Spotlight on Guest Artist Kathy Soles

This post focuses on Kathy Soles guest artist this Month in the Gallery show Place and Memory: Two Views. You can see her finished work along with the work of Core Artist Iris Osterman tonight at the opening reception from 5-7 and through April 2 in the gallery. 

Ideas....

  • Currently, my work is showing subtle changes, tighter spaces and abrupt junctions between marks, color, and new forms are emerging. All aspects of natural forms, real and imagined, are explored.  References are the sky and land – a departure from water.

  • I am still mining the experience of an artist residency in Provincetown (C-Scape Dune Shack) The dune forms became the waves

  • I was recently awarded an artist residency at the Cill Rialaig Project on the west coast of Ireland.  I suspect that the landscape of Bolus Head will present new ideas and forms.

 Material and Process...

  • Initially, my work is a direct response to place.  My paintings and drawings develop into a dialogue between dense accumulations of paint and drawing materials and open passages evoking light, air, and water. The accreted marks tell their own histories with a sense of urgency and vulnerability as they collide, dissipate, and reassemble. Layers of paint, applied with brushes and a brayer, expose and hide what is beneath the surface. Forms accentuate the surface only to be submerged.  I work on stretched canvas on board.  The rigid support allows for aggressive scraping and use of a brayer.  

Inspiration....

Over the last eight years, the ocean has been a reoccurring theme in my work. Water as a transitory form, both a source of life and destruction, and the meditative and metaphorical possibilities found in contemplation of the ocean/water are at the heart of this work. Ocean currents, navigation routes, the junction of land and sea, the vast expanse of sky in relation to the sea, and what exists below the surface continue to spark my exploration. Formally, these investigations feed my ongoing interest in contradictions and dualities. Artist residencies on Paros Island, Greece, the Millay Colony, and the Goetemann residency in Rocky Neck, Gloucester have provided not only respite from teaching and family responsibilities,  but have provided time for contemplation and the potential for new work.

I  tend work in series.  In the paintings and drawings, depth is plumbed in passages of water, air, and my interior landscape. Using the metaphorical implications of layering material, memory of place and experience is addressed.

Place and Memory: Two Views

The March show in our main gallery opens today March 9 and features core artist Iris Osterman and guest artist Kathy Soles. The show features paintings and works on paper. The opening reception will be March 18 from 5-7. I asked Iris and Kathy to describe the ideas being explored in this show.

Iris:  Both of us take our ideas from nature. In my case I work from photographs and drawings; these are used to jog my memory of places I’ve been. Bits and pieces of imagery are transformed in the studio. I intend to communicate an experience of a place. 

Iris Osterman: Sticks and stones

Iris Osterman: Sticks and stones

Kathy: Iris and I have known one another since the summer of 1977.  We met at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture We share an interest in the landscape as a subject lived and imagined. Memory of places serves as a catalyst for our work.  Graciously, Iris asked that I exhibit with her at Fountain Street.  I am thrilled that we will be showing together.  I admire her work very much – the energy, mark, the metaphoric implications of nature

Kathy Soles: Small work in Process

Kathy Soles: Small work in Process

Joseph Fontinha: Why Painting and Why Now?

We continue to invite you to get to know our newest members. Joseph Fontinha tells a  bit about his background and what he is up to these days.

 I grew up in Brockton MA, got my BFA in painting from Mass Art, my Masters in Art Ed from BU, and my MFA in Visual Arts from Lesley (now LUCAD.) I teach drawing and painting at Stoughton High School, and spend my summers with my extended family that live in Nagano Japan. This annual trip has become a big part of my routine, artistically and otherwise, and I have been making this trip for about 11 years now. This 8 week cultural immersion has had a profound effect on my output and outlook as a visual artist.

Lately I have been expanding what I do from oil painting to some video and installation work that is all residual of painting, but I hope tells a broader story, and one that holds the viewers attention in a different way.

I have really been moving away from the commodification of my work, the making of objects for sale, to telling stories through processes, and then figuring out what is salvageable from the project that could be shared. Often there is a painting to show, but more often my work lately has moved away from this traditional idea of product. I have been busy working on animation that is derived from the painting process, and documenting/archiving the process of a painter.

I am trying hard to ask the viewer to join me while I convey real, and true human experience-what it looks like, and most importantly, what it is to live a coherent and linear existence, one that has a temporality that is sustained, and in full contrast to the immediacy and convenience of contemporary visual culture.

