the names. Her family is also incorporated in almost all her paintings. At the entrance of her studio, she posted her personal statement describing what motivates her in art: “I like to create artwork about issues I can’t stop thinking about. Over the years, this has led me into war, occupation, family, and most recently gun violence. Every day I am bombarded with an overload of human misery and unspeakable horror that pierce my heart with sadness. I can only make sense of it all if I tear off a tiny piece and create works of art that speak to our common humanity and dignity.” I was impressed with how personal her artwork is and could see she chooses to focus on serious topics.

    While each artwork is different, each display the wanting to express themselves through art just as a dancer does through movement or a musician does through song. I was impressed with all of them and appreciate the differences. Aschbacher’s work was whimsical and light, Lydgate’s seemed more naturally neutral, and Eastman’s was somber and serious. But, taken together, it’s very balanced and they complement one another. I plan to try to use more color in my works, inspired by Aschbacher and Eastman.

    • Sounds like you had an interesting art tour and saw a good variety of styles and techniques. Last year, Myra visited Kirby and shared images of her work while giving insights into her life as a working artist and teacher. I agree, her work is personal, evocative, and thought-provoking!

  9. This weekend my family and I went on an art marathon all in a two mile radius of our house in Aptos. Firstly we went to #255 an exhibition of glass art. Peter Vizzusi had tricked out his garage into a gigantic glass kiln. The exhibition was well laid out, and similar pieces were placed together making it easy to find what category (i.e. color, shape, utensil) you wanted. He and his wife were great listeners and actually put on a demonstration for the people who were there. The process of how they colored glass was very meticulous and traditional (at least similar to two other glass exhibitions I’ve been to). It started with building off a little bubble of glass and rounding out the base and slowly adding colors and texture to build it up. The inspiration I got from it was to work more slowly and carefully, and use more textures.

    After the glass art exhibition we went a quarter mile away to Paul Zaretsky (#251), a photographer. When I walked in I was struck by the lack of photographs in the main room, but there was a good amount of food (a plus). The outside had most of the photographs but most were in a folder type system that were hard to access and look at. The photographs were beautiful. Almost all of the photographs were of nature with different effects used to show a span of time (long-exposture, time-lapse). My inspiration from the photographs were to use more nature as muses.

    The weakest exhibit that we saw was the jewelry exhibition by Nancy Finley (#247). It was laid out nicely, but Nancy was not as welcoming as the others. The jewelry did not inspire me but was done nicely. She mostly worked with silver metals, with very little precious stones. Simple, but nice. The jewelry gave me inspiration to not over think my art.

    The last exhibit we saw were paintings by David Fleming (#254). I was almost art-ed out by the end, but I was rejuvenated by his work. There was an ungodly amount of paintings he did (at least 150 paintings). The technique wasn’t perfect (as in realist). There was lots of soft edges. The best part about his paintings were how funny they were. Most of his paintings put a smile on my face. I asked him what medium he painted with. He said that he painted with acrylics at first, and then painted over with oils due to how forgiving oils are. I saw that I should focus less on details and more on the emotion the painting gives you.

    • You may want to see the upcoming Cabrillo show of David Fleming and Diane Ritch (Nov 8 -Dec 13) since you seemed to have enjoyed his work a lot. It’s nice when art can engage us on many levels: entertain or make us think as well as please the eye.

  10. The first studio I visited was 255, Peter Vizzusi, who made blown glass vases. His pots were set up in his garage, with a woman doing a demonstration next to them. The glass was beautiful, and each piece varied greatly. The vases were made by heating up glass, rolling it in cobalt or another substance to color it, then in colored glass shards, then rolling it over a pattern to get it in the right shape (e.g. to give it ridges), then part of the top was synched to make the neck, then in was blown into and cooled. Each of these steps were repeated multiple times. This art inspired me to pay attention to patterns and textures.
    The second studio I visited was 251, Paul Zaretsky, a photographer. He took mostly nature and landscape pictures The way his studio was set up was not good. When you first walked in, there were very few pictures, as they were all out back. However, the food and postcard racks of his smaller pictures were good touches. He used long-exposure a lot in order to get a foggy feeling. The pictures he took gave me more inspiration for stories to write rather than art techniques, but if I had to say anything I would say it inspired me to go slowly to get my desired effects, like he did with using long-exposure.
    The third artist I visited was 247, Nancy Finley, a jeweler. Her jewelry was made of metal and wood, and were often modeled after something from nature. He displays were good, even if she didn’t have many pieces. I tried to take pictures to remind myself of what her artwork looked like, but she politely asked me not to, so I don’t remember as much as I would have if I had pictures. Oh well. She inspired me to use nature as inspiration when looking for ideas on what to create.
    The last artist I visited was 254, David Fleming, a painter. He must have had 300+ paintings, and they were all very good. He painted on a wide range of subjects, and one thing I noticed that he did a few times was scrape away still wet paint to form words, stories about the picture. He would paint in acrylic first because it’s easier to remove and so he could make bolder brush strokes, and then he would cover it up with oil paints. He inspired me create often and to plan out what I wanted ahead of time.

    • You also might want to go to the Fleming show coming up at Cabrillo (mentioned in my last comment). He certainly is prolific and that’s a great way for an artist to really solidify their personal style and ideas. It’s not unusual that the jewelry artist didn’t want photos of her work. The jewelry field is very competetive and designs are appropriated all the time. So even though you had no such intentions, your photos could end up online on a site like Pinterest. It could be copied from there and then it’s all over and she’s no longer making unique work; they could be mass produced by a manufacturer. I just read about Aptos jeweler that had a patent on a Tungsten Carbide ring and had to go to court over copies of it. I think Zaretsky’s work would be very happy that his work gave you “inspiration for stories to write”.

  11. This weekend I went to see so much art! It was awesome. I only saw four ceramic artists though. The first was Mike Beebe. He makes wood fired tea bowls and vessels. He hand-builds them, so they aren’t very circular, which I have to say really bothered me. But it did make me realize that I could make bowls and if they aren’t perfectly circular, it’s not the end of the world. I next saw Marilyn MacKenzie. She makes fountains, candle holders and sculptures out of animal heads. I really liked the fountains. There was one that was a horse and one that was an antelope that especially stood out for me. The style was very simple and angular which I thought was cool. It gave me a different perspective on style, whereas I generally shoot for realism. The next ceramic artist i saw was Jenni Ward. She made little figures inside a bigger piece, which she then cut holes in to reveal and piece within. I thought that was super cool and she had a little demonstration set out of how she did that. She would first create, fire and glaze a small piece. Then she would make two halves of some sort of circular object and enclose the already completed piece. She then cut out holes in the fresh clay to reveal and inner part and fires it again. I thought this was really neat, and from it I thought maybe I would do something in this style, but with a person inside looking distressed from being enclosed. Lastly, I saw Elaine Pickernell. She made some really cool pottery. I especially liked her bowls, built from slabs, because they had some really neat designs painted on them. I would like to make some pottery with some neat patterns on them from the glaze. I think I will definitely add something like that to the flower I just finished.

    • I love that idea of the distressed figure enclosed and trying to get out. What a great idea! And, I like the aesthetic processing you’ve done as you’ve visited the various ceramic artists artists….your comments on the tea bowls make me think of wabi and sabi – Japanese aesthetic ideas regarding beauty. You may want to look these ideas up…..

  12. The second artist I saw was Barbara Bailey Porter. I thought that she uses many colors and she blends certain colors together, but then distinguishes others. She works in a variety of media and subject, but is primarily a landscape oil painter. She works in outdoor nature scenes with dramatic colors and distinction of light. She doesn’t pay attention to detail and and she uses her first interpretation instead of breaking down the painting. She says, “The initial instinctual reaction of what I see and feel is what I try to capture within the first half hour of painting. I think in terms of abstract shapes, placing them together to make a loose representation of form and movement.” She also looks for major distinction in light and emphasizes it. She inspires to do more outside paintings and relax and not worry too much about the detail of a painting.

    The last artist I saw was Jennifer Welty. My impression of her work is it is very surreal. She makes the paintings very realistic and they are all portraits of people. She gives things small detailed characteristics which make the painting pop and look real. She starts the process by sketching many thumbnails of the scene and people within the scene. Once a final sketch is approved she paints. A complex painting can take a little over a year while smaller, less complex paintings take only a few months. She inspires me to take my time with paintings and try to make things very real after spending a considerable amount of time evaluating the scene.

    • I love Barbara Baily Porter’s work – especially the way she uses a colored ground in her landscapes, often a brilliant orange which peeks through the painting giving it life and vibrancy. And, her daughter was a Kirby art student!

  13. The studio of Chris Miroyan is bright and cheerful, much like the artist. Her paintings usually feature birds and nests, but are very colourful and are often accented by imaginative patterns and party hats. She also takes old photo portraits of children and manipulates them to have bird heads, and then paints them, adding party hats as well as accents of colour. She starts by layering acrylics particulerly with golden paints and uses modeling paste to create a lot of textures. and then paints the subject on top.Her work makes me remember that paintings of animals don’t have to be true to life to be interesting or cute and that intentionally changing colours and patterns can make them even more interesting. Her birds also inspired me last spring when I took a few classes in lampworking.

    • Her studio sounds so delightful and of course with that kind of environment, a very inspiring place to make art! You should bring in some photos of your glass work – it would be great to see what you made. Do you think we could do something like that at lunch time Art Club?

  14. I visited five different photographers for this assignment.

    The first two photographers I visited were Lovett and Hartley, a husband and wife team that specilize in capturing photographs in extreme environments. Driving up to the unasuming two story house near Westcliff, I found it hard to believe that it contained two different artists studios. My doubts were proved groundless when I entered their garage which was covered from floor to ceilng with dazzling color photographs of the kind of desolate or dangerous places that mere mortals like myself can only dream of. Hundred foot tall blue cliffs made of ice, deap and dangerous looking jungle gorges, and wind blasted desert rock formations were only a few of the things that Lovett and Hartley, the photographer equivalents of Indiana Jones, had on their garage walls. There technique was relatively simple, boldly going were no photographer has gone before, and then photograph it. Yes, they had photographic skill and used artistic techniques, but it was there sheer daring that set them apart. They inspired me to go to greater lengths to get a cool shot. I won’t be going to Antarctica, or the Himmalayas, or the Amazon rainforest any time soon, but I will try to do something kind of like that, only safer.

    The second two artists I visited were Paul Roehl and Claire Lerner, another husband and wife team, like Lovett and Hartley. However, unlike Lovett and Hartley, Roehl and Lerner have very different styles, as evidenced by the setup of their studio. This time, I had no doubts as to wheather or not this was actuly a studio, as soon as I entered the building I found myself in a large room, about the size of the Kirby art room but with lower ceilings, with good natural lighting and several long art tables, covered with photographs. There were also photographs on the walls, and in the other rooms. On one half of the room was Roehl’s work and on the other side was Lerner’s. Roehl specilized in more traditonal black and white photography that was “Inspired by the Photo Pictorialist movment of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.” Translated into laymans terms, that means that Roehl dosn’t alter his pictures in any way, but tries to show the beauty inherent in the subject. From Roehl, I am inspired to try not altering a couple of pictures and seeing if the result is any worse than altered pictures. Lerner on the other hand, has a completely different style. She specializes in taking multiple pictures and then combining them using a sort of weave pattern, and than further inhancing the result with paint. The end result is very abstract and different than Roehl’s work. From Lerner, I am inspired to try and make something out of my failed prints and test strips, possobly making something cooler and more creative than the actual photograph.

    The final artist I visited was Terry McCormac, a photographer who specilizes in landscape photography. Although his photos were not as dramatic as Lovett and Hartley’s or as traditonal as Roehl’s, or as altered as Lerner’s, his simple pictures of serene natural enviornments, including a simply stunning sunset, were perhaps some of my favorites. His studio was nearly empty of other people when I visited, so he allowed me to conduct a short interview, which I have linked to here (don’t worry, its probobly safe): I actuly recommend you listen to it, even if you aren’t Susana and checking to see if I did really did conduct an interview so you know weather to (ah-hem) give me extra credit. He gave some advice to me and any other photogrophy students who care to listen that could be helpful. From McCormac, I am inspired to just get out and photograph things that I like. Whether or not they can be considered art is beside the point, it’s all about getting out there and doing it.

