New Members Show
October 4 - October 29
acrylic & acrylic marker on canvas
36 x 36" 2021 $1,875
Change is the through line of my 20-year career as an artist. Though I’m committed to drawing and painting as the foundation of my practice, the subject matter of my work ranges from still life to figuration, landscape and abstraction, embracing a variety of styles.
I’ve turned restlessness and intellectual curiosity to my advantage, using these tools to power the growth of my artistic vision and skills. An example: The urge to make images without reference to models, photos, or other externals—in other words, wholly from imagination—led me on a drawing jag that produced over 25 images in graphite, charcoal and colored ink. These drawings became my 2014 Blackfish Gallery solo show, titled “Interlopers: Unintended Narratives.” Making these large-scale works boosted my risk-taking chops, birthed a powerful process for accessing stored visual and emotional material, and heightened my sensitivity to line. I’ve brought all three of these valuable assets into my subsequent projects.
A background in philosophy informs my practice as does a psychological approach to human experience and behavior. The salient formal elements of my work are color and composition.
Desert Blush, 2022, acrylic on canvas, 40" x 60” diptych
The paintings in this collection bring me full circle. As a novice painter I read something by the artist Wolf Kahn that stuck with me. He said (not in these exact words) every artist has one mark making technique that determines the way they use all of the mediums they work with. I wondered what my mark would be. Would there be something in my paintings that said ‘I was here’, ‘this is uniquely me’? It took over 30 years for me to realize I do have a mark. My mark is the very first mark I made as an adult artist. I have come full circle. I began painting by executing faux finishes in the San Francisco Bay area. Over time I evolved to painting abstract landscapes but I never left the tools and marks behind. The rules in faux finishing are ‘hide the tool mark’. 'Don’t let the viewer know how the paint was applied’. ‘Let there be some mystery’. After leaving decorative arts I focused on painting abstract landscapes.
Recently I began painting pure abstract paintings I call ‘Colorsplash’ paintings .They remind me of my beginnings. By applying layers of paint and constantly changing the viscosity, value, hue and texture, the surface becomes rich with visual depth.
With both styles I travel into my paintings to find the places I find soothing. I am curious to see where my paintings take me next. I love what I paint. I love how I paint. I am delighted to share this body of work with you.
The objective of Qiheng Liu’s work is to try to understand different elements of painting and to explore the relationship between them, thereby achieving self-expression. His artistic creation originates from the unfamiliar experiences that various surroundings have brought him. Those experiences forced him to focus his attention on himself – gradually, he came to realize the existence of the “self.” His concept of “self” was established step-by step and became the foundation of his creation. Thereafter, within the process of uninterrupted daily practice, he developed a space in his work, a stage that could embrace any element or any character. He has always been interested in how the elements incorporated into his work compete, interact, and compromise with each other. He believes that painting is a game, just like other games. Each element brings a relevant discipline when incorporated into a work, and those different disciplines were often the genesis of the “game.” However, the future of each element of his work is determined by the “self”.
Two square clouds, 2019, oil on linen, 48" x 60”
Ruri has been working with clay for over 43 years.
She has been going through 4 transition stages, and now going into her 5th stage of her creative endeavors. Each transition is reflecting both her outer and spiritual evolutions resonating each other into her art work. The most crucial transition was after her mother’s passing. Going through deep grieving period, she started creating sculpture coming from how and what she was feeling rather than thinking about the functional aspect of clay work.
The theme of her work continues to be the same: abstracted form to express oneness, interconnectedness, and prayer for peace within yourself and without. Especially under the current situations and environmental challenges we have been facing, we do need to think everything in global scale.
It would be intriguing reminder to have art work with oneness intention in your daily life, and she does hope her art work would play an important and meaningful role in this aspect. Nature and all kinds of relationships continue to be the metaphors and inspirations for her work.
We Are All In the Same Boat, 2019, anagama fired clay, welded steel, nylon thread, 62”(H) x 50 x 13.5
Rust in Peace, oil on board, 16” x 20”
I have been fascinated with art my entire life. Creating artwork is a peaceful endeavor where I can explore new ideas and concepts. I’m a painter, mostly working with oils on canvas or board. I paint anything that piques my interest, including nature, figures, animals or mechanical objects. Recently (the last few years), I’ve been painting a lot of train-related pieces. Locomotives have been another source of interest since my early childhood. I find myself attracted to subject matter that involves the interaction of nature and man-made objects and how the elements of weather and time can change something. I was inspired by a trip to New Mexico a few years back where I found myself in an abandoned rail yard full of decaying locomotives and train equipment. The notion of decay (or change) has been with me for a while. For one of my first projects in art school, I found my way into an abandoned building on the outskirts of Chicago and photographed all the amazing things that were happening to the building. Warped wooden floors, paint flaking off the walls, thick layers of dust, artifacts left where they’d be set down decades ago—it was all very beautiful to me.
When Was Your Last Confession?
2022, mixed-media on floral wire, 36” x 16” x 1”
I want to tell my stories and it’s probably going to bother some people. May you find healing amidst the discomfort. My current work attempts to tell the stories that I can’t tell in any other way. These are stories of suffering from depression and complex post-traumatic stress disorder while raising a family and trying to make life better for my children than it was for me at their ages. My work aims to express what it feels like to be grateful for what I have all while I’m dealing with intense grief over the many people and parts of myself I’ve lost to various tragedies in my lifetime. I put pieces of wood, recycled objects, paper, or all three, together much like I put together my thoughts, feelings and memories from dissociative states in my youth. In both processes, things are not linear. Intense sadness, joy, depression, and reflection come in pieces and I am always trying to make sense of the fragments as they present themselves. So there’s collage and words scattered about the surface, and beautiful colors and shapes to connect things that otherwise wouldn’t mean much by themselves. I hope these pieces speak to you in your own language and take you to a place inside of yourself that makes you feel heard and understood and maybe a little bit happy.
by Aaron Johanson
Hokkaido 1, fiber base, black and white photograph 10" x10” (matted 16" x 16”), 1991