Friday, May 14, 2010

How do they do that?

Have you ever stood in front of a piece of art work and wondered "How do they do that?"  I feel very fortunate to have some  highly talented artist friends.  And while their work is certainly visible in the art world ... I wanted to post some of their work in case you, the reader, are not familiar with their creations.

At the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham last weekend, I was delighted to watch this woman come across my friend Marita Dingus' installation in the current exhibition Show of Hands: Northwest Women Artists 1880-2010.
The woman was chattering quietly with a friend when she stopped in front of Marita's piece and was immediately silenced: she remained there for a very long time, solitarily engaged with this wonderful creation titled 200 Women of African Descent.  The whole exhibition is certainly worth a visit.
Marita is represented by Francine Seders Gallery, in Seattle.  Another delight was to see the work of Diem Chau ( with whom I had taken a class at Pratt some years ago ...  "before" she was famous!) in three of her beautifully detailed pieces.
When my friend Alicia Tormey invited me to her studio to take some images for her to use, I had my first experience of watching the process of encaustic painting happen ... before my very eyes ( as the over used expression goes!). I had no idea of the complexity of laying down all those layers of paint, wax and shellac ... and then taking a torch to it!!!  EEK!  The painting didn't incinerate, the studio didn't catch on fire, I didn't catch on fire
and the effects are stunning. But not done yet, said Alicia!  Looking at the images later I found myself intrigued by the process images as much as the "almost completed" works.  Alicia's work can been seen currently in a show at the Alexis Hotel in Seattle, Pacini Lubel Gallery - Seattle, and Gillman Contemporary in Ketchum, Idaho.

 Each month my friend Colleen Maloney and I volunteer in the Open Art Studio at the Tacoma Art Museum. When the chores of maintaining the studio are completed ... we "play".  One of Colleen's many talents ( she first identifies as a graphic designer) is as a paper/book artist and yesterday I watched her assemble a book from the stunning pile of paste papers she had created.  Her sense of color always amazed me and when a book is completed, the manner in which those colorful papers are assembled - is simply stunning.  How does she do that?  Surrounded by so many talented people, one just hopes some of it rubs off!

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