Artist Deborah Watkins is back in town and she couldn't be happier.
She moved to Portland about six years ago when her husband Dave was transferred to a new job. They returned a few months ago.
Now she plans to continue her involvement with the monthly downtown Kennewick ArtWalk that she co-founded in 2003.
Watkins also will be part of this year's self-guided Tri-City Artists Open Studio Tour on Nov. 12-13.
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"Portland is a vibrant, lovely, rainy city and hardly has anything wrong with it," Watkins admitted. "But with all that, I still had a compelling urge to come back the whole time we were there because the Tri-Cities feels like home -- is home."
Hours for the studio tour, now in its seventh season, are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be 16 Tri-City artists opening their private studios to visitors. Admission is free.
Watkins will feature her book and paper art, as well as object assemblage. But her artistic style branches out in many directions, including calligraphy, painting and writing.
One of her artworks to be shown is a steel and glass pedestal piece that has a utilitarian use. The 6-by-6-inch piece can be used as a trivet and was put together with objects she found in Portland.
"We lived in the Pearl District (an artsy downtown area) where I walked everywhere," Watkins said. "I noticed something shiny on the ground one day and when I picked it up I saw it was a bent piece of steel from the brushes of one of the city's street cleaners."
Those small strands of steel got her artistic juices flowing and she began collecting them. The steel strips were straightened then woven together to form a flat surface. The clear balls are magnets she found in a paper store.
"That is part of the fun of creation, finding something to make into something else," she said.
Here's a list of the artists featured in the tour:
-- Linda Andrews: Fused glass and jewelry art. Studio is at 57204 N. Sunset Road in Benton City. Call 588-8446 for directions or questions. Online: www.lindaandrews.us.
-- Susan Kimmel and Kelley Muntean: Kimmel is a silver jewelry and collage artist. Muntean is a jewelry, paper cuts and print artist. Studio is at 4352 Laurel Drive in West Richland. Call 967-9170. Online: www.kimmelfinearts.com.
-- David Wyatt: Aerial photography. His Loftics Studio is on Terminal Drive at the Richland Airport. Call 551-3350.
-- Lisa Hill: Watercolor painter. Her studio is at 619 Tanglewood Drive, Richland, off the bypass highway. Call 943-2244. Online: www.lisahillwatercolorist.com.
-- Dennis Brunson: Painter, potter and poet. His Anvil Studio is at 1955 Birch Ave., Richland. Call 946-6735.
-- Vicki and Ron Gerton: The husband and wife artists create fiber art and sculpture. Their studio is at 2141 Van Giesen St., Richland. Call 206-817-2813. Online: www.rongerton.com.
-- Consuelo Soto Murphy: The acrylic painter's studio is at 1509 Sanford Ave., Richland. Online: www.sotoart.com.
-- Ted Neth: Sculptor. His studio is at 1931 Davison Ave., Richland. Call 946-8655.
-- Kathryn Kaye: Acrylic painter who also works in collage and encaustic forms. Her studio is at 2119 Newcomer Ave., Richland. Call 375-1433. Online: www.studiok-art.com.
-- Chris Walling: Watercolor and mixed media art. Studio is at 631 Lynnwood Loop, Richland. Call 375-4299. Online: www.chriswalling.com
-- Ruth Stromswold and Kasia Gorski: Both are oil painters. Their studio is at 702 Jadwin Ave., Suite B, Richland. Call 946-8160. Online: www.fineartbykasia.com or www.rsart.com.
-- Laura Gable: Oil and watercolor painter. Her studio is at 17 N. Auburn St., Kennewick. Call 308-0666. Online: www.lauragable.com.
-- DS Watkins: Studio at 17B N. Auburn St., Kennewick. Call 546-1853.