Friday, July 31, 2015

Evolution Continues

2015 Participating Artist

 Mary Lynch’s dream of becoming a ceramic sculptor began by returning to school at the age of 53 to discover the “world of art.” Five years later, she graduated with a BFA degree in Studio Art from Sam Houston State University.

She believes that “no matter what the age, one can grow and give.” Her studies and travels in Mexico and Italy added another layer of excitement for learning to see in a new way. 

Mary thought she would be a painter…..until she touched clay again. Her whole notion of expressive work took shape in the realization that she had to carve, cut out, and let her pieces breath.  The rhythm and movement of line became very important. The relationship between positive and negative space drew me in even more. And the idea of ‘spontaneous imagery’ resulted in surprised endings.

Mary’s work has developed around four major themes:  Nature, Bird’s Nest, Rock Forms, and Contemporary. Each style has evolved from observation and process, and the evolution continues.

Her work is currently featured on the 2015 Directory Cover.  

Mary Lynch

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Grand Landscape

2015 Participating Artist

Jerry Sieve has over 30 years of experience as a professional scenic/nature photographer/artist. Over 2,500 of his images have been published worldwide. His work can be found in various books, publications and calendars as well as in numerous corporate and private collections.

Jerry has taught over 50 workshops across the nation, and has acted as artist-in-residence at the high school and college level. In an age where his students almost exclusively shoot using digital cameras, Sieve remains loyal to his roots, shooting the vast majority of his work using a large format 4x5 inch film camera. "I don't have a problem necessarily with digital, but I'm all about producing artistic statements with my photos," he said.

When he’s not behind the camera, Jerry paints oil on canvas. His one-of-a-kind landscape/nature paintings mirror his iconic photographs. “Artists tend not to be verbal people, we express ourselves visually. There is a feeling that a certain area has, and needs to be expressed… it is the grand landscape.”

Jerry Sieve

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Water, Copper, and Turquoise

2015 Participating Artist

Born and raised in Arizona, artist Marjorie Risk has had an appreciation for the environmental diversity of the state in terms of habitat, elevation, plant life, etc. With a 24-year background in environmental resources, she has found that her art is inspired by the beauty of nature and some of our precious natural resources:  water, copper, and turquoise.

Marjorie created Same Moon Creations where she designs and creates unique, welded steel whimsical creatures, one-of-a-kind steel sculptures from salvaged metals, and steel landscape focal points with high-fired ceramic elements. Her work is a combination of handcrafted, high-fired ceramic with supporting metal structures or in many cases a stand-alone metal sculpture.

Her ceramic efforts focus on mirroring the beauty of copper and turquoise. “My work with metal centers on the organic appearance of rusted metal and various patinas possible when working with copper,” Marjorie said.  “I enjoy working with these mediums as every ceramic creation is different with a unique blend of glazes.”

Majorie Risk
Same Moon Creations

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Versatility of Metals

2015 Participating Artist

Kim Heath discovered he had a passion for metal, music and nature while growing up in Malibu, California. During his 25 year career in the movie industry as a rigging grip, he explored the versatility of metals. Kim revived his passion for working with metal and found that he wanted to show the inner beauty of metal by creating unique pieces of functional and non-functional art.

Each one of his pieces is individually designed cut, shaped, welded and heat colored by hand. Using only a torch as his paintbrush, he brings out all the brilliant color of the metals by using varying degrees of heat. No paints or dyes are ever used in the color process.

 “The challenge is to find just the right temperature to get the color I want. I like to make my pieces come alive by using the changing light, the metal’s natural colors and various techniques I have discovered,” Kim said.

Depending on the sculpture, Kim may add lights or other objects to highlight or enhance certain aspects of the piece. Several of his pieces have won awards and been on exhibit at the Westlake Village Art Guild in Westlake Village, California, and the Fine Arts Exhibition at the Del Mar Fair in Del Mar, California.

Kim Heath

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Working with Gourds

2015 Participating Artist

Jan Downey’s art is both deeply personal and global, drawing on her experiences and impressions from traveling, living, and working with people in different cultures. Her inclination for creativity began during her childhood. Jan’s parents supported her experimentation with many kinds of traditional and non-traditional media as she discovered materials, methods, and outcomes. Art continued to be central to her identity, even as Jan moved into other jobs, states and endeavors.

“Creating artwork from gourds involves the most meaningful creative elements: design, color, hands-on work, and interacting with materials, methods, and outcomes,” she said.

In her work with gourds, she uses a variety of processes including pyrography, carving, painting with acrylics and ink dyes, and embellishing with natural materials. Jan’s designs are influenced by her love of natural world and human cultural expression.