    • I was just reading this morning about another husband and wife team Koenig and Rose who were artist in residence at the Great Basin National Park. They do not seem as daring as the Lovett and Hartley duo but nonetheless, it points to the lnk between nature photography and that spirit of exploration. You can’t be laid back and be a nature photographer. This is one case where that cliche is true: they do need to go boldly where none have gone before to get a better, newer, or just different shot. I think you looked to closely at Roehl’s work – he is a painter! But if you liked the style, you may want to investigate Pictorialism – a period in photography where the photos were very soft focus, like paintings. And, I’m so glad you saw Lerner’s work! It sould be very inspiring for lots of ways you can alter photos and use those strips and proof prints. I’m going to check out the advice from McCormac! It sounds like he was very generous with his time!

  15. Pat Worley – #110
    You go in and you immediately feel like you’re in the wild old country west. Banjo, country, and native feeling music plays – textiles and basketry hang around old branches – you are in a place where nature is intermixed with the ideas and creations of human thought. Pat Worley makes baskets and his wife makes textiles. They both have a very organic feel – as if all of their art is made of natural chemicals. The baskets are wrapped around the branches like snakes coiling around a tree. If I didn’t know better – I might jump back as a knee-jerk reaction to a seemingly real threat. Worley uses a traditional basket and wickerwork technique to display his art.
    I see a lot in Pat’s work that is inspiring. I too like to convey nature interwoven with the fabric of human thinking. In my art I have them more separated – one side nature, the other, industry. But in Worley’s work, they are directly in contact. Maybe my work could balance the nature and man-made in a more direct way.

    Susan Kessler – #128
    She mixes the unmixable. She superimposes stripes of images upon other images and photographs. From Stripes of a flower background on the seascape of the Santa Cruz Harbor – to a garden on a traditional suburban fence over the Surfer Statue – or – the light and dark sides of John, Paul, George and Ringo, Kessler conveys all sorts of emotions in every piece through showing two different photos/images that are mixed. She uses photoshop and computer software to superimpose images on each other.
    I found particular inspiration in her drawing of the Beatles. It showed each of the stars, but separated their faces into dark and light sides. I really like the balance that she uses in her work. Its both happy and sad at the same time. In my sketchbook, I am drawing an image of myself with dark and light sides to experiment with this new and cool idea in my work.

    Sarah Bianco – #115
    From the moment you walk in to Sara Bianco’s studio, you go from the objective, cut-and-dry capitalistic world of the tannery to a completely subjective place of abstraction and confusion. In one of her canvases, I saw a dolphin – then looked again – and saw a shoe. This subjectivity is was something I found in all of her works. Bianco uses pencil on canvas as a general framework and then paints over in a more instinctual manner that is characteristic of abstract art. I see this in some of her work in progress pieces.
    I find much of Bianco’s art inspiring to me. Now I want to make art that shows different things when you zoom in and zoom out. Her technique is not a bad place to start either.

    • The first studio sounds like such an unusual environment, a great adventure and unusual balance between nature with the man-made. Photoshop and the internet have made so many colloge possibilities ready and at hand. Artists used to have to search for images they wanted to use, now they are ready at hand. It’ll be interesting to see the influence of Kessler on your sketchbook drawing.

  16. Mike Shuler is a contemporary artist who creates “segmented wood vessels.” Both his work and the overall display were very impressive. The bowls and vases were showcased in a dark alcove covered in black cloth. Warm lights illuminated the art pieces.
    Shuler uses over thirty species of wood (including zebra wood) and creates vases and bowls using two processes: organic segmentation and constructed segmentation. When making a piece using organic segmentation, Shuler carves/cuts away from something found in nature (such as a pinecone). When making a piece with constructed segmentation, however, Shuler is creating his own design. He cuts wood into thin wedges, pieces the wedges together (forming a disc), and cuts rings from within the disc. The rings are then assembled to form the vessel.
    The beauty and uniqueness of Shuler’s artwork is very inspiring. I also love how, when using the organic segmentation technique, Shuler shapes his artwork around designs and patterns occurring in nature.
    When asked when and how he got started, Shuler explained that he has been working with wood carving since his early childhood. Chuckling to himself, he said, “My career began when I was five, or maybe even two.”

    Beth Purcell creates mosaics out of broken tiles, antique china, and other bits of ceramics. Her driveway is a mosaic within itself and the lush garden where she displays her artwork adds life and character to her pieces.
    For Purcell, a large part of the process is finding the materials; she loves searching for new elements to use in her creations. She draws inspiration from many sources including dreams, children’s books, and the world around her.
    I love to create ripped paper mosaics out of magazine paper and was inspired by Purcell’s use of composition and color, especially in a mosaic of a tree.

    Margo Mullen’s studio, with pastel-colored walls and upbeat music, was very inviting. Similarly, Mullen herself was cheerful and energetic, eager to share her process. Each picture is created with a slightly different approach but, in general, Mullen begins with a light sketch and then fills in the drawing with watercolor, acrylic paint, or chalk pastel. Her artwork is inspiring because of its playfulness and originality.
    When asked how she came up with her imaginary creatures (the subject matter for her paintings), Mullen explained that she developed them two or three years ago during a period of loneliness. “They cam from a dark place,” she said. When Mullen first arrived in the area, she knew very few people. One day, while sitting in her studio, she began drawing random shapes and lines. From there she began developing her creatures. She would carry them around with her, in the car or in her bag. They made her feel happy. As Mullen explained, her playful and whimsical creatures can “do anything, speak any language, and travel anywhere in the world.”

    Ruth Carroll uses oils, watercolors, and encaustics and her favorite subject matter includes still-life compositions, portraits, and landscapes. Her studio is covered in paintings of nature, giving the room a very calming aura.
    She begins her process by drawing on a canvas and painting a rough outline. She then fills in the rest of the composition. All of her paintings are reproduced as giclées.
    Carroll’s ability to capture light and shadow is very inspiring. Capturing light and shadow is (to me at least) a very important aspect of art and is something that I always try to work on/emphasize in my own artwork. I was also inspired by her choice of subject matter because, like Carroll’s, many of my compositions are based on nature.

    Lucy Martin and Elizabeth Romanini share a studio and each artist’s work compliments the other’s very nicely. On every wall there is something interesting and beautiful that catches the eye, whether it is one of Martin’s mushroom paintings or one of Romanini’s drawings of a bird, nest, feather, or insect. Both women are friendly and welcoming.
    Martin begins her process by finding a mushroom (or cluster of mushrooms) that she wants to paint. She then takes a photograph of the surroundings, which she will use to paint the background as well as other items that are too big to carry home. She collects the mushrooms (and smaller items, such as moss) to bring back to her studio and arranges them to form her composition. Next, Martin draws a sketch and paints the mushrooms using gouache. She will then paint the mushroom’s surroundings. She finishes the piece by adding in final details and highlights.
    Romanini begins her process by choosing her subject matter. She likes to draw live or preserved animals. Sometimes, however, she will choose her composition from one of her photographs. After choosing the position of the animal, Romanini will draw a light sketch, which she later goes over in ink. If she chooses to add color, Romanini will use a light wash of watercolor paint (so as not to cover any of the ink/fine detail work).
    I appreciate the intricacy of Romanini’s work and the vibrancy and dimensionality of Martin’s paintings. I am also inspired by both artists’ choice of subject matter since it is all nature related.

    • It’s wonderful you got to Martin and Romanini’s studios. Their work is so exceptional and what a love of intricacy and detail in nature they have! What a nice inspiration Purcell can be for you too since you make mosaic art. For those who love Picassette/broken china mosaics, breaking a dish in the kitchen isn’t such a bad thing. There is a house in Santa Monica made totally of mosaic, not to mention Watts Towers. That’s such a lovely story that Mullen told you. Art is truly a balm for the soul.

  17. The first studio I visited was Peter Vizzusi’s, who makes blown glass vessels. His studio is in his garage, with the lager section set up with shelves showing off his pieces and the smaller section containing the kilns and raw materials for the glass. While I was visiting his studio he talked about how he draws inspiration from Guadalajara as well as how the tools for creating glass pieces have not much over the history of glass making. By how he talked about the process of making his art you could tell that he was knowledgeable and passionate about making glass pieces. His pieces inspired me to think about simple patterns and to not be afraid to use vibrant colors in my art.

    The second studio I visited was Terry Dowell’s, who creates encaustic wax paintings. I wanted to go to her studio because I had no idea what encaustic paintings were and I am glad I did because her studio was my favorite. To create a piece Terry would start with a piece of birch plywood then she takes bee’s wax and paint it onto the wood, from there you can add different pigments, writing, stamps, newspaper, thread and lots of other stuff. The wax and colors she kept on a hot plate and used a torch to fuse the layers of wax to the wood and make the brush strokes disappear. She had her paintings hung up all over her living room, which was nice and she had a table set up to do demonstrations. She said she does her work in the garage because she believes to create art you need a space where you can leave things out without worrying about a mess. Talking to her was very nice and she was eager to share her passion for art and knowledge, she even recommended a class to take to learn how to do encaustic was painting. It is something that seems very fun and I would like to try it.

    The third studio I visited was Michael Mote’s, who is a painter. His paintings were mostly of the ocean and were displayed in a room of a warehouse complex in Aptos. The room had raw wood floors and was pretty roomy with his paints and brushes displayed on a table. I did not get a chance to talk to him, but liked how he used his brush strokes to create the frothy parts of waves. His paintings inspired me to find more inspiration in nature as well as to think more about how to use pencil or brush stokes to add a higher level of detail to pictures.

    The last studio I visited was right next to Michael Mote’s. This studio was Mike Beebe’s who makes, ceramic tea bowls. He had his ceramics displayed mostly on tables around the room. He fires most of his pieces in a wood kiln to obtain his earthy looking style. He created an series of pieces that was interesting to talk to him about, because he said he would write a haiku, make a tea bowl and then his wife would do a painting that depicts what the haiku said. These were my favorite works of his because it all went together very well yet helped you to look at each individual piece in a different way.

    • Several students went to Vizzusi’s studio and of course were also enthralled by the medium and process. It’s nice to hear about his inspiration from Guadalajara. Encaustic is one of the oldest painting mediums – it was used for portraits on Roman sarcophagi. Take a class if you can since we don’t have the ventilation it would require at school.

  18. I went to the 18 different artists on 7th avenue. This was really cool because there were so many artists in one place, and all the studios were woven together in a interesting way. I probably went through at least 8 of the studios, but here are my top three:

    The very first studio I visited was Demian Bartholomew-Keller’s studio. His was super interesting because he did most of his work with wood blocks. I was able to talk to him for a while about his process and it was super interesting: First, he carves the pattern into the wood and when he likes it, he puts on the color, and lays a piece of paper on top of the cutting, with certain holes lining up with the block, and he presses the pigment onto the paper with a type of rolling press. Then he would take the paper off and repeat it a couple times. With this specific print that I loved, he did three layers on the one piece. To do this, he did the first step, then he carved from the block more, and used some different colors. He then pressed it again, and with the holes on the paper he could line it up so the print was on the same place every time. He repeated this once more to add some different lights and darks. I thought it was so amazing that he made the print with three layers. Demian said that he was only able to get about 28 prints off of that block because eventually you cannot go back to the original cuts. I really loved all his works, and it was really amazing what he could do with a piece of wood.

    Another one of my favorite studios was Pat Towery’s studio. She told me about her works that were displayed around the room. She mainly did acrylic paintings but she also make handmade paper. She was working on a set of paintings about ocean cliffs. These were really cool because she used a paste that made the painting sort of 3d. The paintings were very beautiful, but I did not get enough time to talk to her much.

    My all time favorite studio was the one of Paul DeSomma. He did some AMAZING glass work that I loved. I did not get to talk to him, but he had his works spread around his huge studio. They looked like they could be in one of those super fancy art shows. One of my favorite pieces was a wave that had an amazing color scheme and he used some type of broken glass for the foam. He did a lot of work with the ocean. Around his studio he had corals, sea stars, and some sea animals. It was really cool and I would have loved to be able to talk to him about his process.

