Moody, Minimalist Landscape Painting

Posts tagged “Polly Law

Late Summer 2017 Newsletter

June brought two great-story sales. The first was of this piece, a favorite of mine since I did it a few years back. My husband delivered it to Louisa Gould Gallery on Martha’s Vineyard in early June and a few days later it was headed  to Madrid on a private jet. The collector even helped unwrap it after being drawn into the gallery by my 50″x90″ piece in the window.

Rolling Cloud, 44″x62″.

 

This octych has received a great deal of attention, including a blog post of its own. It was shown and appreciated at Gold Gallery in Boston, and then at Albert Shahinian Fine Art in Rhinebeck this past winter.

Green Waves, 13″x76″ overall, oil on linen.

https://scheeleart.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/the-evolution-of-a-new-concept/

In May I was contacted by a woman in NC who told me that she wanted to buy it, and had the perfect spot for it. She had read the blog post and loved the story. She had never bought original art before, except for one print. She found me through a google search.

After much back and forth, it turned out that she had seen the price on the small oil-on-paper study that I had done leading up to the final piece, and the actual cost was way beyond what she had anticipated or budgeted for. So I offered her some other, smaller pieces in the green palette that she prefers…and then didn’t hear back from her for a few weeks.

This happens with some frequency. For a discussion of why original art created by a career artist costs what it does, you can read this blog post:

https://scheeleart.wordpress.com/2014/11/02/this-painting-costs-what/

In the end, she could not resist the piece and I could not resist making a price accommodation to enable her to have it, though it was still a huge leap for her both in cost and in faith, as she hadn’t set eyes on the actual piece.

My galleriest Albert Shahinian, who had the piece and is also an expert art handler, did the packing and shipping, and here is Green Waves in its perfect spot:

 

 

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My Atlas Project is gaining momentum and focus. I earlier began a description of the evolution of this  endeavor and got so carried away that I found I needed a separate post, which I will be working on going forward.

In brief, motivated last fall by a number of factors including an upcoming residency on Nantucket and my fears over an acceleration of climate change with the new administration in Washington, I decided I needed to marry more concretely my deep love of the outdoor world and its complexities with my visual expression.

The third and most complex grouping, Atlas/Hudson River Valley had a trial run during a recent studio tour/open studio. Each site map circles closer to what I want, this most recent one being a collaged road map with map pins showing the locations of the paintings in the grouping and monotype thumbnails of the same. Like the earlier versions, this folds up into a small map.

I ran out of time—this was an excruciatingly slow process, with many design elements and much trial and error—and didn’t get any of the written piece figured out, but in discussion during the open studio I figured out how to approach this in a way that has integrity with the map.

This will all coalesce into a large solo show at Thompson Giroux Gallery in Chatham, NY,  March 31-May 6 in 2018, of Atlas/Hudson river Valley and Atlas/Forms of Water. There will be many more paintings and therefore more thumbnails on the map; most likely an off-center extension at top right to show the source of the river in the Adirondacks; and a narrow extension the length of the left side to add written and visual detail about our area. The show will feature monotypes, collages, and pastels as well as oil paintings.

Overlook with River, 24″x36″, the last piece finished before the July Tour.

 

The Studio Tour overall was a sweet weekend with folks from my mailing list coming through as well as those who were new to me. Usually it is a low-pressure event for me and I have a lovely time at the outset setting up my studio for viewing. I had knocked myself out working on the Site Map and printing linocut wall tags for the Atlas Project this time around, but it was well worth it for how the deadline brought the project together enough for me to hone many aspects and trouble-shoot the things that are not yet quite right.

 

Front wall of studio arranged as Atlas/Hudson River Valley, for Studio Tour 2017.

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The day after the Studio Tour ended I was off for a week to teach on Nantucket. So lovely to see the island wearing its summer color, after spending two weeks there in February! I taught my composition workshop, Constructing/Deconstructing the Landscape, to a receptive and able group of six. These are the exercises that they had finished at the end of day #2.

For demo purposes I did several small oil-on-paper pieces, choosing subject matter according to the requests of my students:

Horizontal Wave, 5″x12″.

 

Warm Fall Fields, 5″x12″.

 

Dusk Palms, 5″x5″.

 

After my workshop was over I spent a long afternoon in the print shop, rediscovering what works for my imagery in monotype (there are always a row of failures before some successes). This is my favorite of the batch:

Monotype Sunset over Tidal Flats, 8″x10″.

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In June I had a discussion with some of the artists who I mentor about curating a show of their artwork, and got a very positive response. I contacted what I thought would be the perfect venue for a show of such an eclectic group of artists, the ArtBar in Kingston. The only slot Allie had open in 2017 was for August, so this exhibition of 18 artists had to come together very quickly!

