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Local artists again welcome guests into their home studios


by: DAVID F. ASHTON - Working in his Brooklyn Neighborhood home studio, Michael Bailey creates an assemblage.In October, the “Portland Open Studios” program again provided the opportunity to interact with more Inner Southeast Portland artists at work in their home studios. THE BEE dropped in on artists in Brooklyn, Sellwood, and Westmoreland.

Michael T. Bailey

S.E. 8th Avenue

“Mixed Media artist”

Heading upstairs in his neatly kept duplex, Michael Bailey told THE BEE that he likes combining printmaking and drawing with “found objects”.

“It’s called ‘assemblage’ – it's like making a collage, but assembling art from ‘found objects’ and art pieces I’ve created myself.”

The piece on which was working combined old architectural elements – a brass bathroom light fixture, with a hand-carved wooden heart, and brass pieces, with seed pods for wings.

His high school art teacher had encouraged Bailey to draw, but also to use different media. “I became a graphic designer, but decided it was too constricting, so I started doing printmaking and other media that was more expressive and less tedious.”

Bailey considers himself a part-time artist – but his “day job”, running a NW Portland business called “Inspired Installations” is also art-focused. “We pack, move, and install artwork and collections in private residences, businesses, and institutions.”

Chantel Greene

S.E. 17 Avenue

“Encaustic artist”

HYPERLINK "http://www.chantelgreene.com" www.chantelgreene.com

It being her first year on the tour, Chantel Greene said she was enthusiastic about the “open studio” concept.

When THE BEE arrived, visitors were in her basement workshop, watching her create colorful art using the encaustic process.

“We use wax, mixed with resin and pigment, for the color,” Greene explained to the touring group.

“I fell in love with it in college when I took a class. I loved how versatile it was. And, I got use so many different techniques.”

With the technique being so flexible, she added that part of the fun working with it is that the result is a bit unpredictable.

“I’ve always been creating art, ever since I was a little kid,” Greene reflected, before resuming her demonstration. “But, I really became a full-time artist about two years ago.”

Marcy Baker

S.E. Rex Street

“Painter, Printmaker, and Collage artist”

HYPERLINK "http://www.marcybaker.com" www.marcybaker.com

THE BEE had most recently visited Marcy Baker’s home studio during the 2008 Portland Open Studios tour. We thought it was time to look in on her again.

“I’m still teaching workshops here in the studio, and I also teach monotype printmaking at Multnomah Arts Center.”

She said she still enjoys giving monotype demonstrations, “because people can see colorful artwork created, immediately. It’s fun to watch.”

But, she’s also taken to creating larger-sized paintings on cradled panels – acrylic paintings and collage with depth, painted sides, and not framed.

“I bring a lot of printmaking into my painting process,” Baker said. “I stamp into the paint with blocks I’ve carved; I build a lot of layers, and add paper’s nice texture to them.”

She showed some of the “cigar box collages” featured in this year’s Open Studios tour guide. “I started making these recently. I use printmaking, encaustic, oil monotype, ‘found papers’ like sheet music, and ‘found objects’ like rusted metal and ceramic insulator caps.

“It’s bringing it all together that makes it fun, and it’s a really interesting process to think about how things are relating.”

If you missed out on the Portland Open Studios this year – put a message in your smart phone calendar to look for it next October!