Story Time with Hunter Hogan

Hunter Hogan 1

I am interested in painting landscapes that are not literal. In a previous time, I was a tapestry weaver, so am not surprised to carry over the building blocks and textures of a tapestry into my paintings. All of my work starts with loose sketches, some made outside, some made up.

hunter hogan2

In some paintings I retain more of the substance of the picture, but in others I completely paint it away. I have begun a whole new pallet after moving to San Luis Obispo from the desert a year ago and am enjoying where it takes me.

hunter hogan3

Hunter Hogan’s working studio will be open the first weekend of Open Studios Art Tour 2013. It is listed as number 31 in the catalog, located in Atascadero. To view more of her work before October 12th, you can visit her website.


Story Time with Susan Owen

When I was 17 and in college, I had three tedious ‘art’ classes that left me feeling unfulfilled and diminished.  As a result, I hit out on mine own, as it were, and turned in assignments that were more to my liking.  (One assignment was a collage of differing textures, so I took apart a Kotex pad…but that is for another time.)  Each of these offerings elicited similar commentary from my professors, “Now this is not exactly what I had in mind, although very unique and individual, but not exactly…ummm…..” For some reason this pleased me immensely and I continued to buck the system, not always with winning results. But a girlz gotta do what a girlz gotta do.  Thus, out of the diamonds and dust of my own mighty travail, comes the tale of little Chanel.


Upon reflection, she thought it all started with that Yves diaper bag.  Baby Chanel loathed the sight of it and went immediately into tantrum screechings every time her little eyes caught sight of it.  Her mother was a slave to high-end brand names and everywhere Chanel looked as she grew, there was another loathsome set of initials of a scrawled and famous signature on one or another of her garments.

She grew into pre-adolescence with a defined sense of her own style and she and her mother regularly locked horns.

Chanel would put together an outfit that made her mother’s teeth itch and delighted the young lady (plaid men’s ties and shiny black tap shoes from the goodwill, miniskirts with a chiffon underlayer, tanks that she would embellish with antique buttons, or ribbons, or outlandish pins from the 40′)s.

Upon graduation from high school, she attended a fashion design school and emerged with the knowledge she sought as regards to pattern making and use of the various complex machines that she would need for her life’s work.  By this time her mother had begun to go a little grey, but continued to try, to no avail, to get Chanel to wear business suits and ‘acceptable’ boring blouses and power pumps.  Chanel continued to make the ‘gag me’ sign at her mother as she donned her 1950’s net petticoats and trotted off to her job as a pattern maker for a small garment manufacturer.

At night, Chanel continued to pull together her own creations and after much wheedling, talked her boss into giving her a small showing at a warehouse in the Bronx.

The night of the show, a CEO of a large company, seeking fresh blood for his junior division, found himself with nothing to do and having seen the flyer for Chanel’s little show, decided to drop in for a moment.  He expected nothing of interest, but was curious for a look.  After all, it couldn’t hurt, and he did have a small block of time.  What he saw made his jaded jaw drop to the sawdust on the floor of the warehouse.

Within a month, Chanel’s creations were crowding the fashion pages and the signature piece was gracing the cover of Vogue.  She had joined her models to show the pieces at her second, and much larger show, and as she strutted down the ramp, smiling from ear to ear, flashbulbs exploded around the new darling of one of the most fickle industries in the world.  “It can happen to anyone,” she said to Women’s Wear Daily. “You just have to take your dreams unaltered from your head to the fabric, and never, never listen to your mother.”

Please come by our studio in Cayucos for the ARTS Obispo’s Open Studios Tour on Oct. 13&14 and 20&21 for recent work by me and my partner Dennis Kish.  Susan and Dennis’ studio numbers are 67 & 68 (page 17) in the Open Studios Tour catalog.

Story Time with Sandi Heller

Morning on the River

We were in Sacramento for a graduation and were walking along the Sacramento River early in the morning. The sun was just coming up and creating a golden glow on the cottonwoods across the river which was reflecting on the water. I didn’t have my camera with me but was so struck by the scene that I was able to recreate it in my studio.

See more of Sandi’s pieces on her website and both weekends of ARTS Obispo’s Open Studios Art Tour.  Catalogs may be downloaded on ARTS Obispo’s website or you can pick one up at several locations throughout the county beginning September 15th.

