Peter Krohn, a psychotherapist turned artist, greeted curious and awed visitors at his Sebastopol home and studio Sunday, part of the annual Sonoma County Art Trails event that allows the public to meet and check out the work of more than 170 participating artists.
Krohn, 77, said he is “kind of new to the art world. I built my studio when I was 70. I said, ‘It’s now or never.’”
His “Luminescent Botanicals,” vividly colorful, scanned photographs printed on dye-infused aluminum, met with rave reviews from visitors.
“This is truly unique and beautiful stuff. I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Jill Cerino, a New York City social worker who was visiting friends in Sonoma County.
“With the vibrance of these colors, it makes it real impressive. The colors just pop,” said Gunnar Sande, a retired Sebastopol high school art teacher admiring Khron’s work. “It’s always interesting to see the new members that join and see what they have to offer.”
The walls of the home were a visual garden — digitally scanned iris, honeysuckle melon, persimmon, zucchini and squash blossoms, papaya and red pears among just some of the images set off by jet black backgrounds and showing the most intricate detail, and brilliant beauty, of each plant.
Khron’s studio was just one stop on the county’s oldest annual open studio tour, which goes back to 1986 when it was launched under the slightly different name of ARTrails. It continues Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Artists and their workshops are sprinkled from Santa Rosa, to Sonoma, Healdsburg and Sebastopol.
Visitors can design their own tour, depending on their artistic interests, using a free Art Trails map that shows the location of the participating studios and lists information on the artists and their works.
“There are so many different venues and different types of artists, whether art, painting, or sculpture,” said Kathy Kameoka, a Petaluma resident and amateur photographer who toured some of the art trails circuit Sunday.
“It gets me inspired to see other people’s work, get out and enjoy nature. Art Trails is wonderful.”
“I always go to the same artists, the ones I love and know,” said Sandy Caughey, a Camp Meeker building contractor and carpenter, as she exited the studios of Nichibei Potters off Burnside Road in Sebastopol.
This year, she said, she was doing things a little differently, stopping whenever she sees one of the Art Trails signs dotting the countryside and directing her to an artist she is unfamiliar with. That way, she said, “it’s a surprise.”
Another bonus is to see some of the picturesque back-road settings where the artist lives and the sweeping views from some hillside locations.
For the artists, they get a chance to show off their work as well as sell it.
Caughey bought a small metal sculpture at one stop.
“I like to buy little things. I have a lot of art at my place, I love to support local artists,” she said.
Cyndy Costantini of Nichibei Potters said visitors could come away with a sculpture costing anywhere from $15 for a teacup to $2,000 for a museum-quality, hand-carved vase.
About 250 people stopped into the studios over the weekend, said her husband, sculptor Micki Matsumoto.