    • Isn’t the reductive woodcut process fascinating? It’s great that you got to see the details and steps of the process. That’s a great site to visit since there are so many studios to choose from. It sounds like both Towery and DeSomma had the type of imagery you love.

  19. This first artist that I visited was Stephanie Schriver. She is primarily a sculptor but does some pastel work and painting. Her sculptures were the highlight of her studio in my mind. They showed very thoughtful ways of working clay in order to get the desired realistic look. There was one clay sculpture of a dog, that instead of adding texture to a large piece of clay, the clay was made into long strands and attached in a thick layer to look like hair. This was a very successful technique. The sculptures that I saw there gave me some inspiration to think of new ways of forming clay that could possibly make them look even more realistic.

    The second artist I saw was Andy Ruble. He is also a sculptor and works with clay to form geometric shapes and doing processes to make them appear weathered. Some sculptures appear as if they were at the bottom of the ocean for a long period of time. He also makes some pottery that has shapes cut out of the sides. It was very interesting how all of his work looked like old artifacts. It was inspirational how he could make these geometric sculptures look so appealing and interesting.

    The third and final artist I saw was Juan Ramon Gimeno. He is a sculptor and is from spain. He works with ceramics and makes them appear to be almost like stone or some type of rock. His sculptures have flowing lines through them and appear to be almost natural and just cut out of the earth. It was inspirational how he has won so many award with his simple shaped yet complex looking sculptures.


    Baker’s studio was the first one I visited and really loved the organization of the display. All her artworks are extremely similar. The gestures, the color schemes, and the themes of all the pieces are the same. Oceans and the creatures that live there are the themes of all her work. Barker is not shy about using bright colors. Each of the canvases follow the same color scheme: blue. Her studio was very neat and organized, you would not be able to tell she painted in there if it weren’t for the various paints and brushes displayed around the place. The artist herself was very friendly and she spent much of her time talking to the same person so her husband mingled and talked to everyone else. To create each piece, she begins by coating the entire canvas in one color than goes back with variations of that color to fill in her forms. From seeing her work, I can see that it is really important to create variations in your pieces, but I really like the way she was able to combine colors.

    This was my second time going to his open studios. His studio is exactly what you would picture and art studio to look like. The work table was caked with dried paint, brushes and paint everywhere, and ongoing pieces all around. David is a very tall man. He seemed very gentle, calm and humble person and his partner was the person to make sales. He interacted with the people who came in. I completely love his work. He uses lots of gestural strokes and thick application of paints. All of the pieces are very realistic and the colors he uses are very natural. The vibrancy of his colors and the gestural strokes combined helped his art convey a lot of emotion. He mixes all his own paints because he is allergic to the ingredients used to make the store paints. His technique is very unique; he works from composites, so he takes elements from different photographs and combines them on his canvas to create one image. He starts all of his paintings by drawing everything using black and white oil paints. from there, he goes back with colorful acrylic paints to bring life and depth to the piece. I particularly liked his open studios because he displayed his art all around his house and outside. It felt as if you were walking though a house that was converted into an art gallery. He didn’t only display a few pieces, he placed everything he has painted for us all to see. Going forward, I really think I want to try starting with black and white paints only, then going over with color. His work inspired me because he drew from images but made them his and didn’t copy, he borrowed. His work looks realistic but seems to have a feel of abstraction also.

    Going to her open studio felt like attending a dinner party that just happened to have art displayed. She was very nice, she gave me a tour of her studio and chatted with me about how her art connects to her family situations. Her studio was very serene and organized and small. All she had in there was a large table, a single easel, color code pastels, and some of her past work. Her showing was very intimate because she took the time to interact with everyone. When talking to her, all I could think of was Martha Stuart because of her clothing style and the way she decorated her room. All of her artwork are inspired by everyday things like fruits, the view from the window, the plants in her garden, and things from her kitchen. She began working with pastels 7 years ago and has not used anything else since. After 7 years, the mastery of her skill is very evident in the smooth blending of her colors, ability to create light and shadows, and the ability to make things look very real. She uses organic colors and sanded paper to achieve the earthiness of every piece. When she is starting a piece, she first goes over the paper with a single color, then she uses her color wheel to choose the color’s compliment which she uses on top of the first coat. After the background colors are set, she uses photos to draw in the image, then takes off from there. It is extremely difficult to work with pastel and her technique of layering and building up colors is very helpful. It not only makes the colors look more vibrant, it also enables you to accomplish realism.

    • You will probably want to go see his show at Cabrillo also. I bet he uses acrylic for the first layers and then uses oil paint. Many artists are using this approach now. That would be great for you to try the black and white base painting and then add the color. It helps you work out the value system first and then the color. But it can seem like twice as much work. That’s why sketchbook prep is very useful.

  21. Today I visited three people: Levi Sophen, Genie sophen, and Katherine stutz-talor. Levi did some really awesome photos of wildlife and waves. He had some awesome pictures taken in the center of a wave. I asked him about how he did the photos and he says he treads water with his waterproof camera and then takes the photo as the waves wash over him. He also told me about how he took the different photos that he had. Since this is not a photo class, I did not really glean much inspiration but I did think that it gave me good ideas for pictures of water and how it reflects. Genie sophen was Levi’s mom and she did some amazing oil paintings. She had a lot of awesome small and large canvas paintings of different settings. She used almost all oil paintings from the looks of it, and each one took a lot of time. She wasn’t at the studio when I was there so I could not get an interview, sadly. Her paintings definitely gave me more of an eye for how to do good perspective and how to do paintings of scenery and good background, she had an awesome eye for scenery. Katherine also had some awesome paintings which used lines in an awesome way. Her drawings and paintings were all nice pictures of building and scenery, among other things. They all used really nice contour lines and the likes. I certainly got a lot out of these drawings because they had really nice technique I will certainly use in the future.

  22. Judy Miller:
    Her studio was what I would expect an artist’s studio to look like: it had a kiln, drying racks, canvases, and work everywhere. It also had a large assortment of pastels and paints. She was very nice, and was willing to talk about her artwork. She works with both pastels and ceramics, and has a large collection of both types of pieces. Many of her pastel paintings depicted the ocean, and she used a lot of blue. They reminded me of some impressionist paintings, and invoked a mood instead of trying to be realistic.
    For her pastel paintings, she works off of photos taken locally, and also abroad. She also likes to use longer strokes with the pastels, and uses many different colors in her paintings. However, blue is the most common color. To clean the pastels, she uses corn flour.
    For her ceramics, they were mainly regular plates, but she painted on them with Duncan “concept” underglaze for bisque. On these, there were mainly simplistic designs of houses. There was also a lot of blue in these.
    Her work was inspiring because she is so versatile, and just recently began to use pastels. In spite of this, she is very skilled at these paintings, which shows that anyone can make good art.
    Burt Levitsky:
    His studio was just in his living room, which took up probably half of his house. The walls were strewn with many oil paintings, and one of his works in progress was on a stand were he could work on it. He was also very nice, and had stories that could go along with almost all of his pieces. His artwork is very realistic, and mostly showed city streets, particularly in New York, where he used to live.
    When he works on a painting, he first sketches on the canvas in pencil, then adds in the basic light and dark values. He talked a lot about “chiaroscuro”, which is the contrast of light and dark values. Then, once he has done all of this, he adds in the colors themselves. Also, he used almost indiscernible brush strokes, and follows tradition academy methods from the 17th century.
    His work was inspiring because it showed how close to reality paintings can be. However, to be able to achieve this level of realism, he had to study for his entire life, so it does take a lot of work to be able to do this.
    Craig Mitchell:
    His studio was in his garage, and had been cleaned up for the open studios, so he didn’t have any works in progress or materials lying around. His art was “found object” sculptures, which is basically just scrap metal stuck together in weird ways. Some of them could spin and perform other functions. He says that his goal is to “make objects do things that they weren’t meant to do.”
    He said that he doesn’t really have a consistent technique for his sculptures, but just tries to think of cool things to make them do. To stick the objects together, he’d either tie them with wires, balance them, or make them fit in each other some how. I wasn’t really inspired by his art because it was so different from my taste in art.

  23. I went to a lot of different artists studios I choice 3 of them,which i interesting in ,one of these is a glass art studios called blaker- desomma glass from marsha blaker and Paul DeSomma And I find Marsha Blaker and Paul DeSomma are Santa Cruz, California based glass artists
    who work both collaboratively and independently on a variety of glass projects
    and series. The pair met at the Pilchuck Glass School in 1989, married in 1991, and
    opened their glass shop in 2001.
    Marsha’s detail oriented work is influenced by the intricacies of the marine
    environment, with emphasis on the myriad textures and colors. Paul, a minimalist
    at heart, is most interested in freehand solid glass sculpting, emphasizing the clarity,
    form and optical nature of colorless and transparently colored glass.
    and i get some inspiration from “bubble blue” to draw water.

    then I see Michele Indiana Anderson’s artwork her art work just put on different triangle on the special Mix color it is simple but different.
    she said on her website “My current paintings are about a life long interest in the human subjectivity of perception. I have always been intrigued with the fragility of the world, as I see it, and I am fascinated with the ability of the mind to find new ways of understanding. My new paintings are a dialog about the shattering of the illusion that blocks the nature of reality. To preserve the history of process, numerous glazing techniques are utilized. Each layer records the history of the marks and creates a translucent surface. I am drawn to vibrant colors that communicate a mood. It is through the complexity of making the painting that I find a simplicity that leads me to new realizations.”
    I get some inspiration on how to use colors she mix different color on her paint but these are special.

    Susanna waddell is artist also specials style of draw the paint look not clear but beautiful. I didn’t got the chance to ask her her about the draw but I guess she use a unusual tool to draw most of the paint is about the nature view.

  24. This weekend, I saw Steve Braranowski. He makes reliefs, so I wanted to see his technique compared to how I did mine. He carves them out of a tile or makes plaster molds and then makes multiple of the same. I thought that was pretty neat. I might try to make a small relief again using the carving out technique. Next, I saw Travis Adam’s work. I really liked the studio or at least where it was displayed because there was a cool hippy band playing in the corner, and they were actually pretty good. His work was general pottery, but I really liked the colors he used to glaze. They were very earthy tones or blues, and I really like both of those. He also made mugs that were heart-shaped and had swirly handles, which is something I think I could accomplish because then they don’t have to be circular, so it wouldn’t drive me crazy. Then I saw Marianne de Hatten Groh. She is a french woman who makes busts and ballerina sculptures out of clay and bronze. I absolutely loved her faces. I think making a bust would be an awesome thing to make my last project of the year. It would be cool to build up to. I also think it would be good for me to work on faces, since I’ve never done that. My mom and I were on a hunt for plates. We ended up at Jeanine Niehaus’s studio. She had AWESOME plates and bowls and such. We were finally successful in our hunt. I liked how she added strips of colored clay to her pottery instead of just glazing them. This added cool texture. We then went to see Bayje Pomeroy. She made cool tea pots that were swans and then cups that both used the neck as a handle. They were really cool. I’m thinking making my teapot in the shape of a bird because I love birds and I really liked that teapot. She also offered to teach me on her wheel, so I gave her my email and name and such, so that was pretty cool. We also went to see Steven and Bonnie Barisof. We found more lovely plates. All this pottery is really inspiring me to make a tea set and maybe saucers or something like that to go with it. I also think we should get a wheel…

    • You have certainly gotten a lot pf practical artistic advice and wonderful inspiration for the artists you visited. I love to see the inspiration and ideas flow!
      You get the award for making the most of Open Studios!

  25. 1. Anita Landon: She makes collages of things. Some of them are of dirt bikers, cars, or the ocean. I liked her pictures especially the ones where she showed the depth of an object by using darker paper as shading. She begins her collages by finding magazines and paper that has the appropriate colors. Then she sketches an outline of the objects she is going to portray and cuts paper to fill in the outline with color and texture.
    2. Jeff Rogers: Jeff makes glass sculptures. They’re pretty cool looking. Some of them are big marbles that have discs of color in them that go through the middle. He makes his stuff by heating glass rods in a blow torch and molding the glass by using different tools and blocks. Some rods of glass have color infused which shows when the glass is heated. Depending on the temperature the glass is heated, the color might be different. Light can also bring out some colors.
    3. Demian Batholomew-Keller: He makes prints on paper and shirts from wood carvings. I liked his shirts. When he is making his paper prints, he starts by sketching what he wants onto paper. He then carves the first layer into a wooden block, colors it, and prints it onto the paper. He then carves the first layer off the block, and carves the next layer, colors it, and prints it. He does this for as many layers as he needs.