For several years, my primary concern was being able to isolate moments into traceable and immediately understandable paintings that again documented real experience but as a fragmented or instantaneous one. These were paintings that appeared as though they were a single stroke, but were the result of lots of planning, practice, and contemplation.

Of late, the number one question that I ask before I make anything is, why painting, and why now? What can I say with paint in 2017 that can only be said with paint? What is it about paint that keeps it (assuming it does) viable and effaceable as a means of cultural expression? I am currently working on what I am calling the “Blue Tarp Project.” It involves video, photography, animation, painting, drawing, looking, writing, and mostly thinking. How do I live with this thing, in what way could paint be crucial in recreating my personal story? How is this different from how we typically document experience, how we collect and organize imagery, or how we decide what is valuable? 

Marcia Wise: Nature and Inspiration from within

A native of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, I began painting lessons as a shy yet spirited child studying in Provincetown, Ma. with Henry Hensche as well as with visiting impressionist painters to his school. I received formal training at The Art Institute of Boston; L’Ecole Nationale Superieure Des Beaux Arts in Paris, France; and Boston University. Some teachers with whom I studied that influenced the development of my work in color and light were Lois Griffel at The Cape Cod School of Art, Wolf Kahn at the Santa Fe Institute of Fine Arts, Janet Fish in NYC, and Jason Berger at Art Institute of Boston.

 

 My current focus in my work is in a more abstract approach to the landscape.  I’ve always leaned toward the abstract and I've often gone back and forth working on a more representational painting while at the same time working on a more abstract composition. My jumping off point, for it did at first feel like a big leap for me, appeared after downsizing a huge property in Western Mass, and moving closer to Boston. It was an enormous shedding of what was outdated in our lives (me and my husband, Ed’s) and no longer served us as people, as a couple and as creatives (Ed is a professional pianist). It was a huge letting go that resulted in a relief I never expected… and also new found freedom. “Out with the old, in with the new” vibrant and alive feeling! Once resettled and back in the studio (I have a studio in my new home in Norfolk, MA), what changed for me is although I continue to respond to nature - woods, trees, canyons, sunset/rise, water, etc., - the greater part of my inspiration is coming from within me rather than only with what I am seeing outside of myself. My sight is sparked with a view or a tree or a color in the mountains, and then from within comes this enormous "pee my pants have to get it on the canvas" feeling that I have to get that initial emotion down as fast as I can - and in intense color. I’m loving this very much and I have no idea where it will bring me or how this work will develop in time, but I do know that it is a more honest view of my inner relationship to the world at large. The natural beauty of our world has always been my inspiration and it is beauty that I want to share through my passionate work with color.

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Color and Action With Sorin Bica

Fountain St Fine Art Gallery is happy to continue to introduce you to our new core members. This month we get to know Sorin Bica.

I was Born and raised in Bucharest, Romania. Started to draw and sculpt from early age, than got involved in clothing, shoes and jewelry design. During my early 20s, I also started drawing political cartoons, and painting more seriously. Moved to USA in 1988 and continued to search for my own style, which I developed few years later as a marriage between cartoons and painting. I've always liked the simple form of romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi's art and the "suffering" in bright color in Van Gogh's paintings or the evolution in Picasso's style and the "action" in Jackson Pollock's work, but a trip to Barcelona in 2003 made me see art differently.

I draw and paint every day, people and bits and pieces of my life, in lots of color and light. I see better large and XXL. I use Oil and oil based household paint on canvases that I build myself, occasionally I add mesh, sand and other materials. Lately I'm getting more involved in public art projects.

 

I don't follow a formula when I work, I just start with an idea, then somehow I get sucked in and wake up from the daze few hours later or when the reality knocks at the door or texts...

Mia Cross-The story behind the Trashy Ladies

The first thing you notice when you walk into the 'In Place' exhibition is the presence of life-size mannequins, elegantly garbed in trash. The sculptures are the work of artist Mia Cross, whose work is on view alongside the photographs and installations by Cory Munro Shea.

So what's with the 'Ladies'? 

Read More

Through the Lens of Rebecca Skinner

We are continuing our Introduction of New Members this month with Rebecca Skinner. Her photos tell stories and document the passing of time.

Can you tell me a little about you background?

I am from Massachusetts. I lived in North Carolina from 1992 thur 2000. While there I was a Custom Color Printer and Department Head for one of the largest film printers on the East Coast. That is where I fell in love with the printing process and the techniques involved in producing a quality print. I always had a camera in hand even in childhood. In 2010 I received a Certificate in Photography from Rhode Island School of Design. While at RISD I was greatly influenced by one of my teachers; Shane Gutierrez. He reminded me of my love of photography as a form of art and pushed my creativity.

