More local artists opening studios for Portland Open Studios
The Portland Open Studios tour takes place Oct. 12, 13 and 19 and 20, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. More than 100 artists will open their studios throughout the Portland metropolitan area, including about two dozen artists in the Lake Oswego and West Linn area.
In addition to the artists represented in an article which was published in the Oct. 5 edition of The Lake Oswego Review and West Linn Tidings, seven other artists with ties to Lake Oswego and West Linn are participating in Portland Open Studios.
You can view the art of five of these artists during a special preview event taking place from noon to 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11 at Clay Circle Studio, 461 SW Alderwood Drive in West Linn.
The artists are Susan Borger (textiles, quilts), and Tamae Frame (ceramic sculpture) of Oregon City; June Haddox (ceramic pottery) and Sara Swink (ceramic sculpture) of West Linn and Sally Squire (mixed media ceramics), a resident of Gresham who works out of Swink's West Linn studio.
• Borger constructs art quilts and 3-dimensional pieces using recycled deconstructed garments and commercial fabrics. She likes to work directly stitching fabrics together, improvising alignments and color juxtapositions to create textures, movement and patterns.
"Historical quilts and quilts in the modern quilt movement influence my machine-pieced wall constructions and accessories, while early pre-industrial sewn rugs inspired the tactile surface design of my dimensional work," she writes in her artist statement. "Finished as traditional quilts would be, quilted by machine and occasional hand-quilting. The surface textiles are a multi-step, machine-stitched process with a limited palette of commercial fabrics to reflect the simplicity of the historical rugs. Color, texture and whimsy are the driving forces for this work."
• Frame creates figurative ceramic sculptures that emphasize the sensitivity and complexity of humanity through their various spiritual and pyschological states of being.
"I observe my feelings; then I await the one that comes forth," she writes in her artist's statement. "I catch the impression that resonates with me on a deeper level. I often draw inspiration from the ancient sacred arts. Especially I am fascinated by the look and feel of the aged surfaces of old sculptures. My attempt is to create interesting surfaces that have those similar qualities to them.
"The ceramic arts drive me to be spontaneous and imaginative. I enjoy the tactile sensation of the clay when my subconscious comes through. The glaze firing excites me every time I take out my work from the kiln. It keeps my interest in achieving surfaces that resonate with my concepts.
"I use earthenware clay that I fire with glazes and underglazes in my electrical kiln. Sometimes I apply colored wax over the glazed piece to add color depth to the sculpture," she said.
• Haddox uses porcelain and stoneware to form hand-built and wheel-thrown pottery. She is interested in capturing a sense of movment in shape and surface, allowingn surprises in forming and firing to influence what happens.
"In the working of my art pieces is the place I find my personal self that is constantly calling to expand the world around me," she writes in her artist's statement. "Then I translate how I want to express that process either through ceramic pieces or in paintings. I switch back and forth between mediums as they seem to bring out a conversation I am always having about creativity. Sometimes that expression comes in a sweeping natural attention and other times a struggle to find the right process of what I want and what I am visualizing internally.
"I consider making art as my adventure time with my self and an exploration headed to a completed piece. It is a need to do the works that sustains and invigorates me in my daily life. My hopes are that the pieces will touch others as well. It's fun!"
• Squire is a mixed media artist with an emphasis on ceramics. She specializes in experimental abstract sculptural forms and wall mounted compositions.
"Rhythm and patterns are influential in my work," she writes in her artist's statement. "In ceramics, however, the sensual nature of clay plays a major role. My primary clay is porcelain with paper fibers worked into the clay body. I have developed my skill with this clay so that I create very thin walled (but sturdy) sculpture. The finishes I use include glazes, carbon, oxides, alcohol inks, enamels, India ink, and other mark-making materials."
• Swink makes clay human and animal figures with a psychological stance. Her hand-built sculptural works impart ideas through stories, often with a humorous edge.
"Introspective, ambiguous, and approachable, my (clay human and animal figures) often have a humorous edge," Swink writes in her artist's statement "I hand-build my pieces using a gritty stoneware sculpture clay, incise into the clay, bisque fire, apply layered oxides, underglazes and glazes, then fire to cone 5. My ideas derive most often from a process methodology that I teach in workshops, which employs simple and accessible techniques like collage and doodling to unleash the unconscious. I let the ideas flow, selecting ones that most resonate to bring into clay. Sketching on paper and in clay moves the idea into a more cohesive vision. Reflection and writing help me to understand and make some sense of the progression of the pieces as they manifest. A thread of personal narrative runs through all my ceramic work. It's the process of inner exploration that keeps me moving forward."
Also participating in Portland Open Studios is mixed media painter Jan Rimerman and stone sculture Dave Haslett.
"Dave is opening his new studio to the public for the first time," Rimerman said.
• Haslett was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest where the natural beauty has a major influence on his style and form. Attending Portland State University Dave studied with James Lee Hanson who introduced him to the bronze foundry. Working with clay, making molds and then pouring bronze led to a new understanding of achieving form. While researching the master sculptors Don Wilson became an instructor at PSU and introduced Haslett to stone carving. He has been carving mantel to monumental sculpture ever since. Some stones measure 14 feet high and weigh 6,500 pounds.
For the past 20 years he has split his life between his studi in an 1880s farmhouse on his parents' property on Orcas Island, Washington, and his home in West Linn which he shares with his partner Jan Rimerman. Last year Haslett's parents decided to sell their property, prompting him to move his studio closer to his home in West Linn. He was able to secure a deal to use an old barn on a beautiful piece of property owned by same family on the outskirts of Estacada.
Visitors will be able to see Haslett's seven-step process for cutting and polishing stone.
• Jan Rimerman's artwork presents a new perspective each time it's viewed. The various layers of color & texture are revealed in the different lights of the day and season. Her style allows viewers to create their own adventure.
Form, light and shadow are all part of the creative process. The powdered charcoal underpainting is created by drawing, organic stencils, & various water resist applications. After this underpainting is dried & gelled twice, it is permanently adhered to a wooden cradle. Vine charcoal is used to draw each composition on this monochromatic textural 2-dimensional surface. Next, transparent fluid acrylic paint is applied on top of this foundation creating the illusion of 3-dimensionality using up to 22 layers. Each layer is dried between coats. Building up these layers of color and texture one by one creates the luminosity and illusion of depth into each piece.
Inspired by nature, Rimerman works with nature organizations to bring awareness to the environment.
According to Haslett one of the hardest parts of an artist's job is knowing when to quit, something he had to learn the hard way. He has learned to take Buddhist tenet of letting go and moving onto heart.
"Sometimes you've just got to walk away, come back in the morning, see what you've got," he said. "It's when you're tired and you push yourself too far, that's when you start making mistakes."
Admission to the studios is free. Those wishing to participate in Portland Open Studios can download a map online at portlandopenstudios.com. You can also view each of the artists' works and learn more about their methods.
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