It was interesting switching hats back and forth from mentor to curator, and there will be follow-up in my groups on my experience with the artists as curator. I have heard repeatedly from gallery owners that it is their quality-of-life choice to represent talented artists who are also easy and responsive to work with, so this is a theme that I pass along.

On the card, top to bottom: Betsy Jacaruso, Rebecca Darlington, Elizabeth Panzer, and Sandra Nystrom.

I selected the work and Allie, who owns the venue, hung the show. The opening reception was busy and the the comments very enthusiastic. The list of all of the artists involved: Polly Law, Sandra Nystrom, Rebecca Darlington, Linda Lynton, Linda Puiatti, Al Desetta, Betsy Jacaruso, Patti Gibbons, Lois Linet, Stacie Flint, Elizabeth Panzer, Dave Channon, Karen Schaffel, Julia Santos Solomen, Mary Katz, Loel Barr, Mark Loete, Cathy Metitchecchia.

This is my short description of the work I have done with these, and many other, artists over the years:

My mentoring work began as a way of helping other artists enter or expand their presence in the art market by providing support for both studio practice and exhibiting. The groups are a blend of coaching, support group, and targeted career advice for emerging and mid-level artists.

An article, written by Lynn Woods, will be coming out shortly on the show in the Kingston Times and I will add the link.

 I love two things the most, I think, about working with artists in this way. One is that the artwork is so varied, and as my artistic taste is too, it is a huge pleasure watching and sometimes helping these artists hone their voices into bodies of work that have depth and impact.
The other is that, in our overly busy and complicated lifestyle, I can inform, simplify and advise. So, while every venue, gallery-artist relationship and even many sales have their own unique wrinkles that make generalization difficult, there are guidelines that can help emerging artists streamline their approach and be more decisive in their responses—and feel better about the process.

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Coming up, very soon, this four-person show at the Nantucket Artists Association, a brainchild of Program Coordinator Mary Emery: Due East, 4 Woodstock Artists on Nantucket, featuring the work of Polly Law, Kate McGloughlin, Jenny Nelson, and myself; all artists who teach and/or have done residencies at the AAN. Dates are September 1-22.

https://www.nantucketarts.org/dues-east-woodstock-artists-on-nantucket1.html

A medium-sized oil-on-linen that will be featured in the show:

Color Field/Incoming Tide, 30″x30″.

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Recently finished, my second Atlas/Hudson River Valley mixed-media/collage:

Atlas/HV Collage, 2 panels of 16″x8″/ea.

 

And in oil, an image of the tide coming in over the tidal flats mid-Cape, always a moment of bliss for me:

Sky Meets Water, 18″x24″.

 

This piece fits into the Atlas/Forms of Water segment. It is a different type of category from Atlas/Hudson River Valley, and there will be overlap, making for a more dynamic installation.

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A few of my other sales so far this season:

 

Calm Crossing, 38″x70″, sold by the Louisa Gould Gallery.

 

Monotype/Wave#5, 8″x10″, sold by the Julie Heller Gallery.

 

Haybales, 8″x24″, pastel on paper, studio sale.

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Upcoming workshops are at the PAAM September 11-14, the loveliest time of the year to be on the Cape:

https://www.paam.org/workshops/summer-2017/?course_detail=abstraction-and-narrative-in-the-landscape&start_date=9-11-17

And the Woodstock School of Art October 28-30, also a stunning time of year for the locale:

http://woodstockschoolofart.org/course/color-mixing-landscape-painters/

Enjoy your rest of summer season and beginning of fall!

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So much happening! Summer Season 2014.

Over the top busy this spring and summer, with new galleries, a solo show in place and several other shows coming up between now and August.

We had a lovely, packed opening reception at Chace-Randall Gallery in Andes, NY. I will be updating the blog post I created about the work in the show as pieces continue to sell—but you really should see the show in person, if you couldn’t make the opening! Thank-you to Zoe Randall for the party and especially for a great job hanging the work. The show will be up through July 7th.

https://scheeleart.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=2657&action=edit

With the largest painting in this show,

With the largest painting in this show, “Interwoven Stories”.

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Host Tom Lavazzi pouring wine…and tons of nice conversation passing around.

Owner/driector Zoe Randall and I in front of the [postcard piece, "Turquoise Light".

Owner/director Zoe Randall and I in front of the postcard piece, “Turquoise Light”.

