Monday, June 20, 2011

Maureen Zwier: Distinguished Nature Photographer

Nature Photographer Maureen Zwier was named an Artist of Distinction in Still Point Art Gallery's current exhibition, "We can never have enough of Nature." The three images she submitted for the exhibition are shown below. Each is a view of Nature that leans to the extraordinary, emphasizing the beautiful colors and designs of the natural world.


I photographed "Sunflower" in my backyard late one afternoon. It was one of those wonderful moments when everything fell into place. This particular bloom was a few feet below most of the other flowers on the plant. I laid on the ground and photographed the flower with leaves as the background. The backlighting from the sun just lit up the petals of the flower. I never noticed the red lines running through the petals until I looked at the image on my computer...what a pleasant surprise.

DreamScape I

"DreamScape I" is part of a series of photographs that have been manipulated to give a surreal feel to them. For this piece, I photographed the flowers and then added a slight blur to the image to give it a dreamlike quality.

Maureen Zwier was a microbiologist who decided to make a mid-life career change to become a photographer. She lives in St. Charles, Illinois. As an artist, she attempts to photograph subjects of nature that most people do not notice. This may involve capturing an image of an unusual plant or insect, or, photographing a common subject from an unusual perspective. Using creativity, artistry, and light, her intention is for the viewer to walk away from viewing her images with a new sense of wonder and appreciation for our native environment.

Sunflower. 19 x 13 inches. Color photograph. Framed, $330.
DreamScape I. 19 x 13 inches. Color photograph. Framed, $330.

Still Point Art Gallery
June 20, 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Call for Artists - Destinations: Famous Places and Intimate Spaces

Still Point Art Gallery announces that submissions are now being accepted for its next online exhibition -- Destination: Famous Places and Intimate Spaces.

The artist travels the world with a sketchbook, an easel, or a camera. The artist wants to draw…paint…take the photograph! The artist travels the world for excitement, challenge, and inspiration…people, culture, architecture, landscapes, cityscapes, famous monuments, ancient ruins. So much to see…so much to absorb. The world's famous places...the world's intimate spaces.
The idea of this exhibition is to create an amazing collection of unique and interesting art pieces from artists’ travels around the world.
The deadline for submissions is July 25, 2011. More details about submissions, along with the entry form, may be found here.

(Be sure to read information in the prospectus about sales. Our sales policy and procedures change with this and future exhibitions. For artists who wish to list prices, we now pass all purchase inquiries on to the artist and require no commission for any sales. More information is available here or in our June newsletter.)

Still Point Art Gallery
June 15, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sushila Oliphant Honors Nature

Midnight Reflection
Still Point Art Gallery's current exhibition is all about the essential nature of Nature. It was inspired by a passage by Henry David Thoreau, which ends with the words, "We can never have enough of Nature." Three of Sushila Oliphant's paintings were selected for this exhibition, and she was named an Artist of Distinction for her particularly wonderful and meaningful contributions. Two of the paintings are shown here. They are beautiful...colorful, vibrant, rich...the tones are deep, akin to those of a haunting cello or lyric basso profondo. These paintings speak to the grandeur and splendor of Nature, calling us to bow with respect and in worship. Oliphant so perfectly captures that aspect of Nature that makes it bigger and greater than all of us, though we are all contained within it. She captures the spiritual aspect of Nature, that part that feeds our souls, that part that Thoreau honored in his writings about Nature, that part of which we can never have enough. 
Artist Statement
I love to capture that wondrous spiritual feeling of awe that certain places produce in me, like meadows, sunsets, a mountain view, canyons, or forests. My paintings come from those feelings and memories of peace and joy, as well as from a deep connection with nature.
Los Pináculos de Daniel
Painting is my way of communing with the Universe, Source, or God--whatever one may call that divine awareness. It is the food for my soul on its journey to merge with nature and transcend it.
My favorite medium is painting on found wood. I love the way it feels in my hands. I get excited by the various textures along with the strong patterns formed in the wood. I see the whole scene in the wood as I sand it and then all I do is paint it in. I am always very surprised at the final results as they are totally different from what I originally had in mind. I sometimes think someone else slips inside and does the painting for me...and I am always delighted and very grateful.
Midnight Reflection is a memory from a trip with my sister, Penny, through the Mohawk Trail. It was such a magical place...stunningly still. That stately dead tree, surrounded by those radiant flowers and landscape, emitted a deep sense of peace and striving for a higher reality. We reflected about life for hours in that spot.
Los Pináculos de Daniel was inspired by my life in Arizona and a long, lost love that was found again. For fifteen years, I kept it in the closet without working on it--I had a block. I rediscovered and finished it at the same time Daniel and I reconnected a few years ago. He inspired me to complete it. These are the mountains we have crossed to be together and, as we look back towards them, they have become part of our beautiful scenery.

Sushila Oliphant draws her inspiration from inner traditions and her spiritual teachers. She grew up in Hampden Highlands, Maine and Chenango Bridge, New York. During the harsh winter months in Maine, she and her sister, Penny, were taught painting and drawing by their grandmother, a graduate of Pratt Art Institute. Sushila Oliphant was further inspired by her travels to Canada, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, as well as throughout the Yucatan and Chiapas in Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize.

Oliphant works in pen and ink, acrylic, pastels, colored pencils, graphite, and watercolor, and with collage and digital photography. Nature and spiritual themes are her favorite subjects. She attended the University of Maine, the University of Arizona, and Miami Dade Community College in Florida. She has won several awards for her work in art shows in Maine, Colorado, Florida, and Mexico. Oliphant owns a graphic and web design business called Harmonic Designs. She currently resides in Miami, Florida.  

