On Tuesday night, between the weekends of EAST, artists in 78722 met up for their own tiny version of the tour, for those with time to participate. The one unfortunate aspect of this yearly event is that most participants are so busy, they do not have the time to visit other studios. Caitlin B. Alexander of CBA Illustration, and designer of our 78722 EAST map, coordinated a meet-up, beginning at stops 13-14 on Kirkwood Rd. There, artists met and opened some wine, excited to finally catch a glimpse of each other’s work. At nearly every stop, the group met a new dog, and sweet offspring accompanied the parade. It was a wonderful night!
Claire Bresette of Pink Box first shared her charming living room gallery, filled with her own incredible tile work, and Meg Mclaughlin‘s portraiture. The work mingled well together, and artists were enthralled with seeing Claire’s tiles up close. Her work has incredible character that a photograph just can’t capture as well as an eye can. Some purchases were even made!
The next stop was number 16 on Cherrywood Rd. Charles Heppner explained his evolution of process to the group, which included beautiful watercolor thumbnails, photography, and incredible mirrored botanical images. These were even displayed in some printed books, which truly awed the group. Charles did a great job of explaining his equipment, technique, and even a little business talk.
Number 20 on Clarkson Ave. was next, as the group visited T.R. Rodriquez‘s magical backyard oasis. The group was offered wine and pie, and couldn’t refrain from repeating humbled “wows.” I believe the consensus was that this space was the greatest studio any of the group had been to. Overflowing with beautiful plants of different shapes, textures, and colors, the largest and tallest tree stump many of us had ever seen, and the most charming little building one could think to make. Her studio, tall and made of different shaped and sized windows, was overflowing with all kinds of artwork, in every medium an artist could think imagine. I won’t say more because you, reader, need to see it for yourself!
The group then trekked to number 25 on Hemlock Ave. where Susan Potter and Christine Nall‘s lovely and complimentary work hung on the walls of this charming home. We stared in amazement at the dance of Christine’s mobiles, hanging together in the dining room. Susan’s beautiful photography was on the walls, and also in her in-progress studio in the backyard. A few sweet little rose prints were sold!
As the clock ticked on, the artists hurried along to stop number 24 on Lafayette Ave. where Jennifer Balkan‘s inspiring portrait work was waiting. Her largest paintings awed the group in their impressive size. Jennifer’s work is, without a doubt, some of the most accomplished artwork in the area, and the artists were as fulfilled in their viewing as they had hoped they would be. The painted faces on each wall stared back at everyone, as Jennifer explained her process, thoughts, fears and hopes as a painter. This talk was very motivational and left the group contemplative as they rushed to the last stop.
Last but not least, the group entered stop 21-22, on French Pl. This adorable little backyard “shedio” houses the work of Karen Alexander and daughter Caitlin B. Alexander. Their work, although entirely different in style, compliments one another beautifully in color palette. The group pondered if color palettes can be an inherited trait by blood. Karen’s pixelated botanical and landscape paintings inspired admiration in the group, as they realized the intricate level of attention each literal inch of the painting receives. Caitlin explained the process of creating a picture book dummy, and showed her sellable wears via screen printing. Her delightful animal characters wished the group a good night, as they locked up the “shedio” and parted ways.
Everyone wished they could have visited a couple of remaining stops, but time passed much too quickly, and perhaps a few too many minutes were devoted to additional joys of the evening: dogs, wine, children and pie. They wouldn’t have had it any other way, though, as all felt so grateful to be included in this vibrantly creative community.
Be sure to check out these stops, and the rest, during the second weekend of the East Austin Studio Tour!