Thursday, October 29, 2009

What They Made with Their Hands

{Open Studios from Last Weekend}

Some shots from the HWY 62 Art Tours last weekend. My, how humbled I am every time I visit the the studios of these talented friends.

We drove way out into the open desert to make a pilgrimage to Tina Bluefield's studio. Tina just had a sell-out show in New York. She has a contagious, girlish energy that one can't help but fall in love with when you meet her, and P. and I both have a Georgia O'Keeffe-kinda admiration for her. Her work exudes tremendous energy and freedom while maintaining a certain level of intellectualism. I've never seen her make the same painting twice. Pretty amazing to be in your 60's, live out in the Mojave Desert, and sell out a high profile Chelsea show. She is a *great* inspiration.

This is one of my favorite pieces. I've had dreams about this painting. It's called "Davis Wire" and measures 36 x 60 inches. It's oil on canvas, with a long strip of roofing material and some wood siding she found on her morning hike through the desert. She incorporates found objects into some of her paintings and it really works. The blue is the most heavenly light cobalt- not too green, not too yellow.

One of Tina's minimalist landscapes. This one really haunted me. I didn't write down the details, but it's maybe about 30 x 36 inches or so.


One of Tina's geometric abstracts. "Mediterranean" oil on canvas, 60 x 36 in.

Then off to Ruth and Steve Rieman's place. Steve is a pretty well-known sculptor in Southern California, and Ruth runs the business. Steve is tall, wiry, and wizardly, and he builds these enormous kinetic metal sculptures without a studio assistant. He's rigged up a system of pulleys so that he can move the tons of steel around his studio by himself. Ruth and Steve were low-impact, green-building, homesteading pioneers before I was even born. They moved out here from Costa Mesa 35 years ago, built a cabin on the edge of Pipe's Canyon, then a bigger house, studio, and metal shop. They are amazing people, and as you can see Steve is an incredible sculptor and engineer.




Finally, off to my dear friend Karine Swenson's show. Karine and Nora (whose talents span ceramics, sculpture, painting, and growing those amazing roses) collaborated with two other woman for a group show. Because I was giddy and eating and talking and running around Karine's gorgeous house the entire time I didn't take many pictures, but here are some of Karine's marvelous monotypes (which are for sale on her Etsy shop). They are both 8 x 10 inches. Karine also has a wonderful blog about painting, printmaking, and desert life.

(bottom two pics by karine swenson)


  1. oh, wow! it's all so beautiful. i'd like one of each please.

  2. thank you for the invite!!!!! it was *lovely*

    i hope the weekend was wonderful, i am sure it was.

  3. thanks for bringing us i see why you moved out there! that propeller is killllller....


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