I am showing again at Butters Gallery in Portland Oregon— and so  pleased to add this reputable gallery in a new locale to my list. I participated in the “Line” show there last winter, curated by Melinda Stickney-Gibson, and have remained on the roster. Opening June 5th is a 4-artsist landscape show, invitation below. For my work in the show, see their website:

http://www.buttersgallery.com/Artist-Detail.cfm?ArtistsID=486&sr=1&ppage=6

eastwest143

BUTTERS GALLERY LTD 520 NW DAVIS PORTLAND OREGON 97209 (503) 248-9378 (800) 544-9171 gallery hours: tuesday-friday 10-5:30 saturday 11-5 http://www.buttersgallery.com

East / West

June 5th – 28th 2014

Opening Reception: Thursday June 5th, 6 – 9 pm

My newest gallery is Edgewater Gallery in Middelbury, VT. This happened the way we artists love it to happen—a phone call offering representation. A beautiful space and locale, I am happy to be on the walls, and look forward to events there, starting with a visit and meet-and-greet in October. I just shipped off this triptych, painted with them in mind. See their website for additional work:

http://www.edgewatergallery-vt.com/scheele-christie.html

"Hill beyond Hill, 3 panels of 24"x20"/ea.

“Hill beyond Hill, 3 panels of 24″x20″/ea.

Up next is my duo show (with  M.J. Levy Dickenson)  at Julie Heller East in Provincetown, July 18-31, with an opening reception on July 19th from 6pm on. That same night we are also hosting a reception through the gallery at the Anchor Inn with larger pieces of mine and the work of Polly Law, 7-9pm. The idea is that viewers can go from East End to West End and see both shows.

Arriving at the Anchor Inn/JHG on June 5th, this new piece.

"Entering Province Lands", 30"X60".

“Entering Province Lands”, 30″X60″.

In August I will be showing with Louisa Gould Gallery on Martha’s Vineyard in a show with Louisa herself and Paul Beebe. Dates are August 7-27. with opening reception August 9th, 5-7pm. I am new to this beautiful gallery in Vineyard Haven, though I have been showing on the island since 1998, beginning with Carol Craven Gallery and most recently with Dragonfly (thank-you, Carol, Don, and Susan!). The show will include several large-formeat pieces of Vineyard locales.

Here are a few pieces hanging now in her Memorial Day show, including several new ones recently delivered.

"Lifting Rain, 20"x60".

“Lifting Rain, 20″x60”.

"Summer Sunset/Tidal Creek", 36"x12".

“Summer Sunset/Tidal Creek”, 36″x12″.

Tucked in among all of these shows with my galleries is a very sweet happening, a show called “Three Generations” at Cano (Community Arts Network of Oneonta) in Oneonta, NY. This show will feature my mother, Gerri Scheele, with the ceramics that she was so well known for and the landscapes that followed; myself; and my daughter and son Tessa and Tony Scheele Morelli. This will be a special family affair staged at the Wilbur mansion, where I did my first oil painting at age 11 and where my mother showed extensively for many years.

Heading next week to Gold Gallery in Boston, this newly repainted piece. I am looking forward to my second solo show there in March of 2015.

"Endless Sky", 36"x72".

“Endless Sky”, 36″x72″.

Some spring sales:

"Bridge Crossing in Violets", 12"X12". (Sold by Butters Gallery.)

“Bridge Crossing in Violets”, 12″X12″. (Sold by Butters Gallery.)

 

Sunset River Expanse", 20"x62". (Sold by Albert Shahinian Fine Art.)

Sunset River Expanse”, 20″x62″. (Sold by Albert Shahinian Fine Art.)

 

"Approach," oil on vintage blackboard, 11"x13.5". (Sold by Chace-Randall Gallery.)

“Approach,” oil on vintage blackboard, 11″x13.5″. (Sold by Chace-Randall Gallery.)

ALL of my galleries have work of mine at all times, so wherever you are or travel to among these locales, check them out!

Workshops are upcoming at the Woodstock School of Art June 23-25  and Provinctown Artists Association and Museum, September 15-18.

Abstraction and Narrative in the Landscape
Working in Oil or Pastel
Using photograhic reference, we will investigate how the elements in a landscape painting serve the whole, accessing the formal qualities of color, shape, edge, and composition to create compelling imagery. The first day we will explore these tools and how they impact the implied narrative of the painting through exercises in oil or pastel on paper. In these studies we will add, subtract, move elements around and change color using our painterly hand. Instead of painting over changes, each study will remain intact while we start a new one so that all variations can be rigorously critiqued and compared before being used as a springboard for a larger painting.
Days 2-4 will include a demo of color-mixing from primaries; more compositional studies, and pursuing fully realized landscape paintings on canvas or larger pastels. Instruction will emphasize the reduction of detail to create a strong, clean composition, along with discussion of both the abstract and the narrative qualities brought out in individual paintings.


