Beyond the Surface

Larry Favorite

I have been an artist for more than 40 years, yet I still find it difficult to describe my art. Put simply, I create boxes, bowls, small sculptures and wall hangings out of desert ironwood. I inlay sterling silver and turquoise into the surface of each piece. My inlays are most often images drawn from nature.

Like most artists, I have had to overcome a variety of challenges in order to create my art. The wood that I use in my work is found only in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. Each year, I drive cross-country and spend long, hot days in the desert, searching out downed ironwood trees. (I never cut a living tree.) I rough-cut the trees in the desert, load the massive chunks onto my truck, and haul literally over a ton of ironwood to my studio in Mebane on each trip. The physical and logistical challenges of these annual treks to gather ironwood can be daunting.

Desert ironwood is exceptionally dense and heavy, in many ways more like stone than wood. It is nearly impossible to cut into ironwood using traditional woodworking tools and methods. But I was a mechanical engineer before becoming an artist, and I’ve always enjoyed solving technical problems. Still, it has taken me years to adapt tools and to refine the techniques that I use today to transform rough-cut desert ironwood into highly polished, elegant pieces of finished art.

On my journey as an artist, I have overcome many challenges, but I have also received many gifts. Physically, I am healthier than I ever was when I was an engineer. At 79 years of age, my hands are still rock steady. When I was in the business world, I was not a patient person; ironwood has taught me patience. I no longer receive a regular paycheck, but I have learned to trust that the Divine Intelligence of the Universe will reward me for my efforts (hopefully in time for me to pay my bills). I don’t have to punch a time clock, yet I still show up in my studio (almost) every day, and I work longer hours than I ever did before. I do this not because I have to, but because being in my studio and creating art continues to bring me joy.

 

To follow our Blog please hit the FOLLOW button at top of page.

To receive Hillsborough Gallery of Arts Newsletter please complete the form below with your name and email address.

[contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/]

 

Advertisements

Beyond the Surface

Pat Merriman

 

This has been a year of many twists and turns so my current art reflects colorful baby animals, even more colorful flowers; some valuing Georgia OKeefe, and 3 landscapes; two in N C.

 

To follow our Blog please hit the FOLLOW button at top of page.

To receive Hillsborough Gallery of Arts Newsletter please complete the form below with your name and email address.

[contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/]

Beyond the Surface

Marcy Lansman

In January, my husband and I moved into Carol Woods, a retirement community in Chapel Hill. At our new home, we’ve made the “den” into an art studio. Now, for the first time, I have a separate room to paint in. For several months before and after the move, though, I was so distracted that I didn’t do any painting at all. When I finally sat down to paint in my new studio, I tried to make it easy. I laid out my favorite colors on the palette and began to doodle. I assumed that with time I’d move on to “real painting.” It never happened.

The doodles evolved into a series of paintings in which layers of warm oranges, yellows, pinks and reds alternated with layers of cool blue-greens. In these paintings the warm colors often appear to be shining through a cool film. For me, the title of our current featured artists show, “Beyond the Surface,” refers to the fact that earlier layers interact with surface layers to produce the end result.

As I continued to work with this idea, I experimented with dripping the cool layers over the warm layers.

And in a few cases, I was so enamored with the initial warm layers that I couldn’t bare to cover them up with the blue.

In a final variation on the warms vs. cools theme, I started out each painting by pasting torn pieces of brown paper (think grocery bags) to the canvas, creating a sort of mosaic, then painted on top of this surface. The resulting paintings were reminiscent of rocky landscapes.

To see more paintings in the warm/cool series, please go to my website, http://www.MarcyLansman.com in the gallery entitled “New Abstracts 2017.”

 

To follow our Blog please hit the FOLLOW button at top of page.

To receive Hillsborough Gallery of Arts Newsletter please complete the form below with your name and email address.

[contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/]

Beneath the Surface

Acrylic artist Marcy Lansman writes of her new work, “I have turned to my imagination for inspiration, rather than to the real world. I began by doodling in my favorite color combination: blue-green and orange. The doodles evolved into a series of paintings in which layers of cool blues and greens alternate with layers of warm oranges, yellows, pinks, and reds.  In these paintings the warm colors often appear to be shining through a cool film. The title Beyond the Surface refers to the fact that earlier layers interact with surface layers to produce the end result. In this series, I have also experimented with combinations of controlled brush strokes and less controlled drips and spatters. The paintings often evoke scenes from outer space.”

Ironwood sculptor Larry writes, “The title Beyond the Surface is especially appropriate for my work. We often think of what is beneath a surface – the elements that are hidden from view.  But equally important is the contrast between a surface and what is above and beyond it.  A feathered heron stands one-legged, next to a smooth-as-glass pool of blue water, mesmerized by his reflection in the water’s surface.  A soaring bird flies with its wings extended, using the surface of the earth below as his only compass for a long journey.  A lone wolf sits on the hard, cold surface of a rock, howling at a moon that is light-years away.”

“Each piece of wood is my canvas, whether it is only four inches long or as large as fourteen. Within these small spaces, I am able to inlay an image that includes both a surface and an object that is above and beyond that surface, like the heron standing in the pool.  Other times I inlay a single image or object – a horse, for example – and the surface is only suggested by the position of the horse’s galloping legs. Either way, I strive to understand and accurately depict how that object is positioned in relation to a specific surface, whether seen or unseen.”

