Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bob Craig: Unique Expressions of Mood and Color Through Collage

The colors, shapes, and designs of Bob Craig's artwork combine to create beautiful, imaginative creations. They are interesting to look at, with their many shapes and patterns working and blending together to achieve a whole...a gestalt. Craig's medium is collage, the art of bringing things from disparate places and "sticking" them together to create something greater than its parts. Craig earned the title Artist of Distinction in Still Point Art Gallery's current exhibition, Still Point III, with his three pieces, Goldfish, High Country Predator, and Rectilineal Wood. (High Country Predator is not shown here.)

The process of collage is well worth knowing and understanding, as it is, in a way, a metaphor for certain aspects of life. It is hard to miss the act of bringing things together to form something greater than its parts. It happens in life and it is indeed what collage is all about. Each collage piece begins with a pencil underdrawing, sometimes from a photograph, but more often from Craig's imagination. Then, the palette is assembled, consisting of pieces of color photographs, painstakingly clipped from the vivid pages of magazines. National Geographic Magazine is preferred because of the quality of the paper and the print. These pieces are sorted and grouped by hue and texture, then carefully cut into pieces of varying size--some as small as a fingernail--and applied to the backing with varnish. The piece may then be enhanced with acrylic paint, either sprayed or daubed on. The result is a complete reinterpretation of photographic surface, from which surprising new imagery emerges. This video provides a beautiful presentation of Craig's collage technique.

Rectilineal Wood
Craig describes himself as a Western Canadian artist whose path in the fine arts has led him to a unique expression of mood and color through collage and mixed media. He has explored numerous forms of art and craft--painting in watercolor and oils, pottery, sculpture, and bead-making, to name a few. He has also worked in art restoration and education. Craig thinks of himself as a craftsman--constructing or interpreting imagery and messages from his conscious and subconscious mind. As an adult Bob Craig has occasionally lived in altered perceptual states where reality has become magnified and the world has seemed as one giant harmonious gestalt. Craig's art is an effort to recapture the vivid nature of these encounters.

Crag's work has appeared in juried exhibitions in New Zealand, Italy, Canada, the United States and Switzerland, where he was awarded first prize in the mixed media free subject category at SEETAL 2006.

Goldfish. 18 x 24 inches, mixed media, $400.
Rectilineal Wood. 18 x 24 inches, mixed media, $400.

Still Point Art Gallery
April 26, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

Erdmut Lerner--Painter of Landscapes

Some pieces of art draw me in and don't let go. Such is the case with the paintings of Erdmut Lerner. Take, for example, Summer's Ease (below).  My eyes enjoy looking at every bit of this piece...over and over...up close and at a distance. I enjoy feeling the subtleties of the colors, the delicate edges and curves of the shapes, and the overall beauty and power of the piece. Lerner's work is indeed both beautiful and powerful...beautiful in its colors and glorious shapes...powerful in its bold, yet soft, expression of the visual landscape. It is perfect. For Lerner's contributions to Still Point Art Gallery's current exhibition, Still Point III, she was named an Artist of Distinction and will show more work as a Gallery Artist for the next year.

Summer's Ease
Although Lerner loved art from an early age, it never occurred to her  that she could be an artist. Instead she went to graduate school, earned a doctorate in English literature, then worked in the editorial offices of the Encyclopaedia Britannica

It seemed that it took the arrival of the new century to open up new directions for Erdmut Lerner. She enrolled in a landscape painting class at the Evanston Art Center in Illinois, and she was immediately riveted. In Lerner's words: The sensuousness of the paint and the soft wind around me filled me with an immense joy and a certainty of having arrived at my destination.

Learner began her artistic career as a plein-air painter, setting up her easel wherever she could find an enticing view of water, trees, or fields. A decade later she is still a painter of landscapes, but her way of representing them has become predominantly abstract.

For Lerner the painting process usually begins with looking at photos taken on travels. When a particular photo draws her attention, usually for its particular mood rather than its specific details, she begins to make exploratory sketches, often in watercolor or pencil. Eventually she moves to the easel, but before she begins to work on the canvas, she spends time trying out color schemes that will express her intentions, a process that can take several days. Once she makes her decision, often still a tentative one, she reaches for her brush and begins to sketch the scene. After a while her imagination, as though restless with the more mechanical task of copying from a photo or sketch, takes over, leading her swiftly away from the  realistic scene towards ever greater abstraction. Although at times images of trees or houses remain part of a painting, more often they become subdued, yielding to pure abstraction.

The Steady Breathing
of the Land


I am still a landscape painter, but I don’t go out into the fields any more. Rather, the landscapes I paint do not exist in the real world; no train ticket will get you there. They emerge from inside of me, from my imagination. The process whereby they evolve is slow; I cannot rush it. But I can steer it gently, by controlling color and line, modifying and correcting. Gradually yellow mountains, lavender passages, green nights, and magenta fields make their way onto my canvases. I think of them as distillations of bedrock experiences, and, as such, expressions common to us all, be it an uneasiness about the night, a longing for safety, or the desire for a peaceful world.

Summer's Ease, 18 x 19 inches, oil on canvas. $500.
The Steady Breathing of the Land, 20 x 18 inches, oil on canvas, $500.
Dawn, 19 X 20 inches, oil on canvas, $500.

Return to Still Point Art Gallery
Still Point Art Gallery
April 17, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Call for Artists - "We can never have enough of Nature."

Still Point Art Gallery announces that submissions are now being accepted for its next online exhibition -- "We can never have enough of Nature."

