Amanda Triplett was always intuitively creative growing up. “I learned needle craft from my mother and I grew up doing a lot of theater and dance. I was notorious for making creative messes and spending my math class doodling in my notebook. When I got to college, I took my first real art class and fell deeply in love with painting and studio time. Sculpture followed after that. Creating art is what feeds my soul. It’s also something that is innate within me. I’ve always done it. I’m happiest when I’m making work and I can’t help myself from doing it.”
I asked Amanda what inspired her work and she replied
“I think Nature is my greatest inspiration: biology, trees, the cosmos and the beautiful, unspeakable thing that binds it all together.”
Right now she’s working on larger scale, fiber installations. “I’m expanding into doing more installations of sculptural fiber. I really enjoy creating more immersive art experiences. I’m also working on some tiny pieces for my Specimen series. I like working on both macro and micro. Working tiny allows me to develop techniques and work with details. Working with large scale installation allows me to create a full, juicy experience for viewers.”
If you visit her on the tour, you can expect a range of different projects. “I will have my tiny Specimen series displayed. They are small, circular pieces, with lots of juicy details, embroidery, lace and beading. They are affordably priced and are excellent entry points into collecting my work. I also will have a larger installation downstairs in our spare room where you will be able to experience some of my larger scale work.”
Amanda shares her time right now between taking care of her family and making art. “Right now I balance being a stay at home mom with making art. My hope is to expand my art business so that when both my kids are in elementary school I can continue to do art full time.”
Chas Martin, PDXOS Artist No. 10, is not an artist to be pigeonholed in one medium or another. When I asked him what he had in store for his visitors this fall during the PDXOS Tour, he replied “Visitors will see the evolution of a story in progress. Visiting my studio is like hanging out backstage at a theater. Some characters are in costume and ready to take the stage. Others are still getting their makeup. Developing a sculpture is like a conversation between director and actor. I explore how each nuance amplifies the character’s story. That exploration can include pencil sketches, a maquette, a few watercolors, a wire frame armature, maybe a few photos for reference or a collage of the stage. I may even paint a specific background for each character to provide additional context to their role.”
He has been an artist since he was about 13, when he started drawing rat finks and funny cars with huge engines and fat tires. He tells me that “art is as important to me as exercise or eating. I think the act of making things, especially things that come from our inner thoughts, makes us balanced and healthy.”
Chas studied visual communication at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and has worked as a graphic designer, art director, set designer, wood carver, web designer, and instructor. “Visual communication has remained at the core of everything I’ve done my entire career. I’m inspired by prolific people who have figured out how to support themselves without compromise so their art form can breathe and grow daily.”
He is currently creating a cast of characters “sculptures of archetypes who all play a role in an epic narrative. They are actors in my personal mythology. They are all part of my own epic hero’s journey.“ His dream project is “to merge imagination and realization into a revelation. I want to create a garden of larger-than-life sculpted characters and translucent panels. Walking through the garden produces a dreamlike experience where archetypal spirits and primal images induce magic. It’s both concrete and ethereal. It’s an experience that releases your dependence on physical limitations and strengthens your ability to visualize and realize your own dreams.”
Hilary Pfeifer, Portland Open Studios Artist No. 61, has been a full-time artist for over 25 years. Her living comes from a variety of arenas, including a studio practice of sculptures and mobiles, a more commercial production line of wood animals, holiday figures, and wedding cake toppers, and many public art pieces in the Portland area. She will have examples from each of these parts of her practice at her studio during the October tour.
“I always have some outside reason for creating my work. One example that will be featured at this year’s open studio is my recent GLEAN residency, where I was allowed to gather art materials from the public area of the dump in 2016. My studio practice focuses on the places where humans and nature battle for power and at that residency I took inspiration from the falconers stationed at the Metro Waste Facility who train their raptors to control the pigeons, crows and seagulls who would otherwise overwhelm the functions of the dump.
During this year’s tour she plans to feature her abstract natural wood sculptures. In which she uses over 75% found wood. She has created a body of freestanding sculptures and mobiles that are made from scrap donated to her from artists and furniture makers, as well as salvaged materials from her recent residency at the Metro Waste Facility (the Dump) where she pulled a lot of materials destined for the landfill and gave them a second life.
Hilary is currently working on an outdoor sculpture, which will be installed in early August, for the Lake Oswego Arts Council’s ‘Gallery Without Walls’. Her vision is that the piece will be a stack of forms with carved patterns inspired from nature and Moroccan geometrics, and inspired by the outdoor living that was a big part of her childhood in rural Oregon. “It’s exciting to be part of this nationally-acclaimed public art exhibition, which features over seventy permanent and loaned works of art which are placed all around the city.”