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…





Our Art is…

A Pause and Awakening IEduardo Lapatina

My art is…an ongoing adventure I’ve been enjoying for many years. Art has taken me to places I never imagined could exist until I arrived there with my paintings. Life itself changes over time and those changes are reflected in my art. A recent health crisis involving hospitalization and a recovery period constituted a necessary pause in my painting activity, but I never stopped thinking about my work.

A Pause and Awakening II

“A Pause and Awakening” is the title for my latest series of paintings, which are on display at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts in the featured artists show.These new paintings represent a fresh direction for my work that connects what has come before to what comes next. I’ve added new materials and techniques to the work that bring fresh color and life to it. I am very excited to bring this new work to the public in Hillsbourough.



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Ellie Reinhold

CITY STRUCTURE_scaled4web_P1080214Ellie Reinhold

Back in graduate school a respected visiting artist came to my studio. She took in my digs in a single panoramic sweep, locked eyes with me and intoned gravely, “You have got to focus.” I was scared straight. In the years since I’ve stayed pretty faithfully inside the rails of what has become my oeuvre: iconic figurative paintings with a story.

In 2010, 2 decades later, my dedication failed. I was knocked right off my tracks by the simplest of events: a vibrant fall leaf season. Each day I would walk to my studio through the glowing woods and arrive with a head full of staggering color. Apparently, being a couple years out from cancer treatment, the timing was just right for me to say to hell with the rails and have an unfettered fling with color. Break the rules! Meander! Play!

I continue to have all sorts of fun in my new category, as well as my old. But that small permission 5 years ago opened a veritable Pandora’s box and a whole slew of “problems” arrived. I now have two totally different bodies of work—and often two totally different audiences. (Are you interested in the figurative or the landscape?) For each show I need to choose one sort of work, or the other, for focus within the exhibit.

But it seems that inside the “new” category I am continually diverging. That one Inspiring Fall faded. “Landscape” became “abstract/landscape”, then became “pattern/abstract/landscape” or “conceptual landscape” or textural exploration ignoring landscape altogether, then became…ROSE WOOD_scaled4web_P1080258

This show. Which has developed into a veritable study in divergence.

Still, there are several threads I’m following (swinging around on, tying in knots, weaving then unraveling, flinging to the wind):

Surface quality and surface depth: I prefer (for now) to remain within the limits of acrylics, but I jealously admire the surface qualities of cold wax, encaustic and oil. Occasionally I see an acrylic surface I can truly love and several pieces here, or parts of them, come close to that pinnacle.

Palette: Color play! This is how I ended up off the rails to begin with.

Title/theme: Some pieces here were completed before our theme was conceived. But the concept uncharted has had a direct influence on others. I must confess that in my divergent mind the “un” fell away and I kept thinking charted… data graphing, grids and patterns. How about a bubble chart of a forest? Or a bar graph of a city? This is how Forest Grid, Big Cheese and related pieces arrived.

At the show you can let me know if you notice other threads I’ve left off my list.FALL FOREST GRID_scaled4web_P1080087

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Attention to Detail

Linda Carmel

Having a Featured Artist show at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts is an opportunity to present a body of work. I love to work in series using different themes. For this show I have continued with my theme of Women in the World, using idioms as inspirations.


This year I have bought more global influences into the mix. I have looked at style design details from around the world and have used them in each of the paintings in this series.   In some of the paintings you will see tartans and in some I have used designs based on African kuba cloth.   Some of the paintings were inspired by molas from Panama and some by Aboriginal dream paintings. Another is based on Asian silkscreen painting. These are the puzzle pieces I began with in each piece, women, cultural designs and idioms.

someone elses shoes

Even though I started each painting with this set of information it is the attention to the detail in the actual painting as it progresses that becomes dominant. My work is in finding the balance of color and form with the puzzle pieces that began the piece. Sometimes the women become the dominant part of the painting and in one case there are no women. In other paintings it is the design that dominates the piece.

I work with acrylic modeling paste that I form on canvas to create three-dimensional paintings. I want viewers to become intimate with the painting by feeling the contours of the surface.


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Attention to Detail

july postcard
There is a saying that artists know only too well, “the devil is in the details.” The smallest detail can sometimes totally transform a work of art. Although the approaches of artists Linda Carmel, Marcy Lansman and Lynn Wartski are very different, for each of them details are crucial.

