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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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


 

Earthworks

Connections

JUDE LOBE

This year for the show Earthworks I’m continuing to use the method of building and deconstructing in the medium of cold wax & oil. However, I’m concentrating on the ‘connectedness ‘ between earth, man, fauna, plants and everything else making up the universe, and the loss that may occur if we don’t become more mindful.

The idea of us not just being a part of nature, but connected in some way through a primal web of energy intrigues me and feels calming. It makes such sense to me. How else can one explain how we feel the same awe when watching a sunset, or feel anguish when we see someone in pain, or get teary-eyed at a wedding.

2nd try Jude's image

My paintings in cold wax & oil, encaustics and collage are a journey to articulate on a surface an emotion I have difficulty in articulating in words. Sometimes I’m on an archaeological excursion. From building up layers of colors and textures, to scraping away, scratching and uncovering what is beneath, leads me to new places I discover.

In this show I am also exploring working with rust on silk and combining it with copper which I fold and torch fire to bring out the colors.

 
I have been involved with art in one way or another throughout my life. Presently, I work in my studio built by my husband. The studio has easels, enameling kiln, pottery kiln, pottery wheel, slab roller, encaustic equipment, an assortment of paints and mediums, and many other items that inspire me to create.

CopperBowl&inside

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

Let the River Answer

march-postcard-rgbArianna Bara describes the inspiration for each of her new one-of-kind creations in sterling silver: “My pieces for this show are about questions. The ones we all have about why we are here and what we are here to do. Believing as I do that we are spiritual beings having a human experience and that nature is our partner and guide in that experience, the search for answers leads me to look to what is right beneath my feet, to what is right beside me as I walk in the woods or along the river. I believe the answers surround us and are there for us to discover.”

Wood turner, Michael Salemi writes, “Normally, rivers contain the flow of water within their banks. But when water is too powerful to be contained, the river answers by changing. My work for this show displays the same tension. Some pieces are controlled shapings of wood to classic and expected forms, but others reflect the power of the wood itself—the work becomes what the wood would have it be.”

Of his new work for the show, Eduardo Lapetina states, “My paintings are a way for me to enter the world, not an escape from it. A painting opens a door into a space in which a play may be staged– where conflict, climax, and resolution all come together. In the process of creation, a painting becomes a battlefield for my struggles about what is, what is not, what ought to be, what I like, what I love, what I hate, frustrations, disenchantment, embarrassments. My art exposes to the world my most private thoughts and feelings, forming a spatial connection between what lives within me and what is alive in everyone else. I want my spaces to be painted without intention, without conscious technique, without anything that might interfere with the connections I seek to create. I do not want to keep a tradition. I am not looking for beauty, but the viewer might find it in my art. My paintings are not about any particular theme or motif, they are attempts to convey the immaterial through materiality. My aim is to project energy, visual vibrations, light, voices, excitement, and enthusiasm, and to capture them in a physical form that you can take home with you.”

Opening Reception

Friday March 31st

6-9

 

 

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