  26. The first person I visited for Open Studios was Levi Sofen. His photographs show an interesting use of color, especially in portrayals of sunrises. The studio was held outside in an airy stand where you could walk in and see the multiple photographs taken by the artist. One photo that I really liked was “The Beach, Sunrise”. It’s of a wave curling over the ocean, taken at precisely the right time with the lighting of the sunrise bright enough to make the water shine. I loved the use of color in the photo as well as the composition. The viewer can see through the arc in the water enough to observe the silhouette of the Santa Cruz shore. It portrays Santa Cruz in an interesting way, which is one of the reasons I liked it.

    The second person I visited was Gero Heine, a wildlife photographer. His photos all had different settings from around the world, which was interesting to me. One photo that stood out was Wolves at Play II, which was almost completely white except for the wolves playing in the center. This drew the attention to the black and gray wolves playing together. The stark contrast played an integral role in drawing the viewer’s attention to the movements of the wolves. Another photo that I liked was Upper Grand Tetan NP Fall Scene III. This was a color photograph of a forest, and it used an interesting medley of colors and details that made it look as idyllic as a painting. Though this photographer had many photos in color, there were a series of black and white nature photos. These black and white photos were high in contrast and had a lot of detail, a balance I envied.

    The third photographer I went to see was Kevin Osborn. What I found interesting about his photographs was the fact that they were taken with a filter that only absorbed infrared light. This made the pictures seem difficult to take, but according to Kevin Osborn, the difficulty of taking photos like that is what makes art interesting. The photos were mainly wildlife photography, but he also had a series of photos with the subject of seaweed, which had an alien, surreal effect brought on by the infrared filter. One print of his photos of a zebra walking through a plain came home with me. I would be interested in experimenting with infrared lighting filters simply because of the interesting effect it had on the piece as a whole. All of the photos were in black and white, but whether they were taken digitally or with film varied. He told me that learning to use film helped him with taking better digital photos and that it was a useful skill to learn.

  27. One of the first artists I visited was named Blaise Rosenthal. His studio was tucked away in a warehouse sort of thing where there are several artist studios, and his room could have almost been overlooked for it was really small and dark. There were a few paintings on the wall and the rest were piled on top of each-other in piles and piles covering the majority of the room. At first glance most of his paintings looked like simple black canvases. When I neared the work I realized that they were canvases with abstract paintings using earthly tones and he simply drew millions of little black charcoal lines on top of this. It was incredible how much time he must have put into making so many paintings that basically primarily consist of just straight lines stretching from one side of the canvas to the other. I had a very pleasant conversation with him, and he was explaining to me how a lot of people don’t understand his work and how he can stay up days on end just drawing lines after lines, to complete a painting that many wont even acknowledge to be art. He said he discovered this style nearly thirty years ago and it just “felt right”. He said he knows each of his paintings like the back of his hand, and purposefully puts every hidden speck, and plot with some sort of intentionality behind it. His works hold a very unique two dimensional element that really resinated with me and though the skill involved in producing such works seems simple, it challenged my thinking a bit, and made me question who would actually sit with a five by six canvas, create a very passive abstraction, and then spend months covering it in charcoal lines until the canvas appears black? It inspired me to consider my process a bit more when doing art, and focusing a little less on the result.

    Demian Bartholomew-Keller was a young woodblock artist. His studio space was relatively organized with prints drying up on a string, a printing press that almost looked homemade, and a couple little desks for mapping out his work. He had close to ten pieces actually displayed, my favorite of which was probably a woodcut print of a mountain goat. Most of the pieces hanging were completely different prints, but others were documentations of different stages in the woodcut process when working with multiple layers and colors. He was talking to me about how he takes joy in just experimenting with each layer he adds, in terms of color and even paper (he had a few prints on papyrus paper that were quite neat). He showed me one painting he was working on of an ocean and showed me all the prints he made after each time he cut something more out of the block trying to explain where he tried to preserve the colors lying behind it in a way to give it the dimentionality in the most recent piece from the block. It was quite difficult for me to understand the way each layer worked, but I realized he takes a similar approach to making prints, as I would with spray paint, where you really have to think about each layer and how preserving the previous color in the selected areas is key because you can never really go back. He inspired me to work a little more with wood/linoleum block in book arts, and develop my strategical thinking skills a bit more.

    Brian Bowes was probably one of the most interesting fun artists to talk to. His studio space was small, and covered in books and book cases. I cant go into all the details because we literally probably had a two hour conversation, but he taught me a lot about his art form and the world of illustration. He covered a lot of bases, from art schools, to the importance of illustrations in stories, and even his childhood. He works with pencils, pen and ink, and watercolor primarily, and creates very dramatic almost comedic images. He writes his own short stories and comics and illustrates for authors as well. He told me one of his major inspirations growing up was Winnie the poo, and It made me realize that winnie the poo is such a well known character but we never really stop to acknowledge there was one person who decided…”this is how I was winnie the poo to look…and this is what I want to teach children”. I think Illustration is a very important art form especially in todays society…and it can touch people with more artistic abstract ways of interpreting the world, and it can also touch people who interpret the world and art more literally. Brian showed me some of his sketchbooks and told me he sets a timer for twenty eight minutes each day, and just replicates things from national geographic or other sources to improve his technical skills. He said more than that it is really just fun to sketch or paint things, but alter the colors and tones and practice translating certain elements of real life, into a more imaginative context. He also was telling me about his days in high school and how he struggled with math all through his years in the educational system and was able to pass his classes by drawing little funny comics for his teachers on the back of his homework. This was quite encouraging..

    I also stopped at the studio of an artist named Aaron Johnson. His works were on a relatively large scale, hung very orderly throughout his spotless studio. He did woodcuts, oils and acrylics of redwood trees mostly, and I loved the way he incorporated elements of realism, as well as stylistic elements. His paintings had a lot of depth and were very detailed. He said almost all of his work was done in the woods looking at real trees and branches.

    I then stopped at Daniel S. Friedmans studio. His abstract work was quite interesting. I think my favorite of his paintings were ones where he would carve pli-wood and then paint it using encaustic and oil and acrylics. His house was very upper class and everything was displayed very orderly. His studio in the garage was also very orderly but splattered in paint…it was almost an architectural style. Most of his works were very simple but there were some that had had more detail. His symmetrical compositions were very unique and recognizable. Also on a separate note, he said “there ya go” a lot and now Ive started saying that and its getting on my nerves.

    I then briefly visited Carolina McCall’s studio. I don’t think it was actually her studio..more of a place for her to display her work. But her watercolor acrylic paintings were very beautiful and detailed, drawing on elements from columbian and hispanic culture. They were all very bright realistic images of women and men cloaked in beautiful tapestries casually walking in colorful markets or fields. I particularly love her painting of a woman dressed in a purple shawl nursing a little baby. The entire image is just very visually pleasing and enlightening in a weird way.

    I then ventured to the Tannery and saw Susan Kesslers work. She combined painting with photography in collage. She seemed to draw a lot of her work from local sights such as the statue of the man with surf board by West cliff. I thought her work was interesting..nothing too shocking or intreging, but it gave me inspiration to perhaps try mixing black and white photography with graphite or paint.

    Poppy De Garmo also had some interesting works. Her studio was very organized, and her work was very focused on high contrast portraitures. She seemed very intrigued with capturing character. I think my favorite of her photos is one of an older man with a fancy shirt on crossing his arms.

  28. I visited thee artists at the Tannery Arts Center.
    The first artist, Ann Hazels work was with ceramics. He makes glazed pottery such as plates, bowls, etc. with bright usually light or dark color and small to large glazed ceramic sculptures. He typically starts with the basic structure of his sculptures and adds detail. similarly he starts with the darkest glazes and works outward with lighter colors. The most striking pieces of his exhibit had a sort of rusty sea-worn quality. My favorite piece was an old, barnacle encrusted, curved, ceramic, lattice with symmetric concentric layers that contrasted with a indentation of bright gold and reminded me of forgotten treasure or the sea floor. The simple yet effective themes and styles that Hazels uses show me that less can be more.
    The second artist I visited was Stephanie Schiver’s which was a combination of sculptures and paintings based on events from her life. In her studio of watched a short film on sculpting that talked about slow thoughtful work, something useful that I learned from it was to avoid sharp edges as they can dry and crack easily. Her colorfully vivid oil paintings, as well as her bird and dog themed clay motif were i felt the dominating feature of her exhibition. The part of her work that i personally found the most interesting was that many of her pictures she extended onto their them a unique sense of completion and texture. I asked Schiver about were she drew her inspiration and she said that she like to focus on social interaction and drawing ideas from her experiences and the real world,
    The last studio that i visited was Beth Sheilds’. Her work was focused on contrasting colors. texture, and value. It was expressionisticly abstract and often appeared non-objective. She began a piece by creating its darkest base colors and adds lighter softer colors on top to create depth and rich texture. This make the focus of her artwork the interactions between the complimenting and contrasting colors and textures. Many of her pieces do not have much clear structure or organization which created a sense of chaos in her art. The explanation of her creative process taught me that it is often good to postpone work on a piece in order to gain perspective with time and return to the piece.

  29. Art
    Stephane Schriver was the first artist I saw, her studio was quite impressive, she had a wide gallery of very interesting work. She had several very crude looking sculptures of dogs, I thought they were rather interesting. Here work was showcased at the tannery. She also had these interesting pastel paintings that were continued onto the wooden frames. I’d like to something like that in the future. She also had paintings of different cultures doing hard work but the characters themselves were meant to look funny. (I overheard her say this). I liked that her process involved photographing her models so she could see it from many different angles.

    Andy Ruble was the second and his his sculptures were awesome. They looked like they had been underwater for a thousand years and resurfaced, very heavy on the texture aspect. Very much unlike anything I’d really ever seen before. One of his works was what looked like a big arc made of ridges and spines, kind of like a spiders legs when the spider dies.Seeing his work made me want to work with clay and create new and interesting structures from clay and other ceramics. I really liked the way he goes about creating new structures, by being inspired by nature and benign, everyday structures and I really liked that idea.

    Juan Ramon Gimeno was the third artist I saw he had a very interesting selection of ceramics and sculpture. His work was like a smear or a blur of stone. Much of his work was created by pinching things and gluing them together. One work he had looked like a piece of sedimentary rock that had been taken and turned into this strange circle which all these different blurred colors. His art was very cool. Seeing his art made me want to create some trippy looking glass and stoneware.

    Susan Kessler was not actually present when I saw her photo collages. They were very sumbliminal, but in a happy, peaceful way. I didn’t see anything posted about her process but I’m assuming she takes photos of things and then collages them with pictures of nice looking nature pictures. One piece of her art was of the surfer statue on west cliff and overlaid or intercut are pictures of flowers. I liked this a lot and it made me wat to do some photo splicing in the future.

    Poppy de Garmo was very interesting to talk to. She was really nice and her portraits were fine quality and it was easy to see emotion in the subjects. She told me that she usually shoots digital and shoots easily over a hundred photos every time. She said she also shoots on film but really has to pace herself and make sure she captures the right moments. She inspired me to really wait for the right moment when taking a portrait.

    I went to a third artist whos name I did not get but I did she had very interesting looking photos. They looked incredibly old and weathered, but when I looked at the titles they were all things like “Hungary 2012” it was incredible. She had some other digital photos that were very interesting as well. She had one that was a rodeo clown whos body shouted that he was sad but his mask smiled with a concrete wall or something in the background. They were very interesting and she was one of the first artists inside the tannery. I would definitley like to go back and learn more about her and her works.

