Open Studios Encore Weekend—You’re Invited!

I admit up front that this post is about Melissa’s art, not my knitting, but keep reading—you’ll see some wonderful things.

The first three weekends in October, Santa Cruz has open studios. 200+ artists (that sounds like a lot, but the event is actually juried and highly competitive; we have a huge art community here) open their studios to let people come in, see and discuss their processes, and—if the artist is lucky—buy their work. One weekend features north county artists, the next south county. On the final weekend both north and south county artists participate.

From 11-6 on Saturday and Sunday, Melissa will have her press, her drying lines, lino blocks in progress, and a whole plethora of prints and paintings on display in her workspace at 816 Hanover St., Santa Cruz.

She’s been especially productive as a print-maker this past year, working on three different series, along with some individual pieces. I’ll give you a taste of them.

She’s been doing a fairy tale series, trying to capture the sense of dread and danger that underlies so many of these children’s stories. These prints are done in black and white, with just a touch of red colored in by hand.

Here are Hansel and Gretel about to make a disastrous choice…
Hansel and Gretel

And here are the children of Hamlin, enjoying the piper’s tunes…
Pied Piper

Melissa’s also been working on a two-color print series featuring William Blake’s “Proverbs of Hell.”
These are reduction prints, which means she carves the block enough to print the colored bits. The she goes back to the same block and carves it some more, until it’s ready for a printing of the black bits. There’s absolutely no room for error in this process, as you might guess.

William Blake would never have purchased a GPS device…
Strait Roads

Finally, we have a series she did for an exhibit on violence against women. The point of this exhibit was to celebrate women’s lives rather than to document brutality. Melissa worked hard to come up with images that would help viewers see and cherish the inherent value of individual women’s lives. Each print is overlaid with a related statement printed on a transparency. The transparency and the print are separated by a hidden bit of matting, so that the words float above the image and actually cast a shadow upon it in the right light.

This piece is in response to genital mutilation…

And this emphasizes the ubiquity of violence…
Girls with Horses

If you can come by this weekend, please do. If you can’t, but you’re interested in the artwork, drop us a line via my web site or Melissa’s.

2 Replies to “Open Studios Encore Weekend—You’re Invited!”

  1. I would have loved to see the show. We were in the area way too early, though. If you saw any red heads, they could have been mine. If so, I hope they were suitably awed. I certainly am!

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