You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2007.

Mary Lou Zeek Gallery presents:

In the Garden
11 acrylic paintings with collage by
Marcy Baker

June 5 – June 30th, 2007
Mary Lou Zeek Gallery
335 State Street, Salem, Oregon

Late Winter

Above, Late Winter, acrylic and collage by Marcy Baker

We asked Marcy to talk a little bit about her work, and to give us a ‘mini tour’ of her monotype printing process, and here’s what she says:

Inspiration is found in the rhythms of my neighborhood and in graceful relationships between natural and man-made structures.

Relief printing blocks are hand cut in Victorian-era textile designs and traditional Celtic motifs. Stencils are inspired by seventeenth century chintz fabrics, as well as my own botanical drawings. Using these and other tools – anything that will create interesting marks and texture – I apply acrylic paint or oil based printing ink in overlapping patterns, an influence from my background in fabric design. Many layers are built up in this way, with each layer informing the next, and much of what is painted is eventually covered up – but its presence is integral to the final piece. Collage elements – added in between and on top of the layers – include architectural and botanical line drawings from my backyard, and relief prints using the same blocks that have been stamped into the paint. I also draw into the surface with charcoal and graphite – I like the juxtaposition of random, intuitive mark making with orderly repeat patterns.

When engaged in my neighborhood I feel an intriguing play of comfort and anticipation. This balance is what I seek in my work.

And on making monotypes, she adds:

I pulled my first monotype fifteen years ago and was hooked – spontaneous, colorful, immediate – creating monotypes is great fun.

To prepare for a new series of prints, stencils are designed using botanical drawings from my neighborhood and backyard garden, and with inspiration from seventeenth century chintz fabrics and Victorian-era textile designs. I also carve printing blocks in similar motifs, and create relief plates by drawing on foam sheets. I use these tools to build many thin layers of oil based ink on a Plexiglas plate before making one transfer to paper with an etching press. Interesting marks and texture appear when a printing block is lifted off the Plexiglas plate. Mysterious things happen when ink is inadvertently transferred to the plate from the back of a stencil.

After a print is pulled there is a ghost of that image left on the plate’s surface that I incorporate into the composition of the following piece. This can create lovely contrasts as the plate is reworked with some areas left untouched, revealing fragments of history from the previous image.

For my most recent monotype series I began by first making quick line drawings on the plate with litho crayon, then building layers of ink on top of the drawings. I also add collage elements to the print once it is pulled and dried – mostly these are line drawings inspired by my colorful and lively backyard. I like the juxtaposition of intuitive mark making against the repeat patterns created by stencils and printing blocks.

For more information about Mary Lou Zeek Gallery, see http://www.zeekgallery.com/.

To see more of Marcy’s work, see http://www.marcybaker.com/.

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Launch Pad Gallery presents:

Outpour
new ultra active urban paintings by
Jennifer Mercede

May 4 – May 29, 2007
Launch Pad Gallery
534 SE Oak, Portland, Oregon

Outpour is an apt title for the collection of bold, vibrant, stream of consciousness mixed media panels that Jennifer Mercede creates under the guidance of Little Jenni LaLa (Jennifer’s intuitive inner genius).

She freely mixes rose pink, lime green, sky blue, and is not inhibited about gouging into the wood panels with pens to create drawings and incise lines of text, text that sometimes shouts, and sometimes whispers. While the drawings are loose and gestural, Jennifer also shows off her drawing chops in a few well crafted faces in one of the panels. Titles like I copyright my R’s and This Pencil give a sense of the playful and spontaneous nature of her work.

Standing in front of these panels gives one a sense of soaring over the cityscape, here a newly seeded lawn, there a rose garden, a forest park, a high-rise apartment. Each vista is full of life, and we’ve been given the privilege to eavesdrop on the collective chatter.

Below, Anything Goes, mixed media on panel, by Mercede.

Anything Goes

Jennifer Mercede has recently settled in Portland after traveling the country and is now a working artist who’s fully engaged with the community. She shows her work in many alternative spaces and teaches art at after-school classes at Buckman; she also co-founded and participates in a women’s art marketing group. She is one of two Portland Open Studios Scholarship winners for 2007.

To see more of Jennifer’s work, visit www.jennifermercede.com.

To read more about this young and energetic artist, visit http://www.launchpadgallery.com/.

Below, Jennifer Mercede with It’s Not What It’s Not About.

Jennifer Mercede with It’s Not What It’s Not About

Theresa Andreas-O’Leary & Shu-Ju Wang

The Glenn & Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center
527 E Main St., Hillsboro, Portland, Oregon
May 1 – May 31, 2007

There are still two more weeks to catch the exhibit of paintings and prints by Theresa Andreas-O’Leary and Shu-Ju Wang at the Glenn & Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center; the exhibit is up through the end of May, 2007.

Andreas-O’Leary and Wang met in 2006 during Portland Open Studios and hit it off right away. Both have traveled and lived all over the world and are both inspired by the natural and man-made worlds that they live and travel in. Both work in vibrant and layered colors, Andreas-O’Leary in acrylic on canvas and Wang in gouache and screen prints.

Figs and Cardoon

Above, Figs and Cardoon by Theresa Andreas-O’Leary.

Andreas-O’Leary, a Portland native and self-taught painter and muralist, has worked in all paint media over the years but recently has focused on acrylics for its vibrant color and translucency. Her canvases range from a few inches by a few inches to large pieces that measure in feet and take up most of the wall. When she returned from South Africa to Lake Oswego in 2000, she set up Andreas Studios where she paints and displays her work. In her studio, one wall is painted black, allowing her vivid canvases to bask in their full glory.

She once called herself a ‘stripe-y’ painter, referring to how she prepares her canvases for the final image. Taking a page from impressionist painters where light is literally represented as the composite of the color spectrums, she paints a layer of segmented colored stripes over the entire canvas. From there, she builds the image layer by layer while controlling the translucency of the paints to allow the original color spectrums to show through at places, or to only vibrate silently underneath at others.

Theresa Andreas-O’Leary received the Chronicle Public Art Award for her composition, “Vine Light”, which now hangs in Lake Oswego’s City Hall.

Shu-Ju Wang was born and raised in Taiwan, but settled in Oregon after stays in Saudi Arabia, California, and New Jersey. Originally trained as a engineer, she left the high tech industry in 2000 to become a full time studio artist working in painting, printmaking, and artist’s books.

Cobwebs in the Fetish Cabinet

Above, Cobwebs in the Fetish Cabinet by Shu-Ju Wang.

Like Andreas-O’Leary, Wang has worked in many painting media but has recently focused on gouache, an opaque watercolor used in many traditional painting techniques throughout Asia, particularly Indian and Persian miniatures and Chinese paintings where she draws much of her inspiration. She also favors working on a small scale, another influence of the miniatures. Of gouache, she can’t praise it enough, “you can paint in thin, thin layers, glazing and building up the image, or you can take advantage of the opacity and make bold statements; and you can come back and re-work the paint after it dries.”

Wang also has several screen prints in this exhibit. She is nationally known for her screen prints using a Japanese made children’s toy, Print Gocco, to make large and complex imagery. She has taught the technique locally and nationally. The toy-factor makes her studio visit a fun event for the whole family, and she plans to do Print Gocco demo again for the 2007 Portland Open Studios event.

Shu-Ju Wang is represented in public and private collections throughout North America.

For more information about the Glenn & Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center, see http://www.ci.hillsboro.or.us/WCAC/.

To see more of Shu-Ju Wang’s work, see http://fingerstothebone.com/.