Showing posts with label glass. Show all posts
Showing posts with label glass. Show all posts

Friday, March 7, 2014

Tactile Art: The Thrill of the Touch

By Judy Feldman | www.wildemeyer.com

In my last blog, I talked about three sculptors who have found their artistic expression in three-dimensional art. All of them said that they love the feel of creating art in a tactile way. You could say the sense of touch is an integral part of their work.

To continue this theme, I talked to three other 3D artists who display at the gallery. The first two are ceramicists, whose tactile expressions are revealed directly in their art. The third is a glass artist, whose journey to a finished piece is a little more complicated.

Kari Rives began her artistic career as a painter, favoring a palette knife and her fingers instead of brushes, to create highly textured work. Her love of a hands-on technique led her to try ceramics, combining her painterly skills with modeling. “Clay made good sense to me,” she says. “Its tactile nature provides a great opportunity for expressive gesture, and I prefer to leave the evidence of my touch.”

You can see an example of Kari’s mark making on her ceramics in two charming sculptures, entitled “Hedgerow” and “Bruce” (shown above). She doesn’t sketch before sculpting, and although she refers to photos, she doesn’t strive for realism, saying that “an animal speaks to me, so I feel an emotion and convey life in the piece.”

Although Kari enjoys the painterly part of coloring her sculptures, she likes the uncertainty that results from firing a piece. “You really don’t know what’s going to happen, and the surprises can be great” she says. Often, she’ll re-fire a sculpture, sometimes as much as eight times, to achieve depth and layers of color. I think you can see these layers in her piece entitled “Emerald Turtle.”

Michelle MacKenzie also started exploring art as a painter. But she, too, loves the tactile thrill of “taking a ball of clay and creating something beautiful from it.” And, she adds, “When it’s done you can touch it!” Michelle is passionate about animals and looks to them for inspiration. She has a keen interest in birds, and says “Birds symbolize life to me. Sculpting them is so delightful. As I work, they’re in the palm of my hand and their face is looking up at me.”

Michelle’s bird series is charming. She uses old wire to form a nest, makes ceramic eggs and creates a family setting with a mother bird. Here’s an example of her bird collection:


For her sculpture entitled “Quail on a Rock,” she uses a horseshoe nail to create the quail’s topnotch.

Always on the lookout for found objects, Michelle likes to mix up her mediums. For her sculpture “Guardian,” she re-finished an old shutter door, added trim where the hinges had been and created a ceramic bas relief to depict the wolves as “animal spirits of the forest.” Although it’s meant to be hung on a wall, this piece still offers the texture and depth of three-dimensional art.

Although Tom Philabaum had a natural ability to draw and paint as a child, his initial pursuit in college was academics, But when he decided to take a ceramics class, he says “the clay grabbed me.” Tom focused on hand building, working in such a large scale that his instructor told him that his ideas were too fluid for clay, and that he should try glass.

A chance meeting in Wisconsin with Harvey Littleton changed the course of Tom’s artistic career. (Littleton and glass scientist Dominick Labino introduced glass as an art medium in 1962, and Littleton taught the first glass-blowing class in an American college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.) Tom was drawn to the expressive possibilities of glass, and, under the tutelage of Harvey Littleton, was encouraged to push the boundaries of artistic expression in that medium. He started to work with glass in the same way he had worked with clay: by creating shapes and constructing objects with them. “I use heat instead of water to make the material flow,” he explains.

You can see the unique way Tom fashions glass in his rock sculptures, made of blown glass and fashioned together. In pieces like “Small Gourd” and “Round Paperweight”, the balls of glass appear to be floating, yet delicately attached. The shimmering, multi-colored hues of the sculptures look so ethereal.

Tom says that he has learned the principles of chemistry and physics through glass making. His various techniques require new understandings of the medium each time he tries a different idea. For his sculpture entitled “Wrapped,” he combines two mediums: clay and kiln cast glass, making a form in clay, a mold from that and then pouring glass into the mold to create the final piece. In his series called “Handbuilts,” he makes coils with molten glass and then creates a form such as the vessel entitled “Canasta 18.”

A recent exploration has led Tom to a fusion of glass making and painting. “River Road” is an example of his fused glass collage painting series. In this multi-step, complex process, 2D and 3D have a chance to meet!

Friday, December 7, 2012

All In the Family


Desert Companions 10"x12"
by Roger Alderman
I’m still thinking about the possibility of an “art gene,” since I discovered that there are two sets of siblings who exhibit their work at Wilde Meyer.

Although their parents were not fine artists, Roger Alderman and Acacia Alder probably do have the art gene. According to Acacia, her family loved “making things” for their 100-year-old home, such as furniture and crafts, and they appreciated beautiful surroundings.

