Last weekend was Open Studios for San Francisco artists.  I went to see the work of my friend Maria, a terrific painter.

 

Maria and I met on an admissions event when we were touring elementary schools.  Not only did we end up at the same school, our kids were in the same kindergarten class.  We clicked instantly.  When I learned she was an artist, I checked out her portfolio and blog — fabulous.  Soon after we became friends, we met for coffee and talked about art and especially about voice.  I told her I had such creative energy but I hadn’t found my outlet and certainly not my voice.  She had great input.  With her help (and inspiration), I tried watercolor for awhile — to no avail.  Since then, I’ve taken up photography and knit design.  I’m slowly but surely finding my creative voice in those places.

Maria makes a point to do one sketch a day.  She had her 2010 sketch collection at the studio for visitors to peruse.  Even though they’re absolutely lovely, they’re not for sale.  They represent her process and the whole simply cannot be broken into parts.

  

Here’s Maria (on the right) explaining a piece to another friend of ours.

I really love her work, which has become more abstract in the few years I’ve known her.  I have one of her small paintings in my office that, while not exactly representational, is still clearly of the SF bay and the Golden Gate Bridge.  I’m enjoying watching her style evolve.

One thing that’s cool about Open Studios is you get a glimpse into artists’ tools and process.

Maria’s studio-mate had clever paintings featuring old notes her daughter had written.

The whole building was open so I also saw sculptures, woodwork, glasswork and jewelry.

Fabulous sketches of bees.

I loved this jewelry maker, Deborah Boskin, and her displays featuring leaves were terrific.

I left inspired.

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