What is it about artists' spaces that always seems to look creatively cluttered and beautifully random? Here, a window sill in Kindra Crick's home studio is a display space, with a view to her backyard garden in Northeast Portland.
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Kindra Crick also was the recipient of the Shelley Hershberger Service Award, for her above-and-beyond volunteer efforts as Open Studios artist, board member and Tour Guide editor over the past several years. She creates (and leads workshops to teach) encaustic works, which involve layering paper and heating the layers with wax. The result is intricate, time-intensive and nuanced.
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Suzy Kitman's home studio is typical: she converted the existing garage behind her house in St. Johns. For years, she'd painted in her basement. The garage overhaul was a birthday gift "that keeps on giving."
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The garage conversion popped up the roof to give Kitman vertical space to work and to display her portraits and landscapes. Windows and doors came from the ReBuilding Center. A large mirror gives her a chance to see her canvases with a fresh eye.
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Kitman's contractor removed the existing shed roof and reduced the beams from six to three supporting a new, steeply gabled roof. The result is a liberating sense of vertical space.
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The steep gable, ceiling fan and crisp gallery-white walls give the artist, Suzy Kitman, room to breathe in her converted garage/home art studio.
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Skylights and full spectrum light fixtures are perfect to paint under, and offer a clean, soft light even in rainy winter.
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Shyama Helin paints acrylics in her converted garage in North Portland; the garage itself, with a coat of white paint on the walls, doubles as a gallery when need be.
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Shyama Helin's converted garage/studio gives her a short commute, just a few steps away from her house but not quite in the house. She's a good multi-tasker, and likes being able to pop in and out of the studio easily.
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Helin's painting requires close attention to the layers and textures of the acrylic paint that she applies; sometimes she adds paper and vintage tissue sewing patterns. Her reference books are near at hand, and include "How to Draw Horses."
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Lynne Patton's house and garden present a vibrantly painted (and planted) face to the street, but down the alley, her art studio hides away in what used to be a garage.
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The red door of Patton's studio is an inviting entry into what was, for the first 16 years of her living in the house, just a garage. Less than a year ago, she finished turning it into a her haven – a place to paint.
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Still lifes are Patton's specialty. And yes, she paints real fruit – just like the Dutch masters. Luckily, this time of year, and in our part of the world, beautiful fruit is easy to find.
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The dark walls and gallery uplights bring out the soft gleam of brushwork in Lynne Patton's quiet oil paintings.
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Lynne Patton's existing garage happened to have northern exposure, which is just perfect for painting, because it provides consistent light all day instead of shifting, sharp shadows. She put in a custom window to take advantage of the northern light, which, with the dark slate blue-grey of the walls, gives the studio the atmosphere of, say, Vermeer's studio in the Netherlands.