Make a Statement — Three Ways
Steevie Jane Parks is an artist who wears three distinct hats. In addition to being an abstract impressionist painter, she is also a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with a Ph.D. and a Certified Creativity Coach. As a member juried into the Triangle Visual Artists group, she has exhibited at various venues where they are on display. She has been a Clinical Psychology for many years.
And most recently, in her Creativity Coaching practice she works exclusively with artists, actors and writers to help them overcome internal blocks that get in the way of their creative goals. She also provides 12 week groups where she provides a step-by-step approach to living an authentically creative life. Steevie is a firm believer in practicing what she preaches. She ventured into Creativity Coaching after she successfully showed herself that she could fulfill her childhood dream of becoming an artist.
To learn more about Steevie’s Coaching opportunities please see her Creativity Coaching website at www.creatingwithoutfear.com. Or give her a call at 919-918-1014 and request a free coaching consultation! Her wide array of visual styles and artwork can be viewed on her art website: www.steevijane.gallery
Trudy Thomson and Barbi Dalton Present Water Marvels
The verb marvels is defined this way in the dictionary: To marvel is
Water Marvels is the theme of an upcoming show at Reflections Gallery in Durham this September. There will be many pieces on exhibit by Trudy Thomson and Barbi Dalton that reflect this concept.
Trudy describes how the process she uses for her marbled pieces relates to this theme…
“My marbled silk work is created by using a process that enables acrylic paint to float lightly on a viscous surface above water. The organic patterns one sees on my marbled silk work are produced by manipulating drops of paint. The resistance of water allows figures to emerge. Repeatedly dying one silk panel results in cross currents of color and form. This process is referred to as hydro printing. The various images that emerge remind one of the rhythms and patterns found in the natural environment.”
See Trudy’s website for more views of her work!
This is how Barbi expresses her experiences that relate to this theme…
“Painting and drawing for me is a spiritual experience. It is a time to take in the essence of life in creation surrounding us each day. Painting is always an enjoyable time to comtemplate on my own life and those around me. I’m drawn to all images of water, some reflective, some evoking a commanding force. I love to paint scenes of leisure, favorite vacation spots or memories we can recall at a given moment. I work in oil, watercolor and acrylic. My paintings are always representational with an impressionist approach, often incorporating the palette knife.”
See Barbi’s website for more views of her work!
This exhibit will be on display during the months of September and October. There are two openings planned. The first is on September 13th at 12:30 to 2:30. The second is planned for October 16 from 6-9 so those out for the Third Friday Art activities in Durham might want to swing by the Reflection Gallery on Garett Road to view this work. And if you are an artist, you might want to apply to be shown at this fine space to display work!
The Painting Process that Heals by Lisa Bartell
My oil paintings are consistently influenced by the retrieval of traumatic memories and represent a journey of personal healing. Looking back on my body of work, I can see how the style changes from one series of paintings to another is an obvious and gradual transition reflecting my own internal transformation.
“Faces Real and Unreal”, begun in 2002, is my first series of oil paintings. This work is an expression of the internal division of self caused by childhood trauma. Each painting is of a female child and a representation of myself at various ages. Through this work I was able to let go of past experiences and feel more complete as a person.
“Flora Transformed”, the second body of paintings, is informed by the concept of internal reality as continuously shifting to greater or lesser degrees. This work is a personal expression of how drastically my reality was altered due to the recall of repressed memory, but also universal in expressing the commonality of experiences which change reality. There is a transition in style of exaggerated and distorted line and form combined with a more organic and abstract composition. The painting process became one of never knowing what the end result would be. This process is symbolic of the ongoing and unknown transitions of internal reality.
Currently, I am working on two series of paintings, “Acceptance” and “Outside of Normal”. Each painting in the “Acceptance” series represents an emotional effect of a memory. I have been creating this work from an emotional distance, as the journey of healing seems to have been primarily achieved. It was interesting to notice, after the completion of each painting, a more intense feeling of freedom from past trauma. This series has directly led to the “Outside of Normal” paintings. After so many years of feeling so outside the norm of reality, I wanted to explore the idea that there is no such thing as normal.
We have all had experiences that make us feel on the outside of some falsely defined perceptions of what is considered normal. The imagery and composition is now a whimsical expression of internal reality. The figures are strange characters in a world of their own making where they can create an illusion of self as if in a play. Objects can be found in unexpected places and fantastical worlds can be created as far as the imagination will travel.
