If you have ever wanted to visit a working artist’s studio you will have the chance to do so this weekend in Milton and Marlborough. An Open Studio Tour is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on both days.
Painter Barbara Masterson said before Covid, she and Laura Bianco tried to make a studio tour happen, even to the point that dates were scheduled and cards were printed. Once the pandemic hit, however, they had to cancel the event, not just once, but two more times.
A poster of the self-guided studio tour shows about 14 artists who are participating, such as photographers, print makers, painters and sculptors. Masterson said she went “knocking on doors” to find artists whom she did not know, asking if they would like to participate. She is sure there are a few more artists in the immediate area that she missed.
Masterson said the artists welcomed the invitation to join the Tour. She said the artists are at varying levels of expertise and she estimates they are from 40 to 80 years old.
“I’m excited about it and it has certainly made me start to clean up my studio,” she laughed, adding that she is still working on a series of paintings depicting local migrant farm workers, entitled, ‘The Hands That Feed Us’.
Mary Lyons specializes in pet portraits using acrylics. She said people start the process by sending her a picture of their pet. She said the portraits are usually gifts for someone.
“I get a lot of crying when I give it to them” she said.
Lyons also has painted local landscapes, adding that her husband owns Overlook Farms, “so there are a billion painting [ideas] there.”
Lyons said this is the first time she will be participating in a studio tour, saying that people will see that her studio is in her dining room.
“I am a little apprehensive and starting to get excited,” she said.
Painter William Noonan said his work can be classified as contemporary realism, with his subjects ranging from still life and figures [his favorites] to landscapes, “and any combination of that.” He uses oils, pastels and watercolors.
Noonan is looking forward to the art tour, not really knowing if 6 or 60 people will show up at his studio.
“Everyone could be somebody you already know or you can get a lot of strangers, but the nice thing about it is you’re in your studio, so if nobody shows up you can just work,” he said. “I hope we get a good turnout.”
Neil Granholm’s milieu is hard to define as he loves to paint outdoors en plein aire, create very large abstracts as well as make unique wall sculptures in copper and brass. He says he is a bit ‘bipolar’, explaining that he works en plein aire in oil but does large abstracts using acrylics. His paintings average 6ft x 7ft and some are 4ft by 6ft in size.
Granholm recalled many years ago painting outdoors with a group at a local winery.
“After painting in the area I had no idea how gorgeous it is up here with all the apple orchards and the wineries and the Hudson River,” he said. “Little by little I’ve been moving north and now I live in Marlborough.”
Granholm said he is looking forward to the studio tour, saying, “It’s going to be great.”
Sydney Cash said he creates many different kinds of things.
“I invent ways to make things and then I make them,” he said adding that as he goes along, he invents other techniques for his next project.
When he was younger, Cash used many types of glass but today his focus is on paper, cloth and paint.
“I am making very interesting structural forms with hardware cloth. It’s fencing used around gardens and it can be 1 inch, 1/2 inch of 1/4 inch squares. Then I dip it in vats of paint; it’s like I’m taking skinny bones and I’m putting flesh on it,” he said.
Cash fully trusts his vision when creating a piece.
“I’ve worked with materials a lot and I have a technical background,” he said, adding that he studied Numerical Engineering, earned a degree in mathematics, “and I’ve always been a maker.”
Cash said he is ‘thrilled’ about this Art Tour, “because it forces me to clean up my studio and somehow during the pandemic things got messier than usual,” a common refrain among the participating artists on this weekend’s art tour.
A map showing the locations of the artist studios is available at the Sarah Hull Hallock Library at 56-58 Main Street in Milton.