Kelly Green is the coordinator for the “Love Thy Neighbor” gallery show
I have been creating art and drawing for as long as I can remember. I have been a self-representing artist since 2001 and a proud Colorado resident and Commonwheel Co-op member for the past 5+ years.
I would see Rockey around town when I first moved to Colorado over 5 years ago and became a member at Commonwheel Co-op, but I didn't know who he was. I knew he was local because I would see him often when I was working shifts in the Co-op.
Then one morning at Commonwheel I read an article about Rockey in the Independent and a few minutes later he walked by the front window. The next time I came to Manitou Springs Rockey was sitting outside his house next door and I realized that he lived right there. I said "Hello" to him and we had a short casual morning chat.
Later on, I had the opportunity to sit with Rockey a few times and randomly talk about art and life when he was outside his house next door to Commonwheel on sunny days when I would be on my way into the Co-op. One afternoon I was bringing in some really detailed large canvas prints to hang at Commonwheel and Rockey was outside on his bench next door enjoying the morning sun and watching people. I said hello to him, and he asked to see my art, so I went over and sat next to him and showed him the two prints. He was so enthusiastic, so curious and so sweet about my work that I immediately wished I could sit and talk with him more that day and often, but I only had a few minutes before my shift started next door. I live quite a distance away in the plains and am often pressed for time to get to work or home.
We parted ways and I went next door to work. About an hour after my shift started I went into the backroom at Commonwheel to write a request on our list of supply items that need to be purchased and right next to the list was a handwritten note with a call for part time help to frame some of Rockey's work. I wrote down the number for David Ball at the bottom of the page and when I got home that evening I contacted David. David replied quite quickly, and I went to work framing with David a few weeks later in the basement of Rockey's house.
I found this to be an incredible synchronicity to find the call for help right after I'd wished to be able to get to know Rockey more. I have extensive framing experience and the opportunity to see, handle and frame an enormous treasure-trove of work Rockey did over decades was really beyond anything I could have imagined. The earliest piece I remember framing was a lovely portrait of his mother that he created using pastels in the 1950's.
I framed some of his college work, marbled paper he created for his students when he was a professor, portraits, concert posters, landscapes and so much more. Rockey put himself into his art more than most artists do and so I felt that I came to know him really well, and with each piece I had the rare opportunity to examine I came to know and love the art and the artist even more, but not in the way I had imagined on the bench that afternoon talking about my art. Rockey's health declined over this period of time when I was framing, and I didn't have many opportunities to catch with him after that, but while I was in the basement framing, I often thought about how huge Rockey's impact must have been in so many ways and on so many people since he taught, produced art, and lived in Manitou so long. When I first conceived of this show inspired by Rockey he was still with us and I had hoped he would see all of the work that he had inspired. I had the show proposal written up but not submitted when I left for Montana to see my mom. Rockey passed away while I was in Montana and so the proposal was submitted once I returned from my trip.
My daughter, Hali Honigbaum, and I tried our hands at marbled paper for this show and that process was definitely inspired by me having seen some of the paper that Rockey marbled for his classes to use, and also I got to frame some of the marbled paper pieces he finished or partially finished. I found it really interesting that he worked often in mixed medias like I do often, searching out images within water-colored paper. Rockey did that with his marbled papers and encouraged his students to do this as well. I really loved marbled balloons as a kid, and seeing these works made me actually feel a somewhat desperate need to know how to marble paper myself. In one of many synchronicities that I experienced with Rockey's work I stopped at Ross that evening to buy some craft kits and art supplies as a birthday present for a party my daughter was invited to the next day. There in the small craft section was one marbled paper kit for $5.00. I scooped it up, and a few months later Hali and I marbled enough paper to cover the dining room table and the entire floor. It was so much fun! Hali is showing a piece she marbled and I am showing a piece I marbled and then detailed with pen and ink pointillism.
I really like the way that "The Path to Pike's Peak" turned out. I don't often do landscapes, but when I do, they usually end up with a checkerboard ground. I framed a really early series of 4 pieces that Rockey did where he was exploring perspective and horizon and one of them had a checkerboard that instantly reminded me of a couple of pieces I did a decade ago, though Rockey's were actually created two decades before mine. I knew I wanted to do a local scene using the checkerboard then.
