If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then there was plenty to behold as art lovers went from artist home to artist home during last weekend's Open Door Studios. Thirty-two artists from El Rancho …
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If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then there was plenty to behold as art lovers went from artist home to artist home during last weekend's Open Door Studios.
Thirty-two artists from El Rancho to Evergreen Meadows, Kittredge to Snyder Mountain opened their studios to show others how they create their art, not just what they create. It's a fall weekend tradition that doesn't disappoint, and artists showed off their work in every medium imaginable.
Susan A. Judy is a geologist who turned her love of stones and minerals into beautiful mosaic art. It was a part-time hobby until she retired in 2015. Sometimes her work is abstract, and sometimes it depicts places such as the Tetons.
“I have to plan so carefully,” she said, “because everything has to fit.”
The size of her artwork has grown over the years, which can be a blessing and a curse, and now she is finding creative ways to use the leftover stone pieces.
She has a lapidary in her garage art studio, with countless cabinets filled with stone pieces of all shapes and colors. Part of her work includes minerals in addition to stones — all leading back to her geology background.
Abstract artist JJ Hawks was told years ago that resin couldn't be used as an art medium on wall hangings, and she took that as a challenge. She found a way to put resin on wood and to use acrylic paints to create vivid abstract and nature paintings.
Darren Reed and Leslie Hunnewell along with 10-year-old Paxton Hunnewell enjoyed Hawks' artwork, calling some of it Monet-esque and others appearing to be a bird's eye view. They agreed that Open Door Studios allowed them to learn about various artists' worlds and their motivations.
“It's fascinating that there are so many artists here,” Reed said. “You would never know that all of these homes house amazing artists.”
Leslie Hunnewell said she enjoyed hearing the artists' stories, and she was impressed with how they shared their creativity with everyone.
Quilt artist Bonnie Schechter-Orin calls her quilt business Social Work Salvation because quilting became a respite from her 19-year career as a social worker at Evergreen Middle School.
“The work is meditative and peaceful,” she said, adding that fabrics excite her. The first quilt she ever made is in her bedroom — an old-fashioned color-wash Irish chain. Her latest quilt is part of her Campfire wall hangings, and she figures she's created more than 100 quilts in between, though she's lost count.
She “auditions” fabrics for her quilts until she finds the right combination and balance, noting that usually one fabric provides inspiration.
“I try to push the limit of what I put in a quilt,” she said. “I just play. It's my happy place.”
Linda and Kurt Metsger of Denver, who are friends of Schechter-Orin, looked at her quilts that were hanging on clothes lines outside her house, explaining that they love Open Door Studios. They were pleased with how well organized the event was, especially the signs leading attendees to various artists' homes.
“It's cool,” Linda Metsger said, “because there are so many creative people doing a lot of different things.”
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