“Observing Observing (a white cup): Dean Fisher”

With each exhibition, we will post interviews with the participating artists along with a photo of said artists in their studios and images of their work. In the future, we will post videos of artist interviews.

“Observing Observing (a white cup)” opens September 12th and continues through October 31, 2015

Curated by Eric Elliott, Michael Howard & Norman Lundin. More than twenty artists (both gallery artists and not) accepted the invitation to submit work.

Reception for the artists, Sept. 12, 2 – 4 pm

Artist Interview #14: Dean Fisher

1. How did you respond to the idea of the white cup?

Actually, the theme for this show is right up my alley and I’m very pleased that I was invited to participate in this exhibition.

Over the years a subject which I have often returned to are white cups hanging in a cabinet or arrangements of white cups along with other objects.

I’m very attracted to the challenge of painting whites objects via direct observation, trying to find the many subtle colors and tones which occur as well as the very reserved palette which can evoke and suggest so much. This is perhaps a reaction to the fact that so much imagery today is very “in your face” and brash, it’s very appealing to try to create a compelling image with means which are exactly the opposite to the devices which are used as contemporary attention grabbers.

A major influence for me is the work of Giorgio Morandi who is such a master at squeezing so much poetry and interest from reserved means such as these.

2. Are you a full time artist, if not how do you support your art?

I consider myself a full time artist although I work part time as a figure and landscape painting instructor at Silvermine Art Center and privately from my studio in Connecticut. Making and thinking about art is the main focus during the majority of my waking hours.

3. When did you consider yourself an artist?

I first considered myself as an artist when I realized that nothing would give me the satisfaction and sense of fulfillment as putting my feelings and perceptions of the the things I like into paint or graphite, this was at the age of 18 or so.

4. What are your influences?

Big list! All aspects of Nature, Uccello, Piero, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Velazquez, Vermeer, Degas, Vuillard, Morandi, Uglow, Gwen John, William Nicholson, Lucien Freud, Patrick George, Antonio Lopez Garcia, Justin Mortimer, Stuart Shils, Alex Kanevsky, Diarmuid Kelley, Anne Gale, This is just a few from a very big list.

5. How big is your studio, what kind of lighting?

My wife and I converted a large barn and carriage house into our home and studios. We designed it to be about 1/3 living space and 2/3 studio space, so we each have separate, spacious studios. Each studio has skylights so there’s plenty of natural light and for working at night I’ve installed 2 fixtures of full spectrum lights in each of the studios.

6. What is a typical day in the studio like for you? Do you listen to music, radio or tv in your studio?

I love to work one on one with a model during a 4-5 hour session. When that isn’t possible, I paint still lives from the dozens of objects which I have in my studio. I also like to wander out in our garden and paint whatever catches my eye. If I spend the majority of the day working in the studio, I love to end the day by going out and painting an evening landscape, this is always very liberating.

7. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?

I almost exclusively work with oil on panel or linen. I never set out to paint a series of work based on a theme. I always try to focus on those subjects which interest me the most at the time and almost always have 6-8 paintings under development at once. It naturally occurs that the paintings are related in some way and each painting ends up serving to problem solve and unlock ideas which aid the other paintings which are underway. This cycle works well for me because once I achieve momentum, I can generate a lot of focus which in turn gives the work more clarity. I often have music on via NPR which is mostly classical..or I’ll choose music of various types from Youtube and binge on a particular artist all day long. Sometimes I prefer to work in silence though.

8. Do you have any special or unique tools, devices or process that you use in your art making?

No, nothing really unique. Brushes (mostly bristle filberts), an assortment of palette knifes. The potential for what can achieved with these basic tools is endless and I feel there’s so much more to learn.

9. What do you do outside the studio, aside from a job?

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I love to design and build things, furniture, accessories for our home, entire additions on the home. My wife and I watch a lot of films and TV dramas..mostly foreign via Netflix, there are so many beautifully crafted lesser known films out there! I love to play tennis, bicycle ride, kayak and travel. I also love to read but struggle to find enough time to do so as much as I would like to.

"Suspended Still Life", 2015, oil on panel, 16 x 34"

“Suspended Still Life”, 2015, oil on panel, 16 x 34″

Canopies: Eric Elliott

With each exhibition, we will post interviews with the participating artists along with a photo of said artists in their studios and images of their work. In the future, we will post videos of artist interviews.