 

What is your current focus in the studio?

I am focusing all of my attention on documenting historic buildings. I completed a project focusing on abandoned mental hospitals in 2012. Raising awareness of mental illness is important to me. Right now I am focusing on factories/ mills. They are quickly being demolished and with them their history and beauty. When exploring these fascinating buildings you are reminded of the industries we have lost.

I use the most recent release of Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom to process my images. I look for images that are strong, that tell a story and that are technically well done. I print most of my work myself.

 

Time and Space With Tatiana Flis

We are happy to introduce and welcome Tatiana to Fountain St Fine Art Gallery as a new core member.  

Can you tell me a little about your background?

I was born in New York’s Hudson Valley and grew up on a Ukrainian resort, Soyuzivka. My father was the general manager, and my sister and I would spend our days exploring the woods and letting our imaginations run wild. The resort placed our Ukrainian heritage all around us; the language, the food, and the rich artistic culture and crafts. Unaware of it at the time, my heritage and the Hudson Valley landscape would eventually begin to weave themselves in and out of my work, both consciously and subconsciously. 

Why sculpture?
While attending graduate school for sculpture at Cranbrook Academy of Art, I realized how sculpture could mean so many different things. It isn’t a closed subject, and you aren’t restricted in your artistic expression. I watched colleagues of other mediums push their explorations, and it is there that paintings, photography, and design became sculptures... this experience taught me that sculpture is the most inclusive form of artistic expression. I don’t know if I was late to this realization, or if everyone was discovering this together, but I no longer felt trapped within a specific medium. 

What past encounters you have had/or are currently having that influence your work?

I have traveled through 39 states, including four in which I have held resident status. All of my travels have revealed to me the importance of landscape in my work. I have always been fascinated with how people live in relation to the natural landscape that surrounds them. When you get into a car and drive, the vastly changing landscape not only allows you the ability to observe others, but gives you the time for self-reflection. Travel allows me time to just stop and be. 

What is your current focus in the studio?

Over the last couple of years, my work has become more intimate in scale, while really pulling from my travels. My focus has also shifted greatly from creating three-dimensional objects to drawings, collage and watercolor. I approach all of my two-dimensional work the same way I would approach a three dimensional form, focusing on ideas of time and space. One thing I love about my drawings is that there is a sculpture waiting to break out of each of them. I have a sketchbook with notes of how each of these drawings will one day become a sculpture. It is my goal that within the next year my studio will begin to transform from a drawing/collage studio to a casting/sculpting studio. I haven’t been this excited about creating objects since I first walked into the studios at Cranbrook. 

What is your favorite material to work with?

Graphite, lead hardness HB to be specific. I would also say flocking (the kind you buy from model train stores). I collect the stuff.

Can you tell me a little about your process-how do you approach making?

It is all about space. How does the viewer perceive space, what type of space am I creating, and how does the physical environment change once I finish a piece. These are always in the back of my mind... whether I sit down to put marks on a piece of paper or develop a miniature landscape within an egg, I always think, how can I transport myself and the viewer into these private worlds?

 

Settling in with Susan Emmerson

With the change of seasons comes a bumper crop of fantastic new core Artists! We will be introducing them over the course of the Fall. 

Can you tell us a little about your background?

I have lived lived in the Midwest most my life and moved to Boston about nine months ago. I am a retired surgeon so medical images and processes have had a big influence on work.

What is your current focus in the studio?-

The current focus of my work is drawing and painting on altered surfaces such as Tyvek, or paper and canvas that has been manipulated in someway to render it three-dimensional. Lately I have been exploring the process of establishing a new home in the new place and what it takes to create a feeling of home.

 

Can you talk about your process-how you approach making?

 I like to play with materials and experiment with different ways of using them. I also shamelessly appropriate other artists' techniques, approaches, and use of material - I am constantly on the lookout for some new way to do things. :)

Come join us! Not Sitting Pretty- Workshop Weds July 13

In conjunction with the current exhibition in the gallery Continuum: Tradition meets Innovation the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Women in the Arts will be presenting a free workshop on Weds July 13 from 12-3. I recently connected with Jennifer Costello the NAWAMA Exhibition Co-Chair and she shared some information about the workshop and about the organization.

Can you tell me about the Workshop "Not Sitting Pretty" on July 13?

