Sunday, March 30, 2014

March 2014 Gallery Picks Newsletter

If you are a regular reader of our monthly Gallery Picks Newsletters, you may have noticed a gap in February.  And indeed, we confess, we skipped a month.  So sorry!  Life intruded upon us, as life is wont to do from time to time.  But we're back on schedule, and are delighted to show off several marvelous pieces recently arrived from our incredibly talented artists.  To highlight our continuing exhibition featuring paintings and fine art photography, we'll bookend this post with two stunning examples of wall art currently on display in the Gallery.

To see further information on any of the items shown, please click on the link to be magically transported to our online shop.  Ah, technology!

Also of note:  We will soon be blogging more extensively about our Annex locations.  Stay tuned...


Prague.  Esperanza Grundy
We welcome wonderfully talented Seattle artist, Esperanza Grundy.
A member of the Women Painters of Washington, Esperanza has won numerous awards
for her works in collage and watercolor.  With a BFA in Industrial Design from the
University of Washington, she has lived both in the Southwest and Northwest. 
 As the artist notes, color is the main ingredient in her work, in abstract compositions
which explore the lives of  literary artists (Bedside Table Series), the American Flag,
or the place of women across cultures.

Esperanza explains her Faces series, and comments on her work in general:

Color is the main ingredient in my work.  Faces began as an exercise
to abstract the human face.  It became important to show the similarities
and the differences in the faces of various cultures.  I used color and various
 collage materials in an attempt to show the wounds or
the memories in the human face.

The urge to create is irresistible to me. The symbols, images, textures and colors
in my paintings and collages are my pathway to spirit and truth.
My fundamental source of inspiration is my personal heritage: my family is
hispanic and native american and has lived in the Southwestern US for
many generations. Cultural explorations continue from there by
listening to other people's stories, traveling to exotic places,
reading and dreaming.

I love to gather, arrange and layer materials. Everything is a potential
element: paper and fabric scraps, my own handmade papers, paint,
stencils, transfers and photographs. Using cast off "compost" to give
new life to art is richly symbolic to me. Creating physical depth through
layering allows me to more deeply express ideas and feelings. I hope
the layers act as levels to invite emotions, thoughts, memories
and meaning for viewers of my art.

Currently, Esperanza's work is on display in the Gallery (small Faces series)
and at our Realogics Sotheby's International AnnexesHere on
Bainbridge Island, 271 Madison Avenue S. (Bedside Table series);
and at our Kirkland Annex, 15 Lake Street, Kirkland, Washington
(her large Faces series).

Lou Zeldis Domino.  Woodleigh Hubbard
The Island Gallery welcomes Bainbridge Island jewelry artist and award-winning
 author and illustrator of picture books for children, Woodleigh Marx Hubbard.
Praised as a talented artist - her paintings have been compared to the works
of modern artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Joan Miro -
and an inventive creator of concept books, Woodleigh has also been
designing jewelry since the late 1990s, incorporating colored stones
with the unusual antique pieces she discovers at estate sales and other sources.
Born in Sharon, Connecticut, Woodleigh grew up in an artistic home; her father
was an artist and her mother a writer. As a young adult, she traveled in
Europe, where she was particularly influenced by French modernists.
Initially working in pen and ink, she moved to color after losing her
entire artistic portfolio while traveling from France to the United States.

Woodleigh comments on her jewelry:

Being surrounded by children as a children's book illustrator
for so many years has shown me the endless possibilities
of an enthusiastic mind, the creativity of chaos, the
unmitigated joy of an imagination gone w i d e.
It has inspired me to embrace new venues for expression,
jewelry being the latest.  John F. Kennedy said,
"Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth."
I say, "Amen and Hallelujah!"

It's uptown meets downtown and gets a little bit naughty.
Balinese engraved silver whispers sweet nothings to vintage glass.
Fancy faceted garnet sidles up to a bold ring of African metal.
Citrine flirts shamelessly with pressed glass from China.
Young delica makes come-hither eyes at an elder Italian beach stone
(heart-shaped!) - oooo-la-la!! An old, beat-up, hand-painted
Swedish wooden bead is placed next to smoky topaz - watch
her sparkle in a hot haze of appreciation as he warms to a glow
and becomes ooh, so debonair!

Many of these characters are one-of-a-kind antiques. A necklace
or bracelet might be centered around an Indian silver bridal charm
or handmade blown bead; a pair of earrings might sport a
capricious carnelian coyly whistling Dixie to a Venus on the half shell
metal charm, or a prim pearl basks in the glow of a hunk of
Russian silver. Occasionally there will be a series based on one
design, but most pieces are unique. Each is individually crafted
and speaks with its own personality, as reflected in its title.

You are what you eat.
You are what you think.
You are what you wear,
Grin And Wear It!!

More of Woodleigh's jewelry will soon be featured in our online shop.
Her pieces are beautiful, thoughtful, wonderfully constructed, and
terribly intriguing compilations of components and findings collected
from around the world.  Don't miss taking a look at them here,
or come into the Gallery to get acquainted in person.

