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!
Cuba: 50 Years Under the Revolution ~ Through This Lens Gallery
Insights are gained as one views the Cuba Under the Revolution show at Through This Lens Gallery in Durham. In this exhibition photos taken by Tito Alvarez made in the early 60s are compared with those made by Pac McLaurin approximately 50 years later.
Pac McLaurin has spent almost a cumulative year in Cuba over the past 12 years. Avoiding hotels and staying in Casas Particulars (local homes approved to take boarders) has provided a very clear view of Cuban life. On his last student workshop, eight students from Appalachian State University accompanied him. In the first 24 hours these guys made 10,700 exposures and walked an average of just over 6 miles per person! This image of a lady with her basket selling peanuts is as typical street scene in this populous less affluent part of town.
Tito Alvarez, an award winning photographer who worked in the early 1960s until the mid 80s, took pictures of the people in his neighborhood—Gente de mi Barrio- basically people in their environment. This is a photo from that series:
There’s not a great deal of difference, both display what is going on economically for the people of their time.
Other times the photos are of broken buildings, poor people, and a sense of hopelessness, but they became a thing of photographic beauty when the light is right and the scene has composed itself and all you have to do is see! That was the case in this photograph made by McLaurin in Baracoa a small fishing village on the edge of Havana.
Pac McLaurin comments: “Cuba has a long way to go to become a tourist haven, those who think otherwise might carry some extra soap and toilet tissue!”
The opening reception for this show is held Friday, August 21, 2015 from 6-9 PM and will be on display through September 13, 2015. The gallery is located at 303 E. Chapel Hill Street in Durham, NC.
See the gallery’s website for more information.
Start the Art with a Dialogue by Ruthananda
Carefully improvised, this upcoming show at Chapel Hill Art Gallery reveals many contrasts and commonalties between seven artists including Ruth Ananda, Natalie Boorman, Carole Donovan, Claude Kattan, Eduardo Lapetina, Lindy Muse, and Rose Wenkel. The exhibit is linked together with harmonious colors, and balanced with various sizes, shapes, subjects, and textures. Individual works of art are made even more distinctive in this context, making an interesting visual conversation.
Carol’s paintings of flowers emphasize organic shapes, patterns and natural colors, drawing us in to relish earthly treasures. Rose’s realistic and abstract work spans a variety of subjects, styles, color palettes, in oil and acrylic. Lindy’s landscapes in watercolor batik delight with subtle tints and delicate innate beauty. Claude’s traditional studies in oil are classically comforting with a wide array of light, shadow, and careful shading. Natalie’s enchanting and timeless pots incorporate ancient techniques with results that are completely contemporary. Ruth’s lyrical, meditative, playfully textured acrylics range in size, some fitting in the palm of your hand. Eduardo’s abstracts are large, passionate, strong, bold, charming, and poetic like the titles.
This show has an opening reception on Friday, April 10th, from 6-9 PM. Read more about it at the gallery website. And during this special event featured commissioned artists, we hope that
Meso Trio returns to play live Classical Music!
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!
Sculptures as Journal Entries by Renee Leverty
Sculptures for me are like journal entries, I take a concept from my own life, or from the world around me and try to embody in 3 dimensional form. Currently I have a show at Pleiades Gallery in Durham called Meta-Crylic Vibration. In this show I have created eight new sculptures around the idea of transformation. Here is background about two of the pieces in the show.
Mariposa is a sculpture that is made of steel, brass and cast aluminum. Mariposa is Spanish for butterfly. Years ago I volunteered at a hospice in the mountains of NC called Mariposa. At that time I was a pediatric intensive care nurse, and I saw a lot of tragedy. I also experienced parents and health care providers who understandably used a lot of aggressive care in order to keep the child alive. Mariposa was a hospice offering comfort care given by all volunteers. I met the loveliest people there. People who were dying, and people who were their caretakers. My sculpture “Mariposa” the butterfly is about transformation, and my belief that every time we shed an old skin, branch out, and “fly” we have the potential to come out more beautiful on the other side.
Girl Rising is a figurative piece in which I take steel and weld a stick figure and then weld layers and layers of steel on top to create the human form. I try to create leg muscles, feet, hair, and it is fun to sculpt in this way. Girl rising has her arms up in the air, joyfully, and her arms create a helix that connects at the top. The sub-title of this sculpture is called Be Your Truth. In this sculpture I am trying to embody the importance of the feminine, and its connection to the divine.
