Julie Ann Smith & Dave Benz

Showing in the Feature Area, April 30-May 26
Artist Talk, May 9th starting at 2 pm

Julie Ann Smith "Cafe Menu" oil painting

Julie Ann Smith “Cafe Menu” oil painting

Julie Ann Smith’s oil paintings explore contemporary icons & formal elements. The two are combined in this series which depicts the iconic paper espresso coffee cups as the subject of her 10 new still life paintings. She continues to explore classical painting styles, techniques, and materials. Smith painted from objects set up in her studio. Then she began incorporating the preliminary drawings as things existing independently from the painting, not just a tool used in the process of creating a finished product. The paintings range from very formal, straight forward still life paintings to abstract deconstruction and illusionism. She plays with the formal elements of form, symmetry, balance, and limited hues while asking the viewer to question what is reality, including a little visual trickery, and hints concerning the process.

 

Dave Benz "Kingdom Under the Ice-Cleopatra’s Needle” walnut ink painting

Dave Benz “Kingdom Under the Ice-Cleopatra’s Needle” walnut ink painting

Dave Benz will present a body of small walnut ink paintings that are inspired by photos from the early 20th Century. Topics include Modernism, Spiritualism, fairies, and Orientalism in their various forms the sincere, the fraudulent, and the pretended. To quote Benz, “I feel as if my paintings are dictated to me from something else. I see myself as a medium and believe that my job is to align myself with this creative impulse and also with the painting itself. I must add that I rarely do this perfectly. During the various steps of making a painting, I will see something that belongs in the painting, and I do my best to add it. At times where the decision-making process breaks down, I consult a Magic 8-Ball for direction. The resulting paintings are dream-like.” The walnut ink is applied to the water color paper in multiple layers. Benz uses photographs for reference. Sometimes these come from his collection of existing period photos. Sometimes he does the photography himself.

Stephanie Brockway

Showing in the Feature Area, April 30
Artist Talk, May 9th, starting at 2 pm

Stephanie Brockway "Shopgirl" carved & painted wood/mixed media

Stephanie Brockway “Shopgirl” carved & painted wood/mixed media

FOLKLANDIA
folk -art adj.
folk artist n.
folklandia v. a celebration of primitive folk art, with a Portland twist

Stephanie Brockway is a self taught primitive style modern folk artist. To quote Stephanie “I rely on brut intuition, to hone my craft.”  She come to her pieces by collecting salvaged wood & antique pieces from around the Portland area. “I hope to surprise and amuse with the materials I use.” The faces, once carved, seem to come to life with personalities and charm. She explains that wood as a medium to both carve and paint has energy that comes from it once being a living source. Its unique quality and character bring depth to her one of a kind pieces. Stephanie s paintings are on salvaged wood canvases that she builds. I strive to elevate used elements into heirlooms.. Taking some cues from a bygone era, I seek simplicity and innocence in a world of too many mass produced objects.

Stephanie Brockway "Folklandia"

Stephanie Brockway “Folklandia”