Open Art Studios: Carta StudioWorks, DaveTilton"Prairie Sky"I won't try to categorize the bold and many-layeredpieces that Dave Tilton creates in his Atwood Avenue studio, just afew doors down from Tex Tubb's Taco Palace. He and his wife, PaulaOeler, moved into the studio in early May.

Tilton's images look like large abstract paintings, but they'rereally many-layered digital photographs. Tilton samples bold colorsand textures in nature and then manipulates them on his computer,printing them on a 60-inch HP printer.

"A computer has been part of what I've been creating on goingall the way back to creating maps on Macintoshes," Tilton said."The first laser printer was really exciting because we couldactually print in higher resolution. That was my creativetool."

Tilton and Oeler opened their business ininteractive media design in the early 1990s. It wasn't until afterthey retired about six years ago that they began creating digitalart on a more regular basis.

On May 1, they moved into the studio at 2001 Atwood Avenue andbegan making art full-time.

Founding the studio "was important for us because we do verylarge pieces, and you need a workspace to do those pieces," Tiltonsaid. "Many of them were created before, but we were never in aposition to paint this large."

Tilton takes samples from nature for color and texture in hiswork, from butterfly weed and a willow tree to the creek near hisformer home. Looking at these deep, saturated colors brought tomind everything from tiny detail on a leaf to a sunrise over LakeMichigan.

"I'm interested in landscape and color," Tilton said. "These aremainly pictures of vegetation, no rocks or walls."

Every image may include more than 30 layers of photos andmanipulation, Tilton and Oeler said.

On Friday, Oct. 3, Carta StudioWorks will participate in a soloshow at Off-Center Studios, 2176 Atwood Ave. Come to an openingreception that night from 5 to 9 p.m.

During Open Art Studios, Oct. 4-5, Carta StudioWorks will beopen for viewing and also hosting sculptor Phil Nelson.

"This gives people a chance to come in and see where artistscreate in their natural habitat," Tilton said. Carta StudioWorks isdefinitely one not to miss.

(Images: at right, Olbrich Leaf; below, Inside the Studio)