Earthworks

Garry Childs

All of my work is formed on the potters wheel from terra-cotta clay. I apply glazes and pigments to my pots when they have reached a state potters call “leather-hard” which is when the clay has stiffened up enough to handle but is not completely dry. I usually do this by spraying but sometimes also with a brush. I then carve through the glaze into the still damp clay to achieve the various patterns seen on my work.

Some of the pieces in the show utilize a combination of glazes and a metallic slip coating areas on the pot. I particularly like the way the slip gets a slightly bronze tone on some pieces.

I also have several pots that are a continuation of my “Red Clay” series that use local clays dug straight from the ground to develop texture. These pieces are much heavier textured than I have done in the past and incorporate some additional colors.

It is Springtime so naturally there will be planters included in the show. I make planters in three general sizes. The smallest are approximately twelve inches wide and tall measured on the outside, the medium 15″ x 15″ and the large are 18″ x 18″.  The 12″ size fit nicely on most steps and are the perfect size for growing herbs on your deck or patio. Larger sizes are available on a custom basis.  All have two drainage holes in the bottom of the pot and are suitable for use both indoors and outside in moderate climates.

Let the River Answer

 Michael Salemi

This past year has been a year of losses.  Not the least of these was the death of the poet Leonard Cohen.  Among my generation, Cohen is best known for the song “Suzanne,” the woman who lives by the river and, when faced with a difficult situation, “let’s the river answer.”  That song and the poetry it holds was, for me, the motivation for our show.

Rivers are tricky.  On most days they are peaceful.  But on some they are raw power and will have their own way.

It’s like that in woodturning.  On most days, the lathe is a peaceful place to work.  The wood is gentle and the turner translates it into peaceful and pleasant shapes that beg to be held. But sometimes, the wood is not peaceful.  It is gnarly, with voids and grain patterns unsuitable for pleasant shapes. Confronted by wood like that it is best if the turner let’s the wood be what it will.

Our show has been a joy.  It is always fun, and a little frightening, to offer a new body of work to gallery regulars. Our community supports us so well and, in turn, we are driven as artists to live up to that support. We know that we too must let the river answer.

Go Figure

Domain” is part of a series of paintings using hooped skirts as a metaphor for the constrictions society places on women. In this piece, I wanted to depict a woman’s life as defined by her home, which becomes the empire over which she has control.

Before starting, I decided to use the old masters’ palette of colors – Yellow Ochre, Payne’s Grey, and Burnt Umber – to which I added Mars Black and Titanium White.

I covered the entire canvas in a thin layer of modeling paste and then fashioned the skirt and figure with another layer. I built up the background with more modeling paste. Next, I drew the scene that I imagined going on under the skirt with pencil and began painting. I painted the surfaces where I applied the second layer of texture brown and then wiped away the excess, exposing the “thumbprint” of the painting.

in-progress-1

I moved through the rooms from left to right, using masking tape to help me keep the architectural lines straight. In the ballroom, I decided to apply modeling paste to the pillars and the drapes to give them more dimension. Later I added texure to the chandelier too.

 

in-progress-2

After I completed the scene under the skirt I began on the figure. I wanted her dress to have the look of polished stone, as if the woman has become a part of her home.

I played with different colors for the background, finally settling on shades of Sienna that I highlighted with Ochre and Gold to mimic the sky that you can see through the windows. I then echoed the texture and pattern of the background in the walls of the ballroom.

in-progress-3

I tried several different versions of the headdress and finally chose to add some hair to frame her face and a pendant to connect the hues of the background with those below the skirt.

Domain” was complete.

domain-4

With thanks to my husband, Harold Carmel for documenting this process.

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Colorful Language

July postcard RGB

 

Jewelry artist, Nell Chandler describes her thoughts about the show:

“When we first settled on the title Colorful Language for our show I felt an immediate connection. Even way back before I ever thought of making jewelry I had been telling stories through painting and printmaking. Now I paint and etch on my jewelry and I’m still telling little narratives.”

This year Nell is exploring the melding of techniques from her past. She is creating “story bracelets” with brand new messages by using visual images to tell the story. She is presently working on a Matriarch Bracelet that she sees as a contemplation of heritage and ancestors.

Nell adds, “My new work feels playful yet intense.”

Painter and assemblage artist, Michele Yellin, often begins her work “with a quote in the underpainting as way to start the painting.” 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 the sublime to the whimsical with deftness and a strong sense of her own artistic voice.