The workshop will be on past NAWA member Alice Neel, a brief history of her life and having participants bring in a portrait of a friend, family member or stranger to create a one sitting painting using concepts of the body while addressing Neel's expressionistic use of line, color and emotional intensity. This workshop is free with canvas paper, oil pastels and resources books provided for the duration of the workshop on July 13 from noon to 3.

Ten Past (John's Mother) By Beverly Rippel

Ten Past (John's Mother) By Beverly Rippel

Can you tell me a little about the members of the Massachusetts Chapter of NAWA?

Officially created in 2013, the Massachusetts chapter of NAWA is composed of area artists who have gone through the jury process and been invited to be members of the national organization. Liana Moonie, Massachusetts chapter co-founder, has said “We are proud of our heritage and the traditions of our pioneer forerunners; and, as we are in our organization’s second century, we look forward to the challenges of the future with pride and momentum.” Basically, art and its ability to elevate people are what inspire our President Nella Lush and the members of NAWA’s Massachusetts chapter every day.

What are their backgrounds?

All members are active and contributing artists in their communities, nationally and internationally. Where do they have studios?Boston, surrounding areas and nationally. 'Continuum' participating artists studios are located in: Boston, Andover, Cohasset, Wenham, Brookline, Newton, Hyde Park, Rockport, Newburyport, Osterville, NYC, Aventura FL, White Plains NY among others

How has the this group helped to promote awareness of women in the visual arts in MA?

Like the national organization, our mission is to foster and to promote awareness of women in the visual arts through exhibitions of its members’ work, scholarships to talented women artists in need, lectures, and other educational programs.

Bright Idea by Christine Frisbee

Bright Idea by Christine Frisbee

July In the Gallery: Continuum Tradition Meets Innovation

The current show in the main gallery was juried by gallery directors Cherie Clinton and Marie Craig from the work of the  Massachusetts Chapter of The National Association of Women Artists.

 

After spending some time in the gallery I noticed a dialogue occurring between the works because of the way the show is installed. Here Linda Pearlman Karlsburg’s landscape painting Roseate and Indigo (on the left) seems to flow into Pat Paxson’s abstraction Dream Half Remembered (middle) because of color and curve. Candice Mitchell’s Easy Rider (right,) with its geometric figure/ground play echoes some of the color and forms from its wall mates.  

Here are Liz Gribin’s A Blossom Fell next to Nella Lush’s Fragment. The mood and color relate in a way that strengthens each piece. It is interesting  to see how works which are stylistically so different can look so integrated next to each other on the wall!  

 

 

 

How'd she do that? The mastery and magic behind creating an original artwork.

Here's how, VERY briefly!

 

There's a lot beneath the surface of these complex, multilayered paintings.

Tracy has worked with themes exploring the relationship of man and nature for the past 15 years.  Her recent bodies of work, the DNA series, and Evolve series, speak to issues of environmental concern, such as global warming and genetic food modificationThe paintings and constructions are built on visual and symbolic associations; by obscuring, deconstructing, and preserving images in wax she addresses a complex and shifting relationship between man, his biological roots, and the shaping of our natural environment.  Tracy also employs the organic and playful nature of wax to render dramatic, mysterious, and meditative landscapes.  When put together, these landscapes reflect a sequence of change, and with this change, a feeling that can range from haunting to hopeful.    With the intuitive vision presented in these paintings I seek to express the grandeur and fragility of the natural world.  Some of my current work combines the Evolve landscapes with DNA text suggesting a dubious relationship between humanity and the environment - systems that are continually in flux as they create, destroy and reassert themselves.

See more of Tracy's work along with that of Carrie Crane in 'Systematic Ambiguity,  through June 19, 2016. Join us for a Reception, May 21, 5 – 7PM and Artist Talk June 12, 2PM, FREE and open to the public.

An Art Collector? Me?

Yes, me. 

I never considered myself an art collector. Until this morning, when, while sipping my coffee, I counted six (!) works of art that I could see just from my kitchen table. 

In my kitchen, this painting by Wendy Hodge reminds me of my grandmother.

In my kitchen, this painting by Wendy Hodge reminds me of my grandmother.

This signed, editioned print, Lear by Ralph Steadman, was one of the first original works of art in our family's collection.

This signed, editioned print, Lear by Ralph Steadman, was one of the first original works of art in our family's collection.

I love beautiful things. I love the way original art captures my attention and holds it, the way I discover more about each piece the more I live with it. When I consider the cost of the artwork as it compares to the enjoyment it continues to provide over time, it feels like a tremendous value.