See Lisa’s website for more images of her terrific artwork!
Depicting the Details by Matt Tomko
That style continues to feed my soul in a very deep way and I try to elicit that same feeling of awe and appreciation for details from the people who view these pieces. “Cardinals and Dogwoods”, 12” x 16” is just that kind of piece.
Tiny feathers, the highlights in an eye, or the stamens in a flower are all there. For one who enjoys seeing things up close, this piece offers those rewards.
In the past, my need to “get out of the box” has sometimes led to a twist on boxes as in a series painted for the Golden Belt Artists’ annual 12×12 show. “Bull City Pride” from this series is a good example of me both literally and figuratively breaking out. Each painting featured a brightly rendered background treated as a screen with a square window. In the window you see the subject realistically while through the screen you see only shadow.
At other times I find the need to paint in an even looser style with broader brush strokes and less reliance on being true to life while relying more on the movement and colors to trigger a response from the viewer.
This recent rendering of a dragonfly, 11” x 14”, was done in a more graphic style where I played up the color, size and lines. Colors are more vibrant, lines are more exaggerated and the dragonfly itself is many times larger than real life.
Occasionally, I can tolerate no boundaries and just feel the need to paint color and lines and shapes alone, as evident in this set of “Organic Blue Abstracts” in the center of a wall filled with realism. I find that even my abstract pieces have a very natural and earthy feel to them.
After playing and experimenting in the other realms, I suspect I’ll always return to realism, but hopefully with new knowledge picked up along the way. You can see my work in Studio 123 during the open studios night at Golden Belt in Durham every third Friday of the month. You can also find me at Lazy Daze in Cary in August and Centerfest in Durham in September.
Get Your Hot News by Murry Handler
There’s lots of news coming from the Handler studio this summer.In spite of the heat, floods and usual muggy doldrums the Triangle is ablaze with show openings and events. If you’re in town and can catch one of these, here’s the scoop:
The stunning contemporary FrAnk Gallery has a new show: Animals: Forces of Nature. Murry’s recent work, Silent Wood has been juried into this show. It’s from his current series, Inserting Realism. Another just-completed canvas, Sepia Rosetta will also be on display. Opening reception July 12, 6-9 PM. The show runs from July 10-Sept. 8. FrAnk Gallery, Franklin St., Chapel Hill. Here’s what Murry has to say about his new series, Inserting Realism.
As an abstract artist, I find it refreshing and provocative to return to realism from time to time. The core of all art rests in seeing the truth and beauty in all things. Inserting a realistic image in a semi-abstract setting provides a mental challenge that allows me to test my skills while using my favored abstract techniques.
Every painting is still an experiment to me. I don’t want to know exactly how my painting will end. I want the surprise of finding the end, sometimes quite by accident.”
New Perspectives of the Unordinary is Durham Art Guild‘s third and final themed group show of 2013. This theme encourages participating artists to push their creativity to its limits by exploring unusual subject matter, unexpected combinations, and uncommon uses of traditional mediums or atypical materials. Murry’s Metalica #2 combining acrylic paint and scraps of aluminum foil was juried into this competition, which will be on exhibit from July 10-Aug. 13. Opening Reception July 19 from 5-7 PM as part of the third Friday Art Walk. Durham Art Guild,120 Morris St. Durham.
The Visual Art Exchange in Raleigh, NC has just completed its show: Scope: the NC Landscape. This competition has three prize cash awards and Murry was pleased to be awarded 3rd prize for Moonlight on First Snow, his romantic landscape in acrylic, executed in total realism.The juror was Frank Thomson, Curator of the Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC
Note: This blog host thanks Murry and his wife Enid for this nice article about events in the Triangle that will have Murry’s work on display. For a visual treat, take a peak at the wide range of his pieces at the Murry Handler Website.
Jane Filer Describes the Dimensional Aspect of Her Process
My paintings are about my reaction to living on the earth and interacting with animals and nature. There is often something surreal and other dimensional. I feel that there are various ways of perceiving reality. In a way we create our own existence. We give meaning to color and react to stimulation on many levels.
Painting and drawing have always been a part of my own personal expression. It is a subtle mode of transferring sentiment. It’s language is rich with dialects. The use of story to carry and capture human interest has been a favorite formality of mine.
