“In My Studio, I Am…” By Carol Paquet

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In my studio I am working on a private commission for a Tahoe residence. The piece is an oil on canvas, fairly large at 35″ x 52″. The client was looking for something that was reminiscent of the trees in that area and Fall colors. This is a work in progress.

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The handicap accessible working studio in Arroyo Grande will be open the first weekend of the Open Studios Art Tour. To view more work by Carol, check out her website. Her focus is on abstract landscape based oil paintings.

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Origins: Terrance Cook

A Short Bio for Terrance (Terry) Cook

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I am a second-generation blacksmith, and for the past 27 years, owner and operator of Quintana Forge, located in Morro Bay, CA.  In 1973 my parents, Jim and Louane Cook, and I built an all-steel 58 foot William Garden designed Ketch and sailed to Morro Bay.  We started a shipyard called El Morro Boat Works and built 12 steel vessels of various designs.  In 1985, we went from boat building to ornamental iron and fabrication, a trade my parents taught me when I was a teenager.  As a solo metal artist, I forged my designs from iron and created beautiful gates, railings, headboards, and tables, among other items.  The art of creating led me to design wall and garden art, as well as kinetic sculptures, using materials such as iron, copper, bronze and stainless steel.

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The handicap accessible, working studio is listed as number 60 in the OSAT catalog.  Stop by to admire his hand fashioned original art works either weekend of the October art tour.

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My Favorite Tool: Lori Wolf Grillias

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Old credit cards are my favorite tool.  These humble pieces of plastic can scrape, spread, and mix colorful aged surfaces that provide inspiration for new narratives.  After setting down watercolor washes, I squeeze out acrylic paint and proceed to layer opaque color onto translucent surfaces.  Some flat color will stay others will be wiped away, revealing a thin film.  The cards will change not only the opaque layer of paint, but the translucent one as well.  There is also something very soothing about using whole arm movements!

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Stop in Arroyo Grande either weekend of the Open Studios Art Tour to experience Lori Wolf Grillias’ work. Her studio is listed as number 195 in the catalog. To view more of her reflective emergence mixed media paintings beforehand, check out her website.

“Keep an Eye Out for…” Pat Howard Harkness

The combination of folded copper, sterling silver, brass and best of all, a Tahitian black pearl is what makes this a one of a kind belt buckle.

Pat Howard Harkness

Stop by Pat Howard Harkness’s working studio in San Luis Obispo either weekend of the Open Studios Art Tour. She is listed as number 124 in the catalog, and specializes in handcrafted Tahitian black pearl jewelery. Enjoy!

Story Time with Hunter Hogan

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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.

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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.

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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.

“In My Studio, I Am…” By Mari O’Brien

With my first Open Studios Art Tour fast approaching, I am trying to finish up some pieces that need just a few small touches to be ready for matting, framing, or hanging during OSAT—so the name of the game in my studio right now is “Get Your Act Together, Mari!”

I describe myself as an experimental artist, and I just can’t get enough of trying new materials, processes, and techniques—of inventing new combinations and syntheses of approaches and methods that I have learned thus far on my amazing journey in art.  All this experimentation makes art truly joyful and satisfying for me.

What frequently happens, however, is that as I am attempting to finish one piece, I experience a sort of epiphany about some new experiment I could begin; about some new combination of colors or materials that might be interesting to explore; or about some new series that would be fun to embark on.  While I always write notes about such things, sometimes I am just so anxious to try something new that the painting I’m working on—almost finished—gets set aside (only for a short while, I always promise myself!).   It seems that my very active imagination sometimes gets ahead of my ability to conclude a current piece.

Sigh…

So here are a few pieces that are nearing completion for exhibit in October:

MariOBrien1This one will be called “Trelawney’s Red Necklace” (acrylic on paper).  There is a bit of her face that needs to be finished—as well as, of course, the “red necklace” (I promised myself that I wouldn’t paint the red necklace until everything else was finished)!   In this piece, I was experimenting with patterns, textures, and shapes.  When I paint figures, I often depict them in a sort of caricatured way or with exaggerated body parts.  Here, I wanted to suggest a sort of shy, ungainly, awkward girl so pleased with and proud of her jewelry that she seems oblivious to—and unembarrassed by—her perhaps less-than-comely demeanor.

MariOBrien2This painting doesn’t yet have a title.  I still have some areas to “clean up,” and the focal element is not completely defined—plus a few other refinements will happen.  My experimentation with this acrylic work on 300 lb. watercolor paper was to paint the entire thing with sponges!!  I hope to mount this on cradled birch panel, then varnish, so that the lovely deckled edges remain visible.

MariOBrien3When finished, this acrylic and collage piece on cradled birch panel will be part of my wabi sabi series.  (To read more about wabi sabi  click here.)  One way that I experiment is to create a complex, multi-layered underpainting, after which I spend some time considering what is happening on the surface; the painting eventually “speaks to me” and tells me where it wants/needs to go.  This painting is in the process of telling me, even as I write this. The white lines you see here (plus a couple more that I will add) are my attempt to work out a structure for this piece.  These white lines are temporary and will disappear once I have negatively painted around them to make the shapes emerge.

Mari O’Brien’s working studio is located in San Luis Obispo, listed as number 143 in the Open Studios Art Tour’s catalog, and will be open both weekends. To view more of her work, visit her website. She specializes in experimental watermedia, jewelry, scarves, and cards.