One of my art friends, "M" turned 12 last weekend. As part of her birthday suprise, her mother and I arranged a Saturday afternoon "Studio Tour Field Trip."
Our first stop was the studio at my workplace [pictured on an earlier post], with a tour of the artwork we've produced over the last few years.
Next: The Boneyard Pottery Studio. The owner, Michael Schwegman, was very warm and hospitable. He invited us to look around, and then sat at the potter's wheel and threw a pot and a bowl for M, explaining what he was doing, and teaching us about the molecular structure of clay, along with other scientific tidbits: Clay will constipate you, and is one of the ingredients in Kaopectate.*
He showed us the kilns, and told us about the different glazes and chemicals he uses. There was another lady there, I didn't get her name, but she was equally nice, giving M a hunk of clay to toy with, to understand the consistency of the starting material. There were some friendly cats standing buy to entertain us also. Everyone wished M a Happy Birthday and thanked us for coming.
They treated us like 3 visiting princesses. We bought nothing on this trip, but rest assured that The Boneyard Pottery will be one of my first stops when gift shopping from now on.
Our last stop was at a painter's home in Savoy, Illinois: Barbara McDonnell. Her artwork was hung in every room of the house, so we got a grand tour thru every room.
Her work was lovely, consisting of pieces in several different media: chalk pastels, pencil, and oil pastels. The subjects varied greatly. Her husband is a football coach in town, and so there were 2 large sports pieces in their living room. There were several landscapes, and a few portraits of her friends.
She showed us her studio, explained the media she's currently working with, and told us some about her artistic career. She was a very calm, serene lady, and I was most struck at what little fanfare she made about her art.
One thing I loved that she shared with us was this small workspace, that she prefers to her studio. She works here when she cannot sleep, she says, and she prefers the light in this room.
If she ever had any, Ms. McDonnell seemed to have cleared any and every mental hurdle that artists set in front of them; she is unconcerned about time or space or money or shows, though she has had her own shows and sold her art, and will continue to. She just Makes Art; it's as much what she is as who she is. I loved that.
A nice combination, her husband does woodworking and builds all of her frames for her; we also got a tour of his studio.
It was very fun and enlightening day with some very nice, and very accommodating people. I want to do MORE studio touring!
*Legal Disclaimer: Do not eat clay! Stick with the Kaopectate, if you must have it.