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

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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Trees by Three

 

Ellie Reinhold writes of her new work, “They say ‘write what you know.’ Does the same apply to painters? I’ve been a narrative painter focused on the story for a long time. But one day about a decade ago, walking to my studio, the trees followed me in. I had to paint them. They set up camp in my studio, have grown to fill it, and haven’t left yet!

I am, for sure, a child of the eastern woodlands. It’s the only landscape I know. I have favorites. I confess. There is the 300 year old oak that our rope swing hung from growing up; the magnolia outside of the art building at school where I found recuperative space; the cherry tree I was finally able to plant when I got my own little plot of land; and the pair of trees I slid between on a walk in the woods that spoke to my body with a shiver… I’m sure!

Recently my work reflects my love of color and pattern in combination with my love for the beauty and contrasting austerity of winter tree forms. I suppose I’ve always painted what I know. Lately, it’s been trees.”

Larry Favorite is another artist featured in this show;  Favorite’s work is a natural fit with the theme of trees.  His sculpted boxes, vases, bowls, and lamps all are made from ironwood trees that grow in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona.

Favorite explains, “Each winter I make my annual trek to the Sonoran Desert to gather more ironwood, not knowing where (or even if) I will find the quantity and quality that I need for my work for the coming year.  The wood that I was able to gather this year is truly extraordinary – with some of the most beautiful natural grain that I have ever seen.  Every piece that I am placing in this show is made from wood gathered on this recent trip.”

Favorite continues, “As an artist  I derive my greatest satisfaction from being one with the wood and releasing the beauty that is within.  I love the challenge of looking and listening to each piece of wood, and letting it reveal to me what it might become.  In addition, I make a conscious effort to transmit healing energy from my heart through my hands into each piece of art that I create, almost as a prayer or a blessing.  For me the highest compliment I can receive is when a person holding a piece of my work comments on how calm the work makes them feel.”

Susan Hope describes her new work for Trees by Three,  “My glass work for this show began looking out my studio windows and contemplating the old oak trees beyond. I often waver between literal illustration and impressionist renderings in my work. This time I dug deeper for the inspiration and focused on illusion and light. I wanted to express the energy of life and the joy of being part of it.

Hope writes, “My mosaic panels are either built of boards of done as glass applique (glass on glass) adding yet another dimension of light and imagery. Some of pieces are done as fused paintings and incorporated into the mosaics which are attached to the base. Either way I hope that the viewer of my work is able to take a virtual walk in the woods and feel peace and strength while contemplating the Tree.”

Opening Reception

April 27

6-9

 

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ROCK PAPER SISSORS

 

Arianna Bara

Mortified. That’s how I feel every year on January 3rd. The holidays have just rampaged through, the final glitter dust is just settling on the floor and the wreath is still on the door, where it will remain until I am shamed into removing it mid-February. So it is. I think perhaps I can breathe now and pull out the calendar to look ahead to what the new year holds. I gasp when I see that my March Featured Artist show at The Hillsborough Gallery of Arts is just around the corner (this happens every year and every year I am surprised).

Three months can feel like a long time sometimes, like when you’re 6 months pregnant and big as a house or when your child is a toddler or when you’re counting down the days until summer vacation ends and your child goes back to school. But three months never seems like enough time to prepare for a Featured Artist show.

I usually spend January hunkered down in my studio in the woods, watching the snow fall, learning new techniques and experimenting with designs. This is always such a thrilling time; designing is on my mind every waking moment and I have given myself the luxury of play and exploration.

At the beginning of February the new designs come to life as I focus on a handful of large pieces that will be the highlights of the show. Designs are the first thing on my mind in the morning and dance in my thoughts as I sleep, which I don’t do enough of. Towards the end of the month the frenzy kicks in and builds until the day the show goes up at the end of March.

By the time the reception begins I have been subsisting on a diet of coffee and walnuts for longer than I care to admit. A steady stream of people flows into the gallery and I’m surrounded by friends old and new who have come to see my work, hear what inspired it and support me with their hugs and kind words. At the end of an exhilarating evening I crawl into bed exhausted but smiling.

January through March are filled with a creative intensity and growth that I experience at no other time of the year. It is at once exciting, expansive and filled with pressure that is totally of my own making. Every year I both look forward to it and approach it with apprehension. And so it is.

 

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