My first approach to the canvas is to “free fall” into abstract realms where anything is possible. This is a place where I don’t know anything by name yet feel in other ways a connection. Something occurs in the paint and charcoal that will trigger my curiosity. My favorite subjects will have mysterious characteristics. Something familiar and something mysterious side by side create shifts in perception. Shifts in perception create shifts in meaning. The experiencing of these shifts is exciting.
And so I paint and think and experience playful realities. These depictions feel much more real to me because they are feeling and seeing at the same time. Through out the making of a painting I work with staying in certain streams of consciousness. The conscious emotion is important to maintain through out the work. It will dictate color and the handling of the paint. There are times of flow and there are the times I find myself lost. Being lost could be a good thing in that it guides me into unfamiliar territory and hence discovering something new. My job is to stay open and sensitive to new developments as they arise. This is important in giving the work a life of it’s own.
See the opening of Jane’s show at Tyndall Gallery, at University Mall on Saturday, March 16th.
Enjoy many paintings she has created over time at the Jane Filer website.
Shelly Speaks Out About the Value of Abstraction!
Paul Klee said, “The true artist does not work from nature, but works like nature and in nature.”
I am inspired by nature and all things natural: the lush diversity, the mystery of its processes, the structure, the dualities, the interconnectedness, the physics and the biology, the quark and the cosmos. The list goes on… It’s what makes me want to spend all my time drawing and painting. So why not paint lovely portraits of nature as so many do? True, it would likely satisfy my desire to show the beauty I perceive, but there is something more, something I realized many years ago I couldn’t deny. I don’t just want to show a pretty picture of this cosmic mystery of existence. No, that’s just not enough for me as an artist. I need to BE it. I need more than anything to participate in the act of nature itself, because of course I am it. We all are, and there’s no way around it. We are nature, from the President to the carrot I ate on my salad for lunch. And there is not so much difference between us as we would like to think.
So what does it mean to work like nature and in nature as Paul Klee says? For me it means working with the same things nature uses: basic elements, layers, time. It is the tenuous balance of construction and deconstruction that most fascinates me. When I work I am always putting imagery together and taking it apart again, over and over, layer after layer, until Cosmos is reached. I call it Cosmos because it is the perfect form I seek: the one that is whole, complete and universal. It is the one that has a singularity to it, one that represents all form in nature. Nature finds these forms for itself all the time. We are a good example, but so are moons, and microbes, and strands of DNA.
But nature never stops with a single form, however “perfect” it may seem, and neither do I. My forms are always changing, my process ever in transition toward the something new which is my ultimate goal. To move forward and grow is the essence of how I work: to find a new way into a process that is never ending and never staying the same. Art process and natural process are so much alike simply because they are one and the same. I am so happy about that, it gives me the true participation I am looking for. So why paint abstractly? Perhaps a better question for me to ask myself is why paint something from the outside, when I can paint it from the inside? Why not truly become the thing, thereby knowing it best of all? And as for the term “realism”, what is more realistic than knowing what you paint because you have been there and been on the inside of it? So perhaps I am a true realist… At least I know this much: I paint what is real for me.
A final note: My paintings are created with oil paint and mediums, cold wax medium, sand, chalk, and earth on wood panels.
Murry Handler Speaks about Working with Black and White
I began my professional career as an artist in NYC at the age of 24, and have been a life-long artist ever since. I am perhaps best known for my dramatic, bold abstract acrylic paintings. I also produce a popular series of ink paintings. These are done with a broad brush, in a minimalist calligraphic style, with only a few well-chosen strokes which evoke figural attitudes. I strive to involve the viewer by leaving much of the canvas as white, negative space, inviting the viewer’s imagination to conjure the rest. I work fast, with a large brush and enjoy creating scenes that evoke nature.
The Attitude Series of works on paper are available in a limited edition of 50 each, and can be seen at FrAnk Gallery in Chapel Hill, Sax Art Gallery in Saxapahaw and at the Handler Studio in Fearrington Village, Pittsboro. A recent work, Horizon #5 demonstrates one sample of a realistic acrylic on canvas painting. Characteristic of my work is the dramatic use of black on white, semi-abstract design and dramatic focus on the horizon. This painting can be seen at the current exhibition at Saxapahaw Art.
Daybreak is a limited edition print (50 only). The medium is ink and acrylic on paper. It presents the abstract style I often use. If you would like to stop by for a visit, my studio is located in Pittsboro, NC. Also, you can check out my website to see the versatility of my paintings.