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Working quietly in their Cambria home studio, Lori Slater and Donald Archer stay out of the public eye most of the time.

Their paintings, however, make a splash in various venues and the artists often walk away with top awards. The couple has been featured in American Artist and Southwest Art magazines.

They met in San Francisco, where Slater taught at the Academy of Art College and Slater was a student. The two began showing together before joining up to share a home — one with separate studios.

Once a year for the past 11 years, they open up their sanctuary in the pines to the public, and Feb. 18 is the big day.

Archer describes his method of work as walking between abstract and realism, noting his main themes are landscapes, but says that design and feeling are actually the subject. In group shows, his strong paintings stand out with his individual style. Known for his mastery of technique and composition, Archer has been an active artist for more than 40 years and has pursued painting full time since 1979. He’s been a long-standing member of the Santa Barbarba-based plein air organization The Oak Group, committed to recording and preserving California’s natural beauty. Archer’s works are in permanent collections at The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Itel Corp. in New York. He works mostly in watercolor or tempera, occasionally doing collage.

Slater, a watercolorist, concentrates on powerful still lifes, interiors, courtyards and windows (with the occasional cat), all with an exquisite sense of color and composition.

She took first place in the Aquarius juried watercolor show in 1999, and has earned awards there other years, as well as top honors at some "Affaire in the Gardens" biannual shows in Beverly Hills. Her works are in permanent collections of La Quinta City Hall and Whittier College. She’s been making a living as a painter since 1980. Slater wanders from her home and studio to show her work, with group or solo exhibitions scheduled nearly every month throughout the state.

The duo divides their time between creating their art and marketing it, which is where their upcoming show comes into play. Archer and Slater offer originals and prints during the annual event.

OPEN STUDIO SHOW AND SALE

Lori Slater and Donald Archer

Where: 1888 Chester Lane, Cambria

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 18

Contact: 927-4047

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