The Octomaiden/Mermapus/ sculpture "Iscariot" by Trace O-Connor marks the spot along my path from the plains in Eastern Colorado where I live to Manitous Springs where it seems that the vibe changes and things get a little weird in a really good way. The Octopus is also a recurring theme in my art so when this sculpture popped up there on top of that rooftop I was pretty excited and curious about her from the start. I did some research and found that another town disowned her before Colorado Springs took her in. That seems appropriate.
My artwork can always be found locally in Commonwheel Artist Co-op in Manitou Springs and Colorado Creative Co-op in Old Colorado City. I also currently have a few original pieces at The Perk downtown Colorado Springs through the end of February and I have a new pen and ink piece showing in Kreuser Gallery's 'Gratitude' group show opening February 7th.
Online you can find my etsy shop at
and I am doing the social media thing on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/kellygreenhbaum/
Like many people, I had to wait until I retired until I had time to pursue art. I have experimented with many media, some of which I still enjoy, but glass is the medium that stole my heart and soul. I have been working in kiln formed (fused) glass for about 15 years.
I first saw Rockey's paintings at Adams Mountain Cafe, and then began to learn more about his generous spirit and his love of Manitou.
My pieces in this exhibit were inspired by my love for Manitou and the surrounding area, so I thought they would be a fitting tribute to Rockey.
The piece above, "Garden of the Gods" is my favorite because it captures the essence of Pike Peak and Garden of the Gods, some of my favorite scenery on the planet!
My work can be seen on Facebook at LoLo's Paloozas.
I classify my work as folk art. Folk Art comes out of one's culture. My mother and father were depression/ WWII parents. Times were lean and you learned to make do but our home was rich in folk art. We had beautiful quilts, rugs, pictures, table clothes, and dolls made from leftover or reused yarns and fabrics.
I am self-taught in making and designing my fabric pottery after seeing a piece in a heritage art center in Berea, Kentucky. I have always loved the way different fabrics, threads, and notions can come together to make something beautiful. It is much like a potter with their clay, paints, and glazes making a beautiful piece of pottery
I first came to know about C. H. Rockey when my daughter excitedly showed me a painting over her mantel. It was by Rockey and I loved it. Soon we had a Rockey painting over our mantel. Then it was exciting to learn about him and his work, see his studio, or catch sight of him about Manitou Springs. Now it is exciting to be associate with him through this show.
My small piece of Fabric Pottery was made especially for the show. Inspired by Rockey, I wanted it to be unique, earthy, soft in color, whimsical, and express love. The piece was made entirely from materials I had on hand. I have never used wool in my work before. I decided to give it a try for I thought it would give that earthly, whimsical look I wanted. I liked that the unspun wool came from Colorado sheep. I found gold silk thread that had been my fathers, who was a tailor. The thread was on a wood spool and wood spools have not been used since the 1970s. To express love, I make every heart unique using pieces of ribbon, trim, and beads that have been saved over time.
<<image of Mary’s piece>>
My Art is inspired by wanderlust and a deep respect for the natural world and the diverse people in it. I am fascinated with the mystical and the unexpected.
One never knows which way a painting is going to lead you. A painting has its own way of evolving; sometimes you just have to get out of the way and let the process happen. There is magic in every moment, if I can catch that moment in my art and share it with you, then I am successful.
When we first moved to Colorado, 24 years ago, the first place we visited was Manitou. Although we had to live within 15 min of the AF Academy, my ideal place was Manitou. Almost every weekend we would come for breakfast at Adams, kids would explore the town, and I would dream that this is little art town was the perfect place to live. This led me to the beautiful blue Mansard studio and Rockey's home on the corner of Canyon Ave. Rocky was sitting in his studio painting when I walked in.
He invited me to come in, sit down, and we talked. I discovered that he had been a middle school art teacher, as I was at the time. He told me not to worry, there was an art life after teaching. He shared his teaching experiences with me and gave me ideas on how to trigger the unexpected in art.
Rockey gave me an incentive to continue teaching but also to know that art would always be my love and vocation. After retiring from teaching and moving to Manitou, I could stop in to say hello more often. Rockey has the most open and beautiful heart of anyone I have known.
I had been working on my portrait of Rockey before this show. When he passed away, I wanted to paint him. I had photographs of him through the years and always was inspired by his Gandalf qualities. My children call Manitou Rivendale and Rockey is definitely an evolved being. His dedication to his art, his community, and his faith is inspirational. The portrait of Hannah Rockey and her parrot, Sebastian was from my photograph of the two of them. This painting was given to Hannah and is available in Giclee print form.
