COMMON GROUND

 

 

The paintings of Linda Carmel celebrate women and what they do every day to stabilize and support family and community. Her work points us toward a world in which women can take the lead in finding common ground, moving us away from this time of polarization, peril and uncertainty.

Carmel writes, “We can see things happening that might point the way for our country.  Record numbers of women are running for office in this year’s elections. The most effective challenge to the NRA is being led by adolescents who are furious at the adult world’s valuing assault rifles over their lives.”

Linda Carmel’s paintings in this show reflect her thoughts on the current predicament American society is facing. “My work illuminates how women can help heal a torn community. This series points toward a time of compassion for all of humanity and a respect for the Earth.  With a positive attitude and with humor, I offer my perspective to the viewer.”

Carmel adds, “My paintings have sculpted surfaces. You can actually feel the peaks and valleys that add nuance to the imagery.  I encourage people to touch these canvasses so that they can connect with the themes on a deeper level.”

Jewerly artist, Nell Chandler writes, “When we first decided to call our show Common Ground, I associated the title with us: four women.  As artists we definitely share a common sensibility. We are kindred spirits.

I then turned to the work that I would create for our show and I felt inspired by my friends to dig deeper into new techniques that I’d learned last year such as teaching myself torch enamels I learned from You tube tutorials, books, magazines and well just talking with other artist jewelers at the shows. I realized that I wanted to push myself to try to master some of these techniques to make jewelry that reflected the common ground between my established and my new love of torch enamels.

Painter, Michele Yellin writes, “In life, what interests me most is finding a space where I can have a meeting of the minds and hearts with others. Sometimes I think that it is not unusual to feel isolated and alienated. With a little effort, it is easy to connect with others and share what we have in common – our dreams, our hopes, our lives and our values.

The same is true for my artwork. I create work as an expression of my own inner and outer life. Once I put it out in the world, I am interested in other people connecting with, and finding that what I paint, is part of their lives as well.

My paintings evolve organically. I start by laying down texture and color to create a loose abstract field. The textures and colors suggest shapes and spaces, much like clouds creating shapes in the sky. Everything and anything is on that canvas, waiting to be found. I draw what I see, and begin painting. Some things stay, others are painted over, developing paintings that have many layers. Through this process, the painting begins to tell a story. It is how I discover and reveal my inner life.”

For Common Ground Evelyn Ward is showing a selection of her twice-fired stoneware pottery; the decoration integrates representations of local native plants. Ward writes,”I enjoy making good, useful pots that someone will enjoy using every day.” Her process for creating them is far from simple. Each piece passes through a labor intensive salt firing, and then a second electric kiln firing, which fastens ceramic decals of delicate plant drawings or photographs into place, and results in sepia-toned studies of seed pods or leaves contrasted against a rich, salt-glazed background.

Opening Reception

6-9

July 27

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MINDFULNESS

Jason Smith

Metal sculpture allows me to push the limits on my creative freedom. When I bend a piece of steel, or shape a piece of copper, I feel no boundaries. The process of my work may come from an idea or a concept, but most of the time, the process develops and unfolds as I begin a new project. For me, it allows my art to come from my heart, and not from my head. My sculptures are a combination of abstract and Asian inspired. The abstract manipulation of form in space to create visual balance, using rhythm, action and movement, combine to create compositions that convey the implied energy found in my work.

My recent work includes two large commissions for the regional cancer care center in Berlin, MD. The project was a year in the making and I feel so honored to be able to create sculptures to help symbolize this disease and be a source of strength for the patients and caregivers.

 

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MINDFULNESS

The Hillsborough Gallery of Arts continues its Featured Artist series with new works by two painters, Jude Lobe and Eduardo Lapetina, and one sculptor, Jason Smith.

Eduardo Lapetina writes, “The creation of my abstract paintings requires a state of active attention, being open to my thoughts and feelings. I tend to work in total isolation to discover the mysteries of my subconscious mind that are part of my own personal history. My abstractions hold the promise of dreams, visions, fears, intangibles and will. They are the result of a collaboration of my mind and spirit.

Titles of some of the paintings that I have produced for the Mindfulness are: ‘Back to Wonder,’  ‘The Trail is Now Visible,’ and “In the Forest of the Heart’. The title of each painting hints at both the physical appearance and the poetic ambiguity of the long journey that brings it into being.”

Jason Smith creates abstract sculptures with steel. Smith writes about his process: “I enjoy the manipulation of form in space to create visual balance. For Mindfulness I have combined pieces of steel and other metals to create compositions that convey rhythm, action and movement.”

Jude Lobe describes her inspiration for the art she produced for this exhibit: “We have all heard of mindfulness, but do we really understand it? I believe mindfulness is living in the moment and appreciating what is around us without judgment. I try not to interpret what is there – just to experience it.”


