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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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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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 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


 

Colorful Language

Michele Yellin
Several of the paintings that I created for this year’s featured artist exhibit carry a secret inside of them.They are filled with colorful language. By that I don’t mean that I have painted curse words all over them, although at times I am tempted, but rather, I have first written a phrase in paint on the surface of the canvas.This is a good way for me to get a painting going. It provides a  structure for the painting, and an interesting or profound thought to keep in mind throughout the arduous process of creating.
 Michele writing
In the painting Giving Up On Being Perfect, this is what is written in the underpainting:
“The thing that is really hard and really amazing is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” by Anna Quindlen.
After I paint the phrase, I fill in the rest of the surface with lots of color creating an abstract
painting that eventually obliterates the words. Hopefully I have taken the time to write the phrase on the stretcher boards on the back of the painting, because if I am lucky, the title of the painting will come from that phrase and be perfectly appropriate.
 Michele underpainting
The next step for me is to look at the abstracted painting, and discover what images are hidden in the paint and texture.Using line and color, I will start to define what I see in the paint. Bit by bit, I will add to the painting until the composition is complete.
MicheleYellinGivingupOnbeingPerfect
While I don’t create every piece this way, I use many of the same practices when I am creating art. Color says the things that I can not find the words to say. It is its own language.
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