Updated: Jun 6, 2022
Do you have any of those friends, someone who looks at a painting with you and discusses contrast, medium, colors and textures? Those friends might be a critic for your own work, and you for theirs or you are not particularly makers yourselves but so enjoy visiting galleries, museums, art shows...and, yes, going on artists studio tours. Art friends tend to appreciate the bright and beautiful, the emotional, even the ugly. Oh, and we are allowed to disagree with our observations, and there is respect, because we are friends after all.
There are friends within the Over the Mountain Studio Tour, By 'within' I mean the people who set up the booths, AND the people who come to observe and shop. We have gotten to know each other. Such richness comes from such friendships. What I have observed in these years is the gravitational pull of people who delve into a certain craft or art. For examples the wood people hang out together talking about trees, tools and planes, and the grains of wood. Then paper people talk about deckle edges, cutting tools, smooth versus textured paper, pencils, paints, inks and adhesive. Jewelry people talk about torches, and metals, and design. Pottery people have their kilns, glazes, clay and timing. Basket people have weaves, and shapes, and techniques and design to talk about, they are contemporary or traditional or both.. Then there are textile people, with live animals in the background of their craft. They talk about weaving, dyes and preparations, sheering, spinning and resources for yarn and fabric. All seem different in details, whether your are the maker or the observer, yet these hand-made items often cross over in style and design and get all mixed up. We get amazed with what we do or observe others doing. There might be.a book of glass, a painting of wool, a canvas of metal, a wooden chalice or a polymer bracelet made of tiny trees. We admire each others work, although we each don't understand the depth of a technique, or the artists' twist on it, we can still appreciate it.
The observer will have their own twists. Isn't it fair to say art would not exist without us, the maker and the observer, the friends and critics?
Some of my art friends are Linda Case, Liz Goins, Judy Bradshaw, Fran Brolle, and Becca Jones. I have an art sister too, Charla Hayen. We have art visits and/or traipse the art trails and share our thoughts. .
Photo: Rod and Liz, becoming art friends and sharing a stop at Liz's home in Charles Town last November, 2021.