Serious Fun

 Michele Yellin

When I first considered creating work for this exhibit along the theme of SERIOUS FUN, I thought, “Serious Fun? Easy! My Artwork has a lot of joy in it. I can do this, just work in my usual way. The serious part? Well, I work hard and take my painting practice seriously so, I’ve got this.” And began…

Wheresoever You Go, Go With All Your Heart

This painting Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart, has that saying by Confucius painted into the first layer of the underpainting. That has been my process for several years now, and I love it. It’s like meditating on a mantra, and often, the final image relates to what is written in the hidden layer. This was the first  painting I completed for the exhibit.

After I finished that painting, I was given a new tool that draws thin black lines. Then, I decided to add 5 new colors to my palette. I had not changed my palette in at least 6 years, so that was an interesting change for me. I could mix those into any number of new colors. Not long after that, I learned a new painting process and purchased 2 rubber painting blades to use with that new technique. Within the space of a couple of months, I had all these new things to work with.  I incorporated all these elements and that’s when everything changed for me. The infusion of all these new components took me to a place of real play.

7 Mile Bridge

I became unattached to the final image and much more immersed in the process of playing with color, tone and shape. What came out of this experience is a result of all those new elements, as well as a feeling in me that all I needed to  do was to keep working and playing, and trust the experience. And I will tell you something for nothing, creating paintings in this way, for me, has been serious fun. Seriously.

Serious Fun-Sugar Wants to Play

www.micheleyellin.com

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Serious Fun

Nell Chandler writes, “For our show I have created some of my narrative jewelry about relationships, spirituality and just life. I have also made some of my more abstract pieces that have a more tailored look. I always enjoy reaching back to my previous techniques and jewelry lines for inspiration, but this year feels different. I find the challenges of the world today burdening my heart.  As a reaction to this heaviness, I find myself in the studio making pieces that are more lighthearted and airy.”

Chandler continues,  This show  has also given me the opportunity to try something new. I have been thinking about trying a little torch firing and have been reading magazines and books and watching tutorials. I have dabbled a bit now and it feels perfect for our show we named Serious fun.

Painter and assemblage artist, Michele Yellin, often begins her work by placing a quote in the underpainting as way to start the process. Color is the language she uses with great boldness to say the things that cannot be expressed in words. As she layers the canvas with color she finds that figures and shapes begin to emerge. Much like a writer developing a cast of characters, she lets these shapes and figures tell her who they are. Michele moves from philosophical to playful with deftness and a strong sense of her own artistic voice.

Yellin writes, “For Serious Fun I have created vibrant paintings and wooden folk art using texture, layers of color, and line. With these elements, I am exploring the reality that is inside the reality we see.”

Fabric artist Ali Givens writes, “For Serious Fun  I have worked on refining several fabric collages that I began years ago. For some pieces, such as “Orange Peacock” I removed one element, the peacock, from the original quilt and built an entirely new composition. In another work, “Long Afternoon” I simplified the colors to create a completely new feeling. I’ve also revisted my favorite theme for other new work: the still life. Especially fun and challenging for me was incorporating my own interpretations of my fellow artists’ paintings and pottery as elements in my own collages. Being inspired by my friends is always the most fun, serious fun.”

Opening Reception

July 28

6-9

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Up Close

Stepping Up

Linda Carmel

Being a “featured artist” at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts gives us the opportunity to present a body of work to the public.  Alice, Lynn and my work all contain intricate details that we want viewers to explore, hence the title of our show, Up Close.  We also all use fabric in our art.   Alice creates the colors of the cloth she assembles in her work.  Lynn uses fabric and other materials to clothe her sculptures and in this series of paintings I have used lace as a stencil to add a depth to the surface of my paintings.  I encourage viewers to touch these multilayered paintings to add another dimension to the act of viewing.

At the Opening Reception the artists have the opportunity to talk about their work and I love hearing responses from viewers.   I learn a lot about how my ideas are perceived.  I am often surprised by the conversations that my paintings evoke.  My theme of women and the challenges we face at this time strikes a chord with many people.  I started this series at the beginning of the year, when many women were disappointed and feeling that their hard won freedoms were at risk.  The Women’s March brought us together to let our voices be heard.  Equality and respect are rights for everyone, regardless of gender, race or economic status.  This need for a community of equal partners is the theme of my paintings.