“Canopies” opens June 27th and continues through August 22, 2015

The exhibitions includes the work of Kimberly Clark, Eric Elliott, Tamblyn Gawley & Evelyn Woods.

Reception for the artists, June 27th, 2 – 4 pm

Artist Interview #10: Eric Elliott

Elliott-studiopic

1. Are you a full time artist, if not how do you support your art?

I currently teach part time, work part time at Prographica Gallery, and make art part time.

2. When did you consider yourself an artist?

Although I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember, I made the decision to dedicate myself to becoming an artist when I was 19 or 20. But, I don’t think I considered myself an artist until after graduate school when I was still making art, but no longer an art student.

3. What are your influences?

I’m influenced by pretty much everything around me, whatever I’m reading at the time, the art I’m looking at, the houseplants in my apartment, the light, the weather, the seasons… The artists who have influenced my work the most are Giacometti, Cezanne, Morandi, Antonio Lopez Garcia, Euan Uglow, Philip Guston, Monet, Edwin Dickinson, Ann Gale, Vuillard… the list can go on and on.

4. How big is your studio, what kind of lighting?

I have only been in my current studio for about 6 months and it is about 300 sq. ft. It has natural light from skylights, which has been a struggle to figure out how to control the light for my still lifes. For nighttime and dark days, there are overhead lights with a mixture of different temperature light bulbs.

5. What is a typical day in the studio like for you? Do you listen to music, radio or tv in your studio?

I usually sit in silence when I first get to the studio and figure out what I want to tackle for the day. Once I’ve made a decision on what I’m going to do, I’ll put on NPR, a podcast, or an audio book and get to work. My brain likes to chatter and I find that having something on in the background keeps that part of my brain busy, but when I have a big decision to make I usually pause what I’m listening to until I’ve figured out the next step. I’ll take a break for lunch and then get back to painting until dinnertime.

6. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?

I prefer oil paint, and I usually have a few things going at once. At various stages during a painting I like to look at it for a while to figure out what to do next, and while I do that I usually start something new.

7. Do you have any special or unique tools, devices or process that you use in your art making?

Nope. All pretty standard tools, devices, and process.

8. What do you do outside the studio, aside from a job?

I hang out with my wife Devyn, watch an episode of something, read, and think about the next painting.

* Eric’s work is represented by James Harris Gallery in Seattle.

“Carolyn Krieg: Equus ferus caballus”

With each exhibition, we will post interviews with the participating artists along with a photo of said artists in their studios and images of their work. In the future, we will post videos of artist interviews.

Carolyn Krieg & Fred Birchman share the gallery space May 9 – June 20, 2015

Reception for both artists, May 9th, 2 – 4 pm

Artist Interview #7: Carolyn Krieg

Carolyn Studio

1. Are you a full time artist, if not how do you support your art?

I have been a fortunate working artist since 1989 with part-time landlord, wildlife rehabilitation and Soma Neuromuscular Integration work supplementing my studio work at different times.

2. When did you consider yourself an artist?

As a child I took pictures with a Brownie and drew pictures with pencil. I wanted to be an artist beginning in 4th grade. I received a degree in French Language and Linguistics and taught for a short while before taking the leap and returning to school to study art. I had a professor my first year who said we would know we were artists when it was our discipline, our choice of work. That resonated with me- 1983.

Brownie camera

Brownie camera

3. What are your influences?

Much inspiration comes from reading– fiction, myth, poetry, history, psychology. Where I live and with whom I live, both people and animals, how I spend time when I’m not “doing” art –all this parallels my work and in some way influences it. My parents’ only extravagance for themselves was to purchase art while raising nine children. In 1973 I moved to Paris to study (also taking mime classes with the Polish ex of Marcel Marceau). I took train and van-camping trips that included museums in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey and Morocco (having to return home only because of amoebic dysentery). What I saw in first person, after seeing the images in books for years, blew me away. An exhibit that deeply influenced me was a floor of Impressionist work at the Hermitage which I saw during the Cold War in 1972, labeled “decadent art” and off limits to the Russian population in that era. One of my favorite museums is the Prado. Goya, Bosch, El Greco, Velasquez. I nearly lived in the Louvre some days when I lived in Paris. Recently, my favorite museum was the Gulbenkian in Lisbon—with its’ varied and beautiful Ottoman/Asian collection. Some live and some dead big name artists whose works have influenced and informed me: Jasper Johns, Chagall, Ryder, Vuillard, Frieda Kahlo, William Blake, Rembrandt, Degas, Da Vinci, Botticelli, Durer. Locally the artists whose work I own: Glenn Rudolph, Fay Jones, Jim Lavadour, Jim Kraft, Michael Spafford, Mark Calderon, Lauren Grossman. On a national level, for their translations of the animal kingdom: Susan Rothenberg, Deborah Butterfield, and William Wegman. Nancy Spero and Imogen Cunningham and O’Keefe, the list could go on.

