Monday, October 19, 2009

Roaming the ARTrails

A couple of times a year in the Spring and Fall a wonderful thing called the ARTrails happens in Sonoma County. It’s an event in which participating artists open up their homes and studios to the public to view their work. It’s a great way to meet artists in your immediate neighborhood and to see work that may not be scalable to a gallery viewing, especially those who work in very large formats or incorporate the land on which they live to showcase their work. I visited two artists that go beyond the confines of an indoor studio. Peter Crompton in Santa Rosa is a sculptor painter and set designer. The property around his home is filled with his work both large and small. Peter and his wife have created a magical landscape with their art nestled in the tress and plants and pathways.

You can view more of Peter Cromptons work at his Web site

I also visited Karen Wyse in Orinda for the East Bay ARTrails. Karen is a sculpture and collagist and a believer in using everything (and I mean everything) in her artwork, nothing is wasted. Like Peter her property is full of trails leading to works nestled around trees roots as well as hanging high from tree limbs. Photos and videos can’t really show the multiple layers upon layers of stuff that permeate Karen’s art and the entire property. It’s all best viewed in person where you can stroll around the grounds and be shocked and amused all at once.

Over the years I have given Karen boxes of items that she recycles into her sculptures and shrines. Last year after my mother passed away I was overwhelmed with stuff from the past, so instead of throwing it out I gave it all to Karen. In the video below I take a close look at one of her large outdoor “installations” that she calls the Voodoo House Shrine and I discover a multitude of things from my past.

Here are a few of the other artists I visited:

Tony Speirs in Graton
Maylette Welch
Jewel Kishmiran

ARTrails is one of the best free events in the county and great way to support and discover the artist in our midst’s. Visit to learn more.

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