  30. My first visit was to Ursula O’Farrell. She’s a family friend so it was nice to go see her work and visit. I never really looked at her paintings, but as I was observing them I noticed the stories her paintings told. She told me she paints mostly about emotions and family. One of her paintings she described to me was a mother carrying a child. I could see in the painting that it was very emotional, like her other paintings. She uses a lot of oil painting too. I was really inspired but her abstract objects of the people and all the emotion you can find in the picture.
    My second visit was to Elaine Pinkernell. She does Ceramic vessels and wall pieces. She does a lot of microwaveable pieces. Her vases each had their own design and small stamp like designs. Her wall pieces have design after design and going into the middle of the piece. She does lots of small hearts and spirals. Her pieces are inspiring because they have her own designs in each piece and the pieces don’t have straight edges. They aren’t completely round or square.
    My last visit was to Sylvia Valentine. She’s a photographer. She does nature photos. She started talking pictures in 2008 and then took more and more since then. She takes most of the photos here in Santa Cruz, Monterey and Watsonville. I really enjoyed her whole set up with her art. She has big photos and postcards. She also had small picture frames and note pads. She has many photos of animals, gardens and the ocean. I really enjoyed all of her photos.

  31. So, as you know, I stupidly left my Open Studios assignment until this weekend because of how busy I was the last two. Unfortunately, I found out last Wednesday I had a soccer tournament this weekend, so I wasn’t able to make any Open Studios (I’m the worst, and I am so sorry). But enough excuses! To try to make up for this terrible mistake, I visited the Santa Cruz Art League Open Studios Preview Show (wow that’s a long name). AND SO, here are my rankings:

    Assignment for AP Art:

    Best of show: Eileen Murray (South County #154) – Ty, acrylic
    This piece is a painting of what looks like a stray dog. I mean, it’s definitely a dog, but it has this look on its face like it’s lost. That’s one of the things I like most about the painting. I also really like the color scheme (brown, grey, and black). They’re very casual colors that work well together. The painting doesn’t need to be outdone to be excellent, which is another thing I like about it. Lastly, I love the painting style. The artist, Murray, was very loose with her brushstrokes. The reason I like this style so much is because I have trouble with it, so I have a great appreciation for art that uses it well.

    2nd place: Sharon von Ibsch (North County #124) – Birth and Death, acrylic
    This piece is a black and white painting of a rose. What I love about this painting is the technical skill. The rose itself looks incredibly life-like, drawn correctly and painted correctly. The shadows are amazing. I can’t really say anything else about this painting other than the fact that the artist, Ibsch, has amazing technical skill. Her “in-the-lines” kind of style reminds me of how I paint, so I also enjoyed that aspect.

    3rd place: Chance Lane (North County #86) – Who’s Watching Whom?, acrylic on wood panel
    I loved this painting! The painting is on a wood panel, and painted in the middle is an iguana that looks so lifelike that it is coming out of the board. It’s really quite amazing how realistic it is. Going through the exhibit I had to look twice to make sure there wasn’t an iguana coming out of the wall. The scales and fingers and even eyelashes were correct right down to the last detail. Although I absolutely love this painting and the idea of it, I made it third place because only about 1/3 of the “canvas” has art on it. Otherwise, I would give it an A+.

    Assignment for Photo 1:

    Best of show:Susan Hillyard (North County #82) – Mark and Domingo #1, digital photography
    This photo show a man (possibly woman) and a horse walking off into the distance. It looks like it was captured on a foggy day, because you cannot see the destination in which they are headed. The man is also wearing a coat. I really like this photo because although we can only see the back of the subjects, the photo emits a certain feeling. For me, its mysticism. That probably has somewhat to do with the fog and not being able to see where the man and his horse are headed. Additionally, the photo is faded, so it looks as though the subjects are vanishing into the clouds.

    2nd place: Frank Leonard (North County #15) – Kicking Back, photography
    This photo was of a young, nude woman laying on what look like were grey sheets on a bed. Her head is turned so you cannot see her face, and one of her feet are kicked up toward the camera. I really like everything about this photo: the subject matter, the cropping, the exposure and contrast, just everything. The photo was printed in a Sepia tone, which is an interesting difference from our usual black-and-white photography. I even really like the black border around the photo and the brown and white frame.

    3rd place: Gero Heine (South County #202) – Oxyperuers and Zebras II, photography
    This picture is of two birds laying on a zebra, with another zebra’s rear end in the background. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t like this picture that much. Mostly because I didn’t get any feeling or emotion from it. However, just because it didn’t make me feel anything doesn’t make it a bad photo. I appreciate how incredible the photographer must be just to obtain a photo like this. The picture is perfectly focused on these birds, and it’s very hard to capture moving animals in the perfect position (I know this very well from safari). So I chose this as 3rd place because I think that it’s still an incredibly impressive photograph. I also really like the contrast of black and white, despite it being a full color picture.

  32. I also saw Geoffrey Nicastro. He teaches at his studio and has 20ish wheels. He has classes, so I got his schedule and will probably make my way over there some time. His pottery was again super cool with different glazes. I also saw Liz Crain. She makes cans from clay made to look like metal. And they really do! She makes them from slap rolled out and then dents them and then shoots them with a BB gun. It was awesome. She fires on medium temperature, which makes the glaze duller, making the cans look old and used. It was interesting to learn more about glazing techniques, since I haven’t done that at all yet. We went to one final potter. Her name was Faye Cates. She had some cool fire-like bowls and I learned a little more about wheel technique when she explained how she made this super thin vase by molding it around a wire. It was more pottery that makes me really want to make some some mugs and plates. Which reminds me. Do we have any food-safe glaze? We can always use more plates, so It would be cool if I could make some.

    • All out glazes except the red are food safe – but we keep it set aside so it is not put on by mistake. I love Liz’s work and her spirited attitude towards art and the creative process. That would be fantastic if you could do a wheel class.

  33. The first studio I visited was Stacey Pollard’s studio at Mission Industrial, and the medium she used was painting with a few elements of mixed media. Before painting, she would apply tape, wire, and other materials to the canvas for texture and effect. Most of her paintings were based on photographs of older buildings and houses on the Central Coast. I liked the texture of the paintings from the layered effect.

    The second studio I visited was Barbara Downs’s studio, also at Mission Industrial. Most of her paintings were large figure drawings with a modern effect. After talking to Barbara, I learned that she originally had a career in book arts, but recently started to paint large-scale canvases. Also, she vacuums her paintings after finishing them to pick up any loose material, and does not protect the canvas with any type of covering.

    Finally, I visited the studio of Susana Arias, who is a famous ceramic artist. Most of her works are modern and tall. She fires the sculptures in pieces and connects them with a rod through the center. She uses different firing types, wood firing and soda firing. For wood firing, she travels out of the area with other artists, and they create a wood-fired kiln that they run for two weeks. They take turns staying up at night to maintain the fire. I liked the ancient look of the soda-fired pieces, but I also liked the modern appearance of the wood-fired pieces.

  34. 1. Bonita Diemoz
    a) This was the first artist I went to on October 6th. I thought her work was actually very
    interesting. She digitally alters her photos, and she basically puts pictures of women, statues
    and other people into a photo of nature like waves
    crashing or a flower. At first glance, I didn’t even notice that she had added in the sculptures
    because she makes it look like such a natural part of the photo. They were really beautiful.
    b) Using photoshop, remove the background from the photo of the sculpture,
    women, etc. then choose where you want to place the woman in the new photo and cut out
    that area, add the woman in the empty space, and adjust the color to make it look more
    c) Digitally manipulated photography is definitely different from b&w film, but the inspiration her
    photography gave me for my own art work was to look at the way the background connects to
    the subject. You can make them look similar, like they’re threads of the same cloth, or make
    very distinctly different and make a statement about contrast, or a number of other things.

    2. Andrew Butler
    a) I went to see this artist on the same day as Bonita Diemoz and I loved his photos! I can’t
    remember exactly where he took them, but it was definitely South America. My favorite thing
    about them was the way he used color. He would take pictures of the same type of door, but
    the doors themselves would be different colors, and so would the color of the house they were
    attached to. Then he would put usually four of them together and frame it in an old window
    pane. He thought a lot about which colors would look good next to each other, and compliment
    the other. There were also some portraits, which I liked too.
    b) He was talking to a couple who were interested in buying something, so I didn’t get a
    chance to ask him about his technique but it seemed like he took as many pictures of houses,
    and color combinations that excited him, as he could, and then went home and decided what
    looked good together when he was making prints and framing them.
    c) Since what I thought was the most important part of his photography was the color, I’m not
    sure how I could use that for inspiration since we use black and white film, but I guess it would
    be interesting to take photos based on the array of lighting and color in the film, as opposed to
    the subject.

    3. Gero Heine
    a) This was the third artist I went to, and I saw him on October 13th. I thought his photo’s were
    absolutely stunning, and his story of how he came to be a photographer was also really
    interesting. He travels all around the world to take these wildlife photos and they’re beautiful.
    The quality of the photos was so sharp, the colors were really intense, he used contrast in
    in some of the photos and it was super dramatic, I could go on and on.
    b) Like the last one he was talking to a whole bunch of people so I didn’t get to talk to him, but
    I can tell he really thinks a lot about the composition of the photo. There was one where he
    photographed a lion and surrounding the lion was this blur of brush, and it looked like you
    were looking at it, inside a tunnel of brush because of where he chose to sharpen the focus.
    c) I was definitely inspired by a lot of his work, because you can tell he’s really passionate
    about it and he really takes a lot into consideration when he’s shooting. For my own work, I
    think it will inspire me to think more about the techniques I’m using, and things like aperture
    shutter speed.

    4. Tim Matthews
    a) I went to see this artists work on the same day that I saw Gero Heine, and I don’t think I
    could have had two more polar opposite visits. I did not like any of his photos as much as the others I’d seen, and he
    wasn’t even at the studio. His wife and he were sharing the same studio to showcase their
    art, and she was there, but he wasn’t. All of his photos were completely blurry, and I’m not sure how that added to any of the meaning or anything. The subject matter was not especially interesting to me.
    b) He wasn’t there so I was unable to find out more about his methods.
    c) I was inspired more by the other photographers.

  35. When going out today, I saw a total of five different artists, as well as their works. I will address each individually in the following paragraphs:

    The first artist I visited, Marie Gabrielle (#57), focused exclusively on colorful landscapes. Some paintings depict a variety of European countrysides, while others depict recognizable local landmarks. Marie uses acrylic paint on canvas as her medium. The artwork was set up all around her house, with signs leading into different rooms. That gave the experience a very nonchalant feel, especially after seeing her art grouped with her french cottage for rent on The images she has produced are quaint, yet simple. However, after looking closely at a couple pieces, I noticed that the spots of color on the canvas did not mix with one another. This amazed me, as adjacent colors were often so contrasting, yet the managed not to muddle at all. This artist gives me lots of inspiration to draw not only landscapes, but to draw portraiture, paying close attention to the contrasts of colors, disregarding such symbolic things as a “nose” or “mouth.”

    The second artist I visited was Paul Roehl (#55). His works are also painted scenes of familiar and unfamiliar landscapes, but they are much darker, and much more realistic. Roehl’s paintings also tended to blend much more blended, causing them not to pop out as much as possible, but also causing them to have a dreamlike appearance, much like the works of the Hudson River School of Painting, in the early 19th century. The art was arranged on walls and on a table, in a garage. I got much more of a formal impression from this arrangement of artwork than the first house I visited. However, being that it was all in one room, the collection of art appeared much smaller, and much less varied. Roehl’s art inspires me strongly to draw and paint the sky, It also inspires me to take up my old hobby of photographing the clouds on the coast, especially during the sunset or sunrise.

    Claire Lerner (#54) was the third artist whose work I observed. Her work varied much more than the other two, involving the conglomeration of many photos from different places. One aspect that truly shows in Lerner’s art is something that’s brought up much more regularly in literary art than in visual art; evoking more of the five senses than just sight. Lerner’s art is all rich in texture, using the consistency of the depicted objects to convey an emotion or thought. Her artwork was arranged in the same manner as Roahl’s, as it was in the same garage. It inspired me to draw and paint more sets of clothing, because many of her photos were of cloth.

