Open Studio Tour to feature author signing

Event: Shannon Winslow to share about her Jane Austen-inspired novels

of the HeraldOctober 23, 2013 

The Open Studio Tour will include public demonstrations at eight studios in Puyallup, South Hill and Graham from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 1-3.

The weekend program, in its eighth year, is organized by Open Studio Tour, a board-advised group of artists under Valley Arts United.

“What I enjoy about Open Studio Tour is when families come in,” said Karen Lucas Davis, president of the tour. “We love to reach the younger people to make them aware of the arts and the process of creating the arts.”

Davis said the outreach and education to younger audiences might encourage a student to decide whether or not they want to pursue a career in the arts.

“All the studios really encourage people to ask questions to see what is in each location,” she said.

Davis’ studio, Lucas Art, located in Graham, is at 25201 Meridian Ave. E. She will demonstrate and feature oil and acrylic. Two other artists at her studio are Paul Langston (wood burning/painting) and Kris Jenott (acrylic and watercolors).

New to Open Studio Tour is an author signing that will feature Shannon Winslow, who writes historical fiction in the spirit of Jane Austen. Winslow is the pen name of Sharon Johnson, an artist who is the secretary on the tour’s board of directors.

“Jane Austen died at 41 and only left six novels,” Winslow said. “You read them and re-read them and want more. That’s how I got to writing. I loved the kind of stories she wrote, and the time period and language.”

Winslow’s first novel was “The Darcys of Pemberley,” published in August 2011. The book was written as a sequel to “Pride and Prejudice.” Two books followed: “For Myself Alone,” a standalone book in the Jane Austen vein, and then “Return to Longbourn,” a sequel to “The Darcys of Pemberley.”

“I’m a purist,” Winslow said. “I try to be respectable of her work and hope that what I’m doing is respectful of her legacy as well. It’s been fun for me.”

While she’s a self-published author, Winslow also does original cover art for each of her books.

“It was a thrill for me to paint the covers,” she said. “It’s fun to hear people tell me that they were inspired to buy the books because they like the covers.”

Winslow said she looks forward to talking to people about writing during the tour.

Davis said those who attend can bring a non-perishable food item to benefit the Puyallup Valley Food Bank. Each studio will have a collection container. Cash donations also will be accepted.

If you go

For more details on studio locations, visit www.openstudiotour.org. Scheduled appearances for Shannon Winslow’s author signing are from 2 to 5 p.m. Nov. 1 at South Hill Arts, 14206 86th Ave. E., 2 to 5 p.m. Nov. 2 at McCutcheon’s Studio, 120 W. Main Ave., and 2 to 5 p.m. Nov. 3 at Lucas Art, 25201 Meridian Ave. E.

Reporter Andrew Fickes can be reached at 253-552-7001 or by email at andrew.fickes@puyallupherald.com. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_andrew.

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