“Ruxton Creek Swing” is a painting from a photograph that I took last Fall in front of what was once Victoria’s Keep B&B. I loved how the brilliant Indian Summer light filtered through the leaves and the water. Magical!
The portrait of Rockey in this exhibit is my favorite painting. It was inspired from my last visit with Rockey. The late morning light filtering into his studio, Hannah with her parrot, Sebastian, on her shoulder and Rockey looking so peaceful and wise is how I will always remember him with deep gratitude for his kindness and his open heart.
My work can be found at:
Gallery 113, 125 1/2 N Tejon, Colorado Springs
Web page: deniseduker.com
Pat Eastlake went to an art/design school in 1970-76 in Columbus, Ohio where he was a painter, printmaker and sculpture. He worked as a woodworker and designer and earned a Master of Design degree from an art/ design school in Cincinnati. He has worked full time as an architectural woodwork designer, but now is mostly retired.
I went to drawing classes in the early 1990s at BAC (now MAC) and smilingly sat next to Rockey several times. It was always a pleasure to see him around town, and in Adams Mountain Cafe. I have been influenced by the spirit of his landscape oil paintings.
My two accepted paintings exemplify the variation in my oil paintings, sometimes graphic and symbolic, and sometimes naturalistic. During the last four years I have been working to pull those two aspects together, trying to develop my visual language.
I like my painting “Island in the Sea” because it is clean and fresh.
I have lived in Manitou Springs for 24 years. As a child I grew up in a home that had original artwork and was encouraged to draw as a young person. Later, after college I became interested in painting. I have been an art educator and administrator for many years and am enjoying painting again.
After we moved here, I purchased a print of Rockey’s work. My husband displayed it in his office in Colorado Springs. It’s a wonderful image full of beauty and intriguing details of Manitou Springs. I was able to study his original work in businesses throughout the town. Tina and Ken Riesterer kindly introduced me to Rockey. I was impressed by the quickness of his mind and his strong opinions about painting.
Rockey had a profound connection to the built and natural environments of Manitou Springs. Although my approach to painting is different from his, each piece of mine in this exhibit represents the same passion for place. These works were painted on-site in Red Rock Canyon.
Since I have not been selling my work, it can be found in my studio and in the homes of friends and family!
I was born and raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Art was and continues to be a safe haven for me. As an elementary school student, the once-weekly art class at my school was the one hour a week where I felt I could enter a state of meditation, freedom, and giddy creative joy. I chased that feeling and leaned heavily on art throughout my adolescence. In high school I began branching out more, painting murals, completing commissioned work, entering art competitions, and exploring my sense of purpose and empowerment through artistic expression. Now, in my young adulthood, I'm exploring how my artistic practice and research can merge to communicate the key ideas I believe we all need to focus on to survive as a species. Art continues to be a supportive place for me, just as much as it's a vehicle for change.
About seven years ago, I was sitting on the bench across from Rockey's studio watching the birds nesting in the bushes. Even though I was dreadfully shy, when I saw his door was open - I heard a voice inside myself that told me to go in. I'm grateful that I did and consider it to be one of the best decisions I've ever made. Rockey and I quickly became friends - sharing meals, sketchbook entries, and long conversations about love, loss, clouds, uncertainty, hope, faeries, and all things nature. During the summers I'd help Rockey with projects around the house and chores as much as he'd allow - then during the winter and spring of 2019 I joined the team of folks supporting him in his end of life transition. Our moments together during that time are ones I hold most sacred.
I've painted Rockey several times throughout my time knowing him - inspired by his personality and deeper layers of being. My piece "Rockey's New Canvas" was created a few days after his passing, as a way to honor him and process my grief and immense gratitude
You can find my work at katia-rhapsody.com as well as contact information. I'm currently residing in the Pacific Northwest and sell my art locally in this area, but can ship to/work in Colorado as opportunities arise.
I am an amateur photographer and eccentric editor thereof. I've been keen on arts since early childhood (still have a magnet on the fridge of a dragon I drew in first or second grade). I started getting into taking pictures when in middle school and by the time I got my first smart phone, I had begun editing pictures in a unique fashion.
