Seven offer their artful view on tour

Finnish Hall to host works during 18th PlacerArts Studio Tour
By: Gloria Beverage, Placer Herald Editor
-A +A

Six artists will be showing and demonstrating their work at the Finnish Temperance Hall, 4090 Rocklin Road throughout the 18th annual PlacerArts Autumn Art Studio Tour, while Rocklin artist Connie McLennan will be opening her studio for touring this weekend.
Artists showing at the hall, where tickets for the three-day tour can also be purchased, will be Gayle Rappaport-Weiland, Connie Omans, Judie Larson, Betsy Kritzon, Craig Johnson and Jenny Stepp.
Gayle Rappaport-Weiland
One of the first artists to participate in the annual studio tour, Gayle Rappaport-Weiland has lived in Rocklin for more than 20 years.
Rappaport-Weiland is a well-known watercolor, acrylic and mixed media artist, Sierra College art instructor, consultant and art show juror as well as a strong supporter of the arts in Placer County.
She is a member of the board of directors for the Center for Contemporary Art, Sacramento.
One of Rappaport-Weiland’s art works was accepted into the national juried show, “Celebrating Artistic Expression,” opening Friday in the Paul Nystrom Library at William Jessup University.
Connie Omans
At 78, Connie Omans could be considered the matriarch of the art community in Rocklin.
A long-time resident of Rocklin before moving to Walnut Grove in 2005, Omans is one of the original members of the art tour.
Many residents may remember her as the director/founder of the city of Rocklin’s Theater Arts program.
Omans will be showing her collection of original beaded jewelry.
She has been beading most of her life, but became a full-time artist/designer about 20 years ago.
Although she prefers working with pearls, Omans also incorporates stones and clay pieces in her jewelry designs.
A member of the Screen Actors Guild, Omans has appeared as an extra in the movie, “Big Love,” and most recently on the TV show, “The Mentalist.”
Craig Johnson
A photographer for more than 40 years, Craig Johnson started exploring the digital art world five years ago.
The Granite Bay resident once spent countless hours experimenting with prints in the darkroom, but has now discovered the advantages of enhancing the photo on a computer.
“I enjoy taking pictures,” he said, “And I enjoy manipulating the print — bringing out what I remember seeing.”
This is his third year to participate in the Art Studio Tour.
His work has been featured in 56 shows this year, including one piece which was sold during the KVIE-TV auction and two accepted into the national juried show, “Celebrating Artistic Expression” in the Paul Nystrom Library at William Jessup University.
Betsy Kritzon
Roseville resident Betsy Kritzon uses gourds as the basis for her artwork.
“I prefer something organic,” she said. “They are thousands and thousands of years old. It connects me to the past.”
Kritzon said she likes designing “things that are utilitarian.”
In addition to her gourd designs, Kritzon creates personal collages and is a home-school art teacher.
Judie Larson
An artist and teacher, Judie Larson has chosen colored pencils as her creative outlet.
Larson had studied art at L.A. Valley College, but was unable to finish. Fifteen years later, she began to explore art as a career by taking classes.
While caring for her grandchildren, Larson discovered the flexibility of working with colored pencils.
“I had to be able to pick it up and put it down really fast,” she said. “I tried colored pencils and found I really liked them. I like making (my drawings) look like they are oil.”
Jenny Stepp
A Roseville resident for eight years, Jenny Stepp finds satisfaction in working with fused glass and metals, particularly steel.
“It’s just what I’m drawn to,” Stepp said. “I had wanted to learn metal, in particular, for a long time.”
Stepp has her own kiln for firing her fused glass pieces as well as welding equipment.
She has always had an interest in art, learning about textures and embellishments as a child.
“I like creating something that is my vision of beauty,” she said.
Connie McLennan
A resident of Rocklin since 1986, Connie McLennan will open her art studio this weekend.
While she works primarily in oil, McLennan dabbles in other media.
After graduating from San Francisco Academy of the Arts, she began to pursue her career as an artist in 1982.
As a commercial illustrator for 28 years, she illustrated a wide variety of advertising, institutional and editorial projects, including 13 children’s books.
Her collection of 25 eight-inch by eight-inch paintings won first place in the “20-20 Show” at the Kennedy Gallery in Sacramento. An exhibit of her work will be on display this month at the Kennedy Gallery.
She has participated in the PlacerArts Studio Tour for several years.