TRILOGY

Marcy Lansman

What does “mixed media” mean? The answer varies from piece to piece and artist to artist. Here’s what it means in the case of my painting, “Dreaming of Magnolias,” shown below. This piece is part of TRILOGY, the current featured artist show at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts.

Dreaming of Magnolias

Strange as it may seem, I started the piece by tearing brown paper grocery bags into random shapes and pasting them down on a white panel using acrylic “matte medium,” a fluid the consistency of thick cream that is often used as glue. The result was a brown mosaic with white “cracks,” somewhat reminiscent of a stone walk. (You can see what remains of the “cracks” in the upper right quadrant of the painting.) I have used this technique in many of my abstract paintings because I like the random linear elements it adds to the finished piece.

I covered this mosaic with fluid acrylic paint in a random pattern of neutral gray-beige tones ranging from dark to light with touches of orange, rust, red and even a little blue. I liked the resulting painting but felt that it needed something.

At the time I was taking a class in collage. The class gave me the idea of pasting photographs on top of the random gray-beige background. I used to have a huge magnolia tree in my front yard, and I have taken hundreds of photos of magnolias over the years. I blew some of them up, cut them out, and threw them down on the painting. To my surprise, I liked the effect. But I didn’t like the way the magnolias stood out against the background. I wanted them to blend in. So I used Photoshop to adjust the color of the shadows in the magnolias so that they matched the gray-beige tones in the painting. This involved a long process of trial and error. I ended up with piles of magnolia rejects, flowers photos that were too yellow or too blue or too pink. The tone needed to be just right to create the effect I wanted: the illusion that the flowers were floating on the stony background of the painting. Then out came the matte medium again, this time to paste the photos down, as seamlessly as possible. I was delighted with the result. A couple of coats of acrylic varnish and the painting was done.

When I first started making art, I painted realistic flowers in watercolor. Many viewers, especially people who are familiar with my earlier work, were convinced that I painted the flowers in “Dreaming of Magnolias” and the other mixed media pieces in the show. I can’t help feeling a little guilty as I tell them that the flowers are actually photographs collaged onto a painted background. But not so guilty that I don’t plan to continue experimenting with this technique. Maybe I’ll move on to mushrooms next.

 

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ColorFull

Chris Graebner‘s paintings are often based on images gathered while traveling. The paintings in ColorFull are drawn from trips, foreign and domestic, taken over the last ten years. Says Graebner, “In the past few months I’ve spent hours going through my photo files choosing images that speak me – images that carry me back to a specific place and time. Once I’ve selected the images, I must choose the size, surface and medium best suited for each.” Graebner generally works on 4-6 paintings simultaneously so that the layers of each painting have time to dry while working on others. “Due to the back to back transitions of my son’s wedding, my husband’s retirement and our move to Elon last fall, I was out of the studio from August through January. Now, as we settle into our new home, I am again beginning to feel the grounding that being in the studio provides in my life. I hope that tranquility is manifest to the viewer in these new paintings.”

The majority of Pringle Teetor‘s pieces for this show are cane work, a centuries old Venetian technique of putting stripes of color and patterns into blown glass. “I’ve always had a broad color palette and here I am able to explore endless combinations of color patterns in clean lines.” The cane used in these pieces have either a colored core with clear on the outside, or veil cane, which has color on the outside with a clear core. Teetor made her veil cane with a variety of transparent or translucent colors, noting that as you look through the piece, the density of the color changes, causing interesting variations of color. Some pieces mix both types of cane, while others used strictly one or the other. In addition, several use varying size lines of contrasting colors to resemble plaids.

Lolette Guthrie is primarily a landscape painter. “Since I mostly paint from memory, my paintings are depictions of my recollections of the colors and the quality of light I experienced at a particular place and at a particular moment in time. For ColorFull, I thought about marveling at sunsets at the coast, remembering a pink and soft orange sky over Lake Jordan, the explosion of color when the sun shines through a stormy sky, the beauty of a broom straw field on a cloudy day.”

 

 

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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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Orange County Studio Tour

This marks the 23nd year that the Orange County Artists Guild will host its Annual Open Studio Tour. During the first two weekends in November, more than eighty artists located throughout Orange County, including Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough, and surrounding areas will be participating in this juried event and opening their studios to visitors who will discover where the creative design happens!

For the seventh year, Pringle Teetor and Linda Carmel will be showing together at Carmel’s home studio, 101 Huntington Drive, Chapel Hill, #45 on the tour. Pringle’s blown glass and Linda’s textured paintings complement each other perfectly. There will be plenty to see and touch.

Ali Givens joins the studio tour for her first year. Ali creates fabric collages that are landscapes, cityscapes and still lifes sewn from colorful batiks and other natural fibers. Her studio is #12 on the tour located at 3611 Mijos Lane, Chapel Hill.

Lolette Guthrie paints primarily with oil. She builds up her canvases layer by layer. Each piece begins with a loose idea that explores the beauty of the natural world. Her studio, #67, is located in Chapel Hill at 113 Rhododendron Drive.

Marcy Lansman returns to the tour for her 12th year. Her new studio, #35, is located at 750 Weaver Dairy Road, Apt. 198, Chapel Hill. Marcy paints with acrylics and her work has evolved from realistic to more abstract, expressive of personal insights and emotions.

Eduardo Lapetina’s studio is located at 318 North Estes Drive, Chapel Hill, #55 on the tour map. This is his ninth year participating on the tour. Lapetina will show new abstract paintings with vibrant colors and in various sizes including very large pieces. His paintings are worked in complete solitude. They represent the discoveries of the unconscious mind. In the artist’s words, “They hold the promise of dreams, visions, fears, and the magic of a private, secret language.”

Ellie Reinhold is joining the tour for the fifth year. She is #60 on the tour and will welcome you at her studio off Roosevelt Drive in Chapel Hill, in the neighborhood across from Cafe Driade. Reinhold’s explores vibrant landscapes using color, brushwork, and iconic imagery.

Michael Salemi is a woodturner who is showing jointly with Miriam Sagasti at her studio (#22). Michael’s work includes both traditional woodturning forms: bowls, plates and platters, and unusual pieces such as ikebanas.

Alice Levinson will be exhibiting her contemporary wall-hung textile pieces. Each is rich in color and texture, and composed of hand-dyed fabric, densely sewn. Her studio is #15 on the map, 3604 Pasture Road, Hillsborough.

Jason Smith creates one of a kind metal sculptures in steel and copper using reclaimed material. His sculpture is abstract. The manipulation of form in space allows the viewer to feel rhythm and movement in his compositions. Jason’s new studio is #2 on the map, 1709 NC HWY 86N, Hillsborough.

OCAG’s Open Studio Tour is a rare opportunity for art lovers from Orange County and beyond to meet artists in their places of work, to view and purchase art directly from the artist, and in many instances to watch as artists demonstrate how they create their pieces. Studio Tour brochures and maps of participants’ studios are available at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts and other area locations or on the Guild website: http://www.OrangeCountyArtistsGuild.com

Many artists on this year’s tour will have work in the OCAG Preview Exhibit at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts. Their work will be on display from October 23 through November 12, 2017. This preview show is a wonderful opportunity for a first look at the work on the tour and can help you plan your tour route.

Opening Reception

Friday October 27

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.