Italian Mid-Century Modern Folding Chair
Just arrived:  Two Italian cane and chrome folding chairs.
These are vintage items, the latest in our mid-century modern
finds, that are lightweight, convenient, beautiful, and altogether
quite splendid pieces of furniture.  Easy to store, they can
pop out to seat extra guests or be left at a desk or easel as
a permanent placement.  If you need more than two, let us know;
we'll see what we can do.

In the same category, we have six similar mid-century modern, stackable
Directors'-style chairs on the way, in black leather with black
steel frames.  Bold!

Silk Shibori Scarves:  Blue/Teal, left; Blue/Purple, Right.  Cyndi Wolfe

Oh boy!  Brand new scarves!

We're certainly enjoying the work of our newest textile artist Cyndi Wolfe,
a weaver, dyer and surface design artist with a love of the interplay between color,
fiber and structure.  In fact, color is her passion, particularly as it is influenced
by the quality and intensity of light.  She has been creating and embellishing
cloth for over 20 years, focusing on producing textiles that communicate
a sense of beauty and order.

Cyndi uses silk almost exclusively in her work because of its luminous
and reflective qualities.  Her woven silk scarves have the feel of watercolors
because she dye-paints the silk yarn before it is woven.  Her choice of colors
and the luxurious feel of the silk are intended to bring the wearer
a sense of harmony and well being.

Currently, Cyndi is exploring texture and color through using
stitched shibori and other surface design techniques in addition to
her weaving.  Silk has a memory - when manipulated and then dyed the
final piece becomes a clear map of the processes used.  Whether stitched
and gathered, folded and clamped or pleated and compressed, the end
result transcends the apparent nature of the original material.  Thus, silk
can be made to look like wood or recall the heat of a fire,
as well as accessorizing a favorite garment.
Cyndi's unusual and stunning shibori designs make these
scarves real standouts.  We'll be adding more to our
online shop right here as the days roll on, so stay tuned!

Sea Star, Illuminated Sculpture.  L. Wendy Dunder
Yet another stunning piece from the studio of artist
L. Wendy Dunder, our extraordinarily creative illuminated
sculpture expert.  This is a rather large wall or ceiling sconce
entitled Sea Star, its whimsical swirls suggesting the delicate
inner architecture of shells, its form mimicking our area's
starfish, for a truly Northwest design.  This piece would
be a great addition to a home with beach view, or perhaps even
more appropriately, to provide a bit of a beach vibe for landlubbers!

Created from thin slices of wood painstakingly formed,
clamped and then covered in many layers of paper to
build up a remarkably sturdy and durable skin, Wendy's pieces
are both beautiful and functional - in other words, rather perfect.

Sheer Silk Box Shirt.  Roselle Abramowitz
One of Roselle's terrific hand-painted shirts, this is a flowing
boxy style in silk chiffon that is feather light.  The "plaid" design
may look casual, and could look very relaxed with, say, a plain white silk tee;
but dress this beautiful piece up with a vibrant yellow or
royal blue cami and a great piece of jewelry (a necklace with
a big lapis focal bead, perhaps, or really bold silver earrings -
or, dare we suggest, the little yellow number shown)
and you have a garment that will take you to the opera, or
your favorite snazzy, jazzy night on the town.

We currently have several of these in other colors and slightly different
styling, as well as many of Roselle's other fabulous pieces,
so come on in to the Gallery and take a peek or visit our
online shop at Roselle's page here.

Necklace:  Little Flowers for Antonio Lopez (Yellow).  Begona Rentero
What more is there to say about the extraordinary art of
Beegona Rentero?  Her jewelry only gets better.
This is an older style but we never, ever get tired of
looking at her beautiful, eco-friendly jewelry inspired by flora and
sea fauna.  Begona makes her own papers from silk, cotton and other
fibers, hardening them through a special process so that they can easily
be worn for everyday use. They are ultra-lightweight, and feature all natural dyes.

This bright, happy necklace is simply the epitome of spring, isn't it?
Bring on sunshine! 

Earth Meadow.  Jen Till
 And, as promised, another lovely piece of wall art in the
form of a new oil on canvas work from Bainbridge Island artist, Jen Till.

This zen-like piece with its contemplative view of
an early spring meadow is a great example of Jen's
trademark gauzy style.  One of her smaller pieces at 16" x 20",
it draws us in with tender, almost demure suggestions of the
soft lightness to come, and the unexpected joy to be found
in a field dappled with nature's colors.

That wraps up March!  We'll be back with another Newsletter next month, and in the meantime keep an eye on the blog for informational posts on upcoming events, news, concerts and sales.   We would also like to ask readers, whether nearby or far away, to please take a few moments to recall our area's recent catastrophic landslide that demolished the small community of Oso, Washington, and honor the victims and survivors with your good thoughts and, wherever possible, your generosity.