Posts Tagged ‘Susan Falk’

Small Wonder!

December 13, 2012

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Low Tide, Bob Wakefield, 11×14. oil on canvas

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Prada, Bob Wakefield, Oil on Canvas, 14×18 inches

Normally, I wouldn’t post a painting complete with frame, but these two paintings just beg for frame recognition. The paintings by themselves would just not be the same.

Bob Wakefield is one of about  20 artists in the Fort Gallery artists collective in Fort Langley, B.C. The show Small Wonder! is the pre-Christmas, salons-style exhibit that allows the artists to bring out their non-series paintings, their small works, trials, sketches, etc. They are beautiful and they are affordable.

Wakefield was originally a student of Susan Falk, who is also with the gallery, and they work in thick impasto and expressionist style.  Falk’s is showing some farm-related imagery – a painting of a red barn, a large drawing of a sunflower, and a painting of her beautiful little iris-rimmed pond that is just big enough for a small row boat and a gaggle of geese. Pond Study is loose and dramatic with autumn colours contrasting with an ultramarine blue.

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Pond Study, Susan Falk. 24×12, oil on canvas

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Two paintings from the series “From the bus: Coquihalla“, Veronica Plewman, each 6×8 inches, acrylic on board.

Plewman is showing 6 paintings from the series, “From the Bus: Coquihalla”.  The paintings describe the area near Merritt and Kamloops in British Columbia where the highway cuts through the mountain pass on Highway 5.  Plewman has captured the wonderful quality of colour that sings through a snowy landscape where, to the unschooled eye, one might be excused to think that there was just white and dark. She paints the blues, rusts, ceruleans and yellow greens that sparkle through when a bit of winter sunshine illuminates the hills. In these small paintings, she manages to describe the mightiness of the mountains and the detail of soft fog captured between the hills or a stand of bare alder with their raw umber branches. These are simply jewels of craftsmanship and vision.

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Search, Bloom, Shine, and Drift,  four prints by Edith Krause, , approximately 9×12 or 10×10 inches.

Several of Edith Krause’s small prints from “The Butterfly Effect” series are available in the show. I wrote about them recently so if you would like to see samples of those, go looking back a post or two.  Search, Bloom Shine and Drift are new works to the gallery and have quite a different feel to them. Krause creates prints with great attention not only to the inherent ecological message but also to the texture and surface qualities of her work. She pays great attention to finishing detail. These works are simply  perfect in craftsmanship.

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“Inukshuk” Pat Barker, Acrylic and Mirror on board. Approximately 8×8 inches.

With Inukshuk, Pat Barker gives us a preview of her upcoming show. She experiments with materials and includes bits of mirror in her design, enhancing the feeling of ice and snow.

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Carolina Poplars, France, Kristin Krimmel, gouache,  6×8 inches approx,

There are a number of works by artist Kristin Krimmel. This early gouache of hers describes the lines of trees along the roadside in France in the Department of the Marne.  Another landscape she offers is a watercolour of a farmhouse near Montpellier. It’s inspiration in style is an adaptation of the pointillists method or working. By overlapping small strokes of pure colour she blends and nuances the image to represent the special heat and light qualities of the Languedoc region on the Mediterranean.

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The Mas, Kristin Krimmel, watercolour on Arches paper

The surrealist of the group, Olga Khodyreva has contributed this fluid image:

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Drama, Olga Khodyreva, Gouache and ink on Paper. 12×12 inches.

It’s reminiscent of Joan Miro, Alexander Calder and Picasso with it’s tumbling figures.

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Winter wandering, Jennifer Chew, 8×10,  Velum and charcoal on wood panel.

Winter wandering describes fine branches emerging from snow. There is a delicate quality of calligraphy in this finely composed drawing.

FH Dempster Highway #1 (Small)

Salmon Glacier, Fiona Howath, 11 x 14, Silver Gelatin photograph

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Fallen Giant, Fiona Howath,  Silver gelatin photograph, 11 x 14

Fiona Howath is an upcoming photographer whose work, in this exhibition, focuses on the natural landscape. She has crisp focus and  captures exceptional lighting. Detail is as important in the foreground as it is in the back. I particularly like the feathery quality of the ferns in Fallen Giant and in Salmon Glacier, I find the light/dark composition is excellent with the cloud, white above the mountain, casting dark on its slopes and brilliant sunshine delineating the character of the geological formation.