Jan Downey

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Love for Animals

2015 Participating Artist

Linda Korstad is an artist working in clay and mixed media. Her work has become sought after for its whimsical nature and contemporary flair.

After breeding and showing Afghan Hounds for many years, Linda decided to focus her knowledge and love for animals into her art. Each of her pieces embodies the unique personality found in the very animals she worked with so closely for years.

Linda takes great pride in creating her sculptural works. Each is unique, using various techniques from hand-building to casting each body to finishing the pieces with various post-fired finishes.

The one-of-a-kind, hand-built and press mold sculptures are finished with glazes, stains, washes, and slips. The most current body of work is finished with a raku technique.

Linda Korstad
Clay Menagerie

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Elegant Wearable Jewelry

2015 Participating Artist

Jennifer Hanscom has always loved to create. As the youngest of eight children growing up in central Massachusetts, she explored her creativity within a practical realm; making clothing and home d├ęcor of all sorts. Several years later, and moving to Arizona with her husband, Jennifer began to explore the art of making jewelry.

She soon founded C&D Silver and bought her first length of silver wire and a small display of tools including a steel block and hammer. This is where her true love of crafting silver jewelry was born.

Over the years, Jennifer has explored many of the disciplines involved in jewelry making. She utilizes many of them to create elegant looks with timeless appeal. Jennifer’s multitude of skills and education help her create elegant wearable jewelry with unique parts, and 3-dimensional designs.

She currently designs jewelry signifying deep meaning to be worn as a talisman of sorts to inspire, enhance, or celebrate positive intentions such as flourish, balance, and growth. “I hope that the overall composition of my jewelry attracts your attention, the construction intrigues you, and the intention captures your heart,” said Jennifer Hanscom.

Jennifer was a finalist in the silver category of the Saul Bell Awards in 2010, an international jewelry competition. You can find her guitar necklace published in the 2013 Lark book titled Showcase 500 art necklaces. Her work also appears in magazines and has been displayed in museums in addition to being owned by collectors across the country including Chef Stephanie Izard of Chicago (season 4 winner of Top Chef and 2013 James Beard award winner).

Jennifer Hanscom
Desert Jewel Studio

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Modern Masters

2015 Participating Artist

Joseph Woodford has been creating and selling his one-of-a-kind ceramics through art shows and galleries across the country since 1993 and has earned him four “Best in Show” designations. In 2002, he was the featured artist of HGTV’s Modern Masters in episode 608.

In addition to life-size vessels, Joseph builds stand-alone totemic forms, abstract versions of Native American totem poles. He also assembles wall pieces made up of large tiles. These slabs are shaped in a mold for uniformity of size and thickness, then altered for design and fired many times. The individual ceramic squares are then pieced together in a grid as a 6- x 7-foot wall mosaic.

Joseph’s ideas for his ceramic artwork are inspired by human forms and forms he’s found in nature. He works primarily in Raku, a 16th century Japanese firing technique. Joseph’s palate of glazes include vibrant copper and gold colors along with crackle glazes that produce an intriguing display of random vein patterns. Another distinguishing characteristic of his large vase forms are the abstract sculptural tops which he believes add personality and an individual character to each of his pieces.

Joseph Woodford

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Absolutely Unique

2015 Participating Artist

Nancy Uhlmann's love of art began at a young age and was inspired by her aunt, Alice Uhlmann Wright, a painter and portrait artist. Nancy's initial collegiate years were spent creating paintings and pottery as well as pursuing a degree in K-8 education.

Her artistic background was useful when assisting her students in understanding concepts, but it was not pursued as a career until her retirement from teaching. In 2000, Nancy moved to the Phoenix area and became an active member of the West Valley Arts Council, changing her art and sales focus to custom jewelry.

In 2010, she started Absolutely Unique, LLC, to further her aspirations for jewelry design. Nancy creates custom original designs, assuring customers that their special jewelry will be a one-of-a-kind item. She provides customers with the opportunity to custom order pieces by selecting the style, color, and types of stones. Nancy then sets out to make each unique piece to closely match the style and color selected.

Nancy Ulhmann
Absolutely Unique, LLC

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Whitewater of Color

2015 Participating Artist

Dennis Kleidon paints robust abstractions that explore the possibilities of paint in action, reveling in color in ways that appear at first to be intuitive, but soon reveal a sure sense of gesture – at once invigorating and calming.

Through decades of sailboat racing, Dennis is influenced by the turbulence of water, the violence of the wind and the complexity of nature’s details, his paintings pair bold strokes with complex detail, where the paint smashes against itself to create a ‘whitewater’ of color. 

