On Saturday and Sunday, October 16 & 17, enjoy the second weekend of "Open Studios" by getting in your car and checking out some of the participating 126 "south county" artists. (North County held it the previous weekend.) The downloadable book and maps provided by the SLO Arts Council give you a flavor of each artist's style and media. You can also pick up printed versions at many locations in the county. (Especially helpful for the maps.)

Josephine Crawford Portrait of David Kastner

(Josephine Crawford Portrait of blogger Dave Kastner)

As mentioned last week, one my favorite factoids for San Luis Obispo County is that there is almost exactly one professional artist for every thousand residents. The annual "Open Studios" event, held every October, is the month for them to shine. This event allows you to visit the homes / studios of the artists, see their latest creations, chat with them, enjoy the snacks provided, and perhaps see and buy a piece of art that really appeals to you.

I have enjoyed "Open Studios" for the past several years. I make it a point to visits some artists I've never visited before, and re-visit some of my favorites. And I always see a road sign posted by an artist I wasn't even thinking about, and making a great fun discovery. This is a great way to find Christmas and birthday presents for the art lovers in your family.

Three of my favorite artists in South County are: Josephine Crawford (Acrylic painting, SLO), Jim Jacobsen (Large sculptures, Avila Beach area) and Jorn Piesnack (Pottery, SLO). Lots of the public metal sculptures you see in the City of SLO were done by Jim.

Housekeeping details: Do bring the guide along, and you might want to bring a good map of the county, or plan your route beforehand and print up a series of maps to help you find your way. Not all artists can take credit cards, but most artists do take checks, so bring your checkbook.

And remember, if you don't get to visit them as planned this weekend, most will participate in the "encore weekend" Oct 23-24. Also - for the sake of family peace - if your significant other is not able to accompany you, please work out the budget beforehand. As mentioned, my wife always tells me "Don't buy anything, we already have too much art already. And when you do, keep it under $200 total." You get the picture...