There are lots of paintings from each of the artists. As one is sold, it goes away with the purchaser and another gets put up.
I encourage you to go see the show and maybe even treat yourself to a painting. They are reasonably priced and there is lots of variety. Also there are several smaller items – greeting cards by four or five of the artists, fused glass tree ornaments (Judy Jones),  chap books and other small gift items.

Also featured in this show: Richard Bond, Lucy Adams, Doris Auxier, Fiona Howarth, Dorthe Eisenhardt, Judy Jones.

The location is 9048 Glover Road, Fort Langley, B.C. The gallery is open noon to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, and the show closes Sunday December 23rd.

Don’t forget to check out the web-site too:

www.fortgallery.ca 

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The Plein Air show – Part 1

June 24, 2012

Open Sky, Red Barn, Pat Barker, Watercolour, 22 x 30

At our artists’ collective, we planned this Plein Air show with the thought of connecting with our rural and heritage community, Fort Langley, in British Columbia. It is where the first fort was built on the  Fraser River and it was considered the first settlement and the first centre of pioneer administration. In the late 1800s and early 1900’s a lovely little village grew up around the fort and that is where we have our gallery, in lovely turn-of-the century community, in a turn-of-the century building.

 The Fort Gallery and ‘Growcery’, Kristin Krimmel ,11×14 Acrylic on canvas

Plein Air is a practice of painting that was made popular by the Impressionists. Quite literally, it means “open air”  or  “out in the open” . The artists would pack up all their materials they needed for painting and hike out into the surrounding area to paint directly from the scenery before them. This method of painting (as compared to making drawings and then coming back to the studio to paint) called for some quick responses from the artist. First of all, the light changes constantly  depending on the weather –  whether it’s sunny or overcast, rainy or dry. Then one’s eyes are constricted or dilated. It makes one perceive colours differently.

We advertised in the community that we would be out on the two weekends preceding the show, in the village, painting. In our group, we set out some expectations – that we would be visible to passers-by who could see us painting; and that we would paint some of the businesses so that we would connect with the  community of merchants. We imposed an 11 x 14 inch canvas size so that we could get some unity in the hanging of the show later on.

One of the mandates of our gallery is to work in a contemporary manner; so we choose our members on merit of their vision. A few paint pure abstracts – non representational things where you are not expected to connected to any objects that you might know in this mundane sphere. Several of us are representational – you can tell what the objects are in an image – but they are painted with modern methods – much more modern than the Impressionists. There are surrealists, constructivists and conceptualists amongst us. And then there are some more traditional in their approach. Modern realists.

Another goal of our association is to have the artists stretch beyond their personal comfort level to explore in a fashion that they don’t usually express themselves. For we contemporarians, reverting to a picturesque illustrative style can be quite daunting. We’ve cast it off in “artistic principle” and now are expected to bring it back on.

We realized that not everyone would have time to come to paint, as some of us are restrained by work schedules and family commitments. So in the end, we feared we would not have enough to show and we augmented where possible with previously done plein air paintings. As long as it had been painted outdoors, it would be considered for the show.

 

Pat Barker – 1) Victorian House 12 x  12 inches,; 2) CN Train Station. Acrylic on canvas, 11 x 14 inches,

So it is that Pat Barker, a painter used to working  large canvases with strongly textural surfaces and no literal content,  found herself painting the local CN train station, a relic of the era of train travel (a freight train still goes through the town, daily) ;  the painted Victorian  marvel across from our gallery with all sorts of moldings and spindles in its decoration; and the red barn, above.

“When I first came to Fort Langley,” she says, “I was awed by this red barn and I thought, if I ever lived here, I’d paint that barn. It’s what made me want to find a home in Fort Langley.”  I asked what drew her to the barn, thinking that it might be something special about it’s design but she said “It wasn’t really the barn but this incredible big field and the surrounding hills cradling it.  Everything was so lush and green.” At the opening reception, she explained that she had studied animation at Emily Carr University and that her training had influenced the style in this watercolor. When she said it, I could immediately relate it to her image. Especially, there seems to be a fish-eye lens view of her open sky and the red barn dwarfed by its rural surroundings. She has captured the sweeping cloud formation that make the skies in this area especially interesting.

Olga Khodyreva is primarily a surrealist and non-representational artist. In her recent solo exhibition at the gallery, she was  showing two groups of paintings that show her commitment to her chosen style of painting. So it was a bit of surprise to see her classic realist drawing in this show.

 

Olga Khodyreva, 1) Gasoline Alley,  8×8 inches and 2) Glover Road, 6×9  inches Both are ink and gouache on paper.

