May 26, 2000
West Sonoma County Artists Put Out the Welcome Mat
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE FRIDAY
Workshops open to visitors June 3-4, 2000
By Daedalus Howell
Special to the Chronicle
Until six years ago, to get into a Sonoma County artist's studio and get your hands on some fine art, you had to be a cat burglar. Art at the Source has changed all that. On June 3 and 4, the open studio tour invites art lovers to visit the creative spaces of more than 75 west county-based area artists and fine crafts people.
Sponsored by the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, the tour, in its sixth year, includes demonstrations of the artists' processes as well as in-studio exhibitions of painting, sculpture, ceramics and jewelry, which can be purchased directly from the artist.
"The tour allows me to meet the public, which is especially important since I just moved to Sonoma County," says Kathleen Elsey, a recent Mill Valley transplant, who looks forward to the event to network with other artists and the public.
"Most artists work alone, so it's really nice to talk with other artists and compare stories. We seem to help each other a lot with the business aspect of being an artist. This also allows me to meet a whole new public and a buying public, too - I hope" she laughs.
For many, the prospect of strangers waltzing through one's personal creative space would seem daunting. Elsey, however feels the intimacy promotes greater understanding of the work.
"I think it's fun and energizing to have people come in and actually get to see how I work", she says. Elsey will be showing 60 of her completed paintings, works-in-progress and photographs documenting the work's development.
"I like to see people in the environments in which they work and that helps me learn a lot about them, just seeing what's in their studio-things besides their artwork" says Elsey.
Ah, but will she spread "impressive" books about her studio like a paramour trying to bamboozle a blind date? "Those books spread around will be covered with paint-the books I work from every hour, every day that I paint. Not props! I'm sure I'll clean up a little, but I don't have anything I need to hide because what I do in my studio is paint. If it was in my house, it would be a different story."
Once a self-described "Saturday morning painter," Elsey committed to the discipline fulltime a year and a half ago, following a 30 year career in advertising and graphic design. Elsey's landscapes (which she paints on site) are marked by rich colors and dramatic brush strokes that recall both Impressionist and Fauvist traditions.
© 2009 Kathleen Elsey. All rights reserved. All paintings are property of Kathleen Elsey
and may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of Kathleen Elsey.
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