Throughout his career as a university professor and as the founder and owner of Kleidon & Associates, a marketing communications firm, Dennis continued working as a fine artist, drawing on a surprisingly diverse background as a painter, sculptor, graphic designer, architectural illustrator and classically trained pianist. His fine art stretches across a similarly wide range of media from massive welded steel sculptures and photography to large figurative paintings, tightly controlled graphic paintings on film, and abstract paintings on canvas and paper.

Dennis’ recent work captures the live motion of the artist’s hand, layering spontaneity with control, and in that way, inspiring the viewer to see a fresh reality. In paintings that explore illusions of scale, perspective and color, these “explosions of grace and power” create an unexpected visual wellness.

Dennis Kleidon

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ambiguity of Metal

2015 Participating Artist 

Joan Waters’ paintings and metal sculptures suggest the energies and forms of nature without directly depicting natural scenes. By concentrating her will and energy into the materials, the work attains a visceral power and vibration of its own.

Her work interprets the rhythms, shapes and movements found in nature, without directly representing easily recognizable objects or scenes. Each painting and sculpture embodies a powerful physical presence and spirit which evolves over time from the process of manual labor and working the metal intuitively. These sculptures and paintings grew out of her interest in African art and ritual scarification, where the skin is pierced to create patterns of raised scars are created on the body to signify rites of passage. I am challenged by the ambiguity of metal—turning flat, hard, industrial material into organic forms that seem to shift and move as they reflect light.

Joan uses welding tools as one would use traditional art tools—seeking to “draw” with the mig welder, “erase” with an angle grinder, and “cut out shapes” with the 10,000-degree plasma torch. Layers of colored patinas bring the aesthetics of painting to sculpture. The shifting dark and light shapes and added color evoke feelings and invite an emotional response from the viewer.

For Joan, part of the appeal of the process is the extreme amount of deconstruction—cutting up and taking apart—that is necessary before the work can be re-ordered as a unified organic presence.

Joan Waters  

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Preserve the Pristine Desert

 2015 Participating Artist

Ronnie Wainright’s landscape paintings are a testament to her love of art and her mission is to call attention to the natural environment.  Through her art, she expects her viewers to become more aware of the beauty that surrounds them, and she hopes to educate the public in becoming more involved with the land, its grandeur, and its preservation. 

Ronnie and her husband, Abbott, moved to Arizona over thirteen years ago from the east coast.  She has been a painter from early childhood, influenced by her mother, who was also an oil painter. Ronnie has studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and most recently has participated in plein air workshops with painter Mark Farina on the Monterey Peninsula.

Ronnie’s landscapes are her abiding joy and her paintings are in private collections throughout the country. Her oil paintings support her commitment to help preserve the pristine desert, canyons, and creeks of Arizona. 

Ronnie Wainright

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Simple Memories of Moments and Places

2015 Participating Artist

Growing up outside of Cleveland Ohio in a musical family, Michael Mckee’s parents provided him with a strong appreciation for the joy of creative effort, and the value of art and music in the human experience.  He has spent his professional life as a portrait artist, illustrator, graphic designer, art director and for 15 years as co-founder and creative director of Successories, Inc.

After many accomplishments in the commercial art world, Michael decided it was time to embark on a new journey... the journey of an artist whose expressions are more personal, and directed only from within.  Spending time traveling to New Mexico, he became inspired by the range and density of color found in the texture of the high desert landscape. Touching New Mexico’s red earth, gave him a new direction in art… soft pastels.

Michael’s work can be found exhibiting in art shows, galleries and art festivals around the country, showing and selling his 'Landscape and Abstract' pastel compositions. His landscape and abstract impressions all come from simple memories of moments and places, and are all created with a spirit of joy.

The Art of Michael Mckee
Michael Mckee

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Total Control of the Creative Process

2014 Participating Artist
Studio #16

Born and raised in the New York, Frank Gennaro attended Pratt Institute School of Art, Design and Engineering. He became involved with photography over 30 years ago. Since retired and settling in Cave Creek, Frank has been working more seriously with digital and mixed-medium.

All of his work is digitally processed by using various techniques. Some of the techniques he developed emulate painting. Frank does this using Corel Painter with various Bristle, Fan, Sargent and other brush's. Other techniques emulate pencil drawing, pastel and watercolor.

After working with the original image as a digital pallet, he creates finished pieces on canvas, watercolor paper and other mediums using acrylics applied by hand and pigmented inks applied with a Canon Image Prograph 8300 Plotter. Frank stretches his own canvas and matt and even frames most of the images. This allows him total control of the creative process beginning with capturing an image to a full rendering on canvas or fine art papers.

Frank Gennaro
Desert Valley Photography