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Artist Jody Mattison, places paintings on display in her studio in downtown Antioch on Monday, Nov. 11, 2013. Mattison is one of numerous artists opening their studios for the upcoming Contra Costa Open Studios Tour in East County. (Jim Stevens/Bay Area News Group)

Local artist Jody Mattison said there are a multitude of reasons why she wanted to participate in Contra Costa Open Studios this weekend ranging from an opportunity to meet with her collectors and students to the incentive to clean her downtown Antioch studio.

"I think it is always wonderful to view the artist in their natural habitat," Mattison said of this weekend's event featuring more than 28 artists and 11 studios in Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley and Discovery Bay.

Mattison said that the upcoming East County event is a way to promote and support local art with various local artists inviting the public into their studios to see the creative process at work. Visitors at Mattison's studio will be able to view figures, portraits, landscapes and still life.

"I am primarily an oil painter, but also do a lot of work in acrylic, charcoal and pastels," the art teacher said. "I am also fascinated with printmaking and in the market for a good litho or etching press."

Organizer and artist Nancy Roberts said that it will be fun-filled day of studio-hopping for attendees from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. She noted that each location will have its own unique personality and hours.

"Visitors will have the rare chance to go behind the scenes and see artists at work, enjoy a wide variety of original fine art and shop for creative, hand-crafted gifts," Roberts said. "Art on display will include drawings, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, hand-painted night lights, knitted hats, cards and prints."

Admission is free to this event, Roberts added. To obtain a list of artists and studio locations, visit www.contracostaopenstudios.blogspot.com or e-mail Roberts at nrobertsart@sbcglobal.net.

If you go
What: Open Studios Tour
When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 16, 17
Where: At various artists' studios throughout East County
Info: www.contracostaopenstudios.blogspot.com or e-mail nrobertsart@sbcglobal.net.