Story Time with Susan Owen

I believe I have said before many times that I was born with one foot in this world and one in another, so most things that others find puzzling, I find perfectly normal.  This is probably why I live with a shape shifting dragon, and for me, when he adopted me, it was just another day.  Things have been a little livelier in my manse since his arrival, but that just keeps the blood circulating and keeps thing from becoming stagnant.

Most of my drawings reflect the way my mind works when I am at my most comfortable and happy.  Drawing is something I do because I want to, but also because I love to and I have to.  Like walking or cooking or eating chocolate……I have to.

I live near the beach in a very modest cottage with 8 cats, an obstreperous border collie, many rose bushes, and my partner and fellow artist, Dennis Kish.  Between us we keep the wheels of home and hearth spinning with a minimum of rusty squeaking and still make sure we have time to make the art that is the best part of our lives.

Since Skosh the dragon came to live with us, there have been many adventures that have given me a lot of fodder for drawings and stories, some of which I have put into a book that we have, with much wrangling and swearing, managed to self-publish. (And self-bind, hence the wrangling and swearing.) It is so much fun (and since the fodder keeps a’comin’) I have decided to begin yet another book, this first book is just the camel’s nose in the tent…as it were.

Skosh hates to have his picture taken most of the time and tends to shift into something un-photographable…like a trash can, or…well (never mind).  Anyway, since this is so, I have made a soft sculpture of him (that’s me with him).

Susan Owen and Skosh

The sketch below is of the two of us.  We have had no problem bonding…especially with his shifting talents.

I work mostly in fine line colored ink pens, pastel, and colored pencil. I do not encourage Skosh to emulate me…he is not safe with art supplies just yet.  I hope you will come visit us, and enjoy my work as much as I enjoy making it.

Come Visit Susan and Skosh both weekends in ARTS Obispo’s Open Studio Tour (studio #68, page 17 in the catalog).

Story Time with Jeanette Wolff

“A Man and His Dog” oil by Jeanette Wolff

I took a photo of my friend taking a quick smoking break-when I painted it later I included a dog-it made me happy because he had seemed lonely! And that’s the story behind “A Man and His Dog.”

See more of Jeanette’s art when her studio is open in Cambria during the Open Studios Art Tour, both weekends: October 13/14 and 20/21 from 10am-5pm.

Story Time with Rollie Younger

POWER UP TEA: Each teapot holds much more than tea — it reflects the personality of a culture.  That’s what I have found in my travels from the village potters of Japan to the studio of Michael Cardew in England and on to the countryside potters of Denmark. I’ve always been fascinated with teapots — the shapes, the forms.  A teapot keeps me grounded because it demands to hold water and pour properly. It is an everyday item that can remind its user of the joy, humor and beauty in life.  I like the fact that people use art in an everyday way when they use their teapots.  That’s art in motion!

 On the other hand, a Boiler teapot allows me to leap from functional to funk-tional. If it has a handle and a spout, it’s a teapot. Having  explored those different  shapes, techniques and attitudes, I have developed a bit of an attitude myself — this “boiler teapot” reflects the culture of the industrialized world where the demands are great and the breaks are few. The teapot “Passion Tea” makes that short break fun. – Rollie Younger

“Power Up”

Rollie Younger is listed in the 2012 Open Studios Art Tour catalog as “Rollie Younger’s Cambria Pottery” and his studios is located in Cambria, California. Rollie will be participating BOTH weekends during the 2012 Tour: October 13/14 and 20/21. Visit the ARTS Obispo website to learn more about the Open Studios Art Tour.

Story Time with Meryl Perloff


“Hope” was inspired by a friend challenged by a terminal illness. I created the tiny box with the spirit of a person that contained a quantity of brass book darts that could be used to mark pages or passages containing spiritual and uplifting thoughts and ideas. I hoped that the pleasure of using this little accessory would brighten her day and remind her of all the people who held her dear.

The abbreviated form of the box was a small gift to my closest friends intended to bring a smile to their faces. Similar boxes will be available at Open Studios and will hopefully be a popular item.

Meryl’s studio is located in San Luis Obispo and will be open both weekends of the 2012 Tour (Oct. 13/14 and Oct. 20/21). Explore of Meryl’s work on the online Artist Directory (follow the link and click the thumbnails to enlarge).