TREES BY THREE

Matriarch

Susan Hope
Playful Puzzles
The preparation of the mosaic pieces for this show was a
challenging puzzle in every way. Mosaic art work is as old as time
and historically, have been done with tile or stone and in the more
present ages with glass. Since I have been working in stained
glass for 30+ years, I have hundreds of pounds of ‘scrap’ glass
stored for the next smaller use. Like a fabric artist with a ‘stash’ of
fabric, I too had a huge stash of glass to work with. Chips of the
rainbow, I like to call them.
Trees have always been powerful images for me and have been
used in all forms of my glass work. The piece “Matriarch”, is of the
huge, ancient, oak tree on the hill above my studio. She has stood
the test of time and storms and has never failed to greet me as I
gazed across the field. I find strength, stability and peace among
the trees.
My technique, is really simply my vision…imagination. There is
the mundane part of cutting and priming the backing board but,
sometimes I get lucky and images reveal themselves in rough
pencil sketches on the board or perhaps a few words of a song or
inspiring phrase that is running through my head that day. I
sometimes ‘see’ the images but more often they are revealed as I
begin to work.

Detail of Spring Festivities

The plastic bins of glass crowd my table as I begin to sort and
choose my palette. Once defined I begin cutting, chipping,
snipping and gluing pieces of glass in place. The hardest part is
that first piece of glass. Honestly, the whole process is a puzzle,
one that I create as I go and one that also forces me to find
pieces to fit into spaces created by others. It is critical that I work
slowly enough to assess the patterns and colors because once
the glue is dried the changes can only be made with a great deal
of elbow grease and occasional spewing of words.
After the design is revealed and shadows and tones are
established I continue to work the background. This is when the
pieces get smaller and smaller and smaller. Filling in the final
gaps with grout is exciting and the final cleaning can reveal far
more than I even imagined. The uniformity of the grout between
all those tiny pieces of glass is very satisfying.

Spring Festivities

I was inspired this winter as I worked by the bizarre seasonal
changes we experienced. “Surprise Snowfall” was done on the
day of the largest flakes ever seen and “Spring Festivities”
happened as the redbud trees began to bloom…earlier than they
should have. It seemed that the Seasons had come together to
play. That is what it was like to create all these mosaics too…
paying homage to my tree friends, many long hours of serendipity
and a playful spirit.

Surprise Snowfall

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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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The Art of Giving

holiday-rgbEach holiday season the members of the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts transform the gallery to showcase original ornaments and hand-made gifts. The gallery’s 21 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, knitted scarves; and fabric handbags. 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, pottery, turned wood, enamels, and carved ironwood with turquoise and silver inlay. Fine art photography, oil and acrylic painting, encaustics, scratchboard, and mixed media work festively surround the three dimensional pieces on pedestals.

Explore the wonderful art exhibited at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts to find a special gift for that special person.

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Grounded

 

Ellie Reinhold

Asked at Grounded’s opening reception what I was thinking when I created a particular painting, I admitted that the creative process behind my new work is fairly nonverbal. Those familiar with my figurative pieces know that words are integral to their birth; they are filled with narrative, metaphor, poetry, emotion and dreams. Not so with my abstracts/landscapes.

This isn’t to say that my landscapes are quiet paintings, usually quite the opposite. Years ago they began as, and often remain, an exercise in intensity: Color! Mark! Texture! Pattern! Mayhem and fray! However, with some of my new work, I feel as though I am finally beginning to step back and see the forest instead of just the trees.

EllieReinhold_FOREST TOTEM_36x48_price-1325_scaled4web_4.5 tall_P1090648

Certain pieces in Grounded have a quiet about them that is new to my landscapes. I’m still obsessively working with circle and tree forms, still focusing on texture, surface, and mark, but with the exhibit’s larger paintings and my work in progress, I find I’m continually paring back my complex, intense compositions. It plays out as a give and take. I build the imagery, take it away. Build again, take it away. Struggling on the canvas to find a particular balance, to reveal what the painting wants to be.

This struggle can yield an intense surface, but, with the end note of taking away,  a quieter painting, one presenting a more meditative vision. I am pleased to find that by playing at the line between abstraction and representation, these paintings hint at the moving complexity and depth of our experience in nature.
    Ellie Reinhold_NIGHT CYCLE_Grounded_Publicity_P1090722 copy

 

 

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ART from shows

 

Not Alone

Marcy Lansman

I started the “Not Alone” series two years ago. Looking at an abstract landscape I had painted, I saw, in my mind’s eye, people walking up a hill. In the painting based on that image, the background was light at the top fading to almost black at the bottom, and the figures were silhouetted against that background. Painting it, I started with the figures at the bottom with the idea that this was some kind of forced march. They hung their heads as though burdened with grief. But as I moved upwards, the figures became less beaten down. The last figure I painted was a little girl gesturing to an old man as if to say, “Come on! Let’s go.” That little girl always brought tears to my eyes. She appears in many paintings in the series.

Not Alone

Several other paintings in the “Not Alone” series have similar themes: people move upwards across the page, sometimes alone, sometimes in groups, but always following in each other’s footsteps.

In “Moving on,” the figures seem to be carrying their belongings with them. They appear against a background of bombed out buildings, suggesting that they are refugees fleeing a war zone.

Moving On

In “Help Along the Way” groups of dark figures are guided by lighter figures, as though the memory of a friend or family member or some kind of spirit were guiding them.

Help Along the Way

More than with other work I’ve done, the ideas for these paintings have come to me unbidden. The series title “Not Alone” alludes to the idea that we are all on the same journey. In some ways we are alone, but in many other ways we are accompanied by others and guided by those who have gone before.

 

 

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Our Art Is…

May postcard RGB

Exploring What Art Is At The Hillsborough Gallery Of Arts

Three very different artists are featured this month at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts. Painters Pat Merriman and Eduardo Lapetina and sculptor Lynn Wartski present their newest work in a show they call OUR ART IS…..
 
Pat Merriman, a founding member of the gallery, says “When I paint it is always with my favorite themes…this time I have revisited Koi on long 10”x30” panels that allow them to swim up or downstream. ” They shine with glints of gold, unusual colors and playful acrylic textures. There will also be one or two Hillsborough or NC scenes, and I am honoring my love of cooking by painting vegetables, fruits, and cooking scenes from my kitchen.”

Eduardo Lapetina paints large colorful canvases. Describing his creative method, Lapetina says “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. 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.”

Lynn Wartski adds whimsy to the show with the unique doll sculptures for which she is increasingly well-known. Says Wartski “My art doll sculptures test the limits of expression that can be achieved with unconventional material choices of forged copper, and other metal work, for faces, hands, and various elements of design. The result is a collection of pieces with a cohesive sculptural style despite the incorporation of widely varied materials and experimentation. The dolls I have been working on for this year’s show have an additional dimension beyond capturing gesture and interesting costuming. With these sculptures I introduce more of an element of narrative into each piece. I’ve worked to capture a moment of movement, or the figure caught somewhere mid-stride. I hope the viewer finds him or herself looking at that single captured static moment and wondering or imagining what the next moment would hold.”

 

Please join us for the Opening Reception
Friday May29th
6-9

 

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what I came here for

April postcard RGBPlease join us

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