Sunday, November 20, 2011

December First Friday Feature Artist

Kelsey Chapple was born and raised in Alaska, and has been showing her art locally since the age of eighteen. Kelsey went on to  study drawing at  Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and graduated with an art studio degree in 2010. 

Most recently, Kelsey has created a series of self portraits with graphite on rag paper. In this collection of work, Kelsey investigates the human form as a vessel to communicate emotion and consciousness. In her drawings, she uses her own body to convey her internal reality, projecting her insecurity, courage, anger, and passion. In this intimate discovery of  mind and body, the artist exposes part of her world, revealing herself to facilitate dialogue and communication. 

Kelsey's work will be on display Friday Dec 2 from 5-9pm and Saturday Dec 3 from 11-4 pm.
Come on up!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Try out the Figure Drawing Group at Upstairs Studio

The Upstairs Studio figure drawing group is now meeting weekly! Tuesdays, 6:30 - 8:30 PM. Open to anyone interested in working on drawing the figure, just bring your drawing materials, paper, and $15 so we can pay the hard working models. There is no instruction, you can work at your own pace and in your own style. Ok to bring a portable easel if you like, or not, as you prefer. Just come up to the studio door and knock, we will let you in. See you there!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Seeking models for Upstairs Studio drawing group

Models needed! The drawing group at Upstairs Studio are looking for 10 - 15 people to earn $50 a night during two hour sessions. Nudity not required. We need some nude models for figure drawings, but are also looking for models in costume, or clothed, and models for portrait work (face and torso.) All ages welcome to apply, people under 18 need parental permission. Nude models must be at least 18 years old. Models usually pose for a few seconds to up to 20 minutes between breaks, but we are able to accommodate individual needs. It's a safe, professional group. This is a great way to earn a few extra dollars and hang out with a bunch of very good people. If interested contact

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Carol Lambert's Plein Air Adventures in Denali National Park

Upstairs Studio Artist Carol Lambert has recently added 3 posts to her blog, all about her recent plein air trip to Denali National Park. If you'd like to see even more photos of bears and rams than she put on the blog, have a look at her Facebook Page: Carol Lambert Paintings and Drawings.

Friday, September 2, 2011

September Art Challenge and More

The Studio's Art Challenge for this month is a Plein Air challenge. Plein air means that the art is done on site in the outdoors. The artist is painting from life, often quickly as light and weather changes occur rapidly. Because of this quick approach, plein air works often have a freshness and air of simplicity that is not seen in paintings worked on indoors from photos, sketches or still lifes. Our Challenge was put out to the public last month to make a piece of art or painting "en plein air". The only restriction was on size-no bigger than 16 x 20. The  works will be on display tonight for First Friday at Upstairs Studio.

Artwork by Bailey Way

Tonight we are hosting Guest Artist Janina Simutis, show titled "Life Real and Imagined".

Our newest Studio Artist, Justin Constiniano will be showing his Art in his debut at the Studio.

The Art Studios will be open for touring and you can meet some of the other Upstairs Studio Artists and see their recent works too.

Come on up!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New Artist

m. Elizabeth Lynch is the newest Artist to join Upstairs Studio. She brings some pretty wonderful painting and rendering skills with her to the studios. Come on up and meet the new artist!

m. Elizabeth lynch
Artist’s Statement

My work is representational, but certainly not faithful renderings.  I am currently exploring gouache and pastel on Masonite panels and tinkering with the process of wiping out negative spaces to create more painterly edges.  Once the negative spaces have been wiped out, I move into the positive space to remove more of the under painting and establish a value pattern.  The block-in consists of mid-value hues with the final highlights added at the end.  This is a very different method of working when compared to my previous experience with watercolor’s light to dark transitions or my typical oil painting technique of working from dark to light values.

The description of my current working process is idealized.  The reality is a bit different.  I have to resist moving to detail too quickly, which is a terrible habit that art school didn’t resolve.   The work typically begins well, but then enters what I refer to as the “Frankenstein Stage”.  In this stage, the work begins to take on some sense of “life”, but turns on its creator making incoherent demands.  More than one piece has forced me from the studio in despair wondering what I could do to make peace with it and perhaps work out some kind of truce.  It’s at this stage that I really find breakthroughs and my most valuable lessons.  Of course, I love it when the work gives itself to me, but I don’t really learn anything.  I’m a bit of a coward, but the active imagination does help.

