Abstract, Impressionist, and an introduction to new art and processes from four Fine Art artists
I planned to visit this particular gallery this month and was happy to have chosen Super Bowl Sunday (I normally ramble around galleries on Sunday afternoons –they’re quieter and I find less competition for viewing space -it is a selfish thing…). I was greeted not only by room after room of new and interesting paintings, jewelry, sculpture, pottery, photography –but also met and spoke with four of the 20 or so up and coming artists that make up the co-op, Roundabout Art Collective!
I moseyed around listening quietly to some discussion at the far end of the building for several minutes until I had made my way to one of the front rooms. I admit I’d seen so much art by the time I made it to that room (and, kids, the gallery building is not that big!) that I was happy to be welcomed by Yuko Taylor who engaged me in discussion about her paintings and some of the other artists’ work displayed elsewhere in that room. Yuko then introduced me to Sue Edmonson and Linda Kimball who were also at the gallery that afternoon. And, after my tour of the Roundabout, Yuko brought me over to Moondog Cottage, a nearby collection of studios she shares with a few more artists, one of which was Susan Dahlin who was working away on a new painting.
Back to Yuko – she has a very interesting technique in her work in which she references historic photographs from the South and layers them with traditional themes and imagery from her Japanese heritage. The applied symbols and imagery, and her use of an overlaying/dripping technique in her oils, empower and ‘encourage’ the affect of allowing the past to dissolve to a new reality which is emblazoned with prayers and dreams of happiness, wealth and grace.
In “One Day II”, Yuko’s use of a very traditional crane image and symbolism act as as both a foil to the child’s job as a sharecropper and a balancing reflection of the white of the cotton he’s bagging. I’m drawn to the myriad of visible layers in this painting as well as the cross symbolism style. For me, more than most of her works, this piece reminds me of a richly embroidered brocade.
Sue Edmonson was the next ‘host’ of my tour. She is a relatively new artist and has taken lessons from various instructors in the area. Sue paints many layers as she develops her paintings whether they are tree-scapes or visions of the night sky she enjoys as a lover of nature. In one of her tree paintings, I can really get a sense of the atmosphere you’d be standing in while viewing the trees in person. She’s also the 2nd snow painter I learned from that snow holds many more colors than just white which, in her painting, makes it seem all the surrounding earth and sky are within the snow.
In her work Whirlpool Galaxy, Sue shows how well she personalizes such an image normally only viewed from a NASA photograph and invites a long gaze at all the stars and depth she’s captured.
I also ‘met’ a new art technique up close that day, as well as the artist: The encaustic painting technique of layering melted beeswax and colored pigments. Linda Kimball starts with the wax and pigments and adds fabrics and layers of other embedded materials including, in some, gold-leaf. Her encaustics appear fragile as melted wax but the process gives this work surprising toughness.
The image Linda sent for this post is “Elaine Still Life” which won 3rd Place in the recent Visual Art Exchange’s 29th Annual Art Auction & Gala Silent & Live Auction. Yay, Linda! All of these encaustics’ layers of wax and imagery include “…a presence of ‘Elaine’”, a representation of her mother. Some of the ‘presences’ are quite visible, but some you’ll have to search for! I particularly like the texture layer added to the fruit in this still life, and can really appreciate the dream quality she affects.
Yuko lastly brought me over to the Moondog Cottage and introduced me to more of her work and also to Susan Dahlin, who was working away at one of her newer pieces. Susan’s work is as individual as she is and she is a prolific contemporary painter –a “colorist” in her words. Susan paints in oils with a pallet knife and mixes her thickly applied paints on the canvas versus the pallet.
The piece I highlight here is at first glance quite muted when viewed near her other works but the contrast of the textured earth and stone tones against the smooth sky give it a nice energy – energy being another reflection of Susan’s personality.
Our State Magazine writes of Susan: “…as each painting nears completion, she pulls out one of [her dad’s] old tubes and applies a little color from it. It’s a way, she says, ‘to stick a little bit of Dad in every painting’” –similarly embedding lineage as done in Linda’s encaustics and Yuko’s layering of heratige, and in the many layers of nature in Sue’s paintings.
Look for a link to the video from ‘Tarheel Traveler’ on her website from when her family artists visited – so fun for me to hear Norske accents again –Mom always did claim her as a daughter when we would see her on the TV…!
As if having all this eclectic collection of work and artists to meet isn’t enough for a visit, the Roundabout Art Collective also has a gift shop where the artists offer items for sale including small scale pieces, greeting card repro’s and even some sale items of full-scale work. Give yourself a lift with a visit to this gallery if you’re in need of a popping hot art gift, want to peruse armfuls of collections to brighten a not so sunny day, or to meet the artists who can excite you about a potential investment in their art. You can find more info about each of these and the other 20 or so very interesting and welcoming artists online, but I hope you’ll take my suggestion and visit in person.
Question: Have you ever happened into a shop and found you’d happened upon a landscape that harmonized really well with your interests? Post your experience in the comments and drop me a link if you think I’d like to check it out on my trekking!