Drawing: At the Heart

With every mark we make with brush or a palette knife, each shape that we cut out with a mat knife or clay that we shape with fingers or tools…every object that we create with our hands that did not before exist in the physical plane, we are drawing. When our eyes follow the shapes of things around us, even when our bodies bend to a pose in yoga…we are drawing.

I asked some friends to comment on the importance of drawing, all stellar artists, most who also teach. I left the question wide open—importance how? as painters? as visual human beings?—and so received wise answers to these slightly different questions.

“Drawing, as Michelangelo said, is the foundation of all the arts.  It is the means by which an artist can make what  he or she does convincing.  Drawing, in my opinion, is not to be understood as the rendering of forms (which alone leads to eidetic illusionism), but as the construction of pictorial space within which form can palpably exist.  Drawing is not a visual equation (these marks equal this object) that is left to illustrators who always and only render.  Drawing is an abstraction which evokes and reifies the phenomenon of human visual experience of the world.  It puts both artist and viewer at the center of experience.”

Mark Thomas Kanter, from “The Theory and Practice of Drawing” copyright Mark Thomas Kanter, 2012
Mark Thomas Kanter, "Polytropos" Oil on Canvas, 72" X 96" 2011

Mark Thomas Kanter, “Polytropos” Oil on Canvas, 72″ X 96″ 2011

“If we are talking about the importance of drawing relative to painting, I think it is as important as the artist needs it to be. Having said that, I see little difference between drawing and observation. Observation leads to understanding, whether the subject is material or intangible doesn’t matter. Once one has observed and understood, then one may communicate.  The visual artists chosen mode of expression, be it representation, abstraction, non-objective, or otherwise, is irrelevant. How effective the communication is, is of paramount importance. Overall I would say that the more acute the powers of observation then the more powerful the expression. In the end, to quote Charles-Édouard Jeanneret  (Le Corbusier), “I prefer drawing to talking. Drawing is faster, and leaves less room for lies.”

Eric Angeloch

Eric Angeloch, "The Home Fires", 24"X48".

Eric Angeloch, “The Home Fires”, 24″X48″.

“There seems to be an ease with drawing that i don’t find in any other medium, yet I find a finished drawing to be just has important as any painting .”

Marie Vickerilla

Marie Vickerilla, graphite and wax on clay board, 7"x5".

Marie Vickerilla, graphite and wax on clay board, 7″x5″.

Drawing is where we start our creative lives and it continues to be where we take our exploratory steps into a new painting or sculpture or into almost any other medium. The immediacy of scratching lines on a piece of paper is perfect for experimenting with concepts or compositions for other works or for creating a pure, stark, honest work of art in and of itself.

I’ve always been so taken with the act of putting lines on paper, that I seem to gravitate toward drawing-based mediums like etching and drypoint. Again, it’s the immediacy.

Learning to draw well is essential for an artist. He or she can bring it to incredible levels of realism or break it down to pure abstraction…but it must first be mastered.

Steve Dininno

Steve Dininno, Night Traffic

Steve Dininno, Night Traffic, charcoal on mylar, 23″x16″.

Drawing by definition is process intensive.  The experience of drawing is also universal because everybody has at least made marks with a pencil; handwriting, a doodle or two.  This is not true of painting, sculpture or filmography.  There is no hiding with drawing, and also no drama.  It is a simple task to just pick up a pencil and make a mark.  Getting in the stream right where you are and navigating from there a pictorial impression.  It will be a drawing no matter what.

Margarete de Soleil

Enso Nest, Ink on paper, 33"x18".

Margarete de Soleil, Enso Nest, ink on paper, 33″x18″.

“Drawing is the primary vehicle of visual intention and commitment. When a person gains drawing proficiency, they stand and take their first steps as an artist. Prior to that, their mark-making is like a baby that scoots around the floor on their butt- they eventually get where they want to go, but inelegantly, slowly and sloppily. Making a strong, intentional mark takes a great amount of courage- it might fail. And that fear of failure- easily remedied by making another mark, and another, and another, until confidence- gained through experience and persistence- produces the shape we see in our minds,  stops too many people. And that is a shame. What is at stake here? A few pennies worth of materials, at best; some time; some self-criticism. The myth that artists tap into some deep well of innate talent and produce beautiful drawings ab ovo is just that- a myth. Most of us, our chubby child’s hands firmly grasping a crayon, made our first marks long, long ago. The main difference- we didn’t give up, we never stopped making bold marks, we learned to coordinate eye and hand, we learned to draw.

