Monday, November 23, 2009

Final Week for Autumnal Tints Exhibition

This week of Thanksgiving is the final week of the Autumnal Tints exhibition. If you haven't yet taken time to see it, this week is a good time. The exhibition shows various aspects of the beautiful season of autumn through many different artistic media - painting, abstract photography, ceramic, photomontage, mixed media, and sculpture - and through the vision and viewpoint of many different artists. There are stunning paintings and photographs of autumn foliage (look at work by Linda Pearlman Karlsberg and Ron Pederson); abstract photographs that capture autumn's finest colors (John R. Math, Daniel Sroka, and Peter Azrak); a charming photograph of a country pumpkin patch (Cella Neapolitan); photomontage work and mixed media pieces that show different interpretations of autumnal tints (Lee Muslin and Kathy Winstead); and so much more.

I spend a great deal of time with the pieces in each of my gallery's exhibitions. I look at them over and over again, both before the exhibition opens and after. I spend time thinking about each piece as well as the exhibition as a whole. Each exhibition gives me the opportunity to focus on its theme...in a personal way. I wanted to do the Autumnal Tints exhibition for two reasons. First, I enjoy autumn so much, as I've talked about in a previous entry, and, second, I like Henry David Thoreau's essay entitled Autumnal Tints. Given this background, I developed this theme for the Autumnal Tints exhibition:
"I believe that all leaves, even grasses and mosses, acquire brighter colors just before their fall. When you come to observe faithfully the changes of each humblest plant, you find that each has, sooner or later, its peculiar autumnal tint." --Henry David Thoreau, Autumnal Tints

This exhibition, though, is not solely about a time of year. It is about color...the plush, sometimes fiery, sometimes soothing and subtle, colors of autumn.
But the exhibition that started out being about tints and color took on a new cast over the course of the exhibition. The more time I spent with this exhibition and these art works and the more I thought about and pondered the topic of autumn, the more my thoughts moved on a bit. These beautiful and colorful images that represent my favorite season of the year began to make me think about change and impermanence. The colors that we enjoy in the late months of the year are perhaps a reminder to us that change is part of our reality. Everything and all of us will "sooner or later, [take on] its peculiar autumnal tint." Here in the northeast, many of us look forward to the pleasant days of autumn. We try to soak up as much of the goodness of autumn as we can, in part because we know that autumn will soon end, and we will have a long wait until the warm days of spring bring forth regeneration. So while we enjoy the colors for their brilliance and beauty, autumn is also a special season - positioned as it is between summer and winter - because it reminds us every year that while no one escapes change, change does come with brighter colors and beautiful tints.

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Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
November 24, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Autumnal Tints Artist - Lee Muslin

Still Point Art Gallery's Autumnal Tints exhibition will end in a couple of weeks, as will the season of autumn. Here in Maine the trees are totally bare, and the predominant colors are brown and rust - the brown coming from the tree branches, and the rust coming from the leaves on the ground that still need to be raked or pushed off into the woods.

I want to draw some attention this week to a piece in the exhibition by Lee Muslin called Falling Leaves. This piece is a digital photomontage, and, at first glance, it does not seem to be your typical autumn artwork. Where are the red, yellow, and gold leaves? Instead we see blue and teal leaves set against an abstract orange, gold, and blue background. This combination of colors is unusual and quite striking. But if you spend a minute with the image, you will get a sense of leaves darkly silhouetted against an autumnal sky at dusk. This is a lovely and most original piece of autumn art.

Falling Leaves

So what is digital photomontage? Muslin describes it like this:

My digital photomontages are created by combining my original photographs using the computer as my paintbrush. To realize an idea, I review my vast archive of thousands of photographs to decide which images can be merged to make a compelling statement. The chosen photographs are scanned on a high resolution film scanner or raw files from my digital SLR camera are convert to a workable file format. The images or selected portions of them are layers, blended, and collaged using Photoshop software. These layers may then be partially erased or masked, duplicated or electronically painted. Color and opacity adjustments may be made, and various filters or blending modes may be applied. There are endless possibilities. This elaborate process facilitates results that would be impossible in the traditional photographic darkroom. My pre-visualized idea often changes as I'm working and artworks usually come to fruition through in-process discovery. Working on an image often involves many days, weeks or even months to finalize the placement of images, what effects to use and which manipulations to make, to create the most effective final product.
Falling Leaves by Lee Muslin is 20" x 24" framed and is available for $355. Please contact Christine Cote at christine@stillpointartgallery.com or by phone at (207) 837-5760.

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Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
November 16, 2009

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Autumnal Tints Artist - Peter Azrak

Peter Azrak has three stunning photographs in Still Point Art Gallery's Autumnal Tints exhibition. I wish to draw attention to one of the three - Whisper Ecstasy.