 

I guess I'd always imagined that collecting art was out of reach for me. I don't have a big house, or a big budget.  Slowly, over time, though, I've managed to acquire paintings, photographs and sculptures that continue to enchant and enrich me.

My newest acquisition, two sweet little paintings by Cheryl Clinton, from her Boylston Tree Light series.

My newest acquisition, two sweet little paintings by Cheryl Clinton, from her Boylston Tree Light series.

It's as though I'm surrounded by friends.

THE LEFT BEHIND: Mixed media by Stacey Piwinski

Exhibition Dates: July 17 to August 15, 2015
Reception: Friday, July 17, 6 to 8 pm

Interview with Stacey Piwinski

Stacey Piwinski in her studio

Stacey Piwinski in her studio

DD: Stacey, thank you for sharing the work for The Left Behind in your studio last week. Your studio was bursting with energy and color as you get ready to hang this solo show.

We’ve been talking about your work across the past two or three years. While you always begin with a clear plan, you also remain open to the unexpected along the way and this has impact on your process and your final results. Would you be willing to share the back-story of a particular group or piece that you are installing next week?

SP: Yes, let’s talk about the collection of 39 paintings that I have titled Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue.

As you know, I was most recently working on a series of mixed media portraiture that begin with objects given to me by those being depicted in the work. These items are shredded, cut, twisted and torn and recontextualized into handwoven fabric. As I have been planning my wedding, I asked my mother for my Nana’s wedding dress. The first thing she said to me as she reluctantly handed me the dress was, “Don’t cut this up and weave it into anything.” I have been thinking about how energy and intention are carried through many of our possessions. I held back on my impulses to re-purpose the fabric of my Nana’s treasured wedding gown and made cyanotypes from the lacy fabric instead. Using these blue sun prints, I was able to use the dress in this series of work without cutting into the dress. Around the holidays when I was talking about using Nana’s dress in my work, my uncle was happy to give me a box of her old linens. These I could use freely; cutting, painting and honoring within the work.

Nana's wedding dress and a cyanotype from the lacy fabric

Nana's wedding dress and a cyanotype from the lacy fabric

While in my last semester of graduate school, I experimented with creating large wall-sized versions of some of my smaller pieces. One of these Expansion pieces is part of this show. I took my large painting and cut it up into 10x10 inch pieces and used it as the backdrop for this new collection of paintings. In my opinion what these Expansion pieces were lacking were the actual objects that carried the energy and the stories that connect to the people who owned them.

In graduate school, I focused on telling the stories of others, with the work in this show, it is about me. In Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, this piece is about my Nana as well as it is about me experiencing preparing for my wedding.

Measuring a student for Forget-Me-Not

Measuring a student for Forget-Me-Not

The installation Forget-Me-Not represents all of the students I see in one week as a public school art educator. Each string is measured to the height of that student and white has been painted over the color of the yarn on one side of the string representing the great lengths one goes through to make sure students all learn the same curriculum. Unfortunately this is often at the expense of the students’ own creativity and expression. Needless to say this method isn’t always best. I intended the piece to have one white side and one colored side, but just like in the real world, things do not always go as planned and children don’t always listen. This isn’t always a bad thing...

Forget-Me-Not in progress in the studio

Forget-Me-Not in progress in the studio

See more of Stacey Piwinski's work at staceypiwinski.com

Collector Diaries #3

I was fortunate to be gallery sitting when Tom made his first visit to Fountain Street Fine Art. He looked at each painting in Common Thread by Brenda Cirioni and Leslie Zelamsky with great care and attention. We chatted at length about the process of looking at work, and the qualities that made him and his wife Catherine want to take a painting home.

In Tom's words:

I just wanted to confirm that we LOVE Familiar Terrain and will definitely be keeping it.  For starters it is a beautiful piece, but beyond that it also connects us to many different special places such as Cape Ann, Maine, England, and a few other spots that have a similar vista where we have connections.  And the composition of such varied found objects adds further interest and depth and I’m sure will have us continue to enjoy it as a special piece and finding new ways of seeing it over time.

Familiar Terrain by Brenda Cirioni

Familiar Terrain by Brenda Cirioni

After he left that day, I found myself visiting each painting and enjoying the great difference between viewing a painting across the room and up very close to the surface, shifting from image to material and back to image, again. Here's a tiny detail from Familiar Terrain, something you might normally see with your face only inches from the painting.

Detail from Familiar Terrain by Brenda Cirioni

Detail from Familiar Terrain by Brenda Cirioni