Polly Law

Polly Law, MEchanisms of Desire,

Polly Law, “Rude Mechanicals: The Mechanisms of Desire”, Bricolage, 2013, 24.25″x18.875.

From David Smith’s questions for students found among his papers after his death in 1965:

“21. Why do you hesitate–why can you not draw objects as freely as you can write their names and speak words about them?

22. What has caused this mental block? If you can name, dream, recall vision and auras why can’t you draw them? In the conscious set of drawing, who is acting in our unconscious as censor?

In particular, to the painter—
Is there as much art in a drawing as in a watercolor–or as in an oil painting?
Do you think drawing is a complete and valid approach to art vision, or a preliminary only toward a more noble product?”

I read these questions and loved them back when I was a student decades ago, and recommend them for any artist (link below).

http://www.davidsmithestate.org/statements.html

I remembered #21 incorrectly in the intervening years, and so I will end with what I thought was his question, but turns out to be one of my own.

“Why, when we learn in school how to write the word chair, do we also not learn how to draw it?”


Is Making Art Work?

Is making art work?

This question has come up several times lately in discussion with artists, often as a question put to them by another party.

What immediately comes to mind for me is to reject the notion that conflates work with suffering. Of course, there are all kinds of work, and some is grueling, but work and misery are not the same thing.

Here is a definition of work (as a verb).

 Exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something; labor; toil, productive or operative activity.

 Making art is, without question, a productive activity that accomplishes something. Creating an object from materials, often formless (such as paint or clay), where no object existed before is a kind of magic. The process of creation often grounds the artist and thus sends positive energy out into the world, and the object itself can have emotive, soothing, and/or thought-provoking impact on its audience.

But is that work?

What if the artist is making an object that has a market, and that hours must be spent at this work (hmmm) to make a living?

Is the difference between making art that is work and making art that is pleasure that the first generates income and the latter does not?

I seem to be coming up with more questions than answers, but I will say that for myself making art is both work and play. It differs from a job in a few ways—-that I don’t get paid until I make a sale: and that I have to please myself first with what I paint, rather than pleasing a boss (though in the end, if what pleases me does not do so for others, I will not be able to sell anything).

Other things that often (but not always) apply to a job—-stressful, boring, repetitive—exist much less in my work day than with most jobs. And some attributes of work that would apply to all of us are that it requires discipline; builds skills, and can, over the years, be hard on the body.

If making art were not hugely satisfying, certainly no one would choose the uncertainty of being an artist as their livelihood. So I will venture to say that making art is both more stimulating and more soothing than other work, in different degrees for different artists.

Clearly, however, I find that I cannot even discuss this topic without applying the word work to artmaking, especially for the career artist. If you reread the above, you can see that I would have had to jump through hoops to avoid it, and the discussion has ended up being more about the kind of work.

I put the question to a handful of my wise artists friends, asking for a short commentary, and am including their thoughts, unedited.

Loren Scherbak:

“I am going to respond quickly before I have a chance to edit myself, and to all of you, in the hopes that we can all share our ideas.

 I have been struggling with this word “work” associated with my art making for a very long time. I remember, years ago when I was in my twenties, I worked for lawyers on a part-time schedule. When I left to go make art, the lawyers used to smile and say “you’re off to play!” I bristled every time I heard that because I was struggling in the process of learning the craft of my medium for art, ceramics. It took me many years to become facile in my craft so I could see my art making as play. Even today, I have a lot of physical labor, repetitive tasks, and losses due to factors beyond my control, in my art making that cause me to think of it as work, and sometimes question whether I am crazy to be doing this work at all.

 I think of my art as my life partner. I also have a non art job, which I love, which I am married to. I have the formal relationships with my job that keep me from abandoning it when it gets hard to do. My art is easy to abandon as I have no formal ties to it (galleries, patrons etc.) like you do Christie. I am now in a bit of a fallow period. I have had these in the past and worried if I would ever return to my art. Of course I do, eventually, because I miss the relationship. I miss all the hard work, and I even miss the failures, because generally they spark my mind to go in new directions. So, yes I think it is good work because it stimulates me. I don’t, fortunately for me, define this work based on whether I earn a living at it or I’d drive myself crazy. I am old enough now to understand that I have to make art alongside my paying job. They feed off of each other. I need them both to be the kind of person I want to be. Hopefully, I will replace the job with something else when I retire, but it will not be art. I can’t make art all the time. My body and mind can’t take it.

 So, although I think I got off topic a bit, I think I can now say to those lawyers, “Yes, I am off to play to make my art work!” ;-}”

John Wellington:

“Without the work there are only ideas.  For me to make a painting takes great work.  And then, more work.”

Lisa Pressman:

“I am away teaching  so I will l answer quickly and intuitively. The answer is yes!!

