Artist Nick Eason works on a sculpture. The finished piece will be shown at his studio during the Moab Artists Studio Tour. [Courtesy photo]

 

Each winter, Moab artist Serena Supplee packs her watercolors and backpacks down to one of the cabins at Phantom Ranch at the bottom of Grand Canyon and spends a couple of weeks drawing and painting.

“It’s a wonderful retreat,” said Supplee, who is known for her colorful interpretations of the Grand Canyon, the Colorado River and southeastern Utah’s scenery. “I bring watercolors because they’re lightweight and mobile.”

Inside Phantom Ranch’s historic lodge hangs one of Supplee’s huge paintings of Hermit Rapid on the Colorado River. Supplee and three other people loaded the 10-foot-long oil painting onto a foam crate, taking turns carrying the piece down the trail. Another, smaller Supplee painting hangs in the park service ranger’s office at Phantom Ranch.

Supplee has made much of her living from her love for, and painting of the Grand Canyon. An exhibit of her work – 50 river paintings – is currently on exhibit at the John Wesley Powell River History Museum in Green River, through the end of May 2017.

As Community Artist in the Parks in 2014 for the National Park Service’s Southeast Utah Group, Supplee created a body of work that was exhibited at Edge of the Cedars State Park in Blanding, from March 2015 to February 2016.

Those paintings, along with cards, calendars, prints and other paintings will be at Supplee’s home studio during the Moab Artists Studio Tour on Saturday, Sept. 3, and Sunday, Sept. 4.

Twelve Moab and Castle Valley artists open their home studios to the public each year so people can see where the creative process takes place. It’s also an opportunity to buy artwork directly from the artist.

Nick Eason’s studio is in his backyard, where he uses a variety of different hardwoods, such as walnut or cherry, to craft various wildlife creatures, predominantly birds. Eason said he uses a natural oil finish to bring out the character of the wood.

His work has won numerous awards and can be found in private and public collections across the country. He has a few pieces at Gallery Moab, 87 N. Main St. Several of his sculptures will be for sale at his studio.

“I’ve been sculpting for over 50 years,” Eason said. “I started with a pocket knife and a scrap of wood,” advancing over the years, mostly through self-teaching.

Helen Becker’s home studio is in her garage. Becker creates large-format, mostly abstract oil paintings. There will be originals and prints of her work available during the studio tour.

On Friday evening, Sept. 2, people attending the Moab Music Festival’s “Spanish Gold” concert will be treated during intermission to a catered artists’ reception outside Star Hall at Sun Court. Concertgoers will have an opportunity to meet each of the studio tour artists.

“All the artists will have a piece of work on display,” Becker said.

Participating studio tour artists also include Karen Chatham, Michael Ford Dunton, Sarah Hamingson. Tim Morse, Tricia Ogilvy, Kristi Peterson, Joanne Savoir, Sandi Snead and Yrma van der Steenstraeten.

Supplee said she helped start the annual artists studio tour about 12 years ago, to “create community,” and more awareness of local artists’ work.

“I love showing my place with everyone,” she said. “It’s fun to share my art, property and what I’m doing.”

Maps for the self-guided tour are available at Gallery Moab, the Moab Information Center and at www.moabstudiotour.com.

Artists open their gallery doors this weekend to public

“I love showing my place with everyone … It’s fun to share my art, property and what I’m doing.”

When: Saturday, Sept. 3, and Sunday, Sept. 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days

Where: Various artists’ home studios in Moab and Castle Valley

Cost: Free

435-259-3661; Maps available at Gallery Moab, Moab Information Center and www.moabstudiotour.com