COMMON GROUND

Swaying in the Summer Sun, a Leafless Tree

 

Michele Yellin

In life, one of the things that 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, we can connect with others and share what we have in common – our dreams, our hopes, our values and lives.

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.

 

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COMMON GROUND

Linda Carmel

This has been a year of upheaval. Many values and causes that I hold dear are being pushed aside . It sometimes feels like I don’t know which way to turn. Thank goodness for friends, partners and fellow artists. Michele, Nell, Evelyn and I had fun presenting this show. Although some of my subjects this year are quite emotionally charged I have tried to present them in a positive way. I want to look forward toward a solution or at least the next step.

AGAIN AND AGAIN

The painting Again and Again was inspired by the rally in Washington, DC earlier this year. The whole event was organized by young victims of gun violence. All of the speakers were passionate and eloquent. I found myself very happy to follow their leadership. Long ago Joan of Arc had that same sense of conviction and leadership about a very different issue. It is time for the young to lead us forward in the matter of gun control.

ME TOO

Me Too is my response to the movement of the same name. I am struck, but not surprised, by the number of victims now coming forward and telling the stories that they have kept secret for so long. Hopefully the sharing process can help healing to happen for them. Stitching the individual profiles together creates a kind of bonding. The more we come together and speak out on issues the more likely it is that change will happen.

THE WEIGHT OF THE WORLD

Another theme for me in this show is caring for the Earth. I have painted larger than life women picking up and carrying the Earth to protect it.

In my work I hope to convey messages of community and coming together and of hope for the future. I believe that women will have an important say in how the next chapter of our lives unfold.

 

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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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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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The Art of Giving

 Each holiday season the members of the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts transform the gallery to showcase original ornaments and hand-made gifts. The gallery’s 22 members work in a variety of media, providing a wide array of art and fine craft for holiday shoppers. The glass art includes hand-blown vessels, ornaments, solar lights, paperweights, and jewelry. Fiber art on display includes framed collage quilts and hand dyed stitched cloth. The jewelry in the show covers a variety of styles and techniques, from copper and bronze to sterling and fine silver necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings, some with gold accents and stones. Visitors will also find metal sculpture, handmade art dolls, pottery, turned wood, and carved ironwood with turquoise and silver inlay. Fine art photography, oil and acrylic painting, scratchboard, and mixed media work festively surround the three dimensional pieces on pedestals.

Come explore the wonderful art exhibited at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts; you will find exactly the right gift for that special person.

Opening Reception

Friday Nov 24

6-9

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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.

 

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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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