Saturday, May 21, 2005

Silicon Valley Open Studios 2005 Adventure

Silicon Valley Open Studios is always an adventure. Actually I did the majority of my adventure last Sunday when I visited studios in Sunnyvale, Mountain View and Palo Alto. I had originally planned to go out on Saturday, but I got sucked in by the America's Next Top Model marathon. (I wonder why you never see the winner of season 2. You only ever see Adrianne Curry or Eva Pigford).

For the most part, the artists are happy to have you come see their work, talk to you a bit and generally welcome you. Unfortunately, some didn't want to interrupt their socializing with their friends to acknowedge you. I even ran across a couple of women who hovered too close between me andi their displays with their arms crossed, legs in a defensive stance. Hmmm, think they had problems letting go of their "babies"?

Aladdin Arm Fold

A complaint. The maps in the guide did not include street addresses, so I was not able to find some studios because I couldn't tell what street they were on. That could also be the fault of the Artists since they didn't have their signs out in a visible location. A kudos. Thanks for collecting the artists URLs and e-mails online.

Open Studios I visited:

  • Sonya Paz: I love her nergetic egraphical style and bold colors. Sort of reminds me of Carribean colors, but not quite. Her style brings to mind Britto, who was on the Apprentice earlier this year. I got two matted prints and some bonus cards. The cool thing is that she collaborates with E. Moises Diaz, an author whose work I bought as a wedding gift a few years ago.

  • Nancy Wong: I love her naturalistic water colors, especially the wood scenes. I wish I had more space to put some of her paintings. I need to get in touch with her about prints for Woods with Bent Tree or Voluminous Bay Tree in sizes smaller than her orignals.
  • The cool thing about Michael Gesundheit's open studio is that he had part of his workshop on his front driveway. So you knew something artistic was going on when you turned in the street. Not that you'd miss the laser cut steel sculptures on the front lawn. He was representing at least 5 other artists at his house. From Isreal, Russia, Ukraine, Africa and New England. I totally loved the beads made out of African grass that looked like little bamboos.
The Ukraine artists included a master, Michael Rozenvain -bio and some of his students, Galina Dor -bio (aka Galina Didur), Nathan Brutsky -bio and Yuri Tremler -bio (aka Yuri Trembovler). You could totally see how his pupils extended and evolved his style but still made the style their own. Michael Gesundheit sells their artwork on the west coast, so get in touch with him if you are interested.

Michael Rozenvain
Michael Rozenvain
Galina Dor (aka Galina Didur)
Galina Dor
(aka Galina Didur)
Nathan Brutsky
Nathan Brutsky
Yuri Tremler (aka Yuri Trembovler).
Yuri Tremler
(aka Yuri Trembovler)

  • Bea Gee not only does wonderful watercolor and Chinese calligraphy, but she also paints on gold paper treated with gum arabic or alum. I want to try to get some of the paper to see if it would work in an illumination project.
  • Of course I had to make a stop at the open studio of one of my fellow Pacific Scribes guild members Melissa Dinwiddie. She's part of an awesome set-up with other artists. That stop didn't disappoint. Plus the artists in the neightborhood took it uppon themselves to come up with their own little neighborhood open studiios guide. Very nice.
  • A great place to see more than 10 artists over a variety of disciplines was the Cubberley Community Center. A couple of artists even had a work in progress as people filtered through for Open Studios. Laura Klein was particularly nice and patient in talking about how she creates her paintings.
  • Hands down, the best gallery was David Howell's. Not only did he have a studio, easels and folding displays like many of the artists, he had a garden. David's world travel inspired paintings were all over the backyard including several winding footpaths that lead to "hidden gardens". Speaking of the actal artwork, I like how he experimented with different textures. At first I thought it was nature printing but he said he uses stencils and other stuff. Maybe he'll use the whale krill filter thingy he had on display. (I see it's called a baleen.) It would make some interesting patterns.
  • Rochelle Ford's house is truly magical. If you live or go through Palo Alto, you've no doubt noticed her house. She and her husband have both regular sculptures and furniture scultures in front of their brightly colored house. The inside of the house is chockful of different artworks. Art is everywhere including hallway, stair case, bathroom, kitchen, dining room, bedrooms, den, backyard, etc. Both functional and just for looking. You KNOW you are in an artist house.

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