Open Door Studios opens home workshops to the community

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Twenty-six Evergreen artists had a lot of company at their homes Sept. 17-18.

That’s because they opened their home studios to the public for the annual Open Door Studios event. Art lovers could learn about processes and ask questions of the artists in an intimate setting.

The artists from El Rancho to Evergreen Meadows, Kittredge to Snyder Mountain are enthused to tell others about how they work and why they do it. Since the event began in 2002, it has grown into a well-orchestrated tour with artists working in more than a dozen different media.

Pastel artist Sarah St. George has been painting since 2014 after a career as a graphic designer. She explained that she uses fine sandpaper and watercolor underpainting before applying pastels.

Her fifth time in the home-studio tour, she enjoys telling others about her painting techniques. Most of her paintings are of nature in Colorado, and the smaller works are plein air while others are painted from photographs.

She has what she calls her “marinate wall” — paintings she is not quite satisfied with yet. Sometimes she says she just needs to think about them for a while and might make changes. Some paintings just flow, she says, and she finishes them in a couple of weeks, while others can take years.

She told a teen interested in art that he needed to work at becoming proficient at drawing first because that was the basis for many other art techniques.

Kiln-formed glass is the perfect medium for Patti Gill, whose original career was in engineering. She said glass art was a fusion of her engineering and artistic skills.

“This tickles that part of my brain” that enjoys the science, she noted.

Kiln-formed glass is very technical, and Gill explained it took a long time to get the technical aspects figured out, so she could be more expressive.

When people ask her how long it takes to create a piece, Gill says 15 years because that’s how long it’s taken to get where she is today.

Stephanie Foster began learning about pottery when she was 10, took time away from it, and returned in 2016 to take more classes and find her calling. Creating earrings, pendants, bowls and dishes, she says it feels magical each time she creates a piece.

Foster has some of her work at Shadow Mountain Gallery, and this is her second time taking part in Open Door Studios.

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