Art making for me is more about the collection of information and the process of interaction with it through drawing and painting.  I can become distracted by the way light highlights a person’s brow ridged, cheekbone, nose, and upper lip only to realize that they are waiting for me to respond in what was supposed to be a conversation.  I guess it’s my version of an attention deficit disorder.  I have often said that the finished piece of work is simply a footprint in the journey, something of a field note of the experience, vital for recall of the information, but not more than a signifier of that moment from the artist’s perspective.  When a viewer can make a similar connection to the “note” or take it to an entirely different experience, I feel that the piece has succeeded. 

I’ve given a lot of thought to a synthesizing theme for a body of work that will explore my life and how I came to be who I am.  My hope is that I will gain insights into some of my insecurities and life views. 

I am currently in the process of exploring new techniques.  Along with the technical process of exploration, I will be developing visual metaphors as I explore challenging periods of my life and creating a kind of visual lexicon for those life experiences. 

We’ll see where that takes me.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Road Trip!

Upstairs Studio Artist Darla Myers has a show opening in Seward tonight, July 1. This is a unique show paired with former Upstairs Studio Artist Cheryl Lyon. They painted from the same scenes, one artist in oil the other in encaustic for their show titled "Look Twice".

The show opens tonight  6-8pm at Resurrect Art Coffee House, 320 Third St, Seward. Both artists will be present at the opening. The show will remain on display for the month of July.

Artist Show Statement-

"Cheryl and Darla met after being paired as studio mates at Upstairs Studio. In getting to know each other we found we had much more in common than just the studio we shared. We both paint with bold colors and choose subjects based on our love of nature. Other commonalities include admiring the same artists, enjoying cooking (especially traditional mexican), wearing skirts with extra tufs and knitting. An immediate friendship formed between us although we no longer share the studio space.

For "Look Twice" we chose to paint the same scenes, one of us in encaustic and the other in oil. Encaustic is an ancient painting medium using beeswax, damar resin and pigment to paint. The wax is heated and then painted quickly before the brushload cools too much to spread. Wax layers are fused with heat-either a heat gun or torch and then the wax can be further worked by carving, scraping and layering. The unique translucence, irregularities and shine are some of the attractiveness of this medium.

The paintings are all from our own photos and observations. We chose the subjects together and decided which medium each of us would paint the scene in. We agreed to paint separately and not to see each others paintings until completion. That became the hardest part-we were quite used to stopping be each others home studios and giving each other input on paintings when needed. It was very exciting for us to see each others paintings upon completion.

We hope our paintings remind you that everyone sees the world a little differently, and also to take a second look at the everyday beauty of nature and friendship."

Sneak peak at some paintings and inspiration photos- 

What we painted from

darla myers-oil "sunglow"

cheryl lyon, encaustic-"standing together"

Eklutna flats photo

cheryl lyon, encaustic-"iris haven"
darla myers, oil-"eklutna flats"

Ninilchik boat photo

cheryl lyon, encaustic "sitting in fireweed and cow parsnip"
darla myers, oil-"ninilchik sunshine"

If you make it to Seward in July be sure and stop by and see our show at the coffee shop. More about our art on our web sites- and

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Upstairs Studio artist Carol Lambert in Alaska Home Magazine

An article and photos on studio artist Carol Lambert's work appears in the summer issue of Alaska Home Magazine, pages 68-69. You can also read the article and view the slide show by going to this link.

Are you on Facebook? Carol has a new artist page on Facebook, which you can visit by going to this link. If you like it, please click the "Like" button at the top of the page. Then you will receive bulletins on your Facebook page as they are available.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Artists out and About

Last weekend Dallas Wildeve and Wendy Gingell/Gingell Ceramics shared a booth at the Spenard Farmers Market. They had a great booth, complete with a rug. Dallas was selling her paper earrings and PVC bracelets and bangles and Wendy had her black, white and chartreuse ceramics, cards and prints.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

June 3 First Friday

Well-now that the sunny weather has left us it is time to get on the computer and let you know a few of our happenings at the Studio.

We are preparing for First Friday again. In addition to the Gallery and resident Artist's works- you will also be able to tour the "back side" of Upstairs Studio, meaning it is time for another popular Open Studio Night! Our working artist spaces will be open for you to see and contact with the artists
in their spaces. This is a great way to gain a better appreciation of the Artists and their processes.
Not to mention some of the studios are filled with really cool creative things and tools.

