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Where the art happens

Go behind the canvas as Lodi artists let you into their studios with this weekend's Open Studios Tours

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Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2009 12:00 am

Some are paint splattered. Some are cluttered with piles of blank canvases, inspiration boards and tiny boxes of shiny buttons and beads. Others are tidy, the most organized room in the house. Some are large. And some aren't. Some are converted bedrooms, others are a corner under a carport.

Wherever it is, whatever it's like, it is where the magic happens.

Art studios in Lodi are as varied as the artists themselves. Each one — whether its a simple easel with room enough to stand, or acres of building and showing space — have been created uniquely by the artists who find themselves spending hours planning a project or working on an individual piece.

During Lodi Open Studio Tours today and Sunday, artists will open their homes and personal studios to other artists seeking inspiration and those who want a peak inside a world of creativity.

Sixteen artists, whose art includes everything from cement sculptures to iron works and oil painting, are showing at eight locations.

Lisa Goldman shows her handmade masks and collage art in her Woodbridge studio. Earline Lund, Wendy Gage, Jean Jeausteau and Catherine Erickson show their paintings and their various working methods.

Richard Allen sets up his easel in the Lodi Community Arts Center, where he does most of his painting.

Tony Segale opens home to show the art of the gold leaf, and how he does mural work from start to finish.

Ken Woodworth, a color pencil artist, and his wife and glass artist, Mira Woodworth, invite you to see their merging creativity.

Caroline Henry displays her various work in both her Morada garden and studio. David Jon Foster is new this year and will let you view his paintings in his studio above a Lockeford winery.

Woodworker Glenn Robison and metal worker Jerrod Mays set up their workspaces at Samuel Basset and Pepe Pool's studio.

And Suzanne Rawlins and Patti Wallace show that art can happen with mixed media.

The muralist who surrounds himself with his favorite things

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Tony Segale's restored craftsman style home on Pine Street is a gallery in itself. His gold lead signs are displayed throughout and the inner artist is revealed in the small details, like the designs in his living room's original hardwood floors. Along with a walk through his in-house studio, Segale will walk the weekend's visitors through the first floor of his home.

In his studio near the entrance of his house is where Segale spends most of his time working. Those who take the tour will see the stages of the mural he is working on for Lodi's Japanese town. Oh his drawing table, he sketched images from historic photos that he will piece together to create the mural.

Segale's studio is filled with some of his favorite things: His collection of vintage pencil sharpeners, a coyote skull, his computer that often plays old Westerns, the Randolph Signs that once hung in his business, and awards he's won, including the ribbons from this year's State Fair.

For Segale, as many of the artists, showing their studios is a fun way for them to get involved with the community.

"I think (the tours) bring awareness to arts in Lodi and allows people to see artists and how they work in their studios," Segale said.

A painter inspired by her surroundings

Caroline Henry does the majority of painting in her studio, surrounded by filled bookshelves and windows that peer out to her colorful garden. Once a family room and office, the large back room became her workspace as her children moved out. When she first started painting, she would work wherever there was room.

"I started out at the kitchen table," she said.

Now, her house is filled with paintings ranging in subjects. In her living room are paintings from Santa Cruz, where her daughter lives. There is a gray-haired surfer, a pier with shops and a painting of her husband searching for shells along the shore. She also has other paintings of her children, still lifes and scenes from daily life.

In her backyard, where her orange cat roams and roses are blooming bright red, she will place her paintings. Tomatoes will go with tomatoes; artichokes with artichokes, she said.

No need for a lot of space

For some artists, it's not entirely necessary to have a studio to be able to be creative. Oil painter Rich Allen paints regularly on an easel in the Lodi Community Arts Center.

"I tried painting outdoor, but the wind and dust made it hard in the fall," Allen said.

He admires the method of Claude Monet who often returned to a location a dozen times to paint a scene during the same time of day. Though he says you can't compare it to plein air painting, Allen often takes a photo and paints an image from a photo.

Now, he often paints in the window of the art center, a handheld tray of paints in hand. He enjoys when young children dining at Rick's Pizza across the way come to ask questions or watch his painting process.

"Part of our mission is to encourage art in Lodi, and getting peoples' attention is good. We don't have a lot of opportunities for kids in art," he said.

Contact Lodi Living editor Lauren Nelson at

From the artists: Five tips to creating your own studio

Do you dream of converting your jam-packed garage into an art studio? Would you like to have an inspirational corner where you can sketch or give painting a go? Lodi's artist offer some of their tips on creating a space. Mostly, they agree to focus on creating art rather than focusing on trying to create a perfect studio.

Fill your space with things that inspire you. It can be as simple as a bulletin board with pages from magazines, postcards and samples of work you admire. Tony Segale fills his studio with Western memorabilia, old wooden boxes and barrels filled with more bits of inspiration and one of his first gold leaf signs to remind him of his early days as a craftsman.

Set the mood. If having noise in the background helps you work, then set up a radio or TV in your studio area. Segale listens to baseball while Caroline Henry listens to classical music or classic rock.

Create the art first. Don't put too much emphasis on the space because you'll never get it just right.

Stock what you need. What you will need depends on the art you do. Henry's favorite supplies are good art pens because drawing is so important to her. Because she does so many different mediums — from collage to glass art to masks, Lisa Goldman's studio is organized with drawers and boxes for all of her supplies. However, the only supplies Rich Allen uses when he paints at the art center are his paints and an easel.

Get the lighting right — when possible. Don't stress about lighting too much. However, Allen says the standard thought is that it's best to have your studio in a space that gets the north light. Henry, who has a studio that doesn't get northern light, says she has to work with it, but doesn't make a big deal out of it because her paintings will be shown in all types of light.

Open Studios Tours at a glance

When: Today and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Eight artist locations throughout Lodi. Follow triangle signs to studios to buy tickets during the event or buy tickets at the Lodi Community Art Center, 1373 Lakewood Mall.
Tickets: $10.
The event is sponsored by The City of Lodi Division of Arts & Culture, Comcast and the Lodi Arts Foundation.

Information: 333-3855.

A chance to win $1,200 in art

The Passport Purchase award will allow one participant to win $1,200 in Lodi art. The winner will have to get their passport map stamped at each location and then turn it in for a raffle. The winner will be notified Monday, and the arts center will cover the sales tax.



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