South Coast Artists Open Studios: Part I

A Journey through the world of the South Coast Artists
Or in which Abigael and Marianne explore Tiverton’s art scene

We started out our epic day of studio and gallery visits with the very first stop listed on the brochure, the home and studio of Jennifer Jones Rashleigh. Traveling up to her attic studio, I was amazed at the light, airy feel to this great workspace! I loved seeing the works in progress, especially the whale strips left on a desk. The use of vivid greens in her wave paintings were most striking, as well as the texture of the paint creating the current of movement.

Marianne and I drove next to visit Don Cadoret, who’s story art compositions reminded me of those of Pieter Bruegel (Elder and Younger) and Hieronymus Bosch, that utilize personified animal figures instead of humans. If you’ve read the Redwall series by Brian Jacques, Cadoret’s work strongly reminded me of that type of animal world, but in modern scenarios. While I enjoyed viewing the details and stories found within the work, I especially loved the special touch of his painted mice running up his stairs. When we bring our own special creative talents to home d├ęcor, it makes the home ever the more yours.

Moving towards the Four Corners area of Tiverton, we stopped by the studio of Kelly Milukas and Sarah Fielding-Gunn. I was first introduced to Sarah, who’s pastel and oil work played with value and light. We talked about her work and teaching techniques in depth. I had the pleasure of meeting Ava, the daughter of Kelly, who had her artwork on display as well. Ava also had various small prints available and generously gave me the last copy of my personal favorite, a colorful abstract piece that exuded qualities one only finds in the work of uninhibited children and adults who have rediscovered their sense of self. I was completely charmed when she signed it for me as well.

I wandered into Kelly’s studio space, a combination of past works, pigments, and heavy duty power tools, a necessity for an artist working with encaustic on the scale that Kelly does. I introduced myself to Kelly and we discussed her work which won the competition for the cover photo of the SCA’s brochure. She also is the commissioned artist for the Regenerative Medicine Foundation, working with the form of old keys as a symbol for finding the key to any cure. Kelly’s abstract encaustic work really drew me in with it’s use of vibrant color, texture, and patterned form.

After a much needed lunch break at The Provender, we wandered around the Tiverton Four Corners area, a growing hub it seems for the arts in this area. It certainly has expanded since I was last there, but sadly the yarn store has moved. Marianne introduced me to Katherine Lovell in her quaint, historic house studio. Katherine uses metallic gold in many of her works and you could maneuver throughout the house looking for gleams of light from her paintings. I admired her creation of layers of pattern, nature, and metallic sheen on the panel.

To be concluded in Part II…

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