When people ask Dennis Smith how long it takes him to create a painting, his standard answer is “One hour and 40 years.”
“Most people don’t know about the years of learning and the huge amount of practice it takes to produce a work of art,” he said. “They only see an image; they are not aware of what is going on there.
Smith’s oil painting ‘A River Runs Through’ was chosen by fellow artists as the cover for the Open Studios Napa Valley 2022 directory and map – the guide art lovers use for their discovery tours. self-guided art workshops that take place over the last two weekends of September.
Smith is one of 70 artists from 43 locations who will open their studios during the 34th annual Open Studios Napa Valley from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. September 17-18 and September 24-25.
Smith, who was an architect in San Francisco before retiring to Napa to pursue his passion, has an eclectic style with imagery ranging from realist to abstract impressionism. Much of his work was inspired by his travels.
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Visitors to Smith’s Studio 41, located at 1638 Los Carneros Ave., can view the watercolors, oils, pastels, acrylics and line drawings made by this versatile artist in his studio barn. His art will also be exhibited outdoors and in white tents recently set up for a wedding.
OSNV is presented as a collaborative effort by the participating artists of the Art Association Napa Valley because they believe in the value of sharing a unique artistic experience with visitors who come to their studios.
“Open Studios is an exploration of ideas and points of view. Artists help us see the world from a different perspective,” said OSNV director Frank Trozzo.
“We are all relieved that the pandemic was not a factor this year,” he added. “Everyone can just enjoy art.”
With artists welcoming visitors to their studios, savvy art collectors and those just curious about art can peek into their creative spaces, ask questions, watch demos and purchase art. local art at the source.
Part of the fun of visiting studios is seeing art demonstrations. Fiber artist Sharon Crary and woodcarver David Mahaffey are among the artists giving demonstrations.
Crary will demonstrate three looms in her garage at Studio 20, located at 1505 G St. She began weaving over 40 years ago and continues to weave tapestries, rag rugs and frame using the tree switching technique”.
Woodcarver David Mahaffey will demonstrate at Studio 26, located at 256 Franklin St.
“I like wood,” he says. “One of my real joys is exploring the fabulous variety of woods from trees that lived in Napa that will hopefully be enjoyed and enjoyed for many years to come as art and utilities turned into towers.”
Jewelry artist Sue F. Payne is also at Studio 26. “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved making pretty things. Jewelry design has allowed me to continue and inspire that passion to create,” Payne said.
Payne is known for customizing pieces for people who don’t normally find jewelry to fit them.
All of the talented Napa artists opening their studios this month have spent years honing their skills, and each studio is well worth a visit.
To get the most out of this self-guided art tour, a 2022 artist directory and map is a must.
These can be obtained at the Art Gallery Napa Valley, 1307 First St.; Jessel Gallery, 1019 Atlas Peak Road; Cartons and Crates, 3250 California Blvd; and Color Theory, 1343 Main St.
Artist directories and maps can also be downloaded at artnv.org/open-studios-home.