Aria Studio Gallery
Watercolor women hover over canvas.
CAROL BANKS WEBER
A woman hovers over her canvas, wearing a hint of a smile, hands the color of a Vienna sunset. A world away — probably six or seven feet in real time — another woman gazes pensively at her bleeding watercolors before turning to the large picture window for inspiration, toward passing figures gleaming brightly on an unexpectedly sunny day.
Welcome to Aria Studio Gallery on 535 Main St., where people go to admire and buy Joan E. Archer’s paintings and Leah Goodwin’s photography, as well as take Archer’s sought-after classes and workshops.
Opened 17 years ago, the studio gallery lets in plenty of natural light and fosters plenty of inspiring art. Just inside the street-side indigo-grey and tangerine building, Archer paints with abandon, sharing her passion with anyone willing to learn.
Besides serving as a studio, “where I can create paintings to my heart’s content!”, Aria is also a learning space for budding artists.
Archer teaches monthly watercolor and oil workshops (supplies and lunch included) from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., usually on the last Saturday of each month. People can sign up online.
The monthly workshops are a crowd favorite, but never crowded. The artist keeps her workshops intimate, devoting valuable hands-on time. Archer demos the day’s project, then her students dive right in. They may add final flourishes to their works of art, as Archer shows how she completes the foreground of a watercolor.
“The workshops have been very popular,” Archer says. “People like the idea of trying the medium of watercolor for a day before making a long-term commitment.”
She also teaches three-hour watercolor classes on Thursdays, which started about 16 years ago.
The gallery’s open Wed.-Fri. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Tues. 1 p.m.-8 p.m., and Sat. 12 p.m.-4 p.m.
When she was a little girl, Joan Archer loved to put together her own story books, as both writer and artist. The artist received her art degree from the University of Washington.
Career achievements: 2005 Poster Artist Edmonds Arts Festival and 2002 Solo Exhibition Governor’s Mansion — one year, as well as showings at Frye Art Museum and La Connor Art Museum. She’s also lectured at Cascadia Art Museum in Edmonds, and served as the 2012 president of the Women Painters of Washington.
535 Main St.,