One of the pieces Carolyn grew that is now in her collection: Tom Hardy’s 1951 Lithograph, “Horses and Rider”

One of the pieces Carolyn grew up with that is now in her collection: Tom Hardy’s 1951 Lithograph, “Horses and Rider”

4. How big is your studio, what kind of lighting?

My original studio of 1500 sq. feet is now my home as well, for economic reasons. I have an “office” space upstairs with my computer and printers and cameras and some storage (and a bed). I have a 10×20’ room in the barn where I store and show work and frame and paint (if not outside). The lighting is daylight florescent.

5. What is a typical day in the studio like for you? Do you listen to music, radio or TV?

There is no typical day and my art work is interspersed with my animal chores, exercise (swim or jog or horseback ride) and rental/property chores. Some days it is work on the computer, some I photograph, some I paint, some I frame, some I prepare canvases and board, but I do need variety to not get burned out. I need quiet and do not listen to anything when working. My brain is too full already. Working is one kind of meditation and connection to the universal for me where I lose track of time and place and self.

6. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?

I work with all kinds of things photographic and acrylic. I sometimes use oils and resins, but after having a cancerous kidney removed, I am careful about toxic substances. I spent many years tearing apart Polaroids and altering the transparencies without gloves and printing in the darkroom handling chemicals-the craziness of youth. I work on several pieces at a time, stopping and returning when I’m fresh.

7. Do you have any special or unique tools, devices or process that you use in your art making?

I will use pretty much anything that gets my job done when I am mixing media, from any tool to any kitchen utensil. My combination of steps vary (mixing media, cameras and films), but in general begins with my conventional chemical or digital photograph. Presently, I transfer my images to a computer and use Photoshop for drawing and painting before printing on archival inkjet paper. Then I will sometimes transfer that paper onto board or Plexiglas or canvas to take it further with acrylics and sanding and more painting. With previous work, I generated a Polacolor print from the digital file, and cut/tore off the positive transparency, which I painted with oil and ink and then used in place of a negative in a traditional (analog) color enlarger. I printed on archival chromogenic paper, then sometimes transferred the print and/or transparency onto canvas or board or Plexiglas and worked further with acrylics and resins. I draw, paint, erase, sand, tear, cut and digitally manipulate. This allows for fictional gain and generational loss, similar to what happens when experience moves from perception to memory. It reflects the psychological process of teasing meaning from mystery.

8. What do you do outside the studio, aside from a job?

Currently, I swim and attend a Pilates Reformer class at least once in a week and daily jog with my dogs along a lovely little route that affords me a view of Rainier (I call her Tahoma, her original name) when she is out. I also ride my horse in nature as often as I can squeeze it in. My parents are 89 and 92 and I try to get to Portland to see them as much as possible. I try to travel abroad once a year for new inspiration and source material (and horse riding). I go to ACT theatre as a subscriber and love movies.

“Fred Birchman: Reclamation Projects”

With each exhibition, we will post interviews with the participating artists along with a photo of said artists in their studios and images of their work. In the future, we will post videos of artist interviews.

Fred Birchman & Carolyn Krieg share the gallery space May 9 – June 20, 2015

Reception for both artists, May 9th, 2 – 4 pm

Artist Interview #6: Fred Birchman

FB_1

1. Are you a full time artist, if not how do you support your art?

Until recently I was doing graphic design full-time for msnbc/NBC news. I’d get up at 4:30 a.m. to get in a few hours in the studio each day. Now I forage for nuts and berries and head to the studio at a reasonable time after breakfast.

2. When did you consider yourself an artist?

I think it was about my third year in college that I started to make art seriously. But it wasn’t until a year or so after college that it really sunk in that this was going to be a life long thing. When I had to figure out when and how I was going to make art amongst all the day-to-day stuff and it didn’t discourage me, that’s when I knew. It seemed like that would have been a good time to bail, but I didn’t.

