Sunday, October 11, 2009

Open Studios

Yesterday morning Ray and I made a spontaneous decision to buy a ticket for the Portland Open Studios event, which takes place this weekend and next. Artists all over the Portland area open their studios for tours. We were interested in seeing studios, as well as artists' work. I always love seeing where other artists work, and we still hope to build a studio here at our house for me to work in. We were looking for ideas. Ray is good at asking good questions, "what would you do differently?" for example and the artists we met were very generous with their ideas and seemed to love talking about their studios. Below are just a few that we saw yesterday.

Jan von Bergen
Jan is a printmaker and ceramacist. Click on her name above to see her beautiful work on her web site. I loved her prints. She works in a small room in a daylight basement. I have done printmaking, both on paper and fabric, and I envied her press. Jan seemed like such a nice person—very generous and interesting to talk to.

Sylvia Emard
Sylvia (in the blue shirt), a weaver and dyer, works in her small basement with one little window, but look how much light there is! She has solved the dim basement problem with daylight flourescent fixtures, plus the very smart addition of large mirrors, that literally double the light in the room, as well as making it feel much more spacious than it is. Isn't that a great idea?

Pam Greene
Oh. My. This one blew my mind. Pam Greene is a painter of wonderful, large landscapes. Her home, from the street looks like a very typical, not-very-memorable, suburban split level in a suburban neighborhood. Stepping through the front door is like falling down the rabbit hole into "artland". The entire house is a gallery of paintings, collections, memorabilia, light and texture.

When we got to this room, in her basement, we learned that Pam is a senior designer for Nike. This is a series of paintings she did of Nike footwear.

But wait, as they say in the infomercials—there's more! Behind Pam's amazing house, she had a studio built, where she paints most of the year. The mostly glass studio nestles between the house and a lushly landscaped hillside. I can't even find the words to tell you how divine this studio is, so I will just let you enjoy the pictures.

More about Pam here and here.

We are off to visit a few more this afternoon, but I'm not sure we can top yesterday's experiences.


  1. Thanks so much for sharing the studios and the glimpses of the artists work.
    Very inspiring.
    Hope you will have more to post.

  2. Thanks for the mini tours!! I think if I went to Pam Greene's place I would never come out again. I love both the space and the large paintings. :-)

  3. How cool to have a carousel horse in your house! And lots of inspiration for chair quilts too!

  4. I loved the bird's eye view huge landscape painting. Great inspiration all around.

  5. The studio tour looks fantastic. You posted some nice pictures for us to get a feel for the experience.

  6. I am with Kristin, I'd move into the house or the studio in a second. Thanks for the tour. I hope you had a sunny day and more inspiration today. Cheers.

  7. What a great idea to check out all these studios before designing your own. You must have felt so invigorated after seeing what others had done.

  8. Anonymous8:53 AM

    I have a neighbor who has the exact set of white retro table and chairs from the 60's. I would love to have that in my house. Fabulous studio. My studio experience was a small corner in my living room where I machine knit ski hats for 19yrs. Loved the color and fibers.

    Cari from Calif

  9. I stumbled across this old post on Google. Thanks for posting all the photos and links - I really enjoyed seeing Pam Greene's paintings and studio.