Leonardo da Vinci

Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.

--Leonardo da Vinci

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Clark County Open Studio Tour Recap....

Brass Vase and Gourds
Last weekend, Clark County, in SW Washington, hosted its first Open Studio Tour, which I was excited to be a part of. Fifty artists opened their studios to friends, family, collectors, appreciators, and other artists.....and the response was outstanding.
There was a certain amount of intrigue on everyone's part, getting a glimpse behind the scenes of where an artist works and where their inspirations take root.
During the two-day event I decided to work through Brass Vase and Gourds, so people could see a painting in progress. It also was an instant conversational fulcrum.
The absolute best part of the weekend, was when I had the opportunity to visit with a couple of young girls (Claire and Rebekah), who are painters themselves, and tell them a little about my thought process. And THEN, I asked them, "OK, who wants to paint on this?" Of course, both girls were reluctant to step forward, but their mother hinted towards the younger of the two. So I sat Rebekah down, showed her how to hold the brush, and away she went, pushing paint around the canvas like a champ!

Rebekah working with painting knife
She worked on the table and then blended some edges with a painting knife between the green bottle, the right side gourd, and the table.
Great job Rebekah! And thanks so much for your help with this painting!
Keeping our youth involved with the arts is never far from my thoughts. To me, it's one of the greatest responsibilities, we as adult creatives can pass on to the next generation.

Thanks to everyone who came to visit my studio during the tour! I thoroughly enjoyed getting to share it with you. A special thank you to Camila Morrison and Nila Baker, for volunteering their time as greeters. And of course, a big thank you goes to my wife, Victoria. I couldn't have pulled this off without you, Dear!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!



  1. great re-cap Lindy...love that painting! Sounds like Open Studio was perfect! Glad you got to spend some time with the budding artists too. :)

    1. Thanks Celeste! Ya, it was a great weekend, and had the opportunity to meet some wonderful people.

  2. What a spectacular and inspiring event and opportunity for the artists involved and those that simply visited their studios! Michael, I often say to myself that if I make it out that way again that I will look you up. In some small way your "open studio" allowed me a small glimpse. Best to you in your ongoing art voyage!

    1. I agree, John. At some point it would be great to meet up at some point. And when we do, I have hunch there will be some painting involved. Thanks for your encouragement and happy painting to you!

  3. Michael what a great day, what a great idea. The little girl was thrilled no doubt at the attention you gave her. How hospitable to invite her to paint. It was the best of gestures to promote the arts. I love the idea. Also, what a great money making event to support the local art association. I'll pass it on. But I can't help thinking how much of a studio and/or reputation does one need to open their door to the public? Mine is pretty rough Visitors might be shocked that any art could emerge from such a hole in the wall. :-)) To boot, few know who I am; that leaves me out. But I do love raising art awareness and encouraging financial support of the arts. Bravo!

    1. Thanks so much Linda! I certainly did not come up with the idea. This project stemmed from a couple local artists and I believe it was huge hit with the community. I wouldn't worry so much about your space, just make it reflect your personality and you'll be fine. After all, my space is literally our half finished basement with poor lighting and appliances not too far away. However, over the years, we have managed to make it feel inviting and artsy.
      Not everyone has the perfect studio, but if one has the drive, you just find a way to make it work.
      As for making the event work, I would say it doesn't take much in the way of reputation, but more of getting an art sponsor, be organized, and get the word out. We had a strong leader and lots of motivated people.

  4. Michael, what an absolutely delightful photo of you assisting little Rebekah! What a treat for her to be part of your creative process. Wouldn't it be special to be able to see ahead the lasting impact on her of this moment?

    I love the open studios idea. Have often I have thought of just having one myself. Your experience is a great prompter. Now to stop procrastinating!

    Your painting Brass Vase and Gourds is so engaging. Your composition makes one stay in the painting and visit it all over! Keep up the great work!

    1. Hey Nancy! I know that moment with Rebekah was special for me, and in corresponding with he mother, it sounds like it was pretty special for her too. I have to admit, it is a pretty humbling thought to think I may have some part in her development as an artist.
      Bottom line for me, Art is ALL about inspiration. And if I can touch another person's soul and make a difference, then I have accomplished my goal.
      If you are already part of a local group, maybe you could have an open studio together. Its probably tougher with one, but with numbers, you can do great things.
      Thanks for your kind words about the painting, I am thrilled that you like it!

  5. Beautiful painting in the tradition of S.C. Yuan. Love it that you let a little one paint on your painting. You are so right about our responsibility to give to the future.

    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Suzanne! Much appreciated!!!

  6. So LOVELY...and such a nice BLOG!
    I am a new follower....Keep painting in 2014!