We need the tonic of wildness -- to wade sometimes in marshes where the bittern and the meadow-hen lurk, and hear the booming of the snipe; to smell the whispering sedge where only some wilder and more solitary fowl builds her nest, and the mink crawls with its belly close to the ground. At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be infinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.                                                                                                                       --Henry David Thoreau

The deadline for submissions is May 16, 2011. More details about submissions, along with the entry form, may be found here.

Still Point Art Gallery
April 14, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bobby Baker - Black and White Silence

Bobby Baker was honored with the title of Artist of Distinction for the work he submitted and is showing in Still Point Art Gallery's current exhibition, Still Point III. The exhibition is showing four of Baker's pieces, but my favorite is Morning Calm. This photograph shows how little is needed to create a beautiful and amazing image; and, while there is very little in this photograph, one can also say that there is so much in this photograph. There are so few physical elements...the horizon, a hill, a boat and its shadow. There is, of course, a lack of color. There is even a lack of shades of gray, being basically a black boat, a light gray backdrop, and a medium gray horizon and hill. But the photograph says so much with so little. The photograph has tremendous spirit and depth. It speaks...with silence. It surely says different things to different people, but, without question, this photograph speaks. A beautiful and amazing image.

Bobby Baker, Morning Calm

Bobby Baker describes his experience of taking this photograph in this way:
Early one summer morning on Cape Cod, I came across a town landing between Chatham and Orleans….walking the beach, the only sounds I heard were of birds and the lapping of water from the morning’s tide…the serenity was all consuming, a peacefulness that nearly lulled me into not taking the shot, but instead to just be a part of the morning. What first caught my eye was the single sail boat anchored alone, and the slight line of land in the distance behind it – nothing more. That image alone seemed to describe the entire feeling of this morning, so calm, a morning calm.
Bobby Baker’s work is shaped by his ongoing love of seaside life. The Caribbean, Mexico, and the Florida Keys have all served as inspiration for his work, but the driving force for his creative eye remains Cape Cod; so much so that his work for the past several years has been almost entirely shot on the Cape.

Baker began his journey into photography in the 1980s as an assistant/intern to a Palm Beach, Florida event photographer. Over the next several decades his camera work was interrupted several times by a music career, then a successful business career. For the past three years his work has flourished with the ongoing mentorship of renowned fine art photographer and Copley Society of Art, artist and board member, Judith Monteferrante.

While recent work includes images from other locations on the Cape, Chatham is at the center of Baker’s work and has been the subject of several exhibition-featured images. He finds the lighting on the Cape to be special, citing the soft, warm light of the setting Cape sun to be, at times, so lush, you want to wrap yourself in it, and the early morning Cape light to be magical.

Over the past several years Baker’s work has been juried into numerous gallery exhibitions in Newburyport, Marblehead, and Cape Cod. Beyond these exhibits, his photographs have been featured in newspapers, websites, calendars, a book released late 2010, and are included in private collections. Bobby received national award recognition in the Fine Art Photography category of the prestigious 2010 The National exhibit at the Cape Cod Art Association. This show featured juried work from artists across the U.S. He was also one of a select group of artists to have multiple pieces of work juried into the 2010 All New England exhibit at the Cape Cod Art Association, and again received award recognition. Baker’s photographs were featured this past June in a solo show, First Encounter, in the Hooper Mansion Gallery of the Marblehead Arts Association.

Baker is a juried artist in the Fine Arts of the Cape Cod Art Association, a juried artist member of the Marblehead Arts Association, an artist member of the Plymouth Guild for the Arts, and is represented by The Second Hanging, New York City.

Morning Calm. Black and white photograph, 22 x 13 inches, unframed, $400.

As an Artist of Distinction, Bobby Baker will have the opportunity to show more of his work as a Gallery Artist beginning June 2011.

Still Point Art Gallery
April 11, 2011

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Still Point Art Gallery Opens "Still Point III"

I am very pleased to announce the opening of Still Point Art Gallery 's online exhibition, Still Point III 

Bob Craig, Goldfish.

One way of thinking about visual art is that the artist finds or discovers something - be it inside or outside of the artist - and, through art, holds it still. A photographer captures a moment in time with a click of the shutter and that moment is locked in stillness. A painter paints a scene using oils on canvas and that scene exists forever in a motionless state. A sculptor molds and shapes details of a human body, and that body stands frozen...never to age...never to change.

Still Point III is the third annual exhibition focused on exploring those things that artists, through art, hold still.

Artists of Distinction for this exhibition are Bobby Baker, Bob Craig, Alison Hoornbeek, Erdmut Lerner, and Ann Salk Rosenberg. Enjoy their remarkable work in the Gallery and come back soon to read about them and their art in this blog. These artists will have the opportunity to show more of their art as Gallery Artists beginning in June 2011.  

Artists selected to exhibit work in this show:
Bobby Baker
Pat Goltz
Richard Barrett
Carol Gooberman
Cheryl Rau
Darren Baylor
Lisa Graham
Elise Rorick
Anne Bevan
Sue Green
Ann Salk Rosenberg
Alison Hoornbeek
Ashley Shellhause
Pery Burge
Stuart Kerner
Pamela Soldwedel
Gail Butler
Doris King
Jane Soodalter
Alexandra Chehy
Sassoon Kosian
Daniel Sroka
Ione Citrin
Linda LaRose
Marko Susla
Bob Craig
Candace Law
Michelle True
Joanna Dur
Erdmut Lerner
Cathie Tyler
Monica Engeler
Armin Mersmann
Regina Valluzzi
Scott Erickson
Cella Neapolitan
Mayumi Yamakawa
Rick Faas
Mark Nutt
Maureen Zwier

This exhibition will remain a featured exhibition through June 14, 2011 and will remain online until June 14, 2012.

Bob Craig, Goldfish. Mixed media, 18 x 24 inches, $400.

Still Point Art Gallery
April 6, 2011