Family Ties

In this painting a young woman looks towards the future. The wind blows though her hair. Life seems full of possibilities and yet she is tied to her land, her culture and her family, as represented by the quilt. This was true for most women until very recently. Access to higher education is changing some women’s lives but women have yet to reach the equal status in the workplace that their education merits.

I hope that you will visit the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts and see the show.  The show will close on July 23rd.

 

Up Close

Alice Levinson

There is an old saying, “the devil is in the detail”. In the case of my artwork, detail is at the heart of the work. Viewed from the usual gallery distance one sees a total composition. Hopefully the work is visually interesting and pleasing to the eye. The overall effect is important in my work. The compositional schema hints to narrative as the palatte suggests mood. The true hallmark of my work, however, is in the attention to and elaboration of detail.

Approaching the work reveals a variety of materials I incorporate into complex layered elements. With closer scrutiny one can appreciate the multitude and variety of stitching which embellishes and elaborates the work .


In preparing the work for this featured exhibit, I began by sorting through my stash of hand-dyed cloth, looking for those with the most interesting tones and textures and arranged them sequentially. The resulting color story runs through the works, with colors featured in one piece, are visual echos in others. As you look through the gallery I hope you will follow the color ‘thread’. It is a delight to exhibit my work in the company of Lynn Wartski’s beautifully wrought doll sculptures and Linda Carmel’s sculptural paintings. The Featured Artist space this month is filled with color, joy, and life. I hope you will visit our work and come UP CLOSE.

Up Close

Alice Levinson will be presenting her contemporary sewn textiles.  Levinson says, “There is an old saying, ‘the devil is in the detail’.  In the case of my artwork, detail is at the heart my work. Viewing from the usual gallery distance one sees a total composition. Hopefully the work is visually interesting and pleasing to the eye. The overall effect is important in my work. The compositional schema hints to narrative as the palatte suggests mood. The true hallmark of my work, however, is in the attention to detail. I encourage the viewer to approach and come UP CLOSE.”

Approaching Levinson’s work reveals the variety of materials she incorporates into complex compositions. With closer scrutiny one can appreciate the dense variety of stitching which embellishes and elaborates each work.

Of her process Levinson writes, “Starting with white cloth, I experiment freely with dye, pigments, and printing techniques to create cloth which is complex in texture and rich in visual interest. This cloth is the primary prompt to my work. It’s variations in tone, color, and texture inspire me, prompting a creative response.The fabric is cut or torn and pieces are mixed and melded as I assemble my work. Each composition is built of successive layering of fabric and thread. My intuitive work process encourages spontaneity and experimentation.  I live and work in a quiet wood. My work is infused with the lines of the trees, movement of wildlife, and the seasonal changes of form, color, and light.”

For Up Close painter Linda Carmel focuses on women and how they work together. Many of her images involve women helping each other. Carmel’s paintings of women are a perfect illustration of the campaign slogan, ‘stronger together’.

Carmel writes, “I hope that my images will remind us to treat ALL people equally regardless of gender or race. My work strives to speak directly to women, to acknowledge their inner strength and celebrate their power. These themes are especially significant in the present moment as women have been forced to re-engage in fights for rights that they thought were won long ago. Women are massing, marching, and protesting.”

Carmel builds up her canvases with acrylic modeling paste. She creates interesting background textures and then sculpts her figures. Carmel’s paintings are durable: she encourages people to touch them. Get up close and enjoy!

Sculptor Lynn Wartski writes,  “I see our title, Up Close as in invitation to our viewers to take a focused look at our new work.  ‘Athena Sharpening Her Spear’  was the first piece I specifically created for Up Close.  The seated goddess is clad in elements of knowledge, wisdom, and learning, as well as her gleaming armor. Athena is intently sharpening her spear as she prepares for an intense battle.”