Marcy Lansman, whose previous work included very detailed representational paintings, decided to go in a different direction. “Most of the pieces in this show are non-representational. The unifying element is their color palette, which ranges from orange/rust/brown on the one hand through neutral warm gray to blue/blue-green/green on the other. My process has been to lay down a “first draft” quickly in one sitting, restraining myself from any fussing or revising. Inevitably, at the end of this session I feel that I have created a masterpiece! I let this draft sit for a day or so. When I go back, I discover that my masterpiece is not as flawlessly marvelous as it first seemed. Then I begin the process of revising. The challenge then is to clean up the problems without sacrificing the freshness of the original. This is where ‘attention to detail’ comes in.”

Says Lansman, “I have been surprised to discover that I spend just as much time adjusting the details of non-representational as representational work. What is different is the timing and the goal. When I create a drawing, whether it is a flower or a face, I concern myself with details right from the start. In my more abstract work, I focus on major compositional issues at the beginning and deal with the details later. In the representational work, the goal of the details is to capture the appearance and the spirit of the thing I’m painting. In the non–representational work the goal is to create a piece that will be satisfying both to me and to the viewer, something that will please or stimulate or in some way enlighten.”

Lynn Wartski describes the use of detail in her figure sculptures: “For the past couple of years I have concentrated my efforts on small, mixed media figure sculptures that are referred to as ‘sculptural art dolls.’ The intimate scale of these pieces invites the viewer to take a closer look. By their very nature these sculptures require that I pay “attention to detail.”

“Some dolls start as sketches in a book and others are conceived entirely in the studio, but all begin construction with a bit of metalsmithing. Each doll’s face begins as a flat disk cut from copper stock that I anneal, hammer, cut and shape into a face. Eyes are created by torch firing glass enamels on copper or brass nails and tacks. I form the rest of my basic figure from a wooden sphere head atop a twisted wire skeleton. It is at this point that details start to emerge. What will the figure be doing? How will he or she be dressed? Will this be a doll that can live outside? The answers to these and other questions lead to the details that emerge for each figure. One may be simply dressed and seated with a book, another dressed in an ornate costume complete with jewels, and a third riding a bike made just for her.” Wartski enjoys the reactions they and their details draw from viewers. “These figures bring together so much that I have developed in my work over the years.”

Either women or idioms – or sometimes both – are common threads in much of Linda Carmel’s work. However, this year she has brought more global influences into the mix. “I have looked at style and design details from around the world and have used them in each of the paintings in this series,” says Carmel. “Women, cultural designs and idioms are the puzzle pieces I began with in each painting. Even though I started each one with a set of details in mind, it is the “attention to the detail” of the actual painting as it progresses that becomes central. My work is in finding a balance of color and form using those ‘puzzle pieces’ I began with.”

Carmel works with acrylic modeling paste to form three-dimensional paintings on canvas. “I want viewers to become intimate with the painting by feeling the contours of the surface” she says.

Opening Reception

July 25


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Flights of Fancy

Eduardo Lpetina too

Eduardo Lapetina

Perhaps because of my scientific background and my lack of formal art training, I have taken a lot of risks and explored new techniques. My textural surfaces are built with paint, many layers of paint, built up one over the other. I don’t use modeling paste or other fillers, just paint, straight from the containers, mixed right on the canvas. It’s a physical process. I apply paint in various ways, sometimes unusual ways – pouring, splashing, dripping, scratching, and so on – until I get what I am after.

I strive to produce paintings that exhibit the powerful emotions embodied in the process. That is much more important to me than making images that are necessarily pleasing or objectively beautiful. My work is guided through its material operations by intuitive processing of my moods, feelings, and flights of fancy. An image arrived at through such a slow, deliberative set of processes appears fresh and immediate by maintaining spontaneity at every turn. The destination is unknown until I finally get there.

The title of each painting, then, ideally hints at both its physical appearance and the poetic ambiguity of the long journey that brings it into being.

Adam Narcross recently wrote the following about my paintings: “They say that paintings are the mute art, but I say in the case of Eduardo’s works his paintings are far from mute, all you have to do is listen, and the whisper you hear is the music that comes from the hand of one of the gentlest souls to grace canvas with the loving caress of a brush or palette knife”

Eduardo Lapetina

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