Opening My Studio

Like most artists of all kinds, sharing work is an essential and fun part of the art process. It is not the reason I make art. I make art because I have a need to explore ideas and transform them into something new. But I love to invite other people to see where I have gone on my journeys and to learn what they see in the work.

I am in the middle of Portland Open Studios, a two-weekend city-wide tour of art studios. Portland has several other open studio tours, but this is the largest and is juried so includes good quality artwork by experienced artists. Open studios in general are a special way for interested people to meet artists and learn more about how art happens. I use them as an opportunity to show my newest work and see how people respond to it. This year I have a series of 5" x 10" paintings using walnut ink on encaustic. I like the simplicity and sense of age the walnut ink gives the images.

View of shared hallway in new studio with my walnut ink painting series.

View of shared hallway in new studio with my walnut ink painting series.

But the highlight was sharing a sample of my installation project, I Am My White Ancestors: Self-portraits through Time.  I was able to get a print of the portrait of me as my great-great-grandmother Eugenia Mary Felder Buchanan in the actual size it will be in the installation. The response was wonderful. People walked in the studio, turned, and just stood there in front of the 7 ft tall fabric panel, somewhat awestruck. They almost always read all the signage and even the sample audio diary text. Then they started tell me about their own ancestors and what they knew about their heritage. It was perfect. I am also thrilled to announce that the installation will premiere in 2016 at the Alexander Gallery, Clackamas Community College, in Oregon City.

Studio display of prototype self-portrait of me as Eugenia Mary Felder Buchanan, b. 1823

Studio display of prototype self-portrait of me as Eugenia Mary Felder Buchanan, b. 1823

There is one more weekend to go for Portland Open Studios. We are open 10 am-5 pm on October 18 and 19. My studio address is 5633 NE 48th Ave, Portland, OR.