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by Tara Bell, Color Pencil Artist

"It's a chance for me to get away with my friends and look at beautiful things."

"Driving around the county reminds me of where I live, somewhere I can be proud of."

"I'm inspired to get in touch with my creative side. I can ask how it's done."

"It's an annual outing for me and my Mother. We have lunch together and decide who we want to visit next."

Above are a few of the comments I have heard and jotted down in the fourteen years (that can't be) I have been on the Over the Mountain Studio Tour. Recently I have been asked how can I contribute to my community in this political climate and I immediately thought of the tour, where we provide a refuge by setting up our wares.

Of course, it would be nice to make some financial gain, but it's much more than that. It is the common ground where we can all meet, a place where we can imagine, take in nature, find inspiration, and share clever ideas.

I used to go on the tour before I was in it. I miss being able to visit all the stops, and to see the studios all gussied up with new pots, bright ear-rings, and fresh filigree cuts of paper.

Sometimes I want to do something else other than lay down colored-pencil. I want to weave some fiber, wrap my fingers around a basket handle, try my seat in a chair made of tree branches, smell some paint and wood shavings and relax.

Yet, I can take refuge now with the work it takes to produce. I can get excited about a new image, share my work with my family of makers or be inspired by our visitors and friends with what they are doing with their imaginations.

We are made to focus on this thing we are doing, sharing our creative thoughts and taking refuge together. Join us, won't you?

Over the Mountain Studio Tour, November 10 & 11

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