Wartski reflects, “This entire year I’ve been experimenting with other surprises that allow some dolls to tell even more of their story.  While continuing to refine gesture and expression, I’ve also incorporated text and images into some surfaces creating collage elements within the sculpture.  In this way an Alice in Wonderland doll became a piece about questions and questioning, and a butterfly figure emerging from its chrysalis about giving flight to dreams and imagination. The scale of my art doll sculptures bids one to take a more intimate look. I try to reward this level of scrutiny with the details that I work into each figure.  I admit that I love creating little elements for each doll, especially the shoes.”

Opening Reception

6-9

June 30


 

Parallel Play

Ellie Reinhold

Serendipity Brought Me Here…

Since my earliest days of art-making I’ve been attracted to, and my process and work driven by, serendipity.

In school the discovery of a yard full of snaky seed pods (catalpa, I learned) drove the creation of a series of 3D paintings which spilled piles of pods from their interiors. Later, a love for the texture of Spanish moss combined with a visual fascination with shredded tire debris along the interstate to yield a series of small (but big enough to enter) house installations lined, or covered, by one or the other.

The objects that populate my canvases and interact with my figures are dictated by serendipity as well. Planks of wood appear, triggered by visuals of boards piled at my house during construction (Cobble). Dilapidated houses and barns translate from the real world into surreal environments for figures (Fledge).

Serendipity even split the direction of my painting. I had been working figuratively for years when the beauty of a particularly awesome fall initiated a parallel body of landscape paintings.As with my figurative work, my landscape paintings have been prone to change and shift serendipitously.

My impulse to inject geometric shapes and pattern into my landscapes was driven by contemplating an exhibit theme, Uncharted. Admiration for the work of a colleague led to experiments with surface quality and changes in how I use my painting tools. Thus, my semi-realistic landscapes became abstracted landscapes, or abstract paintings with landscape elements.

In this show you can find semi-realistic landscapes, like View With Four Trees or Stepping Out. You can find landscapes that hearken to the emotional qualities of my figurative work, like Gesture. There are also several abstracted landscapes, such as Night and Day. Then there are four pieces that play with the forest as a unit, e.g. Forest Fortress, which are a little different from all of the above.

Though the show holds together well, and perhaps the differences are more subtle than I think, that’s quite a mix of approaches! I believe change may be afoot, and I’m wondering where serendipity will take me next…

 

 

 

Parallel Play

While considering a title for their three person show, Jason, Evelyn and Ellie sifted through many words in an effort to evoke their creative commonalities. Many came from geometry: intersection, structure, converge, planes, parallels, and perspective. Words related to play such as natural, spontaneous, and essential were another common thread. In the end “Parallel Play” seemed a perfect combination of both themes.

Ellie Reinhold states, “Several years ago I inadvertently fell in love with using geometric grids in my paintings. I’d paint a spray of circles or rectangles, to both break up and hold together my landscapes. I fell in love with the balance these paintings struck between landscape and abstraction. In lucky moments, the representation that remained was stronger once it had been pulled away from convention. While my work is informed by elements from the natural world, (tree forms in particular), my process pulls it away from simple landscape into a different arena altogether. This process demands a playful, risk-taking approach. A constant willingness to let go of things I love– to destroy what’s on the canvas– in order to find the path to a better painting.”

Sculptor, Jason Smith, states, “As an artist, sculpture has always been my primary focus. Though I have worked in many mediums, I always return to metal because of its strength, malleability and inherent beauty. My sculpture is abstract. I manipulate form in space to create visual balance, combining rhythm, movement, and action to create compositions that convey the energy found in my work.

Potter Evelyn Ward creates pots that reflect the strength of a salt fire with the delicacy of a sepia photograph. Ward writes, “I like to make good, useful pots that someone will enjoy using every day.” Her process for creating them is far from simple. First, each piece passes through a labor-intensive salt firing. Then the pots are placed in a second electric kiln firing, which fastens ceramic decals of delicate plant drawings, or photographs to the rich, salt-glazed background. Evelyn designs and creates all of the images for the decals, which are derived from her photographs and drawings of botanical subjects.

Opening Reception

6-9

April 28