Saturday, October 15, 2016

Inspired by Nature and Art

At this time of year there seems to be a lot of artist studio tours.  I usually manage to get to see  some new art while this opportunity is presenting itself.

Merrickville has an an artist studio tour the last weekend of September and the first weekend of October. The tours in Prince Edward County and  in Cornwall happen at the same time as the Merrickville one. I've been to the tour in Prince Edward County twice, and this year I finally made it to the Arts and Apples tour in Cornwall.

Merrickville becomes a very busy place during their tour, which is why they extended it to a two week event. The studios in the Cornwall area, by comparison, seemed almost deserted. Yet the artists were thrilled to have had as many as 75 people stop by. We only got to a few Cornwall area studios this year but found the artists there very friendly, and more than willing to explain their work. I will definitely go back another year, starting perhaps at the opposite end of the tour, so that we are more in the country. One of the things I love about such tours is exploring the back roads and seeing new sites.

I did, of course, check out at least 13 of the Merrickville artists on their final day, even without leaving town. It's always fun to see what the people I know have been up to, and how far they have come with their art over the past year.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend we went to one of my favorite tours, up in the hills beyond Perth. I've told you about this before, in 2013 and 2014. It's such a beautiful time of year to drive those roads, art, or no art. There is even an area called the Field Work Project, where artists do installations in the wild.  We made a point to stop by and see the Eyebox, which is actually a Camera Obscura created by Franc van Oort.  When you step inside, and close the door, the light coming though the lens in one of the walls of the box projects an upside down image of what it's facing on the opposite wall. You are, in effect, inside a giant camera. The whole thing is on a turn table and you are able to crank it in a complete circle and see the view from any angle.  I heard it might actually be moved to one of the locks near Burritts Rapids next year, if all goes according to plan. I do hope it does as I'd like to experience it again, and perhaps take my grandsons to give them some idea of just how a camera works.

Artist studio tours inspire me to try new things. I used to just look and see what I liked, but now I try to figure out how some things were done, and then go home and see if I can come up with that sort of effect. After the past couple of weeks, and several tours, I think I have enough ideas to keep me busy until springtime.

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