Donald Archer, Cambria artist preparing for a studio sale

Feb. 18-19, 2012; 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 1888 Chester Lane, Cambria


NEW TIMES How long have you been working in the same studio?

ARCHER It’s our house; my wife [fellow artist Lori Slater] and I have lived here for 20 years, and we’ve been doing the studio sale for 16 years.

NEW TIMES How is it normally received? Is it successful?

ARCHER It varies. It’s been building. We make our living by going to art festivals, and most of those art festivals are in the spring, fall, and summer. Winter’s a bleak time, and this is our sole income. What we did was we started opening our studio up, and we put it on Presidents’ weekend, because we have people who come from Los Angeles and San Francisco, and some people from Orange County. We take a lot of the furniture out of our house, and then we turn our entire house into a gallery. We serve food, it’s just an informal kind of thing. It gives people the chance to actually meet artists in their environment, and just relate to them as actual human beings. We put signs out along the street in Cambria that direct them to our house. But we also get people who think they’re coming to a garage sale, and they come in, they peek their head in the door, they see that it’s art, and they immediately leave. But we’ve been getting about 150 people or so.

NEW TIMES Can you describe the differences in yours and Lori’s styles?

ARCHER Lori, her work is quite personal. She gets subject matter from objects which are around her in her daily life, but she incorporates them in still lifes that are really colorful, but simplified and evocative. She’s really interested in gardens, and then she expands to some landscape paintings, like the orchards in the Paso Robles area. Her work is primarily in watercolor. I started as a watercolor artist, but now my work is primarily mixed media on canvas. I work, in a sense, a little more abstract. Lori’s work focuses often on the subject matter, on what it is that she is capturing, and her feeling toward it, and mine focuses more on the process of painting. It’s more painterly in a way. You can see the brush strokes more.

NEW TIMES How affordable is the work for the average person?

ARCHER It’s affordable. We have everything from prints that are well under $100, and it goes up to several thousand dollars for larger paintings and more complex work. There’s something really for everybody. ∆

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