More than 100 artists opened their studios this weekend – and will be open through today – so there is much to write about. If you have time, it is worth browsing through all of the spaces at 2425 17th St. and 744 Alabama St., but you can also consult the website and pick out those artists you don’t want to miss.
I went to the 17th Street location first on Saturday, but when I arrived the doors had not yet opened. When they did at noon, not everyone was there so I probably missed some very good artists.
Just inside his studio, Tim Svenonius was showing his work, which included some paintings as well as a book of illustrations paired with text – A Book of Lost Latitudes – that anyone who has read Moby Dick and has $50 will find difficult to resist.
Nearby Travis Nicholas, a writer/illustrator sat in front of his Hekadeck, a collection of cards that he’s created, illustrated and printed. He sells them for $18 a pack and will give you some history on the cards.
There was whimsy elsewhere – especially so in Kasper Jeppesen’s woodblock prints. I wish he had been around when I was there, but I definitely recommend stopping in to see his work.
Here’s another one from his instagram account.
Tessa Kemp, a jewelry maker, has taken up painting small, almost postcard sized landscapes of the route along Highway 1.
I asked about the size and she said it had to do with “taking up something new and not getting caught up in the self-criticism that comes with it.” While she painted earlier in her life, Kemp is only now returning to the medium and the small landscapes are charming.
Nearby, Ron Poznicek’s urban landscapes filled his studio. They are moody, effective evocations of a time and place.
Meanwhile, Diana Elrod seems to be having nothing but fun and a sense of humor runs through all of her work including a series on modernists such as Giacometti and Picabia in which she paints them from the neck to the mid-torso.
And here is another from Elrod, who started with collages and is self-taught. It is work that would have put her in good stead with the surrealists with its juxtaposition of unlikely objects. In this canvas she has fighter planes heading right for a young girl and yet this seems more fanciful than terrifying.
The last group of pieces that I walked by and had to return to on 17th Street was the series of photographs by Yon Sim, Never Never Land. Sim said the photos are from flea markets in the Bay Area and most locate reality in the background while the fantasy of the flea markets fill the foreground. They are arresting.
Then it was onto the three floors of Art Explosion at 744 Alabama Street.
Here, Mimi Herrera-Pease, a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute who has been painting for years, creates canvases of colors and shapes create luminous abstractions of mood.
The landscapes of Reza Alhosseini are often done in plein air and give them an authenticity and immediacy that studio work sometimes lacks.
Also impressive here were Leo Cameron Feliz’s large wire canvas paintings.
And Catherine McMillan’s lovely photography project on metamorphosis.
The complex and bold work of Vadim Puyandaev should not be missed.
And finally the exquisite still lives of Jin Hee Lee. She is someone to watch.