Welcome to My Happy Place!
I'm thrilled to announce my participation in East Bay Open Studios this year for the first time.
Saturday, June 13 and Sunday, June 14 11:00 am - 6:00 pm (one weekend only!)
3636 Monterey Blvd, Oakland
Open Studios is an event organized by Oakland-based ProArts each June. Hundreds of East Bay artists open up their studios or workspaces to the public, so that folks can get a peek behind the scenes and connect with an artist personally.
While it's become popular for artists to rent a common, centrally-located space to exhibit their work during Open Studios, I'm choosing to go "old school." Visit me Saturday, June 13 or Sunday, June 14 from 11:00 am - 6:00 pm, and you'll not only see me and my paintings, collages and mosaics, but you'll also get an eyeful of my Happy Place—the glorified garage that is my creative home base.
My garage/studio/workshop is a humble and hard-working space.
Besides storing dozens of boxes of mosaic tile, shelves of ceramic glazes and acrylic and latex paint, and housing vast quantities of collage materials as well as my ancient kiln, it features a large work table (actually three 6' tables creating a large island) that is the heart and center of the space.
For much of the year, the work table serves as a staging area for the off-site mural and teaching projects that are the core of my business. This particular stack of boxes and sketches belong to this mural project, that other collection of supplies are for that other project, and these things are ready for the visiting artist lessons next Tuesday. That's a day in the life of my studio—and my car, which I think of as my studio-on-wheels.
I love that my workspace opens wide onto the street, because I've always enjoyed being surrounded by activity—being alone in a crowd, so to speak. In college dorms, my door was open constantly to friends and passers-by. After dropping off a carload of high schoolers at Oakland Tech, my laptop and I get loads of work done at Hudson Bay Cafe, amidst the chatter and clanks of other people's lives.
So when I'm in my studio nearly every day with the big garage door flung open, I welcome in not only the birdsong and sunsets, but also visits from the occasional curious soul who stops to inquire and maybe have a quick look inside.
My studio is here to be used and shared. Yes, I could keep it tidier if it weren't so darn busy, but what would be the point of that?? It's like the ocean tide: materials and people come in, artwork and projects go out...
Fortunately, my ideal weekend afternoon is one spent puttering around in there, cleaning tools and consolidating materials, with the Oakland A's game playing on the radio. Ah, sweet bliss! And good thing, because with any period of neglect, my favorite space becomes a nightmarish tangle of #%&*.
Currently, I'm "renting" studio space (complete with materials and advice) to a neighbor with a personal art project in the works,
and hosting a group of first grade artists each Thursday after school. This summer I'll lead a week or two of art camps here, but listen to this:
I'm ready NOW to schedule your Moms' Group in the Studio, your Gals' Craft Night (bring a few bottles of wine!), your private or small group lesson, or your project consultation. That's what keeps my Happy Place happy and alive!
Mark your calendar for June 13/14. Stop by for a visit and a snack, to shop for everything from original paintings to art cards (I'll post photos of those next time!) and to have a look at my art-making space.
What could you do with a few hours in here??