    Will Winkler (#53), the fourth artist I visited, was not a painter at all, but rather, a metalworker. He specializes in jewelry, but also a created few sculptures for the open studio. When I asked, he told me that his preferred method was to create the initial stone to be attached to the necklace, and then drip solder onto it, which acts as a second layer (for example leaves of clouds) to dry onto the stone’s image. His art was distributed all over the bottom floor of his house, and finally on the island of his kitchen, where he stood and talked to passers by. His art didn’t inspire me too much, as I’m not a big fan of metalwork or jewelry, but it did inspire me to create images using a soldering iron, such as droplets of rain.

    The final exhibit I visited was that of Annette Lanni (#52). Her art most followed the practice of american “Modern” art, deriving some of its style from early African American art. Most of her pieces were portraits, using a limited set of colors. Each one resembled a slightly unrealistic visual depiction that conveys an extremely specific emotion, such as the intimacy right before a kiss. Some paintings were geometric designs, using lots of yellows and browns, and a couple were landscapes, such as an altered view of Cowell’s Cove. Her paintings were arranged all along the walls of the house. I particularly like how high they were placed on the walls, giving the image of grandeur. Her paintings inspire me to draw more portraits, using as little gradient shading as possible.

    I apologize for the constant switching of tense; I did not know whether to use present tense, as the art and artists still exist, or past, as the excursion I took was in the past.

  36. The first studio I visited was Mike Bailey’s. He does a variety of styles of painting, most notably abstract expressionism, realism, and impressionism. For his abstract pieces, he used more deliberate strokes, creating shapes a forms that sometimes reminded me of objects from daily life. His paintings of beaches and sea cliffs had more lighter strokes and made me think of Monet in that they focused on light and its reflection. I talked to him a bit and he told me about how his parents really wanted him to become an engineer so he did, but then he realized what he really wanted to do was art so he quit his job and started painting. I loved one of the things he said–“abstract painting is the essence of totally creating.” In terms of his methods, he told me that he tries to look at the world in a different way when he paints abstractly, like through a different lens. He also uses negative space to highlight parts of his compositions. His story inspired me to really think about what I want to do with my life and not just listen to what others think I should do. It also made me think that I could do abstract drawings/paintings while still portraying real life forms.
    The next studio I saw was Andrea Dana-McCullough’s. She does pottery work. There weren’t very many pieces to look at, but the ones that were displayed were very intricately produced. She said her process is first throwing the mug/pot/etc. on a wheel, then using wire tools to mold it or add texture, then firing/glazing it. Most of the “artistic” parts of the pieces were executed in the painting/glazing stage. She used only two colors (white and either blue or some other soft pastel). Her work reminded me of Greek painted vases or of the black and white cuttings we did in class. She used white space to create form and a sense of shadow, even though she only had two colors to choose from! Her art inspired me to think about symmetry and composition.

  37. The first studio I visited was Mike Bailey’s. He works with watercolor, and has several–and seemingly contradictory–styles. Inside the house was what you might call the “abstract wing.” These paintings were made up primarily of colored shapes and expressive brush strokes, and the lines were very free. Each painting had a title (such as The Airplane) that influenced the way I saw each painting and, to be frank, kind of limited my experience with his art. He did, however, supply a poster of tips on how to view abstract art. One example is his advice on shape: “Look first at how shapes of light–not things you can name–an/or dark connect and travel through the space. Are the shapes interesting? Enticing? Or still and static?” His other work was more realistic, and was mostly landscapes of the santa cruz coastline. None of his lines were very defined; instead, it was clear that his technique involved a free use of the brush to communicate his meaning.I found his work inspiring because of his focus on our local environment. I think the process of trying to express the beauty of santa cruz in an artistic form can help us all truly appreciate it.
    The second studio I visited was Andrea Dan-McCullough’s. Her art was mostly in the form of pottery: clay dishes, mugs, vases, etc. that she had thrown, decorated using wire tools, glazed, and then fired. I wasn’t particularly intrigued by her artwork. The pottery was beautiful, for sure, but I just didn’t really find it inspiring; most of her designs were straightforward animal or flower figures using only two colors (white and then one solid color), although this one plate had a bug on it and I thought that was interesting. I learned how to throw pottery a bit last year, so I guess the most exciting part of this open studio was just seeing the different shapes pottery can take–even if the artwork itself wasn’t revolutionary.
    The third studio I visited was Bonita Diemoz. I really loved her work! She basically digitally alters photographs of female figures–statues mostly–by dropping out the background and then placing the figure into a nature scene. Not only were her photos absolutely beautiful, but I liked the depth that her pieces have. In contrast to the two other visits, Diemoz’s studio made me curious about what the artwork sought to say about society. Certainly given the subject matter–women, mostly naked–and the setting–nature–come together to make a statement about the way nature nurtures humankind as a mother does a child. This is especially clear in some of the photographs where the female figure is almost disappearing into the background. Her artwork provoked an emotional response and inspired me to be more open about the medium of photography, which I have a tendency to discredit.

  38. Marie Gabrielle’s studio was the first the one I visited. The vibrant colors of her paintings reminded me of summer and southern France immediately, and then I found they were actually a series about Provence.Poppies&cabana was my favorite one. The piece is majorly occupied by right coral red, daffodil and olive green, and they create a contrasting tone. I looked up the actual picture of the cabana online when I got home, the photo has an exactly same angle, but it doesn’t look as vibrant as her painting. I guess watercolor really gives life to the painting. Her other works that showed were fine but not as impressive, sometimes objects in the painting lost their shape and the whole painting looked like it needed to add some lines to let the color pieces stand out. One thing her inspired me was the blending of colors, they could truly make your paintings look vibrant.

    Then I saw this artist–Peter Koronakos’s sculptures. I loved his idea of salvage, and all of his work were composed by wastes like old brushes, rusted springs, machine parts and stuff like that. It was amazing that he came up with the idea of remodeling them into animals, and making rubbishes into real art. Some of the sculptures are on sale and they’re not cheap at all. He could’ve got everything for free or every low price, but what made them worth a few hundred dollars was the his creativity and ideas!!!!

    The last studio I went to was #84, Stephanie Martin, who is a painter and a printmaker, and does both etchings and paintings. I saw her open studio postcard in Palace, downtown, there were three persimmons on it and I loved the delicate, muted color tone. That’s why I decided to visit her studio. Her works that exhibited in the studio are mostly about nature, especially on birds and flowers (mother nature was actually where her inspiration came from). She uses copper plates and traditional etching techniques: hard ground, soap ground, and rosin aquatint (well I forgot to get the info from her studio so this actually came from her personal website). She majored in biology for undergraduate study, and I think science has really influenced her art. Her plants and Choix des Plus Belles Fleurs’s scientific paintings of plants share a lot of similarities (at least her etchings reminded me of him). However, Martin’s works had more flexible shapes and scales, they had softer edges, and more natural textures and tones. I think her art is somewhere between science and myth. I’ve got some inspirations on the tone color from Martin’s studio. P.S I can’t wait to do a series of nature and fairies–yep gonna add that on my art work list.

  39. The first artist I saw was M.E. “Mike” Bailey. He did some experimental abstract works with expressive lines and bold colors but his main focus seemed to be cliff side views of beaches and other areas around Santa Cruz. The edges on his non-abstract pieces were blurred and objects seemed to just morph into each other. I personally didn’t like his abstract pieces and found the colors to be abrasive. For me, the works were more conceptual than emotive. He’s talented but his work wasn’t for me.

    The second artist I saw was Andrea Dan-McCullough who did pottery/ceramics. She basically engraved intricate designs into pots and large plates and sometimes mugs. Her designs were mostly nature-based and included a lot of birds and trees. Although she was undeniably talented, it wasn’t remarkable to me. The $35 price for her handmade mugs was high to me.

    The third artist I saw was Bonita Diemoz. She is a digital photographer and primarily focuses on women in her work. She distorts and edits her photos to add to the artistic affect. For example, in her piece entitled “Sorrow” she edits this statue of a woman so she looks almost transparent and you can see this gorgeous view of the ocean going right through her. She was definitely the most talented out of the artists I saw and seemed to really put a lot of thought, emotion, and care into her pieces.

  40. The first open studio I went to was the Art League one on the West Side which had a huge variety which was nice. A piece in the collection that caught my eye was a painting of a fish fossil and a man made fish hook. This really grabbed my eye because the comparison and stark contrast of man made history and how it effects nature and its history. The use of texture in the painting helped provide a 3 d affect which is what made the painting jump out.
    The second open studio was of Virginia Ray and she used old grates in her “Grateful Selection” She used rusted old grates and decorated them with little spoons, or pieces of drift wood and it created this incredibly random beautiful effect. She also used different antique plants with collection collaging and all of the pieces together were very diverse and nature but the color scheme brought it all together creating a nice affect.
    The third and final open studio had a lot of silk screen printed pieces that were really interesting. He used a lot of geometric shapes, and very thick defined lines. There was a lot of pictures of animals, especially of sea going animals. One piece that was really intriguing was a giant squid basically hugging a giant whale. The basic colors pop and emphasize the shapes and proportions of the subjects themselves.

  41. The first studio that i went is Heejin Lee’s. And she is from Korea. I really like her art style. And she likes to use mix media to do her art. From her art, she always has a basic background of a one specific tone (colorful tone by various colors or dark tone) by using watercolor or oil painting and then she use other media like colorful pencil adding many geometric shapes (like circles, rectangles, tangles and so on).
    –I asked her that why she add so many different geometric shapes in her painting? And her answer surprises me that she mentions that she likes doing art with feeling, which pleases her. And she says that why there are so many geometric shapes in her painting, she just doing that maybe with her mood today.
    –What’s more, I asked her that I feel a little confused by reading the title of the painting and the painting itself, I couldn’t really see from the painting. And what she answers is she thinks everyone has their own understanding of art. and she doesn’t why she title this as well. She says she just wants a title for the show. and she doesn’t mind if others think of different meaning.
    I really like her way of doing art–with feeling. And you can see the difference of human thinking of one art, which is interesting. And I would like to do art with my feeling as well.

    Ben Johnson’s is the second studio I went to. He likes to draw different figures with weird face and expressions. His arts fill with details. My favorite is the one that has a big island in the middle of the sea. And the island is not normal island, it’s the island with three side of freaky horrible human face and there is only one house upon the island. And there is one boat on the ocean as well. He mainly uses the dark red-orange as a whole, but he uses blue –the complement of orange by sketching the outline of theisland and the boat and the little house and also the waves of sea, which creates a cold and fear atmosphere of the painting.
    For the inspiration i earned by his art is that in my future painting, I can focus on the color combination to form different atmospheres I want. And i could pay more attention to the details of sketching and painting as well.

    The third studio I went to is Cheryle Winn’s. She is a tailor artist. She cut different clothing with various colors and connect them together by machines. I really like the color use in her art and also the exact connection of clothing.
    I asked her an answer that how long did she spend on one of her tailoring art that she hanged on the wall on the right of his working desk. And she said that she spent almost one year to finish it, which surprised me. And she mentioned that she cut every piece of clothing with different color by hand and tailored them sometimes by hand and sometimes by the machine. In addition, she includes the focus and passion of doing what she is really fond of and she even gives me some idea of my major choosing in the college.
    For her art work, I learned that the focus and insistence doing things that you love and the detail showing of a work.

  42. Andrea Rich:
    The first open studio I visited was Andrea Rich’s. She sculpted various animals out of wood as well as doing many wood prints. All of her work was of animals or plants, anything that belonged in nature. Her work was featured throughout the house but her studio was in an area in the back. I spoke with her there and she discussed her work and showed me how sometimes she even used the wooden prints themselves for the tops of match boxes. She also described her process for making the prints, which I will admit was a bit confusing. As I understood it, she carved away the wood to make the basic shapes, printed that, then made more and more prints on top of that, each one with greater detail. I took a print class over the summer a few years ago, and seeing this it inspired me to start doing that again.

