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Fall Brings 2nd Annual Open Studios Tour To Botetourt County

Brett LaGue – “The Blue And The Gray”

The colors of the trees on the surrounding mountains are turning to the rich yellows, oranges and reds that tell us that the Open Studio Tour in Botetourt County will be here soon. The artists participating in this year’s tour are: Tina McConchie, Nancy Dahlstrom, Willie Simmons, Jake Cress, Ed Bordett, Brett LaGue, Dreama Kattenbraker, Linda Atkinson, Magae Hartzell, Vera Dickerson, Lois Bittner, Tom Lawson, Mark Woodie, Bill White & Mark Young.

Ed Bordett spent part of the past year working on paintings of Staunton and New York as well as painting on location in gardens and backyards in Botetourt. His works range in sizes from small plein air studies to large studio paintings.

Willie Simmons has created  two new wood turned designs for pepper mill’s which are new for 2012, both have ceramic mechanisms and will grind salt, pepper, and spices, these new items will be among his many other unique designs in finely crafted, turned wood.

 Jake Cress’ works have the feel of traditional furniture design that reveals his mastery of fine wood working and his craftsmanship;  the works in his studio this year continue to bring his unique sense of design and his feeling for irony to his works.

Nancy Dahlstrom has her new studio now fully functional for making prints, with her beautiful etching press now installed – which weighs in at one ton.  Those who take the tour will be able to see how the processes of etching and mezzotint are  created from “rocking the copper plate” to the final print. Nancy has made new mixed-media prints in which she has now added color. She has used her extensive gardens, adjacent to her studio as inspiration for her work.

Tom Lawson continues to paint the female figure with bold brushwork and an eye for shape and color that reveals his engagement in both direct observations of the model and his interest in pictorial invention, which is the hallmark of his work.

Willie Simmons – Bowl

Tina McConchie’s Buchanan area studio & gallery, Rose Chapel Art, is where you will find a diverse collection of regionally inspired paintings created in the pastel medium, displayed in her uniquely intimate home- gallery setting.

Mark Young will have thirty paintings on display at his studio, several of which have been shown at a gallery in Colonial Williamsburg where he was their featured artist for 2012.  “Close Hearts,” is a painting of two swans touching in such a way that a heart shape evolves and is repeated in reflection.

Bill White has been working on a large body of new urban landscape oil paintings of Roanoke, some from the top of the Church Avenue parking garage overlooking the rooftops in downtown and some of Roanoke Memorial Hospital, and the surrounding area. This new body of work was supported by a GAP grant from the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge.  In September Bill made a three week trip to Ireland where he painted a dozen small gouache (opaque water color) on paper paintings that will also be on display in his studio.

Dreama Kattenbraker’s recent work has been inspired by the fragile health and changes taking place on our planet, and how women have been challenged locally and in the global community. Her inspiration was a book by Terry Tempest Williams; When Women Were Birds.  Dreama discussed her ideas and her new work with her late and very talented friend and sculptor, Joyce Hilliou.  Dreama dedicates this new series of work in Joyce’s memory.

Mark Young – Close Hearts

Magae Hartzell will show her spontaneous and unplanned abstract paintings.  These works flow with movement and liveliness, yet show the influence as well as a counter-balance to her representational works. Her works express the two-sides of the same coin, each enhancing and speaking to the other in an ongoing experimentation with a freedom to choose the unknown and unspoken, each seen in a new light.

This year’s tour is dedicated to the memory of Joyce Hilliou, the late and very talented friend and sculptor who was a member of the 2011 tour.

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