Artists open studios for tour this weekend

PORT TOWNSEND — While most people experience art as a sleek product displayed in a gallery, polished and perfectly lit, there is a lengthy process to get it to that point.

This weekend, 47 artists in Port Townsend will open their doors and allow the public a glimpse into the artistic process. Most of the studios are otherwise open only by appointment.

The free annual tour runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10, and Sunday, Oct. 11, and is part of the monthlong Art Port Townsend event sponsored by Northwind Arts Alliance.

Artists on the tour cover a wide variety of media, from painting, photography and pottery to sculpting, furniture making and silk painting.

The art studios are spread from Port Townsend to Marrowstone Island, Chimacum and Cape George.

As part of the weekend event, QuimperArts will present live- model painting during tour hours at the Pope Marine building, corner of Water and Madison streets.

The models will be clothed, but visitors are welcome to watch the members of the art group sketch or paint the models.

Port Townsend is known for being an “artsy” town, and this weekend is an excellent example of why it has earned that moniker, with artists such as metal sculptor Gunter Reimnitz, who works out of a studio off of Sims Way, named Abraxas Crow.

Crows and ravens figure heavily in his works, as do spawning salmon, roosters and Cubist-like 3-D figures.

Reimnitz said of his work, “My process of making sculpture relies upon setting the stage, with knowledge and experience, for useful accidents to occur. These accidents often bring the spark of life to a piece that I could not have created intentionally but have been seeking all along. This coalescence of intention and accident is the experience that I love and the reason that I make art.”

Visitors to his full scale metal-working studio this weekend can watch him at work on a variety of pieces in different stages of completion.

His studio is located at 800 W Park Ave., No. 5, Port Townsend.

The artwork of Elizabeth Blake at her Tin Can Studio will appeal to young art lovers, as she is an illustrator of children’s books.

She studied illustration in an online master of fine arts program and has been hooked on art since her days as a finger-painting child.

The Tin Can Studio is appropriately named — a metal building next to her house at 128 Woodland Ave., off of San Juan Avenue.

Blake will demonstrate the process of illustration, from thumbnails, rough sketch, value study and color study to final art.

She creates her art using mixed media including watercolor, gouache, ink and pencil. Her fine art is usually done in oils or watercolors.

Marrowstone Island potter George Chechopoulos specializes in high fire reduction pottery and hand made tile mural art.

If you don’t know what “high fire reduction pottery” is, this is a good chance to find out.

Tour participants can view the fully-equipped Marrowstone Pottery studio, at 292 Merry Road, Nordland.

Chechopoulos said that throughout his career as an architect he always had a strong interest in classical architecture and ceramic art, and was able to study these elements through travel to Greece, Italy and the Middle East.

“What I hope to achieve is a functional vessel that incorporates classical elements of form along with fluid lines of motion, sculptural elements or decorations and a balance of color and texture,” he said in his artist’s statement.

For a preview of art from the studios on the tour, stop by the Studio Tour Preview Show at the Northwind Arts Center, 2409 Jefferson St., open noon to 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday.

Brochures with studio tour maps are available at the arts center, at the Port Townsend Visitor’s Center and online at www.artporttownsend.org.

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