    Susan Wagner:
    Susan Wagner does sculptures, stained glass, and art work with metal and glass. She was actually asked to do stained glasswork for some local churches. When I asked her about her work, she said that what appeared to be metal on most of the pieces was in fact cement. This really surprised me because it had such a smooth, brass like finish. One of my favorite works of hers was very different from the rest. It was a bronze sculpture of sand at low tide. She made it by taking a cast down at the beach with plaster, then switching back between the positive and negative molds until she filled one with bronze, creating the sculpture. It really like the simple shapes in some of her artwork, and found it inspiring how she still used flowing, nature designs as well.

    Majio does artwork on many types of backgrounds including wood, canvas, felt, and much more. I really liked the texture this gave her work. A theme to a lot of her work was paper dolls. She also some mixed media in the foreground as well, including fabric and some metal. When asked to describe her process, she showed me how a lot of her work was based upon a sculpture that really spoke to her. She started by arranging small things around a little photo of the sculpture, and then went big, creating things to contrast and compliment the sculpture. I found her use of multimedia inspiring and that’s something that i would like to try.

  43. M.E. “Mike” Bailey:

    Bailey’s works (and there were a lot!!!) were very diverse in technique, style, and content. Inside his house, he exhibited abstract works that had very sudden and bold lines and colors. These were my favorite, and they were really transcendent because of contrast between textures and vibrant and dark colors. He described abstract painting as “the essence of totally creating.” Outside, Bailey worked with watercolor to create almost impressionist-style depictions of West Cliff. Although I thought these works were very very different, he responded by arguing that they were the same type of painting; the difference lies in that we perceive recognizable objects in the nature paintings. There also were quite a few acrylic paintings, sketches of cities, and portraits that were each in completely different styles; they looked like they were painted by different artists. When I interviewed Bailey, he said knew he always wanted to be a painter, but his dad wanted him to be an engineer instead. After lots and lots of practice, he was able to refine his technique and make some really great art.

    Andrea Dana-McCullough:

    McCullough made pottery that featured only two colors: white and something vibrant like turquoise or orange. Her work reminded me of Greek black-figure painting in its simplicity and two colors. She didn’t have many works at her open studio, and it was difficult to find variety in her pots. They all contained roughly the same pattern.

    Nancy Brookie-Connor:

    Nancy was a lovely lady who created pictures of plants and animals in a very realistic manner. It was really cool how she put maps and other cool papers behind the drawings to create an interesting background. She said she painted mostly outdoors, and used really pastel-y colors. Her drawings reminded me of the drawings in a botany book.

  44. Stephanie Martin
    Stephanie does etchings and oils for the most part, and her subject matter is usually nature. The lines and images she creates are very delicate and expertly put together. When I came into her house, she was in the middle of a small demonstration, giving a lot of insight into how her work functions. I really loved how delicate all of her shapes were and how clear her voice is.

    Mary Offerman
    Generally working in pastel, Mary’s work was really evocative of her subject, Southern France,’s character. Her larger works were gorgeous and by using colored outlines she really made the focus points clear, changing the colors when necessary. I’d really like to use this technique in future work.

    Burt Levitsky
    What really struck me about Burt’s work was how realistic it was without sacrificing originality. He had a huge collection of work and had clearly been painting fr a long time. His subject matter really spoke to me, working mostly with cityscapes, and I’d really like to work with the same images.

  45. Addie Rementer did acrylic on wood and canvas with lots of different mediums involved. The studio was very colorful and full of abstract works. Her work consisted of some simple tessellation, repetition of shapes and simple collage and acrylic on wood. Many of her pieces had other objects or mediums attached to them such as sticks or cloth or paper. Her work showed how simple colors and forms on simple wood boards could form very appealing, aesthetically pleasing pieces. They were small and simple, yet conveyed a lot of happiness and freedom. Personally, I don’t to do this kind of work, but it opened up my eyes to a less technical form of painting/art, that I generally avoid.

    Barbara Bailey-Porter was the second studio I visited, and she worked with oil on canvas. She had primarily landscapes and still-lifes, and they all used very concise brushwork. There was little unnecessary detail, but the simple, muted color scheme captured the chosen scenes very well. It was impressive how she used a relatively small color palette in most of her works, with primarily tans, browns and muted greens and yellows. All the colors were relatively dull and muted, yet they came together to evoke a very precise scene. He pieces show how simplicity is often a better way to convey an image, for if done well, simple forms will give the viewer a start and then urge their imagination to fill in the detail to a far greater degree than could be done with a brush or pencil.

    Michele Giulvezan-Tanner was the third studio I went to and it was by far my favorite as it combined detailed, grey tone portraits, and bizarre pixelation that really appealed to me.She used a lot of grey and blue tones and would paint incredible faces and then have washed out, slightly abstract bodies, and the edge of the paintings would sort of fall off of the canvas. She did this by decreasing the detail as she approached the edge of the piece and utilizing, squares of color instead of lines, and drips of paint to complete forms instead of precise blending and gradation. She Also had some very technical portraits that would look deceptively precise from a distance and then when approached they turned into an amalgamation of cleverly used colors and shading. This is really my favorite type of work, because is like capturing human faces and mixing them with abstract settings. Her work showed that with oil paint, the same level of detail and complexity can be achieved as with a pencil.

    Lastly, I went to five steps from the moon, which does concrete, and metal sculpture. They do fountains, counter-tops, benches, and some really cool wall pieces. They used rusted steel, and gradated spray paint to create stunning colors with rusted schisms in the middle. The even had living paintings, with air plants coming from crevices in concrete paintings. I have little interest in sculpture, but the man and woman who run five steps from the moon showed a very practical application for metal and concrete works. (Some of their counter-tops and furniture pieces were pretty awesome).

  46. This weekend I went to Evelyn Markasky’s metal/jewelry studio. Much of her work seemed to be inspired by foliage and its texture. In terms of metal, she used primarily copper, which is apparently cools very quickly after being torched. Much of her jewelry was copper-enameled leaves that she strung a chain through, or were cuff-style bracelets that had a weave-pattern to them. Not only does she go about making her jewelry “organically”, but she even symbolizes this organicism with the leaf-like texture she tries to portray. The way she shapes the metal varied: some had a bay-leaf shape, some looked like psychedelic green beans, some even had a succulent-look to them as the many “leaves” overlapped.

    She gave me a free demo of her process:
    1. Take a mini-copper piece the size of a penny, and drill a small hole in it (to make it into a necklace).
    2. Choose from an assortment of crushed-glass enamels, some transparent and some more vivid (I chose a transparent spring green and vivid forest green). This is sprinkled onto one side of the copper piece with a mini-spoon.
    3. Put three glass beads of color of choice onto copper piece, make sure it is balanced. Usually some sort of flux is used on the copper to help all of this stay on it, but she tries to maintain organicism.
    4. Set steadily onto a trivet, then torch the copper from underneath until all of the glass has melted and hardened onto the copper.
    5. Voila

    Apparently glass has similar properties to wax in that when it is heated, it melts, but it cools very quickly and hardens. The bottom of my copper piece bears the burn marks, yet the glass masked most of the singeing on the top of the copper. Also, no skin oils can come in contact with the powdered glass prior to heating or else the glass with easily wear off and won’t harden the way it should. Others, she usually glazes some of the copper itself so that the scarring of the copper itself is mitigated.

    Once I had purchased a music “box” made in the 1970s, which instead of being set in a box the movement was secured into the back of this copper sculpture shaped into the interior of a barbershop. It was meant to be a gift, but I noticed it had lesions along it, and it didn’t have the song it claimed to have. The copper bends too easily in some parts, so you have to be careful when handling it, but the way it was glazed and altered (as an element) gave it a nice sheen. Instead of singing the copper, the color of it was tinted to make a multitude of browns and near blues. Easy to cut as well, copper is a nice choice for art. Upon entering her studio, this was the first thing that came to mind. I myself want to make a manually-made music “box”, and copper seems to be a nice, acoustically fit, and aesthetic medium for which a movement can be placed. And I thought I was going to have to go to Santa Cruz Metal Polishing to get that music box’s lesions sewn up…

    Of course, it seems that to deal with metalwork, one must have some sort of background in metallurgy– so metalwork becomes a fusion of metal and art put together.

  47. The second studio I went to was that of Jim Potterton’s. He works with acrylic paint on canvas, but his style is almost impressionist– he focuses less on the definite form and line of scenery, but instead the color, interaction of subjects, and movement within the scenery. He also liked to blend much of the terrestrial landscape he painted into the ocean and sky, though the ocean and sky never seemed to blend. He created a sense of depth with his use of shading, not so much in use of perspective or distance. It didn’t exactly harbor the geometric dimensions we think of, but instead other dimensions entirely: those of light and color quantities, and movement.
    His texture– how things were interacting in the painting –was shown in one painting as a torrential blue-black ocean crashed against the cliffs, in the late afternoon. He clumped the paint in areas where the ocean was most torrential, and smoothed out the paint where waters were calm. There were more shades of blue/green/white when the ocean was interacting with the terrestrial, where as the calm and withdrawn oceans were more or less monotonic.
    He likes to put a lot of reflection into his waters, where the calm waters act as a near mirror. You can tell the clarity of the water by how well it reflects the sky– light blue.
    The best aspect of his paintings was that you could always tell exactly what was going on– what he was trying to convey. You could even tell exactly what time of day it was, given the interactions and the color of the sky. He never uses the same color for his skies over again…

    My favorite painting of his, overall, was one of the Sierra Mountains. One sees a trail leading down into an unseen valley, but off into the horizon of the clear blue sky, the Sierras are faded into the distance, seeming almost like clouds. This further demonstrates that he doesn’t exactly focus on linear perspective, but again more with how things interact, what thing dominates another thing and at what point it dominates, and color. His paintings are such that they make you want to stop and look at them. Its almost realistic, but the lack of formal definition makes it almost like some beautiful mirage.

    Apparently he doesn’t even draw real landscapes– all are ones he made up, or maybe saw at one point but drew from memory later…

    • It’s great to see how thoughtful and reflective your visits were. You got a lot out of them and made some excellent observations. It’s exciting you got to see the demo of Evelyn’s work. ….can’t wait to read about visit number 3.

  48. The last studio I went to was that of Mike Bailey’s– and so many others went too I noticed!

    With his main focus being on water color, his paintings almost seem to display his philosophy universe itself… Beautiful and complex yet almost infernal. With a “paint atomizer” (as he calls it), he creates a stippling/graffiti effect on his paintings. In his more realistic paintings, where he seems to focus a lot of architecture (such as the Santa Cruz town clock or Le Volantre bridge), this “stippling” is used to depict mist or to perhaps blend and haze the walls of buildings in the background… But in his more abstract paintings, not only does it blend, but it helps to create a near tie-dye effect. One painting appears to be a puddle on the ground, reflecting the infernal afternoon sunset, but likewise showing tracks from where cars perhaps drove over this puddle or where people walked over it… And he told me that he creates these “tracks” by making stamps, then in certain areas to fade this stamp (to make it look like worn I guess) he puts a screen over it and scrubs some of the paint out after it has already dried. He must have not added a lot of water to the paint to be able to scrub it off of a canvas…

    He seems to like twisted rectangular surfaces, porcupine-needle shaped lines, and lots of form. Unlike Potterton, in my last review, he focuses on form, color disparity, shadows, geometry and definition. Much of this is achieved in his use of watercolor. Where he dilutes the paint more, the paint’s consistency over the canvas or paper becomes more fragmented and speckled, which also can help create a semi-misty/graffiti sensation. But where the paint is less diluted, the color and form are clearly established and made important. In one painting, where people are seen walking on the sidewalk sometime after it rained, the people farther away are silhouettes painted with diluted colors. Areas where the ground is somewhat dry (indicating that the rain must’ve stopped), dilution is also used. But areas where puddles and wetness still exist, there is less dilution, or at least some major overlapping of paint to create a smoother consistency. Only one couple– a woman and her child –are painted with colors. All else are silhouettes… This painting was cleverly placed outside, so that a distinct shadow fell upon it, such that everything below the line of the buildings in the background was still shadowed and the buildings were just clearing– perhaps signifying that the sun is coming out…

    He also paints glass sculptures. One white personified giraffe has heavy makeup on, is wearing a tux, and appears to be a trombone-player, given that one is painted on “his” side. There was also a mosaic of a lizard… Let’s not forget also that he has a dog named Picasso…

    • Your descriptions are vivid. Keep his varied processes of mist, puddle, fragment, silhouette, and speckle in mind when the painting portion of Art 1 starts. You are primed for a great visual journey of your own!