That doesn’t mean that it can’t be fun, full of play and exciting but it is challenging, frustrating and just plain hard at times.

There are those moments  in the studio when  i just feel that i am in the right place doing what I am suppose to be doing..then it isn’t work!!

Polly Law:

“John- I really like what you wrote: Without the work there are only ideas.

I have 2 brothers who were both gifted with a fair amount of natural talent but neither of them pursued their talents. They have also expressed a bit of envy of my abilities. I point out to them that I work- and work hard- at my art and that they always gave up when the first attempt to express themselves artistically didn’t yield the result they wanted.

Do I enjoy doing the work? Yes!! With every fiber of my being. I love getting myself into a tough artistic corner and finding the way out. I exercise my art muscles as often as I can.

Your thoughts?


15: Artists from Ulster County—A group show at Albert Shahinian Fine Art in Rhinebeck

I am co-curating a show at my gallery in Rhinebeck, using this blog post as an ongoing site for information about the show. I am a participating artist  in “15” as well.

Keep checking back for additional news, press, and photos. We have selected outstanding work from these stellar artists, and expect this exhibition to be a bright light in our late winter.

How do the light-infused geometric abstractions of Heather Hutchison exhibit in the same show with Lenny Kislin’s antique assemblages?  How does Bernard Gerson’s mysterious photograph of two faces connect to Yale Epstein’s luminously rendered mixed media paintings?  15: Artists of Ulster County looks at just this exploration.

15 will be at Albert Shahinian Fine Art in Rhinebeck from February 18 to April 22, 2012. It brings back and expands on the show that exhibited at Brooklyn Artists Gym Gallery last May, 2011.  This time around, curators Christie Scheele and Peter Wallace have added artists and pieces.  As they selected the paintings, photographs, drawings, prints and sculptures, they discovered something exciting:

“When we first invited artists to participate in our show last year, we were going for eclectic, and did not anticipate the complex connections that emerged between the artists. What we found was that we had uncovered a kind of Ven diagram of artistic endeavor in the Hudson Valley. Each artist was having a hidden conversation with at least three others in the group. It was like a creative game of  ‘telephone,’ where the end does resemble the beginning in delightful ways.”

From Polly M. Law’s edgy, doll-like figures to Chris Hawkins iconic children’s worlds, from Kim Alderman’s smoke-fired ceramic totems to Meredith Rosier’s densely atmospheric drawings, there is a journey to this show with a point of entry for any viewer.  The fifteen artists in this exhibition represent, with the highest level of achievement and creative edge, the same wide range of artistic expression that is available in the entire region.

Meredith Rosier

When I commence upon the exploration of marks and their subsequent densities, I am investigating containment and dispersal. Density arrives from the layering of pigments pushed through metal screening, coarse or delicate fabrics and handmade stencils as I employ unexpected hand tools in order to interlock my materials. I utilize sawdust, dirt, rust, smoke, fireplace ash, pastel, gouache, ink, graphite, pencil and conte crayon. I intend to seam tiers of pigment to one another until the density contradicts the notion that paper lies beneath. Deliberately working within a restrained palette, I aim for an intimation of phosphorescence from my pigments and a dialogue between the indeterminate and the exactitude of my forms.”


Polly M. Law

 “I make paper dolls with deep personal issues. I use humble materials but elevate them with my attention to color, form, costume, expression and gesture. I sometimes incorporate materials scavenged from the natural world. Sometimes I incorporate my deep love of language in the form of type and visual/verbal puns.”

Leslie Bender

“I’m always known for psychological high motion figures reacting in an environment such as beach or restaurant, but I have also drawn and painted from life for 4 decades. Continually practicing the formal elements strengthens the artist’s work exponentially.
Paint and its manipulative faculties is as fascinating as studying from life::: here is volume and paint, all smooshed into one!” 

“Still Life Pedestal #2″, Oil on canvas, 20″X30”.

Kim Alderman

“My 40 plus years of forming clay into functional and sculptural objects has given me an experience of relational consciousness: I form clay and clay forms me, I move clay and clay moves me. The skin of the earth and my skin are both breathing organs of perception and as such, we share dna and an emotional body, we share voice and imagination. This relationship is critical to my work as an artist and teacher, and the inspiration for my book MOON TIME: Receiving Images of Feminine Consciousness through Clay, Drawing, and Word.”