“Ironwood trees grow out of the hot sands of the desert, a surface that is constantly changing, continually shaped and reshaped by desert windstorms. The contrast between the shifting sands of the desert, and the solid, almost rock-like ironwood that emerges from the desert’s surface never ceases to amaze me. I see this contrast in the striking grain of the wood, grain that varies from almost blond to deep brown. Ironwood is the surface upon which I have built my life’s work.”

Founding member Pat Merriman writes nostalgically of her new work, “In my 80th year, one of transition, I am trying a variety of themes, from baby animals to flowers. Some of the elements are inspired by Georgia O’Keefe, while others are inspired by everyday objects– even the designs on a Kleenex box. In addition to these new subjects, I will also have several paintings of koi and barns, as well as collages focusing on the lives of women.

 

To follow our Blog please hit the FOLLOW button at top of page.

To receive Hillsborough Gallery of Arts Newsletter please complete the form below with your name and email address.

[contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/]

Three Perspectives

Eric Saunders, Fine Art Photographer

Artist Statement

My subject matter is outdoor landscapes, natural and urban, in color or black and white. I sometimes explore other subjects (artifacts and architecture), and digital enhancement or manipulation of images.

There is no particular story line to my work. I am trying to communicate the beauty of abstract art, and the beauty or intrigue of transient moments in nature and life.

I am mostly self-taught as a photographer. This makes my progress slower than I would like at times, because I listen to all advice, regardless of its merit.

Previously I studied classical piano, and then worked as a corporate computer programmer. I find inspiration for my images in music of all styles and eras; my work experience in computers has enabled me to learn digital darkroom techniques more easily.

All work had been using 35mm film using a NIKON 6006 and NIKON lenses (with a tripod most of the time). In April, 2010 I purchased my first digital SLR, a NIKON D700 (which uses the same lenses as my old film SLR).

I print my images using an Epson 3880 printer, using paper and inks archival to at least 100 years.

 

To follow our Blog please hit the FOLLOW button at top of page.

To receive Hillsborough Gallery of Arts Newsletter please complete the form below with your name and email address.

[contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/]

Three Perspectives

LOLETTE GUTHRIE

Three Perspectives

I am primarily a landscape painter. I paint largely from memory striving to discover the essence of the subject rather than the reality. I want to capture the ephemeral nature of light and a mood that is timeless. Resonant color is the core of my process. I juxtapose passages of saturated color with more muted tones and through the application of many layers of pigment and glaze I try to create subtle color and value shifts that provide a degree of luminosity.

As Skyfire Rages Across the Atlantic

For this show, I again concentrated on painting an interesting sky that almost alone would give the viewer a sense of place, time of day, temperature, and weather. In most pieces, the foreground is almost an afterthought. In a few, I explored the idea of reality versus the abstraction of memory through the use of “trompe l’oeil” elements that focus attention on the remembered landscape within. When one looks at the sky, one sees refracted light and reflected colors not the reality of colorless air and moisture. Is, therefore, a painting of a landscape or skyscape “real” or is it more like an abstracted memory or a dream of reality?

Reality is Just an Illusion

Before I started to write this statement, I spent some time looking at what I had produced. As always, I had begun each piece with a general idea of what I was interested in exploring. As usual, I was never certain about where each painting would go. To my surprise, when I looked at the whole collection, I realized that while my intention had been simply to create interesting, evocative pieces, I saw in the cloudy, stormy, tumultuous skies that I had actually been working out on canvas my feelings about these troubled times. I also noticed hopefulness since I had left in hints of clearing skies.

 

To follow our Blog please hit the FOLLOW button at top of page.

To receive Hillsborough Gallery of Arts Newsletter please complete the form below with your name and email address.

[contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/]

Three Perspectives

Pringle Teetor

The pieces I created for this show came out of frustration and boredom. Seriously! When two artists work together in a glass studio for years on end but only one day a week, you tend to fall into a pattern of “normalcy”. We just get used to doing the same things, creating the same type of pieces because we want to make the most of the “bench time”.

One morning on the way to the studio, my partner Dana and I were discussing my frustration with a certain color application I had been trying to figure out how to do by myself. He mentioned watching an artist many years ago at Corning Museum of Glass layer small bits of different colors together. He had the assistant bringing each color to him one at a time, fully melted, as he piled on color on top of another, like building an ice cream cone with many layers. But instead of then blowing the piece directly from this pile of color, he then turned it on a different axis and created the piece. Since I mostly work by myself, I had not considered this!

We played with this technique that day, piling 5-10 colors together and took this one step farther by flattening the blown piece. Flattening a round glass form is something that is better done with an assistant and we had not done any flat pieces in several years. Inspiration was reborn!

The next week I came in determined to do the “color sundaes” by myself. I took it a bit farther by layering 15 -25 colors together. My interest in the chemistry of glass color took over and I would add strings of other colors here and there. I wanted to use colors that reacted differently to the one next to it to create interesting effects. Once these “sundaes” were created, they were removed from the pipe and annealed for the next time Dana and I worked together. So, before the final piece, hours of work had already gone into the creation of just the colors.

Since glass colors doesn’t always play well together, it became quite a challenge. Some colors remain stiffer when molten, while others would be so hot that they would blow thinner than the rest of the colors. During the flattening process (using large cork paddles) the glass is compressed under pressure and if there is a spot that is too thin or too hot, it could be disastrous. The colors were sandwiched to create the effect of an abstract painting, which brought me back to painting roots, many years before glass, bringing together the past and the present in a creative way. I hope you enjoy these pieces!

 

 

To follow our Blog please hit the FOLLOW button at top of page.

To receive Hillsborough Gallery of Arts Newsletter please complete the form below with your name and email address.