Imagine standing in an artist's private studio watching art come to life. For years, the Studio Waltz has given people that chance — to see artists at work, ask questions, maybe even step closer to their own artistic dreams as they peek into the creative lives and work spaces of various artists.
On Saturday, the Studio Waltz celebrates 20 years of inviting the public in to see how the magic happens. Fifteen artists from Clearwater to Palm Harbor will open their studios, which in some cases are a part of their home.
"I've been a part of Studio Waltz for 10 years," said Dunedin mosaic artist Carol Sackman, who, along with her artist husband Blake White, is working on a 25-foot-long piece fashioned after Matisse's nudes. "The public gets to see artists living with their work. All different kinds of art."
Besides those artists working inside studios, five Plein Air artists — artists who create on location in the open air — also will take part in the event. Cathy Morgan, Barbara Kampe Hanson, Melissa Miller Nece, Jenna Star Friedman and Susan Rollins Gehring will work outside studios at designated stops.
Barbara Grazul Hubbard of Dunedin is a printmaker who creates copper plate etchings and carves linoleum, then mounts it on wood. She hand-paints her linoleum prints, etchings and carvings and her art often comes together as large pieces called collages. This year, she's been investigating 3D.
"People have been copper-plate etching for hundreds of years," said Hubbard, 54, who has participated in the Studio Waltz for 10 years. "I hand-print them one at a time and hand-color them with light fast dye."
David Lawrence of Palm Harbor also makes prints in his studio, but his art revolves around large-format and high-resolution landscape photography. Want to see a bird's-eye view of Tampa? Check out Lawrence's work.
He often works out of a Jet Ranger helicopter and utilizes a gyrostabilizer to be sure he gets the best shots. Digital photography and printers that can handle large-scale print jobs helped Lawrence create and sell more of his art.
While Lawrence is usually traveling this time of year to photograph fall foliage, he's adjusted his schedule for Saturday's event.
"Last year was my first year participating in Studio Waltz," said Lawrence, 60. "We had a lot of fun and a lot of people here, so I made a point to leave the day after Studio Waltz this year to photograph fall foliage."
Clearwater artists Tony and Karen Marsh, a wood turner and jewelry artist respectively, were also new to the Studio Waltz last year and are happy to participate again.
They each have their own work, but they also collaborate.
"We often work together," said Tony Marsh, 71. "I do (wood) beads and medallions for her and she does a lot of copper work for me. We often combine the wood and copper in bowls. We make necklaces, earrings, plus pens, wine bottle stoppers and pepper mills. Our art is completely functional and we enjoy showing people."
Many of the artists, like Sackman and White, encourage people to try their hand at art when they stop by the studio. "I enjoy seeing the look on people's faces," said White, 60.
Marsh, too, will let people who are interested in wood turning get hands-on and turn.
Palm Harbor artist Connie Parkinson, who does lampworking and creates glass beads, often invites a child to choose the bead color she will make. Then, when the beads are completed, she will mail them to the child.
She enjoys educating adults and children about how she makes glass beads in 100 different colors.
Parkinson has been perfecting her art for 15 years and has participated in the Studio Waltz for six years. Each time she does, she draws a crowd of all ages around her work space as she picks up a glass rod and a torch.
"People come in and they see the process and say they had no idea," said Parkinson. "I use Moretti glass rods from Italy and an oxygen propane torch that reaches 2,000 degrees."
Some of the artists will provide light refreshments during the free Waltz, which is set up so people can see one artist or visit them all. While stops are numbered, there is no hard and fast rule about starting at number one. It is, after all, an artistic venture.
"We want people to know you don't have to be a 'great artist' to enjoy yourself," Sackman said. "You can see the artist work, or maybe you want to learn a technique. We want to encourage people to express themselves. Some people think artists are not approachable, but when they come into our homes, I think they find out how approachable we really are."
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