My Favorite Tool: Larry Knapp

I paint in oils which are slow drying and allow you to blend colors together.  The fan brush is my favorite tool.

"The fan brush is my favorite tool."

Working on two paintings at the same time. This allows one painting to dry while working on the other. My medium consists of Cold Pressed Linseed Oil mixed with Mineral Spirits, which enables me to paint in transparent layers of color. As one layer goes over the other I use more Linseed Oil and less of Mineral Spirits progressively.

by Larry Knapp

Visit Larry’s website to see more of his artwork.


Inspire Me! – Bobbye West-Thompson

Where does artist Bobbye West-Thompson get her inspiration?

"Calla Lilies 2" by Bobbye

I’m inspired by everything I see!  Hiking along beach trails, walking in the redwoods or in the Elfin Forest, observing the Morros (especially Hollister Peak), sunsets and sunrises, fields of flowers, and individual blooms, unusual plants, rivers and streams, wildlife and pets…these elements often catch me off guard with their beauty.

"Morning Stillness" by Bobbye

I’m inclined to observe and sketch, to take photos when possible and recall the magic at a later time in my studio.

"Bird of Paradise" by Bobbye

"Prickly Pears" by Bobbye

"Reflections" by Bobbye

"Christmas Holly" by Bobbye

Before & After: Cheryl Barton-Petrie’s Jewelry

I am involved in many media including printmaking, concrete casting, mosaics, jewelry, and making glass shrines. There is a great link to an article I wrote on the process of making reliquaries on my website, so be sure to check it out.

However, I chose to show you all my mosaic jewelry, and the process that to go from “Before” to “After”.
My inspiration here is the eternal circle; it symbolizes the cycle of life. Beyond that I simply responded to the beautiful colors of the Italian (Murano) millefiore and the pattern I was able to make with it.

First, I pick the design...

Then, I lay them out with glue...

then I prep the grout and colorant...

...and mix it with water...

next, I press on the grout...

then clean it with a sponge

this is after I've cleaned it with a paper towel

Finally - it awaits a sealer after it drys

“In My Studio, I am…” By George Asdel

"In my studio I am inspired"

In my studio I am inspired. My studio is like a museum, library, junk shop, and toy store.  I keep lots of stuff around for inspiration from rosewood Buddhas, to bronze cats, to monkey puppets. I draw and paint humans and other animals in dialogue or relationships with nature, so I have a vast collection of science books plus the Internet.  I work daily on my drawing and painting, and creating poetry and books for my art.

Visit George’s website or give him a call 805-305-5036.

Before & After: Bobbye West-Thompson’s Still Life

I recently did a photo set up in my studio for a still life with pears.  From the photo I did a charcoal sketch on Colorfix sanded paper.   When happy with the drawing, I began applying color first with hard pastels then soft.  As a self-taught artist I may not follow the “rules” of others working in pastel, but find that if I play with colors, sometimes by layering, I get the best results.  My reference photo is basically a guide so I may change colors or shapes as needed.   Originally, watercolor was my medium and I still love it.  However, these chalks are new to me and a total delight to use.



See Bobbye’s work at

Contact Bobbye:

A litte OSAT news to brighten your day…

Open Studios Art Tour Artist’s Application Deadline EXTENDED to April 25th

Artists from all over San Luis Obispo County have an extended chance to submit their application for the 2011 Open Studios Art Tour (OSAT), the 13th annual three-weekend visual art event taking place throughout the County this October.

Why should artists jump on board the Open Studios train this year?
Well, there’s the return of free catalogs!  You know, the once $25 a piece, 50-page, full color guide ARTS Obispo produces for visitors, allowing them to preview and find all 200+ artists.  It’s back, and free again. With a guaranteed 2,500 printed and distributed throughout and outside of SLO County, and of course, available to download online.  This means more visitors populating artist studios!

The OSAT Spotlight Blog is a new feature to this year’s Tour; benefiting artists and educating visitors.  This blog features artists talking about their art in ways of “My Favorite Tool” or showing a piece “Before & After” and even showing fans a peek into what’s to come in October with “In My Studio, I am…”.  The OSAT Spotlight blog allows artists to show their diversity in a way that can’t be done in printed material.  It allows Tour visitors to get to know the artists before they take up their free catalog, fasten their seat-belts, and head off onto the roads of SLO County, in search for their favorite artists.

Artists of SLO County have until April 25th to sign up for the 2011 Open Studios Art Tour to be part of the largest visual art event on the Central Coast and to benefit from the distribution of free catalogs and the OSAT Spotlight.


Learn more about Open Studios Art Tour and ARTS Obispo.

“In My Studio, I am…” By Austin Moore

In my studio I am at peace. My work area is my place to design and create without outside influence.  I consider myself an artist as well as a metal worker and I try to produce jewelry that reflects that.

Austin in his studio

I got into this profession because I needed something to fill my extra time and I enjoyed the creative process.  I also loved working with stones and most of my work is inspired by the amazing opals, moonstones, and agates which I regularly set in my jewelry.  I am also self taught, having never been formally trained or mentored, and I think that this sort of isolation from a formal process has allowed me to develop a completely unique style, different from any one else.  I am not hampered by anyone telling me that something is or is not possible, only my own imagination and skill, which I hone each and every day.

Austin at work in his studio

Constantly learning. Constantly evolving my craft.  I never stick to one design theme for more than a few pieces, as I do not wish to corner myself with a specific design set, then forced to reproduce the same piece again and again.  Most of my work is one of a kind, and much of my time is spent making custom orders for customers all over the world. I am always happy to entertain visitors to my workshop, or website.

"In my studio I am at peace..."

You may contact me via my website or or 540-9093.  I am looking forward to being on the Open Studios Art Tour this year for the first time.

Cheers, Austin Moore

"...create without outside influence"

(Photo credits: Chris Bersbach)