Heather Hutchison

“For the past 23 years I’ve been following one particular line of inquiry; the use of natural light, captured and inflected, as my primary material. In that time, these works have gone gradually from being somewhat translucent and heavily constructed, to being nearly completely transparent, and appearing to float upon the wall.
In my pieces that are as much light sculpture as painting, the viewer is presented with the opportunity to directly experience the scientific truism that the only constant is change. Striving to maximize my medium’s literal transparency in order to attain the greatest self- illumination, natural light is as essential to me as any other material I employ; it literally animates my work with its ever-changing nature.”

Christie Scheele

“A variety of landscape imagery, color, and format expresses a range of my interests, allowing me to combine my contemporary art training with my love of the natural world in differing degrees from piece to piece, emphasizing in one a sense of place, and in another alternative concepts that refer to the process of making art. Common to them all is my use of minimalist compositions, with strong interlocking shapes, and the silky surfaces I achieve by layering delicate coats of paint, relating my work to other contemporary artists who use photographs for inspiration.

Kate McGloughlin

“In the winter months, I keep myself engaged with the landscape by making large format monotype collages.  
Bouncing off of sweeping passages of etching ink with pastel and recycled prints has become a pretty standard
methodology in my studio, and I appreciate the time and space this work gives me to design a meaningful composition without
the time pressure of the setting sun.”

Bernard Gerson

“Rather than copying subjects literally, I create my images with a more abstract quality and attempt to transform them into a vehicle of emotion and sensuality.  In the landscapes and cityscapes, I use light, texture and movement, as a painter would, to achieve a softer impressionistic effect. In the portrait series, the theme I try to convey is not related to the individual person, but rather to something more universal in humanity.”

Tom Luciano

Judy Sigunick

“I began making my most recent ceramic figures after 2003 when I heard the story of a young college student and peace activist Rachel Corrie who traveled to Gaza . While acting as a human shield to protect a local Palestinian’s home from demolition by the Israeli Defense Forces, she was crushed by a bulldozer, while the house remained intact. This event was seminal for me and from that moment on I vowed to be as candid and thoughtful in my work, as Rachel Corrie was brave and trusting in her actions.”

Anique Taylor

   THE TRAVELER SERIES is about the personal journeys of women;
how we are in different ways, inadvertent, reluctant pilgrims. Chemical
sensitivities have necessitated inventing personal processes that excluded
accepted methods of working. I developed a process of alternating casein
paints, colored pencils and matt medium in successive layers – drawing back
into lino prints, watercolors, and computer fragments with archival pens and pencils.
Heads are sculpted with 20-30 layers of newspaper interspersed with assorted
resins & glues after which facial expressions are delicately built up in several layers
with archival pencils.This gives them a beingness, like silent partners to our growth
who understand our intricacies. In this way they are psychological portraits of who
we are and what we are trying to become.

       “THE TRAVELER SERIES is about the personal journeys of women; how we are in different ways, inadvertent, reluctant pilgrims.

“Tamar Lost”, from the Good Girl series, mixed media, 32″X16″.

Mark Kanter

“My work begins with printing ink or paint applied and manipulated on Plexiglas until a
structure and/or image suggests itself. It is then mono-printed by hand onto paper, canvas
or panel, reversing the image and causing various accidents to occur. The underlying
structure I build in the first phase of each piece opens to new suggestions, which I then
pursue in paint; adding, subtracting and inflecting what survives until a cohesive whole is
forged.”

Chris Hawkins

“In my new paintings the dialogue is visceral manipulation of personal icons; the composites ape dream in the gardens of law and religion.  Although the characters may be uncertain, they are incisive as villains against tampered knowledge.  As the soils are tilled, in innocence they look for mercy in values and essentials.”

Yale Epstein

“These works came about by allowing  gestural, calligraphic marks (as ” made up” language), to become integrated with elements of the art processes, and to take on the forms that seem appropriate. The completed images are a result of my attempt to leave a lot of openness to the emerging graphic directions, and the emotional implications of the works, as they were evolving. In this similar vein, the paintings are not to be ‘understood’ by the rational mind, but to be experienced as visual/emotional entities on their own terms. Yet inevitably, the viewer will add to the mix, their own personal reactive processes and perspective.”

Lenny Kislin

“I have been selling unusual antiques since 1973. In the course of hunting for interesting objects to sell, I came across many pieces which were not so salable, but because of their forms, uniqueness, or rarity I was intrigued to the extent that I bought them anyway. I have saved these objects through the years with the intent of eventually finding a way to enable others to see what I saw in them.
In 1991, I began to physically join these forms into conceptual and narrative art objects that I felt utilized them to their best advantages. What you see here in these pieces is the fruit of my passion for these here-to-fore under-appreciated objects.”

“Mindless Vanity”, mixed media assemblage, 22.5″x27.5″x10″.

