Nearly three dozen professional artists from the Northwest and West Tucson area have banded together to sponsor a new art tour event for the fall — Art Trails 2015 W/NW Open Studio Tour.
The free studio tour will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 24 and 25, allowing visitors the opportunity to view artists’ works and discuss the process of creating art with the artists. For a map of the studios, listing of participating artists and links to their works, go to http://www.arttrails.org/.
Candace Greenburg, one of the event’s organizers and the owner of Greenburg Studio at 12255 W. Sunset Rd., said the inaugural event is designed to expose members of the public to the way artists create their work.
“Many people are surprised to find there’s an artist living in their neighborhood,” Greenburg said. “This is the perfect opportunity to get to know them and their work better. Artists enjoy meeting with people and talking about their work.”
Greenburg, a graduate of the University of Arizona, has spent 20 years in the artist in residency program for the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Her background is in acrylic painting and photography, she said, until five years ago when she began sculpting in wax.
“Most of my sculpting work is figurative abstract,” Greenburg pointed out. “It’s a very old-world way of sculpting that’s been done for centuries. You sculpt wax by hand, then take it to a foundry where they do the lost wax casting when the wax is replaced with a hot bronze metal. The piece is then cleaned up and a patina is added through a chemical process to come up with the coloration the artist desires.”
Virginia Carroll, also participating in Art Trails, is a colored-pencil drawing artist who works out of her studio at 5251 W. Crestview Dr.
“I work in the photo realist style on many different surfaces,” Carroll said. “I find that each type of surface dictates its own technique. Lately I’ve been using Icarus board, which has a glass top with a heated element on one side and the heating element on the other. It works very well with colored pencils to soften the lead.”
Carroll said she typically takes photos of a still life, and then creates her own interpretation of the scene in colored pencil.
“The subjects are everything to the art,” she said. “There are plenty of things out there that make for interesting drawings. I’ve done old cars, florals, still life, landscapes and desert plants.”
Carroll recently started in a different artistic discipline — gourd carving and decorating.
“I take a dry gourd, prep it by letting it sit in damp potting soil for a couple of weeks to remove its waxy finish, then scrub and dry it, which prepares the surface for the work I’ll do,” she said. “It makes an interesting composition.”
Edlynne Sillman shows her work at Fine Arts Photography, 12255 W. Sunset Rd., but spends most of her time away from the studio photographing everything from people and animals to landscapes.
“I’ve been photographing ever since my parents got me a Brownie Hawkeye camera when I was 7 years old,” Sillman said. “I’ve drawn and painted, did woodcuts, silk screens and sculpture, but always came back to photography.”
Sillman said she’s focused on candid portraiture for the past three-plus years, “photographing western scenes, horses, cowboys and cowgirls. I’ve always had a feel for candid portraiture, and appreciate landscape, but if nothing is moving in it, it doesn’t excite me,” she added.
Sillman also has done a series of photographs of the hawks and owls that are part of the raptor program at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum.
Linda Ahern owns Toscana Studio and Gallery at 9040 N. Oracle Rd., Suite A, in Oro Valley. Besides being her art studio, Toscana also is a place for children to make art during after-school and summer programs and also functions as an art adult education center where artist-instructors teach their particular medium.
Ahern considers herself a figurative artist, with a focus on oil painting.
“I like to work with the human form or portraiture,” Ahern said. “I started to sculpt when I was in a program in Florence, Italy, so I do bronzes and a lot of painting. I can make art in any medium, but oil painting is my favorite form because it’s so buttery. I like the wet-to-wet process.”
Ahern also does work in watercolor, acrylic and charcoal. But no matter what medium she works in, she usually comes fact to portraiture and human forms.
“It’s what I like working on,” she said. “When I do abstracts, which is infrequently, it’s going out of the box for me.”