See how different it is from her usual surrealist style?

Olga Khodyreva, Dream of the Penguin, Acrylic

It becomes evident that Khodyreva has a classic, draftsman-like talent in drawing and a refined sensitivity to colour. Her drawings are even more remarkable when one considers that the weekend on which she was doing her paintings treated her to rainstorms and misty grey conditions. It’s a wonder she stayed to draw; and the work is nevertheless atmospheric. and engaging.

 

Shari Pratt,  1) Museum of Anthropology in Fort Langley, 11 x 1 4. 2) Community Hall, 11 x 14. both are painted in acrylic on canvas.

In these two paintings and the two  flower garden paintings below, her mastery of colour is obvious. Her colours are beautifully fresh and clean. Her manner of drawing with paint is direct and bold. The sun shines by shifting a single hue through  tonal changes (take a really good look at the irises in the paintings below).

Shari normally paints large canvases with abstracted imagery of figures using acrylics and mixed media. These paintings done Plein Air are not as far from her  usual style as some of the other painters in the group.

 

Shari Pratt, 1) Mrs. Simpson’s Garden in yellow 2) Mrs. Simpson’s garden in purple. Acrylic on canvas 11 x 14 inches.

Lucy Adams has a far greater disparity in her plein air paintings from her usual work than the other artists.

 

Lucy Adams, 1) Windswept trees, 2) Ever restless. Both are 20x 24, acrylic on canvas

“You should have seen me,” says Adams. “We were on the Oregon Coast and the wind was coming at us. It was so cold and I had the canvas on my knees and sometimes propped on my shoes while I painted this.By the time I came back indoors, my fingers were frozen.”  In the past, Adams has demonstrated several styles, preferring to work with unusual materials – like painting on glass or on mirrors. Her last exhibition featured long strips of sheer cloth painted abstractly with impressions of the seasons.

These two paintings above exhibit a freedom in her brushstrokes, a liberty of paint handling that make these paintings especially joyous representations of the forms she is recording.  No mean feat when it’s the restless sea, ever moving, ever changing on the rocks beneath her perch.

 

Susan Falk, Telegraph Trail #1 and #2, 8×10, oil on canvas

Susan Falk was up with Bob Wakefield at Telegraph Trail where Pat Barker, too, found the red barn. The images of Falk and Wakefield are cropped from the landscape to the barn itself. Falk is well-known for her expressionist paintings full of movement. Falk captures the late afternoon sun in a rich harmony of colours.

Wakefield was caught by a downpour on the second day of his Plein Air experience for this show and took refuge under the overhang at the back of the Fort Gallery. There is a lovely wild, lush garden in front of Suzanne Northcott’s art studio. From this view, he painted this charming, painterly oil sketch of the garden and the red door.

Bob Wakefield, Suzanne’s Garden, 8×10, oil on canvas

There  are several other artists to share with you, but duty calls. I’ll post them in a follow up.

There are still one week to go for this exhibition (ends July 8, 2012).  It’s at the Fort Gallery in Fort Langley, B.C.  at 9048 Glover Road. Hours are noon to 5, Wednesday to Sunday.

Susan Falk at the Fort Gallery

April 15, 2010

First Level, test 2, Susan Falk, Acrylic on Canvas, 6 x 15 feet.

The horses come galloping towards you,  in full movement, or so it seems to me, this novice in the world of horses and dressage. Dorothy is with me as we inspect this daunting painting. One cannot take it all in, in one  glance.

I had missed the point, but my friend has had experience with horses. She educates me on the esoteric symbols  – the letters that refer to various positions in the arena, the written words that are instructions that the judges call out and the various  tests of a horse’s ability to go through the paces of Test 2. The judges box is off to the far left hand side.

All these things enhance my enjoyment of this large work of art; but without this knowledge, I would still have found this an amazing work first off, because Susan Falk manages to draw the horses in paint with such energy and motion as if she had been able to paint it in sweeping movements; and then because the images are so big that it is a tough task to keep the animals in proportion and anatomically believable; and lastly because the concept of a large figurative work like this must be planned and ordered in advance to produce a piece with workable composition and meaning.

I was tempted by the post card invitation to see this show, but I was not ready for the impact of this particular work. There is no comparison between photographic reproductions and the real thing!

There is a series of smaller mixed media drawings 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 13 inches, more attuned with Falk’s usual style. These, too, are lively and dynamic.