I met the late artist once prior to his passing at the church next to the Manitou library and I believe I attended an event celebrating him and an apprentice of his at the MAC. I recall the prior more vividly as I sat in a peculiar position above most and I had noticed a kindly old man sitting off to one side, doodling away on the program (of which I might still have somewhere, maybe). Everyone was so kind, loving and respectful of the man whom I was soon introduced to. I mean, to be so frail yet big of heart and kind in spirit, what's not to be inspired by?
I am ever challenging myself with different techniques and styles for my artwork. Honestly, I did not create something new for this show, I looked through my collection of favorites, whilst going through the pamphlet I got from his gallery, trying to decide which one would best fit the motif. I hope I chose wisely.
I suppose the best place to find my work is on Instagram (The_Acidic_Æsthetics) though I've frequently had my work put up in the MAC.
I paint a variety of subjects, but light is the true focus of my work. I’m attracted to the strong contrasts that light and shadow create as well as the drama it adds to a painting. Besides having an instant impact on viewers, the light, or lack of it, seems essential in telling a story with otherwise seemingly ordinary subjects. My work appears in private and corporate collections around the country and abroad and has appeared on the cover of several magazines.
Two years ago, I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with Rockey. I was painting the back of his head to include in my “About Face” series. As we visited, he shared with me the story of what he described as the most romantic date of his entire life, which had happened just the previous evening at The Cliff House. It was a sweet and touching story that lit his face from within.
“Love Thy Neighbor” presented me the excuse to paint one of the pictures that I shot of Rockey that afternoon. I kept the portrait loose to convey the character in his face. While I often paint a solid background with portraits, it seemed fitting in this case to surround him with a Manitou landscape inspired by one of his own paintings.
My work is represented locally by The Hunter-Wolff Gallery in Old Colorado City and can be seen at www.juliekirkland.com and on my Facebook page, Julie Kirkland Fine Art.
Art has always been an integral part of my life. I remember standing near a chalkboard and drawing before I even attended kindergarten. Throughout my college science career, I always managed to fit in art classes.
I was very fortunate to be able to use my art while raising my son. Working with local builders I created various murals and faux [finish] projects.
In the mid 2000 I had a studio at the BAC and it was then that I was fortunate to become friends with Rockey. I spent time with him while he was working on his book with graphic designer David Ball. He was always so appreciative when I brought over home cooked meals.
My piece "Tree Whispers" is a work that I especially created for this tribute show. Rockey would give a piece of paper that had abstract flowing forms on it and ask his students to see what they could see as a starting point for their drawing. Thus, I took two wooden panels and saw trees whispering to me. As a nature aficionado I'm sure Rockey was whispering to me when I decided to create this diptych.
My art is represented in various galleries in Colorado, among them Kreuser Gallery, Bella Art, Side Door, Naked Aspen Designs. In SD Morris Grand Gallery represents my work. Recently my work was juried into Modbo/SPQR small works exhibit.
I am a self-taught artist and have been painting since I was young. Upon retiring from an interior design career my paintings have been purchased and commissioned by many designers. Art has always been a passion for me.
I did not know C. H. Rockey. however, I would have loved to.
Recently, I have developed a new impressionist style with bold vibrant and exciting colors...one of my customers loved my Desert painting and stated “ it just makes me so happy". That's why I love to paint!
My painting of " By The Fire" gives me a feeling of camaraderie and warmth.
At presently I am working on developing a website for my art. [Editor’s Note, Linda will be showing her work again in our gallery again in May 2020.]
I have been fascinated with photography since I was a little girl. I carried around an off-cast camera of my father’s, taking photos of everything and anything. Many years later I studied photography and digital art, garnering awards and being offered a directorship to develop a gallery. Currently, I just enjoy being an artist, and I still tend to carry my camera when going on adventures.
About the art:
I’m not sure my artwork fits neatly into a little box. The colors I use these days tend towards the vivid and bold. The landscapes I create are fantasy driven and surreal, as are my figurative pieces. But, I do have softer, quieter pieces that are usually nature-centric. I also have a good deal of abstract and architectural images, as well as straight landscape photography and photo journalistic images of my travels.
