Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Four Myrtletown Artists Open Their Creative Spaces

Four Myrtletown artists will be sharing their unique spaces with the public during the first weekend of this year's 12th Annual North Coast Open Studios Tour. The community will have the rare opportunity to visit the studios of glass artist Susan Bloch-Welliver, painter Yvonne Kern, mixed media artist Kathy Marie and, potter Kate Purcell. This eclectic mix of artists share, along with their neighborhood, a deep connection with nature and it's designs.

Susan Bloch-Welliver, a nationally recognized glass artist, creates her "one of a kind" pieces in a multifaceted studio located at 1081 Vernon Street. Bloch-Welliver is creating a unique series of mixed media work while specializing in commissioned etched glass and sculptures.

"Time and nature compel me," says Bloch-Welliver. "I sharpen my awareness by memorializing daily moments of awe with shapes of glass, which become translated into sculptures". Sculptures, glass flowers, and etched glass are a few of the treasures that will be available for purchase at her studio.

Bloch-Welliver's work can be found in a recently released book titled Creative Glass, by Danijela Kracun & Charles McFadden, and at www.blochstudio.com.

Yvonne Kern's backyard studio is across the street from Susan Bloch-Welliver's studio. Visitors will find a tent pavilion and studio down a garden path behind the house. As a representational oil and watercolor painter for more than 20 years, Kern has found a lot of inspiration in her private space.

"I love the abundant beauty of this area. North Coast Open Studios offers me an unprecedented opportunity to share with our community this beauty that I have captured with my art."

Kern will exhibit several new oil and watercolor paintings. Note cards, "recycled art bookmarks", and a few other rare small gift items will be offered for sale. See www.yvonnekern.com for more information.

Kathy Marie, a local collage/mixed media artist, has been selling her art and participating in local holiday fairs for many years. Her inspiration comes from attending workshops, reading art books, working with talented artists in the area, and traveling experiences.

Marie's studio can be found on Hill Street, behind the Myrtle Avenue Starbucks. Look for
the green door. "For years I have been creating art using many different kinds of media but I have always felt most comfortable with collage/mixed media," says Marie about her art. "I love to work with color and try to express a powerful emotion in my work.. I feel art is an expression of oneself and a message about the world.. So as I grow as an individual so does my art."

Visitors will find digital photography, collages, altered art and one of a kind stuffed toys at her studio. Her work can be seen at the Rustic West Trading Co. in Old Town Eureka and on www.kathymarie.net.

Kate Purcell has been creating pottery for more than 20 years and her handmade colorfully decorated pottery is well known in Humboldt County. Her studio is located in a shop behind her house at 2572 Myrtle Ave. (Between Hubbard Street and Hall Ave) Visitors will have the opportunity to see her new wall plaques in addition to her other fine serving pieces.

"I like to imagine all the pots we have made over the years being used and enjoyed at social gatherings", Purcell said.

Her pottery can be found locally at Plaza Design, Trinidad Trading Company, at her studio and at www.firedancedesign.com.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Here's Your Chance to Win Art and Support Open Studios!

For 2010, the NCOS artists are offering an art-filled way to raise funds for this event: Support North Coast Open Studios and get a chance to win and one of three beautiful art pieces!

Local oil painter Kathy O’Leary, Jewelry artist Christina Swindgler and glass artist Susan Bloch have all donated pieces for the benefit drawing. Kathy O’Leary donated an oil painting “Mad River Bluffs”, approximate framed size is 21” x 27”, valued at $1,300. Christina Swingdler, of Christina Anastasia, donated a Swarovski crystal and stone necklace and earring set, valued at $175. Glass artist Susan Bloch, of Bloch Studios, donated an etched glass plate “Nesting” valued at $350.

All three pieces will be raffled off on Wednesday, June 23rd, and the proceeds will benefit North Coast Open Studios, and help defray the costs of this community event. Tickets are available until Tuesday, June 22nd for a $5 donation to North Coast Open Studios (c/o Ink People Center for the Arts). Call (707) 442-8413 for your chance to take one of these beautiful pieces of art home with you!

Winner need not be present to win. For more information, contact NCOS Coordinator Taffy Stockton, by email at contact@northcoastopenstudios.com.

"Mad River Bluffs" oil painting by Kathy O'Leary.

"Nesting" glass etched plate by Susan Bloch.

Necklace (earrings not pictured) by Christina Swindgler.

Win Art & Support

Monday, May 10, 2010

Getting Ready for Open Studios

Open Studios is always a joyful experience...meeting and talking with people who have come to see where we artists create our work...a glimpse into the private world of a producing artist...an opportunity to see work in progress as well as finished pieces of art. That's what it's all about.

But before Open Studios happens, artists need to get their studios ready for visitors. For some totally organized artists, that is simple...just straighten a few things, plan refreshments and put the Open Studios signs up.

For others of us, getting ready for Open Studios is a major undertaking. For me, it begins just after taxes are finished...when I start saying "I have to get ready for Open Studios". But the days fly by and the end of April, I realize that time is getting short, and I need to fit "getting ready" into my already overcrowded schedule.

I have a pretty big yard, neglected all winter...that needs to have a spring (now that the weather isn't so cold) grooming. The windows want to be washed. And the clutter of paintings, frames, supplies, unfinished projects, etc...need to be dealt with somehow. Invitations have to be designed, printed and mailed. So May is the month to focus on creating order out of chaos, preparing for the exciting weekends in June when I will share my studio, my work and my lifestyle with visitors.

No, people who visit my studio won't find a perfect environment. Try as i might, I won't be able to magically turn my place into an advertisement for House Beautiful. But the folks who visit me will see what an artist's studio really looks like... paintings not yet finished, completed works, brushes and canvases and paints and art books and all the stuff that makes my studio what it is. They can also walk around my yard, check out whatever is blooming in June and relax for a bit in a lawn chair and enjoy some refreshments.

Most of all, I want people to feel welcomed to my studio, enjoy their visit and leave with a greater appreciation of what we artists do to create our work. That's what makes it all worthwhile.

- Julia Bednar, NCOS Participating Artist #39
Julia will open her Eureka studio for both Weekend 1 & Weekend 2