Monday, February 27, 2012

Artist Supporting Artist Inspires and Supports All

Vavrino Painting

In addition to marketing, an artist must take time away from painting not only to support other artists, but to stay in tune with current trends. Moral support is vital to all of us, and the inspiration we get from others may sometimes lift us from complacency and bad habits.

I had the opportunity to do both at the Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers by attending an opening for my friend, Annie, in the Member’s Gallery; and by viewing the remarkable works of Michelle Sales featured in the main Gallery, and the works of deceased Vavrina in the Theater Lobby. Talk about color! Vavrina’s bold lines and color really got my blood moving.

Afterwards, mixed media artist Michelle Sales explained her unusual and gripping work by saying that it is about the accumulation and preservation of memories:

"These memories, represented by constructed and found materials, are stitched together to create two and three dimensional artwork. Each piece is built up with various layers denoting passage of time and erosion. My works are abstract journals in which memories are retained, protected and preserved. Through this process I document events, emotions, growth and decline. In like fashion, my memories mimic ancient civilizations, one built on top of another, century after century, new upon old, in an endless cycle.

“The color rust plays a significant part in much of my work; I find it to be a harbinger of transformation and change. Working with an earthy palette allows me to explore our connectedness to nature and the human condition. Living in a heavily forested area, I am drawn to and inspired by the massive tangle of trees, branches and shrubs. Hiking through these wooded areas, I often collect various natural and man-made objects such as tree bark, rocks, pebbles, seed pods, and rusted metal. These items are frequently combined with synthetic materials creating the highly textural surface inherent in much of my work.”  (Link)  Michelle Sales 

Annie St. Martin’s paintings often combine pallet knife with brushwork in oils and acrylics. Bold colors, both realistic and imaginative, and O’Keefe like flower paintings give Martin’s work a distinctive appeal.