Ojai Studio Artists present June “Second Saturday” Mini-Tour

The Ojai Studio Artists Second Saturday mini-tours continue this month with five studios open on Saturday, June 11. Featured this month are Ray Harding, Jean Smart, Iris Williams and Carolyn Fox and David Reeser, who have studios at the same location. Studios will be open from 10am – 3pm.  Admission is free and the studios are all located within a few miles of each other.

Throughout her career, Carolyn Fox has explored both figurative and abstract work, but color, texture, movement and balance are important elements in all her work.  Her collage paintings are a melding of different stylistic approaches from American, European and East Indian painting. Her recent “Roller Paintings” have allowed Fox to experiment with wide, flowing lines of color, creating large satisfying curves and compositions that she explains “would not occur to me with a pencil or paint brush in hand.” Fox studied painting and sculpture at UC Santa Cruz and has an M.F.A from the University of Pennsylvania. She exhibits throughout California and her work is in numerous private collections.

Drawing is the cornerstone of Ray Harding’s work.  He creates intricate drawings using multiple layers of line. He is also a painter and printmaker and is intrigued by the mystery of shadows, a key element in his paintings.  Harding studied art at San Francisco State University and has shown extensively in the Bay Area. After taking a 20 year hiatus from art to raise a family, he returned to drawing and painting and has won numerous awards, most recently at the Ojai Museum. Most recently, he has begun using an IPad to create images that complement both his  painting and drawing techniques.  Images are transferred to canvas where he continues to work,  enhancing the digital imagery in a painterly way.

Ray Harding_2016

Ray Harding

David Reeser creates intensely active abstract paintings, woodcut prints, and etchings. After graduating from Tufts University, he studied painting at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and received his M.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania where he studied printmaking with Hitoshi Nakazato and Shige Tsukaguchi, a master Japanese woodblock printer and carver. He and Carolyn Fox moved to Ojai in the mid-1980s. He was Chairman of the Art Department at Thacher School and also started his own graphic and web design business. Working digitally has given him  many new tools for discovering shape and color. Reeser has exhibited his work in galleries and museums across the country.

Jean Smart’s evocative paintings express a wide array of her interests, sometimes focusing on the interactions of people or things in the real world but often on esoteric ideas, fantasy or dreams. She has always seen herself as “an observer, always a seeker; always curious about the mystery of life and in awe of the overwhelming beauty in nature.” Fascinated with the idea of other dimension, Smart often uses symbolism in her paintings and greatly admires the late 19th century Symbolist painters Fernand Khnopff, Maurice Denis and Gustav Klimt.  

Jean Smart

Jean Smart

Iris Williams sees art as a silent language. Her oil paintings are often mischievous and whimsical and also involve some aspect of storytelling. “Art was the agent that allowed me to speak,” she explains. She uses her art to explore her imagination and dreams. . In all her work, whether still life, landscape or figurative work, she aims to elicit a feeling of wonder. As co-owner of Ojai Creates along with her husband Kirk Lowry, Williams sells art supplies to the community and has a longtime association with the Ojai Art Center.

Monkey Love

Monkey Love

A map for the June 11th event can be printed from the OSA website: ojaistudioartists.org


About Ojai Studio Artists

The organization’s mission is to create an environment where artists thrive ― professional and student alike — and fulfill the potential of the arts to enrich lives and build community.


Second Saturday Open Studios: June 11, July 9, August 13 and December 10, Artisan’s Holiday Gift Tour.  Studios open 10 am – 3 pm. Admittance is free.

Ojai Studio Tour: October 8, 9 & 10, Saturday, Sunday &-Monday: 60+ artists, 10 am to 5 pm

Advance Tickets:  $30 in advance, $35 day of event, $20/person for groups of 10 or more, $15 for students, 17 & under free. Ticket includes studio visits all three days and admission to Saturday’s Gala Reception. Tickets and Tour brochures available at ojaistudioartists.org.


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