Fabric artist Ali Givens, who creates quilted textile collages, is exploring an entirely different pallet of colors following a year of work and study in a small town in the Italian piedmont. Her first work, Ivrea Windows, was inspired by the views from her apartment, but she soon realized that a view from one window could not express the essence of the town. She began taking photographs and marrying their elements to create more holistic representations.

Ali says, “As I was combining these photographs, I had something of an epiphany and realized that my photographs of home (Hillsborough) contained much of the richness and culture that I was finding in Ivrea. It is my hope that I can bring these observations to the Colorful Language show.”

 

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ART from shows

 

Larry bowlLarry Favorite

Although I am a relatively new member of the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts,  I have been creating my distinctive art of ironwood from the Sonoran Desert for more that 40 years. My pieces include boxes, sculpted vases, wall hangings, and lamps that have been embellished with exquisite inlays of sterling silver, turquoise and other semi-precious gemstones.

Larry bird vase

This show’s theme of Earth  Wind and Fire is especially appropriate for my work, as ironwood trees grow out of the hot sands of the desert, are shaped by desert windstorms, and are then parched by the heat of the sun. Taking a piece of dull ironwood that has lain untouched in the desert for centuries and bringing it back to life as art is a spiritual process for me. This process reminds me of the unrecognized potential that we each carry within ourselves, it takes belief, effort, time and patience to bring forth that hidden potential and to turn it into something that is both useful and beautiful in the world.”

Larry vase

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ART from shows

Luminous

 

Arianna Bara Lapis and Azurite photo by artist

Arianna Bara

In designing the focal pieces for this show I was inspired by a cold and windy trip to the Acoma Pueblo, which lies on top of a 365 foot mesa in New Mexico.  The harshness of the land, the history of the native peoples and the stories of their indomitable spirits and resilience made a deep impression.

The site is the oldest continually inhabited settlement in North America at about 1000 years old.  On top of the mesa, two and three level homes are still made of adobe, with outside ladders leading to the upper stories where people live.  There is no running water, no electricity and no sewage disposal.  For centuries the only access was an almost vertical set of stairs cut into the rock face.

Arianna Bara Tiger's Eye, Plume Agate, Baltic Amber and Garnet, photo by artistThe day I was there was the second of a two-day festival of dancing and ceremony honoring the dedication of the newly-elected leaders.  Native people returned in large number to their ancestral homes on the mesa to participate and there were only a handful of non-native visitors there.  I felt completely immersed within a culture that was foreign to me and honored to be able to observe these dances and ceremonies performed for the Zuni people, not tourists.

The sounds of drums, rattles, chanting, the colors and patterns of traditional clothing and pottery, all stood out brightly against the surrounding brown of the desert and unceasing wind and sand. There was a palpable sense of a living, breathing ancient culture that uplifted me and inspired my work.

My major pieces for “Luminous” are female figures crafted of sterling silver and semi-precious stones like turquoise, carnelian, chrysoprase and lapis lazuli.  The silver is heavily textured and darkened with a liver of sulfur patina making them appear ancient.  They are being buffeted by the wind, perhaps a storm is raging around them, but they are not only still standing, they are strongly rooted.

Arianna Bara Turquoise, Chrysocolla, Carnelian, Amethyst and Lapis

Luminous

March postcard RGBArianna Bara is a metalsmith who takes her inspiration from nature. Bara says, “To be luminous is to be full of light, to be brilliant and dazzling even in the dark. I have always loved this word, maybe because it is so rich in imagery. It makes me think of moonlight on a starry night, or the delicate glowing creatures found in the darkest depths of the oceans.”

Bara uses sterling silver as the backdrop for her one-of-a-kind designs. She further explains. “As one who feels that we are spiritual beings on a human journey, the word (luminous) evokes the brilliance of the eternal spark within us and is a perfect description of what I am trying to convey in my work. I think of my sterling silver figurative jewelry pieces as ‘Radiant Beings’. I want them to stir a memory, long-forgotten perhaps, of where we come from and serve as a reminder of who we truly are.”

Painter Eduardo Lapetina has this to say about his work for the show Luminous. “I strive to produce luminous 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. The steps leading to my abstract paintings are the art of hiding and disclosing. It is the discovery of mysteries of the subconscious mind that are part of my own personal legend. Personality counts. These abstractions hold the promise of dreams, visions, fears, intangibles and will. It is a collaboration of mind and spirit. It is a form of magic that may speak both to you and for you with a private, secret, confidential language. They also require something from viewer; it demands contemplation, study, feeling, and flights of fancy.

Opening Reception

March 25
6-9
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