Just Sweet at Studios on the Park

Lynn Kishiyama at Work in Her Studio 2/5/2011

Lynn Kishiyama at Work in Her Studio 2/5/2011

Last night was the Artists Reception for the “Just Sweet” Exhibition. I attended with my husband, and we had a wonderful time. It was more fun than many parties I’ve attended.  As is usual when I go to Studios on the Park in Paso Robles, I learned something new. This time I started talking to Heidi Franscioni in her studio and was introduced to her technique of encaustic photography. It gives a translucent look to the photograph or painting underneath a layer of beeswax.  She explains the technique  in the video below. If it’s something you might want to learn, she gives classes in it and you can even buy the needed supplies for it direct from her at her studio.

As usual, there were some stunning paintings and some that were more subtle. I talked to a couple of the artists about their work that was on display. One was Sally Tippman. In the video below she tells us about her painting for this exhibit, “Shared Secrets.”

Another painting I really liked was “Light Lunch” by W.B. Eckert. I talked with him in his studio, which you must visit, and he gave me permission to download this photograph of his exhibition painting for this blog. Most people would just walk right past a scene like this and never really notice it, but artists see possibilities in the ordinary and know how to make it extraordinary enough to get us to pay attention. You can see some of his other work on his web site, and learn more about him and the classes he teaches.

"Light Lunch," A Painting by W.B. Eckert for "Just Sweet"

“Light Lunch,” A Painting by W.B. Eckert for “Just Sweet”

These weren’t the only paintings that intrigued me, but some of the artists weren’t there to talk with or give me permission to feature their work here. We will feature them on other blogs. You can learn more about Studios on the Park and see some of the other activities that have happened there if you click this link. I will feature some of the artists I talked with in later blogs, since I’m running out of space in this one.   Lynn Kishiyama, whose picture is at the top  is one of them. The best way,  though, to meet the artists and see their work is to go visit them in their studios and you can even watch them work as you talk to them.

About halfway through this event, I noticed that people were beginning to forays to the enticing buffet table near the gallery’s wide display window. As I approached it, I hear someone exclaim: “Look at the Sky!” I looked out the window and ran outside with my camera to see and capture God’s submission to our art exhibition. You can see it here.

God Paints the Sky for "Just Sweet"

God Paints the Sky for “Just Sweet”

For a good part of the evening we could hear the a capella sounds of the Love Notes, a group of gals who love to blend their voices. They let me record them, and this is their rendition of  the Beatles song “Let it Be.” Unfortunately, I missed the first few words because they turned up at the far end of the studio after I thought they had finished for the evening. Their performance changed location often so that everyone could get a chance to hear them. The songs were different in each part of the building, and I hadn’t heard them lately when all of a sudden I heard them start singing again right behind the Printmakers sign near the back door. I ran over with my Flip, and started recording.

As we walked through the gallery, in and out of studios, listening to the Love Notes in the background, we saw many possibilities for unique Valentine gifts everywhere. Besides the display tables in the center of the gallery loaded with the artists’ works in greeting card form, scrapbook covers, prints and small paintings with frames to choose for them, and other small items, there were the jewelry displays and the new crafts studio that is filled with gifts you wouldn’t find anywhere else. Bill Eckert’s studio had some brilliant decorative tiles on a display table in the center that anyone would be proud to own. Jeanette Wolfe had a gift book featuring her paintings of cows and an appropriate quotation accompanying each one. I didn’t even have a chance to visit every studio this time, but I’m sure the other artists have suitable gift items for your Valentine, as well. Drop by before the 14th and have a look. If you don’t see this in time for Valentine’s Day, remember Studios on the Park when you need a gift for any occasion. Mother’s Day isn’t too far away, and birthdays happen all year.

Last, and small, but not least, I noticed that the Studios on the Park Manager, Sasha Irving, finally had a partner in her space. There were now two license plate signs over her entrance. Who is Smudge? She is the official mascot for Studios on the Park. You can meet her in the video below so you will recognize her when you visit. She makes friends easily with regular visitors. In this video she is playing with a regular visitor. I won’t identify the humans talking.  I’ll let you guess. Now meet Smudge, below.

I hope I’ll see you at Studios on the Park soon. Don’t forget to say hi to Smudge.