Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Natalie Flemming joins Precision Art Studio Group of Vermont Open Studio Tour Memorial Day Weekend


    I'd like to introduce you to my last guest sitter for the Vermont Open Studio Tour this coming Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 26th and Sunday, May 27th, from 10am-5 pm both days. Her name is Natalie Flemming. She is a student at Essex High School, and is currently enrolled in the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts within the High School.
     Natalie's favorite mediums are acrylics and oils, but through the school will experiment with many different art materials and processes. Aside from painting on traditional canvas, Natalie experimented with "wearable art", and paints canvas sneakers finding it a bit challenging at times, but unique and fun. The painting on the left is a very iconic image of Upper Church Street in Burlington. The brush work is very painterly and loose, and quite lovely. The lower piece on the left is a wonderful pen and ink with a surreal like quality with a central vanishing point.
     Natalie is also painting in a realist style, as seen in the last painting, capturing a lovely bird. I love seeing young artists learn how to use new mediums and try new art techniques and styles. Chelsea, my daughter and I are very happy to welcome Natalie to our band of eclectic artists during this Open Studio Tour. Great work, Natalie!

Monday, May 21, 2012

View Chelsea Lindner's art at Precision Studio during the Vermont Open Studio Tour

     Let me introduce my fifth guest who's work will be represented at the Precision Studio Group during the Vermont Open Studio Tour on Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday the 26th and Sunday the 27th, from 10am-5pm. You might recognize the name if you have been at Artists' Mediums art supply store lately- her name is Chelsea Lindner, and she is the manager there, and slated to own the store in a couple of years.
     Chelsea is very media savvy, and a wonderful artist in her own right. She has tried pretty much everything that we have in the store, from block printing, to acrylics, watercolors, inks, mono-printing, sculpture, and the list goes on. Her favorite medium is Oils. The painting on the left is a cold crisp winter morning with poplars (although we affectionately call it "big blue"). It's just one of the many oil on canvases that you will see during your visit to Precision Studios.  Chelsea loves anything from the natural world, and has started plein air painting on site. The painting on the right
is titled "Birches in the Bog". Chelsea is a tenacious painter. She rarely gives up on a piece, but rather will let it rest for a while, and then come back to it and start re-working it until the final painting is realized.
     This is Chelsea in her home up North in Belvidere, painting in her studio. She participated in the First Fall Vermont Open Studio Tour in the Fall of 2011.
     Chelsea has agreed to show art at my studio for the Open Studio Weekend. Her paintings will be on view, however Chelsea will be physically out touring Open Studio herself, working tirelessly to round up new artists and teachers for the upcoming year. She is one of the hardest working people I know! I would also like to congratulate her on putting together a fine 25th Anniversary celebration for the Artists' Mediums store this past weekend. A good time was had by all! Thanks, Chelsea!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Fourth guest Jess Polanshek sitting at Precision Studios during Vermont Open Studio Tour

     Jess Polanshek of " Polanshek of the Hills"  is the fourth guest that will be sitting with me during Vermont Crafts Council's 20th Open Studio Tour during Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th,  from 10am-5pm.
     You may have seen Jess behind the counter at Artists' Mediums Art Supply Store in Williston. Along with being media savvy, Jess is very creative. The photo to the left is just one of Jess' creations that you will see during your visit to my studio. Jess is an avid bookbinder with a strong focus on trees. The books are made from various woods, which are sawed, sanded, in some cases, wood-burned, drilled and oiled or covered with some unique bark. Some of the inner pages are hand-torn, and the end papers are usually selected hand-made sheets and coordinate nicely with all of the decorative elements. All of Jess' wooden books contain an element of nature and can be used as journals, sketchbooks, or even a guest book.
       Jess is also a painter, and focuses on the ever-changing brilliance of the natural world, sometimes set within a frame-work of a dream-like surreal quality.
                You may also find Jess' work on  "Society 6" and "Etsy" and

Friday, May 18, 2012

Third guest joins Precision Studio Group during Vermont Open Studio Tour

     Cheryl Wisell of The Mountain Fiber Folk Cooperative will be joining me at my studio for the Vermont Craft Council's 20th Open Studio Tour, Memorial Day weekend, Saturday and Sunday 10-5.
     Cheryl resides in Montgomery, Vermont and raises sheep with her husband David. Their farm, "Buzz & Honey's Fleecy Flock" will be open this coming weekend, Sunday, May 20th during "A Farm to Yarn Tour". You may find more information about this particular tour at
     Then, after this weekend, she will be sitting at my studio during Memorial Day Weekend to demonstrate spinning yarn with a drop spindle, and a Vermont-made spinning wheel. She will also have samples of her work. The adorable kitten slippers above are knit and then felted. She will explain the process of felting for those who are interested.
     Cheryl also dyes her own yarn, with natural and some synthetic dyes, and sometimes "hand paints" yarn.
The photo above is a whimsical knit hat with some very creative knotting. Cheryl also felts and knits purses- and they are quite lovely. I think one of my favorite things are the felted acorn ornaments with real acorn caps glued on to the felted part of the nut. Very cute, very clever- and what a nice gift to tuck away now and bring out for the holiday.
    You may ask why someone so far away is sitting with me at my studio? Well, Cheryl Wisell is my sister!
And it gives me great pride and pleasure to have her join our group of artists during this Vermont Open Studio Tour! Hope to see you all there!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Guest Photographer Ron Russotti joins Precision Art Studio Group