“Our house was always buzzing with a project,” she said. “Our parents felt that you should have a personal relationship with your environment, and a belief in yourself that you could make things. They felt that if you could put trust in your hand and your brain, and if your heart was in it, you could succeed at making something.”

Seen Its Better Day  9" x 12"
by Roger Alderman
Roger remembers visiting the Cleveland Museum of Art as a child, and being “knocked out” by what he saw. He later studied Industrial Design and Fine Art at The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. He’s also studied studio art at the Pima Community College, the Tucson Museum of Art School, and The Drawing Studio, in Tucson, Arizona. Roger has developed his own unique painting style through years of painting and drawing, using bold colors and expressive palette knife work. He often paints outdoors, in the areas around his Tucson home.

“’Cloud Burst’ depicts the summer build up of clouds we get in the Tucson area during the monsoon season,” he says.
Cloud Burst 30"x40" oil on canvas
by Roger Alderman

“Desert Charmer” was inspired by a visit to the Saguaro National Monument during the spring, when the hillsides are carpeted with yellow flowered Brittlebush. 
Desert Charmer 31.75"x 37.5" oil on canvas
by Roger Alderman

Sundown by Roger Alderman
Acacia Alder also has a contemporary view of the landscape, but she prefers to paint in her studio. Although you can appreciate her love of the outdoors, her paintings are quite stylized.

Golden Light by Roger Alderman
For example, “Sundown” and “Golden Light” both depict the Aspen trees, yet Acacia paints their trunks, rather than the leafy tops, focusing on the unique bark of these trees. They’re outlined in red and black, which makes the trees “pop” against their background. In “Sanctuary at Purgatory Chasm,” the trees, rocks and mountains again have that outlined style, which gives the painting a modern, interesting look – and a little like stained glass. Acacia says she has been influenced by Van Gogh and Cezanne. I think you can see that in her work!
Sanctuary at Purgatory Canyon 60" x 40" acrylic on canvas
by Acacia Alder
The Pendleton sisters have a wonderful collaboration going that produces mixed media pieces in paint and glass. Sandy Pendleton says that her father was a carpenter and made a living with his craft. But it was her grandmother who loved art.
Amber Sunset 12" x 36" triptych
by Sandy Pendleton
glass panels

“She did china painting, greenware ceramics, quilting and made dolls,” Sandy said. “Whenever we’d visit her, she’d always have an art project for us to do.”

Celestial Geode 12" x 15" x 2" plus base
by Sandy Pendleton
Sandy liked to make things, but she followed her interest in math and science to have a career as a programmer and project manager with IBM. When she retired, she started working with glass. “I think I like this medium because it requires some technical knowledge, in terms of chemistry and temperature control. And, it’s so much fun to experiment!” “Celestial Geode” looks like it took quite a bit of experimenting to achieve this interesting piece. “Amber Sunset Bowl” almost looks like ceramics, but it has the beautiful iridescence of glass


Nancy Pendleton, Sandy’s sister, has always loved art, drawing as a child, and, later on, obtained a BFA in graphic design. While she was working as an illustrator, she also pursued her interest in fine art, first in figurative images, and now in an abstract style. She loves mixed media, and started using handmade paper, with acrylics and natural objects. Her painting entitled “Studio Recycles Red” is a good example of her skill with different materials.
Sweet Spot 15"x10"
by Nancy Pendleton and Sandy Pendleton


Studio Recycles Red 14" x 18"
by Nancy Pendleton
When her sister became proficient in making art glass, the two decided to work together.

“We’ve worked out a technique,” said Nancy. “I often use a centerpiece in my art, and Sandy came up with glass pieces that work well in my paintings.” You can see examples of this sibling collaboration in “Bursting” and “What You See Is What It Is,” as well as some charming dog paintings such as “Sweet Spot” and “Flirting with Fido.”
 
Bursting 60"x48"
by Nancy Pendleton and Sandy Pendelton


What You See Is What It Is 24"x24"
by Nancy Pendleton and Sandy Pendleton

So, maybe there is an art gene! And, as Acacia said, it can just be that love of making things that’s passed on from one generation to another. What a gift!

Play with Me  15"x10"
by Nancy Pendleton

Monday, April 9, 2012

Transparent Art

Totem 6 by Tom Philabaum
The year 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the development of studio art glass in America. To celebrate this milestone and recognize the many talented glass artists, many glass demonstrations, lectures and exhibitions will take place in museums, galleries, art centers, universities, organizations, festivals and other venues across the United States throughout 2012.

