The bristles of Jan Clizer's fan brush quietly added color to the painting she worked on as visitors wandered around her cottage studio and asked questions about her process.
"I love being able to share my work," she said. "As a painter, I'm up here looking at a canvas and I'm by myself lots of times, so it's a real privilege to share what I do, talk about what I do and to have people come and be interested in what I do."
Despite a day-long downpour, art enthusiasts and supporters visited more than 30 artists in studios and workspaces Saturday during the sixth annual Coeur d'Alene Artists Studio Tour.
The tour featured a variety of media and pieces as unique as their creators, including Marsha Gilbert's adaptation of a 13th century African shield that she displayed in Emerge gallery in downtown Coeur d'Alene.
"Everything on here was made by hand. The metal is made by hand, I made the tassels out of horsehair and dyed them and these are from all Native American horses," she said, gesturing to the different components of the piece. "This shield was probably 6 feet tall, and I thought it would look better at small scale so I made it small."
Gilbert, a clay and metal artist and retired engineer, said she was inspired to create her own iteration of the object when she saw a display of ancient African shields at a gallery.
"They were so staggeringly beautiful that I couldn't get them out of my mind, and I thought, 'There must be a way that I can express these artistically using other media.' It's a shame to have so few people see this sort of work, because it isn't widely viewed," she said. "I just thought they were so remarkable and the symbolism in them is so remarkable."
Fiber artist Sue Tye also had some pieces on display in Emerge. She worked at her Saori loom as she shared her passion for her craft with visitors.
"It started out with me making my own yarn, and then thinking, 'Wait, I can weave with that yarn. I can knit with it, but I can also weave with it.' It kind of has evolved. All the fiber arts are interrelated, I think," she said. "I love the creativity of just starting with string and bringing it together into something special."
The two-day studio tour, presented by the Coeur d'Alene Arts and Culture Alliance, invited guests to locations in Post Falls, Coeur d'Alene, Hayden, Hayden Lake and Dalton Gardens where they could interact with artists, see art in progress and purchase pieces to take home. Participating artists included 3-D sculptor Tammy Crawford, gardener and watercolor artist Patti Jester, metal jeweler Indy Behrendt, photographer Joseph Powell and more.
Callie Cabe, a board member with the alliance, said this year's artists were "phenomenal."
"A lot of people that are budding artists want to find out about the technique, what they use, how to use a palette knife and just watch," she said. "Just to watch them is so cool."