Whisper Ecstasy, as the title suggests, feels quiet, soft, and tender...like a whisper...while also projecting a sense of elation and bliss...a feeling of ecstasy. The soft colors of the piece create the quiet tenderness that is its foundation. The dark strokes reaching upward create a bit of tension, as does the strong sense of verticality throughout the piece, brought about by what seem to be vertical lines. This verticality is the essence of the piece. This verticality generates a sense of movement...a rhythmic shimmer that is wonderful to watch. It is the shimmer that draws you into the piece and leaves you with a feeling of bliss.

Whisper Ecstasy

Whisper Ecstasy is a photograph and is available through Still Point Art Gallery framed (48 x 32) for $1080. Please contact Christine Cote at christine@stillpointartgallery.com or 207.837.5760. Please see the Gallery for two additional photographs by Azrak - Stained Glass and Dream Aura.

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Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
November 8, 2009

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Personal Thoughts on Autumn

The Autumnal Tints exhibition has given me many opportunities to think, read, and write about autumn...my favorite season. One of the most enjoyable things about owning and directing this Gallery is the chance it gives me to focus on the topic of each exhibition...think in some depth about each topic, research it, read about it, and use my thoughts to select and comment on art submissions. So working on the Autumnal Tints exhibition for the last few months has given me lots of time to think about autumn...just when it is autumn. (How's that for planning!)

It is now November 4 and we are well into autumn. Here in Maine the trees are nearly bare. Mostly oaks and beeches still hold on to their leaves. The colors and tints of autumn began to be noticeable back in August when some red first appeared in the woods. In September there was more red, but also yellow and gold and orange sparkled in the trees on sunny days. Some green leaves simply faded to a more pale shade of green. Others grew spots and blotches rather than changing color. All of it makes for a most beautiful season. Every day looks different from the one before it and the one to follow.

Autumn is my favorite season...but not only because of the beauty of the changing leaves. I love the crisp days of October when I need to wear a sweater or jacket. I love the feel of cold air against my face when walking through the woods. I love the sound of walking on crisp leaves. I love the smell of autumn...earthy and robust. And, unlike most people I know, I even like the fact that the days get shorter. I like being able to "nest" in my home during the late fall and winter months...sit by the woodstove, enjoy my home, cook hot meals, and spend some time looking inward.

I was born in Milwaukee, and my family moved to San Diego when I was about seven years old. I moved back to the midwestern part of the country when I was in my twenties and spent about ten years living in northern Indiana. I was so thrilled to be living in a place once again where I could experience seasons. When I left Indiana, I moved to Maine, where I still live today. The seasonal changes are a bit different here...autumn arrives earlier, winter stays longer, summer is shorter, and spring is actually something called mud season...but I could not live without them. I was meant to live where seasonal changes are part of life. I like the rhythm.

Somehow it seems that I appreciate the seasons more every year. Perhaps with every passing year I realize to a greater extent that the number of autumns or winters that I have left to enjoy are dwindling. You just don't realize that when you're twenty or thirty. So I try harder to pay attention to those things in my life that I enjoy, and I do enjoy the seasons...especially autumn. Autumn brings with it apple-picking, baking apple pies, pleasant walks in the woods, the chance to wear a sweater, that feel of crisp air, the wonderful smell of fall leaves, the sight of falling leaves on a windy day, grouse and pheasant hunting with my dogs, watching football on Sunday afternoons, sitting by the woodstove, and, of course, Thanksgiving...my favorite holiday. There is some autumn still to enjoy this year, so I need to still pay attention. I don't want to miss a minute of my favorite season.

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Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
November 4, 2009

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Autumnal Tints Artist - Laura Yang

"Autumnal Tints" brings to mind images of maples, oaks, poplars, and aspens wearing bright reds, golds, and yellows that sparkle and shine in the mid-day sun. But if the only "autumnal tints" you notice are the changing leaves, you miss so much. There are also the ferns that grow brown and shriveled, the many grasses in fields that go to seed and fade to ivory or pale brown, various berries that range from dark blue to bright red to pure white, and a variety of late-blooming flowers. Then there is the change in light in autumn, brought about by the decrease in daily sunlight, that makes everything look different...as if it has a different tint. Let's also not forget the autumnal sunset skies that so often are flooded with bright pink.

Laura Yang's contribution to Still Point Art Gallery's Autumnal Tints exhibition is not of leaves or tree-filled landscapes. She presents still life pieces with flowers. But it is the long shadows in these pieces...the light and shadow...that reveal the season. In autumn, the light moves to its lowest point in the sky, and shadows become longer, which produces a world with slightly different tints and tones. This is the light that Yang captures in Autumn Light and Autumn Light 2.

Autumn Light, Autumn Light 2

Autumn Light (20 x 16) and Autumn Light 2 (16 x 20) are digital watercolor prints. Each is available through Still Point Art Gallery framed for $400. Please contact Christine Cote at christine@stillpointartgallery.com or 207.837.5760.

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Christine Brooks Cote
November 1, 2009
Still Point Art Gallery