About the creative process
The creative process starts when something nudges my soul, whether it is a beautifully written line of poetry that moves me or the aftermath of a devastating forest fire. I then begin by trying to capture images that express what inspired me. The next step is importing the shots into Photoshop and layering them. A lot of trial and error takes place during creation. I may stop when I hit a wall, and work on another image for a while. I usually know when I’ve got it right. I then print a small test image to see if I’ve got the colors and levels right for output. I print my own giclee’ prints with a large format Canon Pro 9000 Mark II printer. I print on Epson Metallic Glossy photo paper and Ilford Galerie Metallic and Smooth Gloss photo paper. They cost twice as much as the traditional papers, but the results are so worth it. The metal prints that are so popular are made by Bay Photo.
How am I acquainted with Rockey?
I became aware of Rockey’s artwork, long before the man. His beautiful creations grace the walls of Adam’s Mountain Café and The Cliff House, and I’m sure numerous other venues. I always admired the way he depicted Manitou Springs; the magical small town nestled in the bosom of Pike’s Peak. Later on, as a member of Commonwheel, I got used to seeing his slow coming and goings back and forth to his studio/home. Surprisingly, Rockey’s reputation as a human being was equal to his level of artistry.
His love of fantasy, his warm heart, and his medium influenced my work. I had already begun both projects, but I did away with my sky in, “Lavender Dawn”, creating something softer and more painterly. I also made the color palate much warmer, where it started very pastel. I added a wee hobbit house that I thought Rockey would enjoy visiting. I imagined him looking out of the open window at the fields of flowers and enjoying the lavender scent. I continue to be inspired by his love of fantasy. After the deadline for submission passed I was still making… I have just completed a portrait of a woman enchanted by the Faery! I think Rockey would approve. She won’t be in the show, but check out my artist space at Commonwheel to get a look at, “Enchanted”.
My own favorite piece is the aforementioned, “Lavender Dawn”.
My social media contacts are:
Follow me on FB - Neonmermaid9
Follow me on Instagram – Neonmermaid9
Follow me on Etsy – NeonMermaidPrintShop
Shop with me @ Commonwheel.com
Questions? E-mail me! Neonmermaid9@yahoo.com
I have been a lover or art for many years. Growing up in the Springs area where there are so many talented artists has been an inspiration. Always having an interest in art, I took a drawing class in 2014 and have been taking classes and at local studios and art schools. I paint in oils now, mostly landscapes, and find it an intensely compelling and rewarding practice.
I met Rockey in the 70’s when I first moved to Manitou. His paintings amazed me, and he was always so friendly and kind, taking time out from his schedule to visit whenever a visitor called. I remember talking with Rockey one day in a park when he was painting en plein air in the 80’s. He asked what I’d been up to. I told him I had been working 12 hours shifts at the hospital ER and he said, “With my job, I get up in the morning, have breakfast and pack a lunch, grab my paints and easel, and go paint all day, whatever moves me”.
I thought to myself, what an incredible job! Of course, now that I’ve actually done some plein air painting, I realize how naive I was to think that, and how challenging it really is!
I never had the resources to own a Rockey, but picked up prints along the way, and he even loaned me a wonderful piece with my house in the background. It was pure heaven having that original in our home: food and drink tasted better, the air smelled sweeter, love was more present. It was like having a little bit of Rockey right there.
I returned that painting to Rockey immediately when Hannah was calling for the return of his loaned art. He insisted that he give me a written receipt of its return, and thanked me profoundly for returning it. I remember walking home from his studio that evening, unabashedly crying the whole way.
I didn’t paint any new material for this show but pulled out some pieces that came out OK from some of my travels and classes the last couple years. I loved Rockey’s impressionistic style and my work tends to have that kind of feel. Also, I lack the aptitude, training, and skill to paint classic realism.
Here is my favorite piece for the exhibit. It is a print of our chimney garden on Osage Avenue (before the deer and hail got the best of it). I love it because it captures some of the beauty and magic I experience living here in Manitou; a place where I was lucky enough to overcome some big challenges, fall in love, get married, raise 2 wonderful children, and live in such an cool, eclectic community. How lucky we are to live here!
I have an Instagram site that I post photos of paintings that I think came out OK, and other items of interest: @williambweiss. I do not regularly show or have studio space…but once or twice a year I do put some pieces in local shows. I’m delighted and humbled some of my work has been accepted for the "Love Thy Neighbor” exhibit. When I took that drawing class 5 years ago, I never dreamed it would lead me to this place. Thank you Rockey!
