Visitors who take part in Open Studios of Beavercreek can be guaranteed two things — a drive through bucolic scenery and a chance to meet the artists who ply their craft in a number of mediums.

by: PHOTO BY: ELLEN SPITALERI - Cherilyn SunRidge uses two brushes on a painting with a central circular motif.The twice-yearly event, featuring 28 artists working in 12 studios, returns from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 25, 26 and 27.

Both Frank Meyer, a woodworker, and painter Cherilyn SunRidge say what they like best about the event is the chance to meet people.

“It’s the camaraderie; other woodworkers have come to discuss what they do, and there are other artists who come, so there is the possibility of collaboration,” Meyer said.

This will be SunRidge’s first time showing at the event, and she will be “meeting, greeting and dialoguing. I’ll be sketching while I am sitting and watching people, so I look forward to seeing the results in my sketchbook.”

Because she will be sharing Diane Wright’s studio with several other artists, she also thinks the three days will “feel like a little community.”

Frank Meyer

Visitors to Meyer’s home will see small furnishings, like benches, chairs and potting tables, along with handy, but decorative items, like wine racks, letter openers, cutting and cheese boards, salad tongs, jewelry boxes and coaster sets.

He also makes children’s toys, including a jointed dinosaur pull toy. He originally made a piece at the request of his son who wanted to memorialize his cat after its cremation.

“He needed something to display a picture of the cat so I made the first pet urn,” Meyer said.

He then visited Dignified Pet Services, a pet memorial and cremation service in Tualatin, and talked to them about selling some of his urns.

“The owner said if I could make something different he’d take them, so I did,” Meyer said. He makes hardwood boxes, and at the crematorium the pet’s ashes are sealed into an urn and set into the box. Then there is a separate piece, made from clear acrylic, into which the owner can display a photo of the pet.

Hardwood medium of choice

Meyer works exclusively with hardwood, mostly purchased from Goby Walnut and Western Hardwoods on St. Helen’s Road in Portland.

The company “recycles scrap wood, like from contractors who had to cut down trees. They have small pieces of wood that I can buy by the pound.”

Meyer also recycles things that he finds, turning a large piece of glass his son found into a table top, for example.

His wife is an antique dealer, so Meyer accompanies her to garage sales and finds things like highly detailed antique cars or railroad spikes. Using his product and exhibit design background, he then crafts wood and acrylic dioramas to showcase those pieces.

After he retired from design work in California, Meyer and his wife moved to Oregon; first to Eugene in 1989, then to Oregon City in 1992. They raised llamas and miniature horses for awhile, and still have several of the miniatures on their property.

Meyer took woodworking classes in high school, an aws, planers, hand tools and a drill press.

People should support the open-studios event, Meyer said, because it gives them a chance to meet the artists and ask “How did you do that?”

He also does custom work, and welcomes requests.

Cherilyn SunRidge

During the three-day studio tour, SunRidge will be doing watercolor sketches and will write poetry. She will have acrylic canvases for sale that are not framed, along with a selection of prints and greeting cards.

“I will also be hanging my affirmation series, and a lot of the paintings have words on them, putting out goodwill. Affirmations are ideas to embrace in your heart and to live into.”

SunRidge said she comes to her work with an idea, “not a finished canvas idea, but a spiritual prompt. Then I can go to work.”

She begins each canvas by painting with water, to get her arm going with form and gesture. Colors often get layered, “and then I go over it and make it art. It is 70 percent inspired and 30 percent intellectual refinement,” she said.

In her own studio, SunRidge is working on a series of paintings inspired by “sacred hoops,” which are sort of metaphorical circles.

“I don’t know how long this current series will last. I hope it goes on all my life,” she said.

An artist’s journey

SunRidge studied interior design in college and then moved to Berkeley, Calif., where she took life-drawing and sculpture classes. She then moved to southern California, where she kept painting, doing mostly portraiture and working in watercolors.

“Then I went back to Colorado, my birth state, and went into self-exile for seven years. And I just painted, mostly outdoors. Then my granddaughter was born, and I decided it was time to re-integrate with my family.”

A year ago, SunRidge moved to Oregon City, and then her son, his wife and their daughter, now nearly 4 years old, moved in with her.

“We came to this center and merged. We are a multigenerational family,” she said.

SunRidge finds Oregon City to be “a grounded, friendly and easy community with wonderful art and wonderful people.”

She joined the Three Rivers Artist Guild last year and found her fellow artists to be “enthusiastic and generous people.”

In this, her first open studios event, SunRidge is looking forward to meeting and sharing information with people.

She said, “This summer I had conversations with people who wanted to talk about art, who wanted to know how I did things. It is so stimulating, and it makes me smile.”

Learn more and see photos of her work at

Open Studios

What: Open Studios of Beavercreek

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 25, 26 and 27

Details: The event features 28 local artists working in 12 studios in the Beavercreek area.

More: Visit to download a map to the studios and see a list of participating artists.

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