3. What are your influences?

I had a couple of pretty strong college profs that made a big impression. Tom Schlotterback taught me how to draw and R. Allen Jensen taught me that I had to go to the studio everyday. Of course there are all the artists like Rauschenberg, Jim Dine, William Wiley, Ed Keinholz and Llynn Foulkes that I stole from…I really dug the “Cool School” guys from L.A.!

4. How big is your studio, what kind of lighting?

It’s about 290 sq.ft. (damn, that sounds small). It was built over our garage. The ceiling is about 25 ft at the point so it makes it seems a lot bigger. Maybe I should install a trapeze? I have incandescent cans on tracks. AND a big window.

5. What is a typical day in the studio like for you? Do you listen to music, radio or tv in your studio?

I usually take up where I left off the following day. Finish up a drawing and leave it hanging to glance at while I start something else. Sometimes I’ll make adjustments or fuss a bit. After a few days if I haven’t gone back into it, I’ll take it down and consider it done. I listen to NPR mostly, but occasionally I’ll put on some jazz or Neil Young. I drink a lot of coffee while I work.

6. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?

Drawing with whatever device strikes me at the time. I usually take up where I left off the following day. Finish up a drawing and leave it hanging to glance at while I start something else. Sometimes I’ll make adjustments or fuss a bit. After a few days if I haven’t gone back into it, I’ll take it down and consider it done.

7. Do you have any special or unique tools, devices or process that you use in your art making?

Nothing special. But I do believe that you have to make yourself available to making art. Go to the studio every day. If my brain is empty, I’ll start sweeping, cleaning up arranging, whatever…and before I reaIise it I’m onto something. There’s something about being in the studio that just gets you going.

8. What do you do outside the studio, aside from a job?

I enjoy cooking and my wife, Robin and I usually have folks over a couple of nights a week for dinner and wine. And we travel when we can. I don’t hang around other visual artists too much, but I have a lot of friends that are other things like builders, architects, writers, mechanics, etc. Mostly they are just great folks who inspire me and keep me curious.

“Geometric Abstraction” Chris Watts

With each exhibition, we will post interviews with the participating artists along with a photo of said artists in their studios along with  images of their work. In the future, we will post videos of artist interviews.

“Geometric Abstraction” opens February 21, 2015 and runs through March 28, 2015.   The artists included in the exhibition are David Brody, Robert Perlman, Chris Watts.

Artist Interview #3: Chris Watts

Chris Watts

1. Are you a full time artist, if not how do you support your art?

Currently I teach in the Fine Arts Department at Washington State University.

2. When did you consider yourself an artist?

In my teens but in reality I became a professional artist after graduate studies at Ohio University.

3. What are your influences?

When discussing my work I attempt to broaden the influence that order, placement, and patterning have had on the evolution of my inquiries. Topics include Bronze Age monuments, spirals and mazes, Pythagoras, counting processes, scientific structures, bell ringing, Theosophy, sound, the geometrical tradition in art, and of course pattern. The relationship of Art to Science continues to be a rich resource for my creative work. My interest in patterns and systems as expressed through painting and drawing represents a life long commitment to this line of inquiry and expression. Early on in my career I was particularly interested in Constructivism, Suprematism, British Constructionists and Systems artists, Minimalism, Conceptual Art and Art Language.

4. How big is your studio, what kind of lighting?

I have two studios both have north light supplemented with incandescent daylight.

5. What is a typical day in the studio like for you? Do you listen to music, radio or tv in your studio?

Mornings are my best times for studio work. I try to get into the studio at about 9:00 or earlier and work until mid afternoon. Depending on the level of concentration required by the project at hand, I listen to music or have the TV running. If the imagery is detailed or complex I work in silence.

6. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?

I work with mixed media but particularly with acrylic paint and paint pens. The imagery ranges from diagrammatic drawings, acrylic paintings to three-dimensional relief structures. I tend to have more than one project going at a time. When I run into a block with one idea I will switch to another format or configuration.

7. Do you have any special or unique tools, devices or process that you use in your art making?

Whatever works in terms of tools or devices. My approach to the work is preconceived and precise. So I tend to generate a considerable number of diagrams and drawings relying on grids.

8. What do you do outside the studio, aside from a job?

I enjoy outdoor wilderness adventures, playing music and upbeat conversations with plenty of laughter over a glass of quality beer.