Lobe continues, “I walked outside and breathed the sweet air and listened to birds. Then returned to the studio and picked up a panel on which to paint. Choosing colors randomly from my palette, I applied them to the panel, layer after layer with no preconceived idea. Now and then I’d scratch the surface to reveal what was below.  A landscape emerged, almost as if the painting had a mind of its own. When I gazed at this new series of painted panels, I realized they all moved me in different ways. Sitting and viewing a blue painting made me feel relaxed, red made me feel excitement. After a while my left brain began to engage and I started to see what I wanted to add to the image to take it to its final stage.

I have always found creating art roots me in the present, in a peaceful space. Whether I am working in cold wax, metal, or clay, my expectation is that creating art with a calm mindset will translate those same feelings to the viewer.

Opening Reception

June 29

6-9

 

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COMBINATIONS

A Perfect Day for Koi

Pat Merriman

Mixed-media artist and founding member, Pat Merriman, describes her inspiration for Combinations: “For this show I have created several collages in response to Our State Magazine. I learned several startling facts about my birth state. One collage forcuses on Biltmore School of Forestry. Another portrays a series of old wooden windminlls that lined our coast many years ago. It’s always exciting for me to discover obscure facts about North Carolina and to then turn to my canvases to create collages with both printed material and paint.”

Prime

 

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COMBINATIONS

Desert Tracks

 

Eric Saunders

For my own images this can mean combining complementary or opposing elements in a picture, or combining different digital techniques to manipulate a picture.

I have made photographic images utilizing both of these methods,and are part of the featured artist show “Combinations”.

Ancient Roots

I am exhibiting 13 images in this show, plus a few more in the rest of the gallery.

For example there will be images depicting trees and roots along a trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway against a foggy background, and floating leaves blurred into streaks with a time exposure on top of a rocky creek reflecting autumn color.

Floating Leaf Streaks

 

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COMBINATIONS

Garry Childs writes of his new work, “I have been making a series of pieces in the past few years in which I apply local clays to the surface of my pots to develop complex textures. My new work for this show will combine this technique with the bright colors and carving seen on my planters, vases and bowls.”

Mixed-media artist and founding member, Pat Merriman, describes her inspiration for Combinations: “For this show I have created several collages in response to Our State Magazine. I learned several startling facts about my birth state. One collage forcuses on Biltmore School of Forestry. Another portrays a series of old wooden windminlls that lined our coast many years ago. It’s always exciting for me to discover obscure facts about North Carolina and to then turn to my canvases to create collages with both printed material and paint.”

Photographer Eric Saunders writes, “For my work Combinations means three different things. It can mean combining complementary or opposing elements in a picture, or combining more than one picture into a collage, or finally combining different digital techniques to manipulate a picture. I have made 10-15 photographic images utilizing all three of these methods, and all three of these types will be part of the featured artist show.”

 

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TREES BY THREE

Happy Accidents

Ellie Reinhold

At the Trees By Three opening last Friday many visitors asked me about my process. Observing some of the painterly details in Rose Hill, one commented, no one would be able to reproduce that.
It’s true, I said in reply, not even me!

Rose Hill (detail)

 

Rose Hill (detail)

Much in my painting relies on happy accidents. While I’ve developed a set of tools and methods, a certain touch and approach over practice, I rarely have a detailed plan when I begin a piece. I may, however, have a guiding notion—such as a technique I want to use, or a color combination I’ve seen in the woods and want to celebrate. Or perhaps I might be spurred on by a loose compositional concept suggested by one or more scenes or details in nature that I’d like to explore. Sometime a more metaphorical impulse initiates the piece.

Despite this, at a basic level most of my paintings are found through the process of painting. The guiding notion combined with the marks and hues that initiate the piece define a puzzle I have to solve. The act of painting is a search.

To find resolution I follow an intuitive path. I work the whole composition at once with a process that’s both subtractive and additive. I create, shift, alter and recreate the composition, sometimes many times, sometimes radically. I use brushes and painting knives to apply paint, as well as tools to either apply or scratch away lines. Since I use opaque paint, acrylic heavy body straight up, it’s easy to erase by painting over, but what I like best is to paint over incompletely. The more I work, the more inevitable this incomplete coverage is since I am working on a surface that has become irregular; textured in a way that is informed by previous compositional details and informs future ones. The gifts of this process are many, multi-layered hues and ghost images among them.

 

Emerging Warmth

I build my pieces both quickly and slowly. I’m most fond of working with a loose and quick paint application, one that is heavy on physicality but can manage fine detail through the give and take of many happy accidents over time. This approach eschews an overly precious process—so it’s more fun for me as a painter—yet can achieve a dense surface and interesting details. With broad, then more delicate, pulling, pushing and tweaking the painting is eventually revealed… if I’m lucky. This is not guaranteed!

The completed piece is the resolution to the puzzle—regardless of whether the painting has achieved the guiding notion with which I began. For, as I told one viewer who asked how I decided to paint a particular piece, many paintings don’t go where I expect. At some level every painting is a surprise to me. Each one holds the key to it’s own final state. Paintings can demand to be something else altogether, giving me no choice but to follow the happy accidents.

 

Autumn Pocket

 

 

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