Rosalind Robertson’s striking work was in our show at BAG, but when it came time to organize the new show, we were not able to contact her.  So, we went ahead with the new artists and ended up with the number 15…announcements went out…studio visits arranged…blog assembled.

Happily, she  called me several weeks back having returned to her Woodstock home, ready to pick up her career. Since we have come too far with our “15” to insert her retroactively into the PR, we are delighted to include her as a sort of grandfathered addition to the show. We will have work of hers at ASFA, two of which you can view below.

“103”, ink on paper with sea water, 30″X20″.

“Regarding these paintings, it is my policy to add nothing to what comes out of the water, except my signature, as a partner. And then to sit back and contemplate the meaning of the imagery.

The ingredients?  

1. First find an ocean

2. Research appropriate materials 

 3. Test materials

  1. Keep inks warm, avoid coagulation
  2. 300lb paper to withstand rough handling
  3. Drive 5 hours to nearest Ocean
  4. Find safe beach access
  5. Pour pigments onto paper and quickly
  6. Put on boots and walk into the water

“104”, ink on paper and sea water, 30″X20″.

Some Studio Shots from our Visits

Peter and Meredith in her studio.

Kate and Peter in her studio.

Leslie and Peter in her studio.

Heather and Christie in Heather’s studio.

Peter in Heather’s studio.

 

 

Show of 15 Ulster County artists in Rhinebeck

Posted by Paul Smart on February 17, 2012 in ArtEvents

Tom Luciano, who lives outside Phoenicia and runs a top-shelf antiques shop in Hudson, came out of SUNY-Purchase’s Art program like a bolt a while back. I remember when he remade my garage into a studio for his work. Gradually, his paying work, marriage, parenthood and other matters crowded his attention – until he found a means of capturing the world around him digitally, on a daily basis, that combined meditation with creativity. Daily postings on Facebook reestablished a market for his work, which in turn prompted deeper explorations. Now, Luciano will be amongst a group of 15 Ulster County artists being brought together by regional gallery pioneer Albert Shahinian at his new pair of spaces in the middle of Rhinebeck.

Actually, “revived” is more the theme of this expansive exhibition, which first surfaced last May at the Brooklyn Artists’ Gym (BAG), when BAG founder and director Peter Wallace joined forces with Chichester-based painter Christie Scheele to create a New York City showcase for a cross-section of Ulster County’s mid- and late-career artists working in such diverse media as painting, printwork, photography, ceramics, assemblage and mixed media. Now, as Scheele brings her baby to her longstanding gallerist’s new haunts, with Kim Alderman, Leslie Bender, Yale Epstein, Bernard Gerson, Chris Hawkins, Heather Hutchison, Mark Kanter, Lenny Kislin, Polly M. Law, Tom Luciano, Kate McGloughlin, Meredith Rosier, Judy Sigunick and Anique Taylor in tow, along with Scheele’s singular work, it turns out that about half have shown with Shahinian before – either in Rhinebeck or at his earlier galleries in Poughkeepsie and Hudson.

“When we first invited artists to participate in our show last year, we were going for eclectic, and did not anticipate the complex connections that emerged between the artists. We found that we had uncovered a kind of Venn diagram of artistic endeavors in the Hudson Valley,” the curators have remarked on their creation and its new genesis. “15 looks to explore the layered relationships between the exhibit’s selections. How do the light-infused geometric abstractions of Heather Hutchison inhabit the same space with Lenny Kislin’s antique assemblages? How does Bernard Gerson’s mysterious photograph of two faces connect to Yale Epstein’s luminously rendered mixed-media paintings? From Polly M. Law’s edgy, doll-like figures to Chris Hawkins’ iconic children’s worlds, from Kim Alderman’s smoke-fired ceramic totems to Meredith Rosier’s densely atmospheric drawings, there is a journey to this show with a point of entry for any viewer.”

Me, I’m looking forward to seeing Kanter’s epic drawings in such a setting, as well as McGloughlin’s earthy prints and paintings and Sigunick’s witty, warm ceramics – and Luciano’s vividly thoughtful observations (and ruminations). Talk about that adage about getting away to appreciate what one has!

With an opening reception this Saturday evening, February 18 all over the center of Rhinebeck, we’re relishing the chance to catch up with so many favorite Ulster artists at once – and coming back while it all stays up past the Passover and Easter holidays, until April 22. The reception’s set to run from 5 to 7 p.m. at Albert Shahinian Fine Art’s Upstairs Galleries at 22 East Market Street, as well as the ASFA@ Prudential/Serls Prime Properties space at 6384 Mill Street (Route 9). Hours are Thursdays through Sundays. For further information, call (845) 876-7578 or visit http://www.shahinianfineart.com.