I'd like to introduce my second guest sitting with me for the  Vermont Crafts Council Open Studio Tour during the Memorial Day Weekend. Fellow artist and neighbor Ron Russotti will be showing his digital photography. This is a sample of some of the work you will see during your visit to my studio. Ron loves macro photography, as is evident in this photo montage. The photos of blooms and leaves with dew glistening on them are wonderful (I almost said "mouth-watering", but then that would make me a bee!). Ron also loves photographing butterflies of all shapes, colors and sizes and is quite knowledgeable on many species. I am especially fond of the iconic landscapes he chooses. One of my favorite landmarks is the very recognizable Nubble Light House in Maine. But perhaps my all time favorite has to be the image in the upper left of the postcard. If you are an Essex native, you know this iconic scene of the bedazzled tree driving by on Route 15 diagonally across from the Lang Farm and their Nursery. The lighted tree would herald the coming of the Holiday season. It is my understanding that the tree has not been lit in a few years, which makes this image very missed and sought after. In addition to matted photographic prints, Ron will also have cards and magnets of his images, as well as a process known as laminage.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Vermont Open Studio Tour guest photographer Chelsea Somerset

     As promised, I am blogging about my guests that are sitting with me during the Vermont Crafts Council Open Studio Tour during Memorial day weekend, Saturday and Sunday, 10am-5pm. It is my pleasure to have my own daughter Chelsea Somerset, a student at Essex Jct. High School sit with me and show her photography. The photo on the left is a black and white piece- another one of my favorites- mason jars. This brings back fond memories of my family's baking and canning traditions- which my mother shares with my sister Cheryl, Chelsea, and myself. Having a pickle/relish tray at a large Holiday meal was always a staple, whether it was pickled beets, tongue pickles (watermelon rind), or what we French Canadians called "Catsup" (relish/chutney). I'm sure if you asked Chelsea what memories the photo invoked, her reply would be making her own recipe (with the help of her Mimi) of Sassy Garlic Dill Pickles! Nom, nom!
     The photo on the right took a couple of hours to get right. I remember her setting up her tripod on the porch in February. If you have ever taken a picture of the moon, you know how difficult this is, especially when it is a clear night, and the moon is especially bright. There were many adjustments to be made, and I remember opening the door briefly a few times to make sure she wasn't too cold, and offer her a blanket (it was a frigid night-but crisp and clear).
Her tenacity to get the shot just right reminds me of a friend I know who does wonderful photography of the Northern Lights.
     I think the most exciting pieces for me were the pieces she experimented with different filter settings like the one above (our beloved cat, Kitty). Chelsea used Golden's fairly new Digital Acrylic Grounds to treat art paper and other surfaces that normally aren't great for printing on. This allowed the ink to "set" on surfaces like brown craft paper, clear acetate, mirror board and my personal favorite, tin foil. You can get some really cool effects. Kitty's picture was a glowing edges filter printed on graphite paper treated with clear digital grounds acrylic medium. The look you get is like a silver and black scratch board. Really cool, Chelsea! What fun!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New eggs for Vermont Open Studio Tour Memorial Day Weekend

     I am busily working on new eggs for the Vermont Craft Council's 20th year of Open Studio Tours during Memorial Day weekend. The eggs to the left are a start to my "Pompeii eggs". Having been to Pompeii, I was struck by the colors of the remaining frescoes that have been unearthed. Vibrant turquoises and earthy reds (also known as "Pompeii Red") were still visible on the market place walls. The large egg in the back is a Rhea egg, which is a emu-sized egg that is cream-colored- giving colors that you dye over it a nice warm cast. The black and red egg to the left is a goose egg. This egg is done by dying the egg red first, then waxing with a fish design. Then the egg is dyed black, and wax is removed. The egg in the foreground is an extra large chicken egg. This dye sequence is a bleach-back sequence. The egg is dyed black first, and the outline is waxed (under very good light because it is difficult to see the lines on a dark egg). The egg is then bleached back to white, and the egg is then dyed light turquoise. Those sections are waxed, then rinsed back and dipped into the final red dye. The regular size chicken egg on the right is done the same way. Red dye first, waxed, black dye next, waxed, bleached back to white, dyed light turquoise, and then a darker turquoise. It's fun to experiment with dye sequences. It gives the eggs a different look. I am hoping to add an Emu and Ostrich egg to this series.....and maybe a tiny pullet.
     In addition to the Ukrainian eggs I do, I am working on egg paintings, prints, cards and magnets. I will also have some recent watercolors and mixed assemblages.
     In the next couple of weeks, I will be blogging about six guest artists who will be sitting with me during the Vermont Open Studio Tour. The studios all over Vermont will be open on Saturday, May 26th, and Sunday, May 27th from 10am-5pm both days. Look for the yellow signs! I hope to see you there!
   For more info, visit website: