Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Gallery Walk 2010: Guardino Gallery

It's Last Thursday on Alberta. A few Last Thursdays ago, I had an opening at Guardino Gallery - sharing space with amazing sculptor Julie Fiedler, and I never posted about it, so I thought I'd give you another little virtual tour.

Most of the show was encaustic work. This piece, "A Wish and a Prayer," was one I really struggled with, but I love the way the shape of the praying hands and the wishbone echo each other.

I think this piece was my favorite in the show . . . the piece has a lot of dimension, and the cat's cradle is actual string suspended over the moonlit sky . . . I want to do more in this series, but it's incredibly difficult to construct and work the multilevel surfaces; it takes a lot more time than I have right now!

Here's another piece that rocks the multilevel surfaces . . .and takes full advantage of the scroll saw my father-in-lawish gave me two Christmases ago. Here, the heart sort of turns into an octopus on one side of the bridge and a tree on the other . . . the bridge is Portland's St. Johns Bridge. I'm not totally satisfied with this one . . . I think the octopus is maybe a little much. I think I want to keep working on this one, maybe pull the octopus tentacles back a little bit and make them more vine or root-like.

A few more encaustics . . ."What is Left Behind" and "Recipe for the Moon." Each of them includes some collage elements . . .

This is a diptych . . . my first really successful one. I had just finished reading an article on bower birds, and somehow the drawing hand and the heart only really came together after I added the bower bird. It feels like the bird is making a bower in the heart . . . there's a seduction of some kind happening in the painting. At least for me. It's always interesting to me what other people see in the paintings.

Here, I'm combining encaustic on the panel and the panel is mounted on a reclaimed drawer decorated with acrylic, tea bags and resin. More hands. More tea bags.

And here's a look inside the gallery . . . me and Julie's stuff looked really great together! I had a few collages up, too, things I'd worked on while I was up at Whidbey Island this summer.

And this Last Thursday's opening at Guardino on Alberta with Katherine Dunn and Lisa Kaser looks AMAZING . . . and there's a Dia De Los Muertos opening at Fantasma on Alberta featuring the work of Alea Bone and Linda Rand . . . be sure to drop by and check them out!

Gallery Walk 2010: 100th Monkey

Back in April, I had a feature show at 100th Monkey Studio's Gallery . . . it included a bunch of my work to date with recycled and reclaimed materials, along with some experiments (including a few that didn't go so well). I felt the piece above was one of the most successful . . . I created a background with tea packets stitched together, then gessoed and painted on the surface. I really like the effect.

So now you're going to get the virtual tour! This piece includes actual teabags along with the tea packaging.

This is an encaustic piece that utilizes tea tags my friend Leslie has been saving for me . . . I have probably hundreds of them and this was my first foray into using them . . .

And here I experimented with drier sheets . . . I printed on them, then stitched them to a canvas surface, along with plastic bottle caps, like buttons.

Here was another experiment - birth control packets and a nest with egg and branch. Home - how we make homes and how we make ourselves feel at home - has long been a theme of mine. Naturally, this intersects a great deal with the role of women and women as homemakers, and the traditional crafts and practices of women and how, as women, we have the option to accept or break out of those roles and redefine them.

And then after all of that deep stuff, we move back to bottle caps. Their plastic wonderfulness and total flexibility and bright colorfulness.

Fused plastic bags as quilt blocks. Another very fun thing. I'm not sure why I enjoy it so much - perhaps just the meditative ironing and arranging and stitching. So, I'm fusing up more plastic bags this week while it's still nice enough to be outside and get good ventilation.

And here's a few more that were in the show.

Now, imagine yourself standing in the gallery . . . considering the pieces, sipping a glass of wine, and deciding which ones appeal to you and why. Or which ones don't appeal to you. The ones that inspire you to try something new, and the ones that make you think. And hey, while you're at it, try heading out to First Friday this week if you're in Portland, or maybe take a gallery break sometime this week wherever you are.