Here’s a brief history of the glass art movement, taken from a post from the Milwaukee Art Museum. “Fifty years ago, in 1962, Wisconsin artist Harvey Littleton and glass scientist Dominick Labino introduced glass as a medium for artistic expression in two workshops at the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio. Littleton and Labino developed small furnaces and a glass formula with a low melting point, making it possible for individual artists to work with glass outside of an industrial setting. In 1963 Littleton taught the first glass-blowing class in an American college at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

“This combination of events kick-started the American Studio Glass movement and introduced a generation of trained artists to glass as a medium for individual, creative expression. In other words, glass moved out of the factory and into artists’ studios.”

In Scottsdale, glass artistry by some of Arizona’s finest artists will be featured during the “Glass Act” art walk on Thursday, April 12, from 7-9pm.

At Wilde Meyer’s Colores Gallery, four glass artists will be featured: Tom Philabaum, Sandy Pendelton, Dave Klein and Sue Goldsand

Tom Philabaum is a veteran accomplished glass artist. He built his first glassblowing studio in 1975 in downtown Tucson, and opened a gallery in 1982. Since that time, the Philabaum Glass Gallery has been showing artists from across the country. Tom continues to spearhead the studio of blown glass, and the more current sculptural and site specific art, using a broad array of techniques, including kiln casting, fusing, slumping, and dalle de verre.

 At Wilde Meyer, you can see pieces from his Precarious Rock Series. Some have scavo surfaces, a difficult Venetian glass-blowing technique that results in giving a blown glass object the appearance of an artifact dug-up after centuries. (Scavo means unearthed in Italian.) Others in the series celebrate bright color combinations. The precarious notion comes from the fact that the “rocks” are faceted and laminated in seemingly gravity-defying positions.
Three Heads are Better than Two by Tom Philabaum


Colores also shows paperweights, vessels and disk sculptures made by Tom, such as Teal Egg, Rock Bowl and Large Jade Disk.
Teal Egg
by Tom Philabaum
Jade Disk
by Tom Philabaum
Rock Bowl
by Tom Philabaum

I think that glass artists and collectors are all interested in the effects of different lighting on glass. These changes give glass art life and make it different from two-dimensional work. Sandy Pendleton’s glass pieces have an iridescent quality to them and many textured surfaces that allow light to bounce around. Sandy notes that they change with the light over the course of a day and become more dramatic in the evening. I can see this happening with her “Violet Geology” Bowl and her “Sapphire River” piece.
Violet Geology by Sandy Pendleton

Feather Stone by Sandy Pendleton

After a lifetime of artistic work in other media, Sue Goldsand discovered fused glass and knew she had found her passion. She likes this medium because it allows her to use strong colors and bold designs to depict her charming animal figures.

Each piece has its own personality. “Teets”, her colorful bird, “Blue Standing Dog” and “Cool Green Cat” are examples of her work.

Fused glass cat art by Sue Goldsand
Cool Green Cat by Sue Goldsand

Sue Goldsand, fused glass
Blue Standing Dog by Sue Goldsand
Dave Klein started blowing glass in Prescott with Michael Joplin in 1980. He enjoys the constant challenge of combining techniques to produce unique works. Dave is the director and co-founder of the Sonoran Glass Art Academy. His statement about glass art conveys the excitement of this 50-year-old art form: “It is the dawn of the ‘Glass Age’, glass technology is racing as never before, new techniques, materials and discoveries are literally exploding in the industry. Glass artists can now take advantage of many new materials and techniques to push the industrial and artistic envelope.”
At Wilde Meyer, Dave glass bowls and display plates are beautiful examples of his proficiency in this medium.

Yellow Bowl with Red Threads by Dave Klein


Waterborn #3 by Dave Klein


Rednot by Dave Klein


Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Blog Launch


Happy Valentine's Day and welcome to Wilde Meyer Gallery's new blog! 


At Wilde Meyer Gallery, we say we are "About the Art" and that's because we are very passionate about art and believe in the artists we represent. With that said and to inaugurate this blog in the spirit of Valentines day, here is some art that reflects the occasion.



Linda Carter Holman  "Love Bird"  print on paper (image size, 5"x4")
contact us or visit our online store ColoresAz for more info; also available framed.


Sue Goldsand  "Heart, Purple and Red"  fused glass  7.5" x 7" x 1"


Sherri Belassen  "Sweet Secrets"  oil on canvas  30"x15"

Chaille Trevor  "Caring"  oil on canvas  36"x30"


Robert Charon "Red Passion" mixed media on panel 48" x 72"

Melinda Hall  "Three Hearts in Line"  oil and mixed media on canvas  7.25" x 7.25"