I invite you to the show at Pleiades which is up through the 27th of October. You can see artwork by me as well as that by Darius Quarles, and the other eight artists in the collective. And keep you eye on future events at our gallery in Durham!
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.
Bookish Art by Clay Carmichael
I sent my newest young adult novel Brother, Brother out into the world today, or rather my publisher did. I delivered the manuscript nearly a year ago and uncorrected review copies have been circulating for months, but like the robin fledging that left its nest outside my studio over a week ago, my book’s truly soloing today, completely on its own.
Delivered is the verb publishers use for the successful hand off of finished manuscripts from author to editor, as for the birth of a baby. Book gestation takes time (think elephant gestation in my case), but the similarities mostly end there. When I’m writing or illustrating a book, my real work—the multitude of changes, the sleepless nights, the awkward phases—takes place well before the book is, as publishers so unmaternally say, launched. (Mix those metaphors in your mind.)
So really, Brother, Brother’s long delivered, fledged, gone. Except for email confabs with Birgitt Kollmann, who’s translating Brother into German, I haven’t looked at the complete text in months. I’ve been flirting with a new book and characters and creating new art for my November open studio. And yet. But still. The new art, below, speaks volumes.
Like the robin fledging that flitted back through the yard yesterday, both my new book and the one yet to be delivered are clearly much on my mind.
Clay Carmichael is a Writer & Illustrator who lives in Carrboro, NC. To find out more about Clay, see her website.
Film in Old-fashioned Form by Tom Whiteside
Everyone is a filmmaker these days, but not many people use film. The words are just not accurate anymore. I was born in 1957 and in my youth and young adulthood the idea that one could make a movie with a phone — what? a mobile phone? –was a ridiculous fantasy from a Dick Tracy future. The idea that anyone could watch a movie anywhere at any time was completely and simply absurd. Much has changed and it is still changing. Motion picture technology is now about 120 years old and we are just beginning to get used to it, we are just beginning to scratch the surface and understand how to use this technology.
When I studied filmmaking in college in the late 1970’s everything was still double system – sound and image were recorded separately, then reunited in the editing process. Every step was slow and expensive, you could shoot film today and see it next week. You could not make a film without paying a lab bill. Were those the good old days? No. So in the 21st century why am I still working with analog film? The answer, in part, is that I am simply still using the tools I know and love, many of my thrift store purchases from the 1980’s are still good working tools – cameras and projectors. I am an older dog and some of the newer tricks seem to be beyond my grasp and my desire. Another part of the answer has to do specifically with 16mm film becoming “obsolete.” The advent of video in the 1980’s (VHS, then DVD) led to libraries dumping their 16mm film collections, and I was often at the back door to catch these reels on their way to the dumpster. I have been collecting and reutilizing 16mm films for 30 years and it does not look like I will run out of ideas or material anytime soon. I don’t shoot much at all anymore, but I do create new films and new shows by re-editing and re-contextualizing. In some cases it is an entire film, in other cases it is just a single shot. Yes, I do have prints of some films that are not on YouTube. As yes I have prints that are 80 years old and they run just fine, thank you. I use a lot of projectors these days, making multiscreen works in a variety of formations. Some of my projectors are more than 50 years old. No, analog film is not obsolete, although of course I understand that most people have moved on and consider analog motion pictures to be on the same street as a horse and buggy. However, wet plate collodion photography is not obsolete, because some artists choose to work with that ancient and cumbersome process. Like most people in the 21st century I am caught up in the digital tsunami, I like e-mail and the wonders of the web. I like my cell phone but frankly I only use it as a phone. For artistic work in motion pictures I am sticking to film.
Reminder: A unique multiple projector shows on time at Supergraphic Tuesday and Wednesday July 30 and 31. This is a very nice room for these shows, real film in real darkness and the images are big. Subjects include musician Wanda Landowska, sculptor Chaim Gross, printmaker Glen Alps, and a band leader who happens to be a mouse. Cameo appearances by Julie London, Salvador Dali and Buster Keaton. Almost every piece involves more than one projector.
As you may have noticed, my approach to film history tends to be inclusive.
Supergraphic is located at 601 Ramseur Street on the eastern edge of downtown. Admission is $8, students are $5. Shows at 8:00, doors at 7:30. Come early and see the prints by Supergraphic artists on display in the front room.
Program notes to be posted next week on the Durham Cinematheque facebook page.
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.