Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Whidbey Open Studio Tour

So Mary and I went on Whidbey Open Studio Tour this last weekend! Over 90 artists opened their studios and showed their work to those of us brave enough to go and drive all over the island to see it! I have to say that this year we did not achieve our average 30+ visits but we did enjoy ourselves tremendously.

Each year that we have gone on this tour we started on one end or the other alternating between north and south ends. This year we began on the north end of the island. In the past there have not been a lot of studios to visit on the north end but this year the numbers on the north end were up and I have to say our visit to the artists in Oak Harbor and Coupeville were wonderful.

Our first visit was an artist that lived out on Strawberry Point in Oak Harbor. Gerald Pike calls himself an Ceramic archaeologist. He says he is a contemporary archaeologist in clay. His sources of inspiration and creative energy come from the artifacts and sculpture of ancient and primitive cultures., particularly pre-Columbian and African civilizations. He is especially drawn to American Indian prehistoric Power places hidden in the sacred mountains and mesas of the Southwest where fantastic and mystical figures are painted on rock walls.

Gerald had a huge variety of things he had made and showed his kilns and a variety of pieces that he designed using descriptions and drawings from these caves. Among these things were some dogs and a few incense burners that blew smoke rings when the incense was lit.

What was more fascinating was Gerald showed us his process that he uses to create his items. He read a story about the incense burners he has created and this story suggested that the incense burners not only blew smoke rings but played music as well. So he started making ceramic musical instruments to learn how the sound was produced in each of the instruments. By learning this he could incorporate this treatment into his incense burners. He said this process should take a couple of years for him to learn it correctly! WOW! You can reach Gerald at geraldpike@earthlink.net.and see his work at Studio Tour Preview

Our second third and fourth studios were all located in Coupeville. You can visit our first stop anytime. We went to Ann's Coup d' Art and here we saw the work by Bev McQuary and Ann Wilson. Bev makes wonderful lampwork beads and Ann makes some terrific collages and paintings using water colors or pastels.

Other artist's studios we visited included: Nikki Farias, Mariana Shawver, Patty Picco, Al Tennant, Barbara Mundell, Pamela Winstanley, Stan Gabelein, Bonnie Christensen, Marie Thornton, Alvin Brown, Natalie Olsen, LaChaussee Blown Glass and Island Glass.

Open studio tour on Whidbey Island.

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