Monday, May 20, 2013

Eldorado Studio Tour 2013

I didn't have a lot of time at the Eldorado studio tour this year but I did find a few hours Saturday to drive up there and visit four tapestry weavers. Eldorado is a large community just east of Santa Fe off I-25.

Lynne Coyle makes wonderful tapestries on looms her husband makes for her. I enjoyed hearing about how they make everything they can themselves. Her husband makes ingenious frames for the finished tapestries which are quite beautiful and some of her work was framed with metal which included decorative scrollwork. I was also inspired by her 96 year old mother who despite macular degeneration (which takes away your central vision), sews many hours every day and had a whole room of lovely quilts for sale.

Linda Running Bentley is a natural dyer. Several of the tapestries she had displayed were woven from yarn dyed entirely by plants from her Eldorado yard. She had made a beautiful green from juniper and some brilliant yellow from chamisa.

While Linda's work is grounded in the plants around her, Sheila Burke's tapestries are about the cosmos. She has been working with value in small format lately and the results are excellent.

Letitia Roller was an inspiration to me. Her tapestries are full of movement. She tends to put small bits of shapes together and builds a large image that is fascinating to study. I was blessed to hear some about Letty's process as an experienced artist and encouraged to see some of the tools she uses for design, many similar to tools I use myself. Letting the process just happen is important and sometimes takes deliberately focusing on something else for the pieces to fall together. Doodling is part of her process, but her doodles look like works of art. She has started using stamps and spray dye for this process and it reminds me of the art journaling that I have worked on intermittently for the last few years. Letty also is a wonderful pastel painter. I was captivated by her use of color in her pastel work and encourage you to look at her website at both the tapestry and the pastel portfolios. The work is very different in the two mediums, but both are inspiring. Her website is HERE.

The Eldorado studio tour is a huge event. There were something like 70 stops and I only made it to four of them before I had to head off to the mountains for the day. They have a preview gallery at La Tienda which is a great place to stop first to get an idea of where you want to go from there.

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