Monthly Archives: January 2018

Rodney C Stuart, Kelly Neidig & Nanette Wallace

February 22-March 27
Artists Talk: Saturday, March 17, starting at 2 pM

Kelly Neidig, Rainbow Clouds" watercolor & Flashe

Kelly Neidig, Rainbow Clouds” watercolor & Flashe

Kelly Neidig is an abstract painter who works from the memories of places she has lived and traveled. Her new work is inspired by a recent trip to Japan and uses abstract imagery based on everyday encounters in the natural world. Reflecting on the mindfulness that Japanese embrace in their every day life, Neidig approaches these new pieces slowly and by “stopping and listening to my work.” “In Japan I was very influenced by the art of Yayoi Kusama. I loved investigating her technique of layering lines, marks, and dots to create negative and positive space in her paintings. I was also drawn to traditional Japanese calligraphy and and was surprised to notice how each artist has a specific style of mark making that is uniquely their own.” Neidig is fascinated with the the combination art and nature, and of ancient traditions and modern technology in Japan. To create her paintings she first draws rough digital sketches on her phone using a drawing ap. She recreates the digital drawings using a combination of Japanese watercolor and Flashe paint which she applies to the canvas with Sumi brushes she purchased in Japan. “I adopted the practice of digital sketching because I often find myself inspired to create art when I am away from my studio.  Since I always have my phone on me, the drawing ap is the perfect tool.  I love using my finger to draw on the screen and create digital brush strokes then returning to my studio and recreating those strokes with the Sumi brushes.” 

Rodney C Stuart, wood/mixed media

Rodney C Stuart, wood/mixed media

Rodney Stuart creates wood/mixed media sculptor. “Wood has always been a material that I have been drawn to.  In Taiwan where I was an art teacher I collected flotsam and jetsam on the beaches from the annual typhoons. A large amount of that wood was from old fishing boats that were destroyed by the storms. In the Gorge I gather driftwood from storms and branches from my property. I am attracted to how the weather and the aging process have created a patina of colors on materials.” Mannerism in all things living has always fascinated him. Heads and portraits are probably his favorite subjects. “I lean more towards simplicity of mannerism and story line as well as the use of simple materials to create the right face or head.  I like creating heads that have some sense of evil, good and fun. I identify more with folk and funk art points of view, which demonstrate more the artist’s lives, personalities and experiences. My point of view is a sense of humor, senselessness and autobiographical references. I also like a sense of ambiguity and an unlikely mixture of materials and techniques. With my own work I am going back to the characters I read about in books as a child, international toys or things I have picked up from my dreams. I see my role more as a jester, shaman or storyteller. I try to place an importance on play, openness, humor and simplicity. In these creations I have tried to connect with my childhood, which has been a powerful source for my art. Making objects provides me with a way to impact people both through teaching and being a creative individual!”


Nanette Wallace, "Until I Gain Control" monotype

Ff Nanette Wallace, “Until I Gain Control” monotype

Nanette Wallace work is gestural and energetic, consisting primarily of monotypes with a focus on the figure. She often incorporates a limited color pallette on her monotypes consisting of black or sepia ink. This allows her to find purity in the imagery without relying on color to convey mood and emotion. A large component for the inspiration in her work is derived from black and white photographs from the early 1900s through the 1960s. She uses these photos as a starting point, often combining multiple images to create one figure and ghosts of previous figures to inspire the next. While her work has a lyrical quality to it, she is most interested in the viewer finding their own story in her work. Nanette’s Monotype prints are created by inking the entire surface of a smooth plexiglas plate with etching ink applied via a roller. Then using rags and q-tips, ink is removed from the plate to create a subtractive image, e.g. creating lights from a field of opaque color. The image was then transferred onto a sheet of paper by pressing the two together using a printing press. Monotype printing produc- es a unique singular print; most of the ink is removed during the initial pressing. Although a subsequent reprinting is sometimes possible, it differs greatly from the first print. These secondary prints from the original plate are called “ghost prints”.

Susan Opie, Bryn Harding & Nancy Abens

January 25-February 20
Artists Talk: Saturday, February 17, starting @ 2 pm

Susan Opie "Dancing with a Frog" bronze

Susan Opie “Dancing with a Frog” bronze

Susan Opie will be showing her bronzes in a show she titles “Animals and Oddities”. “Early on I made abstract sculpture, but soon figurative elements crept in and then figurative took over. I am concerned with the story figurative tells but still remain interested in the way shape and space work together. My figures are often animals, sometimes human and occasionally inanimate objects. I like a sense of motion and action. My figures are doing things, sometimes at their own peril.” While there is often whimsy, especially with the Exquisite Corpse series, look for a darker undertone, of human world versus animal world, technology versus nature. Her process is to hand model the piece in wax, encase it in a ceramic shell mold, burn the wax out of the mold, heat bronze, pour into the molds, knock the molds off, finish and patina. The bronze she use is silicon bronze, a modern alloy formulated with the property of pouring very fine detail and used originally in manufacturing precise industrial components. This bronze is also corrosion resistant and, therefore, a good choice for outdoor installations. The downside is that it is a very hard bronze and the finishing work on the castings is time consuming and wears out tools. All of Susan’s sculptures are one of a kind.


Bryn Harding "Ryan" intaglio

Bryn Harding “Ryan” intaglio

Bryn Harding’s print series “Alone. Together.” is simultaneously a theoretical and intensely personal investigation into the impossibility and importance of the portrait. The images are all friends and family of the artist rendered through a combination of different print mediums that result in images that are at once specific and vague, highly rendered and flat and graphic. “The work is based on the belief that we are, each of us, infinite and unknowable–mysteries to ourselves and to those around us, and that the impossibility of ever fully understanding ourselves or others results in a universal sense of loneliness and isolation. These portraits challenge the idea of a core, innate and inexpressible true self which other portrait artist have spent their careers trying to capture. Instead they argue that what can be know of the other, or of ourselves, is only present in discourse, in a shared gaze, in the space in between rather than inside of people.” In a broad sense, Bryn has used the unique language and aesthetics of print mediums to explore the relationships between technique, craft and art, as well as the relationships between pictures, technologies and seeing. Ultimately, Bryn uses images as a way to process and understand himself, the world in which he finds himself and the people around him. 



Nancy Abens "Old Roses and Hanoki Spray" photo transfer

Nancy Abens “Old Roses and Hanoki Spray” photo transfer

Nancy Abens uses photography to show the opulence and voluptuous nature of flower arrangements. The rich colors and textures of the backgrounds served as inspiration for these pieces. “I was given 3 calla lilies by a friend. I put them in a vase with a peony that I had  just cut from my garden and added a branch of barberry. It was so beautiful that I decided to photograph it. That was the starting point of this body of work.” She worked as a florist for nearly 12 years. “I thought I could start chronicling my garden by creating flower arrangements of what was blooming throughout the year. I have an abundance of subject matter! The finished mages were then transferred onto painted birch panels using a special transfer film and solution. I thought this technique would be a way to show the arrangements in a new way. I have always been drawn to the flower paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries. There is a beauty that is sensual, mysterious, and spiritual in a most profound way.” She uses photography and the camera as a tool for gathering images to create something else. “It is important to me to bring more beauty into this world. I try to do this through growing a lush garden full of flowers, appreciating the wonders of nature, and creating artworks to share that beauty and wonder with others.“