Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fall Artisan Studio Tours

A cow greeting at Nedra Smith Gatehouse Studio 
Early November is a wonderful time to trek into the colorful hillsides of Central Virginia. Each year two counties, Rappahannock and the area surrounding Albemarle, host Artisan Studio Tours.

I don't know what I enjoy more, seeing the interesting art or touring around the hills soaking in the majestic scenery.  The fall foliage provides a breathtaking background for charming art studios nestled in the hillsides.

Fish by Far Ridge Ceramics
My husband and I checked out the Rappahannock studios.  I found the tools of the trade and studios themselves quite interesting.  It seems there are not enough tools made to supply an artist in their trade.  Wide assortments of bits, clamps, and brushes are needed to satisfy the never ending creativity of an artists mind.

Beautiful view from Rick Meyers studio
We drove up rugged roads into the hillsides surrounding Washington, Virginia in Rappahannock discovering fine crafted studios where artists can become inspired.

Apparently it helps to have an incredible vista outside ones art space.  With each passing studio, I would think, I want to work in a place like that... only finding the next studio to top the prior one!

Jackie and Anthony with peeping Ducks

The River District Arts Gallery in Sperryville, Virginia is a restored Apple Packing Plant that houses numerous artists and a warm cozy restaurant.  We specifically went to check in on Jackie Bailey Labovitz's recent addition of animals to her photography collection of Native Plants. On first sight of her work, it appears to be painted.  The printed surface has a sheen to it and her images are so crisp and clean that you can almost reach out and feel the animals fur, feathers, or scales.  I've yet to be disappointed and not down right amazed at her serenely beautiful works of art.

Necklace by Goodine's Designs
I was glad my husband got a chance to talk with Jackie about her process and learn a little bit more about this fascinating woman.  Jackie's theory, based on personal experience, is that art is created from somewhere in your memory - consciously or unconsciously.

Jackie's lovely Native Plant Exhibit, Understory, will be on display most of next year at the U.S. Botanic Garden on the Mall in D.C.

Amazing view from Rockfish River Pottery
This past weekend a friend of mine and I hit studios in Nelson County.  It's fun traveling with someone that has an equal appreciation for the mountains and glowing colors of the Autumn season.  We could not get enough of the colors and the wonderful views artists have right outside their door.

Thanksgiving will be next week and that will officially be the end of Fall... I hate to see such a beautiful season come to an end once again.


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