Many of the RiverArts Studio Tour artists have been on the tour for some time, many for years. Over those years it has been a joy to see how their work has evolved as they explore varied media, techniques, subject matter, and/or styles. These artists are certainly worth revisiting. In addition, it is always fun to discover artists new to the tour and this year there are five!
If you love pottery, this is truly the year to see a great variety. There are three new potters in addition to two new painters.
Paul Aspell works in stoneware clay, creating pottery that shows energy and movement. His intuitive actions take over as the clay takes on a life thereby creating functional forms with a sculptural feel. He is interested in textures and incorporates many local materials into his pots such as older brick and shells. These imprints of natural elements in the clay leave a signature and reflect the natural history of the Eastern Shore. His work includes tiles, platters, tea pots, bowls, vases and jars. The inspiration he receives from creating one piece is infused in the next.
Paul shares a newly built large studio and gallery space with his wife, Irene. She is a painter and printmaker who also likes to have reproductions of her work for note cards, posters, etc. Irene is a native gardener often using her garden as subject matter as well as other plants and creatures that fascinate her be they tomatoes, squirrels, even caterpillars. Her work is representational to a large extent although her linocut bird prints are simplified for clarity.
Marlayn King uses a potter’s wheel and hand-building techniques to create her work. She is inspired by the endless possibilities of ceramic design and the exploration of different surface treatments such as sgraffito, mono-printing, slip-trailing and the layering of glazes and engobes. Her work is primarily functional and intended for everyday use while being beautifully crafted. Her pieces range from bowls to bells, plates, jars and vases. Marlayn will be at the RiverArts Clay Studio where she will take some time to demonstrate transfer techniques. Because the Clay Studio offers Open Studio Time visitors may get the opportunity to see other potters at work.
Alice Ritchie works in pastels capturing varied subject matter. She works from photographs and en plein air depending on the composition and place. For example, from photographs taken during a trip to Cuba she created paintings of the people there and the vibrant colors that captured her imagination. There is a directness in her approach and message. Alice’s work can be seen on the first floor of her home.
Marcey Sherman is primarily a functional potter who enjoys exploring surface decoration and glaze color combinations. Marcey strives to make work that invites the buyer to use the pots in everyday life. Her work ranges from mugs, casseroles, and platters to ornaments, tiles and luminaries. Her newly built studio gives her the space needed in which to work in a beautiful setting.
All of these new artists can be seen in Chestertown except for Marcey Sherman whose studio is near Chruch Hill, a 15 minute scenic drive from Chestertown. To see samples of the work of many of the studio tour’s artists go to www.community.chestertownriverarts.org/exhibit/studio-tour-2021. All RiverArts locations require masking and distancing where possible. It is requested that all visitors respect the rules set by each individual artist for the safety of all.