We will also be hosting local Artist KC Crowley. He will be showing a new body of work that he describes as a visual love peom.  It is a show of printed linocuts titled "An Irreverent Raven".
KC donated the linoleum tiles for our current Art challenge and taught a workshop on linocut
printing last Saturday at the Studio-Thanks!

Some of the Studio Artists have challenged each other to do "Daily Drawings". The "rules" are 6 x 4 inches or smaller, 5 drawings completed a week. It is a great way to sharpen your drawing skills and keep creativity flowing. Erin Osinkosky and Wendy Gingell will be showing some of their drawings this first friday-should be really amazing to see them. Their work complement each other with their quirky creatures (often monsters), Wendy's black and white, Erin with soft colors and graphite.



Hope to see you out this Friday, June 3. We'll be open from 5-9pm. 

*If you can not get there then and are interested in a particular artist-you can contact them and make an appointment to see their work. Just email if you do not know how to contact the artist and we'll let them know.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Oil Painting Classes, recent and future

Last weekend 5 students got together in Carol Lambert's still life oil painting class, with wonderful results. Each student set up a still life to paint, completed a preliminary drawing, a color study, and a monochrome underpainting. (That's the first day!) Then each student began to apply color, gradually refining the work until the last stage: putting in the highlights and details that really bring the image to life. In the photo above, Dana is working on her monochrome underpainting.

Here is Evelyn beginning to apply color over her monochrome layer.

Marlee, one of our Upstairs Studio artists, is also getting into the first color layer.

Judi is well on her way to completing the painting. This is her first oil painting ever!

Nathan is applying the finishing touches.

Students learned about still life design, how to handle oil paints, basic color theory and practice, good studio habits for safety and efficiency, and how to take the best possible care of materials and brushes.

Everyone did so well, and it is always fun to see how each person arranges the still life objects in an expressive and original way.

A number of Carol's students are getting together to organize a class group, and Carol can put you in touch with them. They are collecting names of people who would like to attend one or more classes at Upstairs Studio, starting in the autumn. These classes are both fun and instructive, and go best when there is a group of at least 5 students: more energy in the room, more ideas to share.

If you are interested getting on the list to take a class, please contact Carol at:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

First Friday Guest List

It will be a busy and fun evening at Upstairs Studio May 6, 5-9.
Our feature fine artist is Marta Krynytzy, she is making a second appearance as a guest artist at the Studios. Her new show is titled "Windows".  She will be using windows to display her ink and watercolor sketches. You will be able to see fresh views of Alaskan landscapes through her eyes. Her sketches and prints are affordable and charming.

The Fireweed Flutes will be performing from 6:30-8:30. They are a local quartet of flutist with an impressive range of music. We are excited and honored to have them participate in our First Friday.

We will also be showing the Rogers Park Elementary 3rd Grade Class Mask project. The students are all from Mrs. Lederhos's third grade class. Their task was to create a mask of themselves and design them to express their habits of mind strengths. They also made a hand, students were asked to choose an object that would express a goal they were reaching for.

 Upstairs Studio artists will also be displaying their Art and Artisan works. Come on up to our ever changing creative space.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Featuring Marlee Mitchell!

Upstairs Studio Artist Marlee Mitchell is the Featured Artist for Picture This - Spring Open House. She was chosen for her brilliant  paintings of large flowers. You can see her work there for the rest of  the month of April.


Last Saturday was the Picture This Spring Open House, it appears to be a popular and well attended event in Eagle River.  As the last of the snow melts  the locals happily celebrate Spring. Marlee's paintings boldly reflect this cheerful mood on the feature wall. For this annual event Picture This has a run of prints made from a chosen painting, it is given out to those who come to the Saturday Open House. Marlee's beautiful poppy print will be warming a few hundred lucky homes.
She would like to say "thanks to all that came out that day". It was especially nice to see familiar faces from Upstairs Studio First Fridays. It is worth the short drive to Eagle River to see her show, shop a bit at Picture This, get a coffee at Jitters,  and stop by nearby Artworks too. Then make plans to see more of Marlee's work at Upstairs Studio on First Fridays. So nice to see one of our Artists gaining some well deserved recognition, Yeah Marlee!