Midnight Reflection. 9.25 x 12 inches. Acrylic on plywood. $1200.
Los Pináculos de Daniel. 24 x 24 inches. Acrylic on plywood. $3500.
Still Point Art Gallery
June 13, 2011

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Peggy Martinez--Distinctive Watercolorist

Still Point Art Gallery opened its show, "We can never have enough of Nature," last week and named three Artists of Distinction. One is watercolorist Peggy Martinez, whose paintings of flowers appear soft and delicate with folds and shadows in the petals and leaves that give them graceful shapes and an inviting appearance. As an Artist of Distinction, Martinez will have the opportunity to show more of her work as a Gallery Artist beginning in August 2011.

Artist Statement
My inspiration…

Art is the universal silent language, understood and interpreted by millions without an audible word. To see the different emotions and hear the different points of view from viewers is intriguing and stimulating to any artist. To understand why audiences prefer one painting over another feeds my creativity and passion to grow as an artist.

I have found that my strength emerges through my love for painting nature’s garden. The beauty and grace found in flowers and landscapes is never ending; they sustain my imagination with an infinite source of inspiration.

My art…

I enjoy expressing nature’s palette to emphasize my vision of textures and colors by painting a close-up point of view, which can be interpreted as abstract. I frame my work with or without glass. I enjoy experimenting with different surfaces, mediums and uncovering new ways to paint. Since, I have so many ideas and just never enough time to express everything I envision. The more I paint, the more my mind challenges my soul.

My yearning to teach…
Summer Blossom
A few years ago I attended a watercolor workshop with Arleta Pech at Dillman’s Resort in Wisconsin. She had urged us to bring any work we would like to have critiqued at the end of the last afternoon. I brought prints of my work. After she critiqued my prints, a few of the students turned around and asked me when they would be taking my workshop. I said: “Who me? Are you kidding?” I had never thought of teaching, but then on my way home I reflected on that workshop and the students' desire for my assistance and opinion. That was when I started teaching and doing demonstrations. I absolutely love teaching and sharing what I know. My students tell me that I hold nothing back and always have a fresh, new point of view. I am constantly reinventing and refining my classes to be the best I can. If I can help an artist move their artwork to a new level and build confidence with color, that would be my biggest satisfaction.


Peggy Martinez, originally from Rochester, New York, has lived in Rochester and Salinas, Puerto Rico. She attended Kutztown State College, in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, where she studied art. Martinez then went on to work in banking for twenty-nine years, mostly in management and corporate sales. During the summer of 2010, Martinez decided to leave the corporate world to pursue her passion for painting. She currently lives in a suburb of Rochester, New York with her husband and daughter.

Martinez is largely a self-taught artist and has attended many workshops with locally and nationally well-known artists. Among the artists are Arleta Pech, Tom Lynch, Zoltan Szabo, Lian Quan Zhen, Susan Webb-Tregay, and Don Getz. Since leaving her employer, Martinez has actively been conducting lectures, demonstrations, and teaching watercolor classes. She is affiliated with the Webster Art Club, Rochester Art Club, and Niagara Frontier Watercolor Society. She has independently coordinated non-instructional trips to Martha’s Vineyard and Chautauqua Institute for her own enjoyment and that of others who are passionate about painting.

Martinez' painting, training, management and marketing experiences have led her to teach watercolor classes for all levels, independent workshops and demonstrations for various Art Clubs and Guilds. Her goal is to expand her workshops on a national level, build a solid collection of artwork, and ultimately be represented by an Art Gallery. 


For more information about Peggy Martinez' art and workshops, please consult her website.

Iris I. 18 x 24 inches. Watercolor mounted on board. NFS
Exuberance. 24 x 36 inches.  Watercolor and acrylic. $1000
Summer Blossom. 24 x 12 inches. Watercolor mounted on board. NFS

Still Point Art Gallery
June 8, 2011

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Exhibition Opening: "We can never have enough of Nature."

I am very pleased to announce the opening of Still Point Art Gallery's 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

Maureen Zwier. Sunflower.
Artists of Distinction for this exhibition are watercolorist Peggy Martinez, painter Sushila Oliphant, and nature photographer Maureen Zwier. Be sure to enjoy their wonderful work in the Gallery and come back soon to read about them and their art here in this blog. These artists will have the opportunity to show more of their art as Gallery Artists beginning in August 2011.

Artists selected to exhibit work in this show:

Alisha Anderson John Gilluly Frank Myers
Leslie Anderson Jane Gottlieb James Nguyen
Peter Azrak Tom Hinkle Sushila Jean Oliphant
Christine Bakke Susan Jenkins Ron Pederson
Richard Barrett Robert Katz Vahe Peroomian
B. Clyde Beck Stuart Kerner Elise Rorick
Mike Bell Anne Labowitz Carel Schmidlkofer
Gail Butler Linda LaRose Pamela Soldwedel
Ione Citrin Diane Leifheit Jane Soodalter
Valerie Connelly Megan Levacy Michael Strider
Bob Craig Michael Lynne Helen Sullivan
Michael Finley Cheryl MacLean Marko Susla
Susan Gainen Fabio Maestripieri Linnea Tober
George Gati Peggy Martinez Becky Tyler
Alaina Gibson Trish Moores Annette Zalanowski

Sandy Moser Maureen Zwier

"We can never have enough of Nature"
will remain a featured exhibition through August 9, 2011 and will remain online until August 9, 2012.

Still Point Art Gallery
June 1, 2011