If you’ve ever wondered how stained glass is made, or how painters put the perfect light into their pieces, take a peek into the studios of 46 working artists on the Hidden in the Hills studio tour.
Sponsored by the Sonoran Artists League, the self-guided tour takes place over three days this weekend and Nov. 25-27.
The league is composed of 380 artists and art lovers who live in the Sonoran Desert Foothills, a term for the area north of Pinnacle Peak Road that includes north Scottsdale, Cave Creek and Carefree and extends north to Tonto National Forest.
‘LIVING INSIDE MY HEAD’:
Jeff Laing says he was trying to convey how we all feel "in this busy, crazy world," and how our thoughts chase each other around, "considering the outcome of what we have done or should have done."
JEFF LAING Personal: Age 48. Lives in Apache Junction. Inspiration: Laing was influenced by the 1991 death of his father. "He was a commercial artist, and was always going to do fine art when he retired, but he never got the chance. . . . I decided that life’s too short to be doing something you don’t want to do." Represented by: No galleries currently
Web site: www.laingstudio.com
‘TENDER MOMENT’: Bobbie Goodrich shot this photo in Provence, France. "To me, it was so humanlike, the intimacy between the two," she says.
BOBBIE GOODRICH Personal: Age 59. Lives in Scottsdale. Inspiration: The self-taught Chicagoan loves photographing and painting horses and foreign cultures, and "documenting my interpretation of the energy in life." She has traveled extensively in Africa and South America. Represented by: Magidson Fine Art, Aspen, Colo.; Es Posible Gallery, Scottsdale Web site: www.bobbiegoodrich.com
‘WELL WORN’: This colored-pencil drawing took Dick Mueller 30 hours to complete. "It was a little challenging because . . . the gentleman only had one eye; I had to give him a second eye," he says.
DICK MUELLER Personal: Age 64. Lives in Cave Creek. Inspiration: Mueller spent most of his life selling electrical supplies until 10 years ago, when he began painting and drawing with colored pencils. "I remember drawing firetrucks while I was in first grade, when most people were drawing stick figures!" Represented by: Gallery 219, Tubac; The Blue Coyote, Cave Creek Web site: www.coyotecrossingstudio.com
The ninth annual tour is a way for artists to show off their work and meet new patrons.
"It’s free, it’s selfguided, you can go at your own pace," says the event’s chairman, Cave Creek sculptor Ralph Deuschle. "You can take a break at any of our nice restaurants up here and have lunch."
"We have every kind of genre of visual art that you can think of . . . stained glass, fabric art, paintings, watercolor, batik, acrylic," he says. "All of the sculpture forms are represented: Stone, metal, bronze."
Deuschle recommends downloading a map of the event on the Sonoran Arts League Web site (www.sonoranartsleague.org). As you drive into the area of the tour, you’ll see signs directing you to various studios.
At any participating studio, you can pick up the 2005 Hidden in the Hills Artist Directory, which includes photos of the artists’ works and their studio locations.
"What we’ve found over the years is that some people are interested in, say,
just watercolor," he says. "The directory shows them where six or seven watercolor artists are, and they can focus their journey on those studios."
The event draws about 20,000 to 30,000 people annually, making it one of the largest studio tours in the state, organizers say.
Personal: Age 54. Lives in Ahwatukee Foothills.
Inspiration: Avril’s contemporary/primitive art focuses on life itself. "I’m just awed by it, and thankful to be alive!" says the artist, who is illustrating her 55th children’s book.
Represented by: Paulina Miller Gallery, Phoenix; The Fair Trade Cafe, Phoenix
Web site: www.lynneavril.com
Hidden in the Hills studio tour
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday and Nov. 25-27
Where: 46 studio locations in Cave Creek, Carefree and north Scottsdale
Cost: Free admission and parking
Information: (480) 575-6624. Download a map at www.sonoranartsleague.org.
‘SPIRIT OF THE MOUNTAIN’: Carol Ruff Franza was commissioned to sculpt this piece for Desert Mountain High School’s 10th anniversary at the end of the 2003-04 school year. Her three children attended the school.
CAROL RUFF FRANZA Personal: Age 51. Lives in Scottsdale.
Inspiration: "I really love horses; I love any animal that I can study the motion," says the New Orleans native, who was selected as an Artist to Watch by Southwest Art magazine’s annual sculpture edition this year. "To me, the motion, the gesture, is very important in art, as well as the anatomy."
Represented by: Fumagalli Gallery, Scottsdale; Mardon Frost, Tucson
Web site: www.carolrufffranza.com
‘ALL BACH NO BITE’: This piece was inspired by Misty Mulleneaux’s dog, Griffin, a Shar-Pei/Labrador retriever mix. "I am a dog lover," she says.
Personal: Age 41. Lives in Scottsdale.
Inspiration: "I am definitely moved by the Cubism movement with Picasso, and Marcel Mouly," Mulleneaux says. "I equally enjoy Saturday morning cartoons; I grew up with Disney, Hanna-Barbera and Dr. Seuss."
Represented by: No galleries currently.
Web site: www.mulleneaux.com