  49. The first artist I went to see was named Suzanne McCourt. Her studio was fairly open and clean, and the art was hung in an attractive way, but her work space was not very attractive to me. She uses color in interesting ways, a lot of bright colors usually depicting people. She is a major golf artist and often has pieces outlining tournaments and events. She also has a line of work that is all about musicians and them playing. I enjoyed this line because they were so organic, and even when some of the outlining and work was crude, it captured what was going on very well. She also had some abstract work in the beginning, some of which I enjoyed and some of which I hated. She has a style that is very hit or miss for me, it is interesting but at the same time not visually pleasing some times. I talked to her about a specific piece, a face of a woman done in charcoal on paper plastered onto a canvas with acrylic layered around it. It was a very unique was to mix media, she said she did a light sketch of the charcoal several years ago and then worked with acrylic accenting the highs and lows of the face, layering on the charcoal and making a dark interesting colored face.

    The next studio I visited was of Michael Mote. He had primarily landscapes, using very accurate colors and using texture to convey exactly what was happening with the landscape. His studio space was very clean and usable and the way it was arranged was interesting and pleasing. He talked about the different textures he uses, letting the paint dry under different conditions to produce a perfect wave life effect. He also did not keep his lines super sharp, of course when up close there is a transition that is clean and noticeable, but at a distance the piece seems to blend together into a very pleasing work. His pieces always popped to me and his use of color was very good, often exaggerating colors from life to make a very vibrant, almost surreal piece.

    The third studio I visited was Mike Bebe’s. He had a large selection of ceramics done in different ways. His space was relatively normal looking and his various pieces were arranged on table so that they were all easy to see, I enjoyed the simplicity. He used glasses in very specific ways to draw the eye to a point on the pot, making it very nice to look at and use. He fires in a kiln maybe once every couple of months, a wood fire oven that takes days of work to keep running and cooking, but the look he gets at the end of it is well worth the wait. He also had a few pieces of his wife’s that were inspired by his poetry, they were interesting because often the pieces had little to do with the actual poem but they continued to capture the feeling of the piece regardless of using different subject matter.

    The first two artists influenced me a bit, I am interested in certain forms of abstract and modern art and seeing the pieces using those aspects were good, other than that I think that really what I learned was to continue on and keep up the hours of work.

    • McCourt’s mixed media does sound unusual. Sometime intuition drives an artist in unusual but purposeful ways. It may be interesting to explore some of these possibilities on a small scale. And, you are so right – there is nothing like persistence and putting in the time….like anything else, practice, practice, practice. That’s why I prefer the term “practicing artist” to “professional artist” because it implies work and growth – not just professing!

  50. The third studio I saw was Nancy Brookie-Connor’s. She does mostly nature-inspired art, sketching birds, plants, and insects. She has this incredibly beautiful studio in her garden that is almost all windows and then this huge table where she does her work. A lot of her pieces remind me of textbooks in botany or plant life. Her process for creating a piece is first she finds an interesting diagram or map or something and pastes it onto a piece of paper (one of my favorites was with a map of Brazil). Then she layers crepe paper and other materials on top. Then she sketches or paints an image of a flower or another life form, then pastes more paper on top of that. It creates a very interesting, old-looking effect. Her work inspired me to think more outside the box and consider layering and using everyday objects in my art.

  51. I’m entering my open studios post as a comment because I am pathetic at computers and don’t know how to make a blog post of my own. Anyway, I saw Kirk McNeill, who is a blacksmith. He had a lot of ocean-inpired pieces, like sharks, kelp or schools of fish. He mainly works with iron and uses heat make the metals more malleable. His studio was kind of dark, and the walls are plastered in his projects. My favorite piece of his was on with a rectangle of iron with the shapes of walking people cut out of it, only he didn’t completely cut them off, he just twisted them around so it look liked people walking on the iron with their shadows.Susan Wagner made stained glass, and glass Japanese fans. There were a lot of doors and glass cabinets in her studio, with a couple of her stained glass pieces against the wall. What really struck me was how much like pencil drawings they looked, like she had ripped a page out of a glass sketchbook. Lila Klapman did sculpture, and had a lot of brass dancers and a few mermaids as well. I admired how she could get the metal to form such realistic-looking faces, and how she got the mermaids’ tails to balance without snapping off their base. She also had this one sculpture that was life-sized, only this one was the bare shape of a woman, made out of plaster.

  52. My first artist went by the name of T. Hasty and focused on abstract paintings dont on wood. She got most of her inspiration from Mexico, the beaches around the area and the Sierra Nevadas. All of the paintings had a certain “peacefulness” about them and I really enjoyed observing the different colors of the various paintings. I got inspiration from the surrounding area in which she worked and her abstract colors and ideas.

    The second artist’s medium was glass beading, as well as glasses, mugs, plated and bowls. The artist’s name is Laurie Spray and along with the glass she used many bright colored powders and used stencils to make intricate designs. I got inspiration from her bold textures, colors, and designs.

    My final artist is known world-wide and goes by the name Mathew (or Mattie) Leeds. His main focus is scuplting large clay pots and jars but he also does large sculptures that are mostly bests or monsters. On the pots it almost seems like they somewhat resemble picaso’s work but in such a way it is entirely different. The inspiration that i got from this artist was the use of abstract proportions and colors to include in my artwork.


  53. I visited Salt Water Pottery. It is a husband and wife duo who make pots and other clay things. The husband makes most of his pots on a wheal whereas his wife doesn’t. Most of their stuff had a general sea them to it (lots of blues) and bamboo appeared often in each piece. I talked to the woman who had interesting ideas on how to get texture to her pieces. For instance, she was making the base of a tree and to get the texture, she crumpled tinfoil and pressed it against the cay. This gave it a random, natural feel to it. She had also made banana slugs from the left over clay.

    I also stopped by Ron Day’s studio. He is a wood worker who makes furniture. He’s self taught and stated his career in 1975 with rocking chairs. He describes his work as simple and functional. In most cases he lets the wood do all the talking and uses its patters and designs as a guided when he’s developing a piece. His studio was in his garage and was rather large compared to some of the other wood shops I stopped in on.

    I visited Terri Schneider’s studio. She is a photographer by trade and has photos from around the world. She is very active and willing to experience new events, which shine through in her pictures. She often shoots on the go and thus has little time to set the scene. She uses a Nikon camera and lenses and prefers to use natural light. She enjoys experimenting with representing reality and thus, rallies very little on Photoshop and other image editing software. I thought her desire to show reality (as she sees it) was an interesting idea seeing as reality is a different experience for everyone.

    Caroline McCall is an oil painter. She uses oils because she loves the tactile feeling of oil. She also loves the colours and the excitement she gets when painting. Her installation that was on display was of a village market in Latin America. She says that she was drawn to these people because they’re re so close to their own artistic practices. When asked why she loves to paint, she simply puts the she loves it because she does and always has. Ever since she was young she’s had a love of paint and depicting what she saw around her. When she became and adult, she wanted a way to express herself so she paints.

    Mike Beebe was a ceramicist how specialized in pots. I enjoyed his color pallet, which consisted mostly of earth tones. I like that because it parallel the earthiness of the clay he uses. While he also used a few pastel colors in the mix but they all seemed to fit into the grand colour scheme. At first I didn’t care for his misshapen pots but then, after thinking about it, it made sense to me. Again it follows the earthiness of his work. The pots are misshapen to represent and portray the qualities of nature, which are never perfect. His non-circular bowls suggested and organic, lifelike quality I came to enjoy.

  54. Louanne Korver: A bunch of oil paintings of animals, people, and floral themes. I read about how she visited/lived in Hawaii for a few years and was inspired by the culture and people- so most of her painting reflect that. I did not like her artwork. It seemed mundane and already done. It was well done and she obviously has good technical artistic skill but she didn’t go outside the box and certainly does what is expected from a typical painter. She also does personalized pet portraits. I am not inspired by her artwork.

    Jasper Marino (Son of Will Marino- below): Jasper makes ceramic work that truly inspires me. He has a small studio, live with his dad, and because they are both artists they are constantly competing to think outside the box. He makes lots of wheel-made mugs and teapots, but also explores hand thrown ceramic art, like funky plates etc. He mostly makes functional things, but with an artistic edge. I ended up talking with him for almost an hour about how he made it into the artistic world and how he makes his pieces. What stood out to me that he said was that he makes “pottery that is both functional and an art pieces- the true meaning and use of the piece is up to the buyer”. He works a lot with mixing matte and glossy glazes, and carving into/through glazes to create unique Maori-like designs. When I mentioned my interest of printmaking to him he exclaimed that he had just experimented with combining the two – printmaking and ceramic. He described his process of screen printing with slip onto a ceramic piece to create texture, pattern, or an image. I am so inspired and definitely want to try it!

  55. On First Friday I entered several art galleries in downtown Santa Cruz and saw a wide variety of mediums, styles, and techniques. As sculpture is a medium I am not well aquatinted with, it was refreshing to see the sculptural work in the stone garden at the entrance to a small gallery around the corner from Streetlight Records (the name escapes me). The stone garden has several unique works of sculptural art in in, including a telephone booth, turned fountain. It was this, and other similar pieces (making use of everyday objects) that inspired me to thinking about how to really push mediums to their extremes, sometimes even out of their “natural” element. Regretfully, the artist was not present for me to talk to.
    I also stopped in at SubRosa Anarchist Cafe, which was displaying a set of works by a young local artist (again, their name escapes me). The pieces were startlingly harsh in their emotional content and also abrasive in style, all depictions of the same character (a young man in cutoff jeans and a snap-back) undergoing what appear to be almost schizophrenic traumas. All of the pieces were so stark and jolting, even though they were mostly all created with separate mediums (some drawings, some paintings, some carvings…)
    …which brought me to considering how far a MESSAGE or CONCEPT can be pushed, REGARDLESS of the medium. So, to conclude, these two “open studio” experiences got me really considering the boundaries and limitations of BOTH medium and concepts, and to discipline myself to achieve breadth within both.

  56. I went to Larry Worley’s, Ana Oneglia’s, and Robert Larson’s open studios. Ana painted oil paintings inspired by her travels to India. Worley made baskets that wound around deer horns and branches. Larson made art out of cigarette boxes her found on the street. Larson inspired me to make out of any thing. Worley inspired me that there are always endless possibilities and Ana inspired me that there is inspiration every where.

  57. #121 (ceramics) I enjoyed seeing all of there ceramic dishes. The ceramic work was the best part of the pieces. The glazing was not as good as it could have been. My favorite piece was actually more of an anomaly in the collection. It was ceramic but was draped like cloth over a small table. I asked and there was a lot of effort into making it. She had to measure for shrinking in the kiln and it was very delicate, the were a couple in her studio the were cracked. Some of the things in her workshop were: slab roller, kiln, glazes, brushes, wheel, etc.. Going here made me think about doing some clay work for sculpture. I might but the one think that inspired me seemed very hard to do and not really me style so I will probably stick with other things for now.

    #119 (photo) A lot of his pieces were generic landscapes of national parks, interesting but not unusual or particularly inspired. I talked with him for a while, he uses a Pentax digital camera and used to use film. His most interesting photos were of animals. I asked him about how he took pictures of them and he told me that patience, early morning, and a good telephoto lens was the best way to get photos of animals. It made me want to take more pictures of animals. I was thinking of going to Elkhorn Slough to take pictures of birds and break out my 200 mm lens.

    Hank Scott (ceramics) I was very impressed by his work. It was varied and he had lots a very good ideas that were polished. When I walked up he told me that I could touch anything that was out. I was impressed by this because while some are is meant to be looked at (photography), ceramics is a tactile art form. It made me think of my quilling work and how I could leave to open for people to touch. I have worked with photography, the most visual art for there is, and now I think it would help me to try and do some more tactile work. I think my ideas have been restricted by think only of visual aspects of art. Some of his more impressive pieces were cats that has geometric lines on their faces. He also had a life-size statue of Steve Jobs.

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