16 // COASTWEEKEND.COM Continued from Page C4 forms of studios, includ- ing those based in artists’ home and standalone work- ing studios. Additionally, the Astoria Studio Collec- tive will host seven artists and 12 will be at the Astoria Art Loft. Many of the participat- ing artists also have work in AVA’s current gallery show, which opened during the Second Saturday Art Walk on July 13. Accord- ing to Eskelin, the organi- zation has long wanted to coordinate an exhibit, and their physical headquarters downtown – opened ear- lier this year – makes that possible. Illuminating local artists The tour features a diverse array of established and emerging visual artists. Beyond shining a light on their professional work and creative process, the tour also supports them through professional devel- opment, networking and building contacts, Eskelin said. For artists Lâm Quảng and Kestrel Gates, the duo behind HiiH Lights, partic- ipating in the event for the past few years has helped “keep people aware of us up there,” Quảng said, refer- ring to their studio-gallery, located in a barn on their countryside property off Lewis and Clark Road. Although HiiH Lights’ handmade paper lights – custom designed and sculpted by Quảng and painted by Gates – are fea- tured at Imogen Gallery, the tour brings “a good amount of people out to our place,” Quảng said, adding, “The more, the merrier.” Additionally, he said, it’s by chance regular visi- tors get to observe the paper light-creation process in various stages, so “the more time you spend there, the more you get to see.” Andrews, who is partic- ipating for the third year, also enjoys giving the pub- lic a glimpse into the slow and meticulous yet med- itative procedures and techniques of woodblock printing. “It’s really nice to have people see the background, rather than just seeing the print in the final form,” she said. “I definitely enjoy exposing people to the pro- cess, because it’s not a pro- cess many people are famil- iar with.” ‘The courage to fail’ John Wesley Willis, who paints with oils on panels, is one of several new addi- tions to the Astoria tour this year. Although invit- ing people into his private workspace will be a unique experience, “everything is unique because this is the first year that I’ve made art for a living,” he said. Willis’ foray into life as a professional painter was mobilized by an acute sense of determination and disci- pline. Although he painted a little in his teens and 30s, it wasn’t until about three years ago that he commit- ted to completing 100 paint- ings in a year. This strategy helped him overcome a dis- satisfaction fed by an ini- tial inability to accurately or adequately translate a men- tal image or message into a finished product, which commonly poses an obsta- cle for emerging artists. “It’s frustrating because you have a vision, and if you can’t quite execute it, it slows you down,” he said. Setting a lofty goal forced him to push through that stage, be experimen- tal, and discover his visual language. In Willis’ opin- ion, people often misper- ceive or misidentify creative talent as “a gift that just arrives one day in a shiny package.” In reality, he said, “It’s an area in your life in which you have the courage to fail.” “If you have the courage to fail, what happens is, you do a lot of experimenting and you get better at what- ever you’re doing,” he said. Since moving to the area, he has found ample inspira- tion in Astoria’s cityscapes, which capture a pleas- ing interaction between the urban and rural, natural ele- ments and those that are manmade. When he paints city- scapes, his objective is to instill “a sense of place” into each rendering, focus- ing on the essence, rather than the details. “I want it to look like what it feels like to be in this special place,” he said. CW J-Redland-Anderson Artist Sarah Bolerjack painting. J-Redland-Anderson Artist Noel Thomas paints near the water. Crossword Answers R A I D A P S E A D E P T B E L I E R E A C T G O T P E T P R O J E C T S H O E R A C K I S N T T U L C I I P O P T H O S P O P R T S O O K T B E R S O R E I M M E R B I T E S T S E A S I E S T P A T E E T H E R A G A T E H I T M A N D E E T F E E G E R S A V E K B A D T I S D U M T E R A W O R K S A I K S L A M H E P A C A P U L D E L O N E A T W A T C H A M L E R E O P L U N G T O E H E L E N I V E S E D I T V E L S A C A M P F R E E P R Y E S E S C O D A M L E E R S L H I R O M O N O W E S R T H P H E O R A O U R R S E T S R W S A C O D O N D C A L O R E C A L I P H S A T E M P O C O M B O M E H A V A L A T S U S L O T O N S H I G O A R N V O R E W O R U L P L S A O L L M E S E N N U I R O G E T D E E R E E R R E D R E A R D R N O Iris Sullivan-Daire Artist Iris Sullivan-Daire works in her studio.