Susan Falk has been training with her horse at Rosewyn Stables in Langley with coach Monique Fraser.  She takes the opportunity to photograph and draw many of the horses and riders while she is there.

In part, this exhibition is a fund raise to uspport the Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association. Posters of Falk’s work are available for $20.00 and all the proceeds from these posters will go the VTEA!

The show is on until April 25th so there is still time to see it.

The Fort Gallery is at 9048 Glover Road, Fort Langley, B.C.. open Tuesdays to Sunday from 10 to 5 p.m.

604-888-7411

Kate Bradford, Susan J. Falk

September 27, 2008

Fort Langley is a lively place on Friday nights. It was hard to find parking for the Fort Gallery which was our destination. It shines like a beacon when there is an opening on a fall evening. Once out of its protective circle of light, it’s deep black outside and difficult to navigate from car to gallery and later, back to the car.

Inside, the gallery is hopping with some of the elite of British Columbia’s artists and many relatively unknown but top notch visual artists – ceramists, painters, sculptors. This is a gallery that artists like to frequent for it’s friendly atmosphere, whether there is an opening on or not, and its high quality shows. The walls are painted a soft grey which is a perfect background to dramatically show off paintings. Art work doesn’t have to fight with a harsh white background.

This evening was the opening of a show for Kate Bradford and Susan J. Falk. For this exibition, Bradford showed ten small sculptures varying in height from six to ten inches high,  all a variation on a theme entitled Ridge. Each is a brushed aluminum block, some cubic, some in rectangular solid forms. Each one is incised or added to with variations. The main material is a pristine brushed aluminum with added metallic elements in copper, steel or brass. Where the  basic element in the design is severe, even austere, the additions , contrastingly, are irregular in form and somewhat frivolous in comparison. It’s a fascinating contrast. Given the base rectangular solid form they are begun with, they end up looking like very elegantly designed but quirkily, wrapped presents.

It’s very clear that Bradford knows her materials and lets them work for her.

Ridge, sculpture by Kate Bradford

Lighting is the key to making these sculptures realize their full potential.  In the sculpture pictured above, light comes from two directions and the small posts  weave shadows into each other, creating additional visual interest. The reflection and shadow cast by the block on its support, a uniformly black shelf, also adds interest.

These sculptures suit a minimalist context such as a classy office reception area or board room, or they would grace a refined urban home with sleek modern furniture. Kate Bradford’s attention to precision and simplicity is a strong point. Her variations on a theme demonstrate that her work fascinates her. She is not repeating her imagery but finding new visual joy in each separate piece.

Susan J Falk with one of her paintings, Arbutus Ridge, Oil on Canvas

On the surrounding walls, in great contrast to Bradford’s work, large canvases painted with liquefied oil paints depict arbutus trees in all their gracious fluidity. I was rather pleased with the warmth and liveliness of them. The imagery did not change materially from canvas to canvas, so it took an inspection of her web site to understand that, in this small gallery the viewer was too close up to appreciate that these canvases are meant to hang together in a huge architectural setting. They are all part of a same image – one large epic canvas. If you look at Falk’s website, you will see the work hung as a single work and it reads much better in a larger context.

http://www.susanfalk.ca/html/galleries.html

There is high impact on meeting these canvases for the first time. Fresh oranges, reds, burnt Siennas and yellows combine to define the light and dark of the trees. A subtle and less demanding ground roots the large trunks on the overall image. Between the branches, there are shots of pure magenta and cerulean or manganese blue giving the canvases a good cool balance to the fiery branches above.

Everything is freely drawn. There is no hesitation in Falk’s brush strokes. Nothing is overworked and the paint stays fresh as if it were just painted and glowing. This artist has all the skills and verve in her technical abilities to fill her paintings with the mood and the feel of these giant orange-barked arbutus trees.

Viewed as a whole, this month’s exhibition brings two completely contrasting artists successfully together. The expressionist feel of Falk’s paintings opposes the clean lined minimalism of Bradford’s scultures. The resulting effect was a balanced and interesting show. It’s on until October 5th.

If you are in the vicinity of Fort Langley, visit The Fort Gallery, at 9048 Glover Road; and if you have time to stroll through the town, you will be delighted by the pioneer atmosphere that has been maintained on the main street. There are lots of coffee shops and some excellent places to stop for lunch or have a fine dinner

Note:

An interview by Roni Haggerty  on Susan J. Falk’ website is located at

http://www.susanfalk.ca/html/statement.html

Kate Bradford has yet to create a page and I was unable to find anything about her, to date, on the Web.