Julia L. Wright
My artistic career started with directing plays and creating sets for theatrical productions in high school and a bit past my University days in Greeley. I traveled to art festivals in 1973 selling my fiber creations that incorporated jute, wool, found objects and feathers. My work was also in as many as 6 galleries for about 15 years. After having my car t-boned, had to shift the focus of my art to basically working just with feathers. I created wall pieces and masks backed on suede. Next added feather earrings, hair pieces and pendants to be sold at Commonwheel and in my Etsy store.
I have always taken photos of beautiful places I have traveled to or hiked. About 6 years ago incorporated some into books I have on Amazon. Then began to play with the images to create more mandala or abstract art images. These have been displayed in various gallery shows and at Art Festivals the last 4 years.
I have used many of my digital art images to place in more books, on mugs, t-shirts and reusable bags. These are sold online in my Shopify Store, on Etsy and the Fine Art America web site.
I came to Manitou Springs in 1976 and I have known Rockey for a very long time. Often would stop for a few moments to chat when he was sitting on his bench in front of his building on my way to or from Commonwheel. He always had something positive to say about the day or asked about what I was doing, and as I was often on the way to a meeting, only had a few moments to talk.
During the time of the 2013 flood that filled his basement with muddy water where so much of his art and frames were stored, watched him work with dozens of friends who came to help to determine what to save, give away or throw away. He was sad but seeing all the people who came to help him, I often saw him smile and profusely thank people moving his art from one place to another. Very inspiring to always find a positive side in any situation and express gratitude for people in my life.
I am very lucky to have a few of the large prints that he on very rare occasions sold. They are framed and hanging around my home. And his reversible sketches fascinated me as to how he could make the work so seamlessly. And I have one hidden away somewhere in a safe place that am inspired to search out . . .
When the town started the Halloween tradition of having merchants hand out candy to school kids, he sat in his doorway with some costume or wearing a wizard hat or just as himself to greet the kids. Watching the joy on his face as he interacted with folks in every type of costume inspired me to try to capture him I photos at that time. The shadows and his sitting sometimes inside the door made it difficult to get perfect photographic images, but some did turn out very well and I entered them in this gallery show. The Halloween images in the show are all from 2014 when he was in his wheelchair sitting in his doorway in the sunshine.
I also experimented with working up some photos of Manitou Springs to look more like paintings. That was a fun challenge, and some came out better than others. Once I got started, it was hard to stop and then choose just a few to submit. I never could make the sky look as whimsical as his, but happy with the photos I did submit using some new digital art enhancing techniques for this show.
The long view of lilacs at the town clock with Rockey’s home building and the Commonwheel in the background is my favorite image I’ll have in the show. Rockey was often seen painting the town clock park or standing there painting some distant view of the homes and hills that could be viewed from there. I still can almost feel his presence when looking at this image.
My work can be found
In Manitou Springs:
Feather Art & some Books/Journals at Commonwheel Artists Co-op
Some Reusable bags & mugs at the Poppy Seed
More Books & Journals:
Search HieroGraphicsBooks on Amazon, mugs will show up also
Shopify Store: https://www.hempearthart.com/ - FaceBook page of the same name.
https://julial-wright.pixels.com/ Also known as FineArtAmerica
As I compile the responses from the artists in our current show, “Mushrooms”, I feel as though my office in the back of our gallery space is in the middle of a forest. I am surrounded by the most beautiful representations of mushrooms and fungus. This open call show has brought in so many different types of artwork—pyrography, alcohol ink, fiber work, photography, paintings, pottery, glass work, and the list just goes on.
We have pieces from over 20 artists. Some of them have responded to a questionnaire about them, their artwork, and where you can find them and/or their artwork. But I’d like to introduce you first to the woman who made ALL of this possible.
Kelly Green is on of our co-op members and has coordinated shows for us in the past. This show is her 2019 effort.
I've been drawing and fascinated by art since I was very young. I really enjoy working in an endless variety of mediums from pen & ink drawings and painting on canvas to sculpting and customizing toys to photography and collage. Sometimes I use each on their own and sometimes they are all mixed up. It's very organized random chaos.
My process depends on the piece since I work with so many different mediums, and time plays a big role in how I proceed with each piece. I always have a bunch of different pieces and/or projects going on simultaneously which means making constant messes throughout the house. From randomness happening in my studio, to framing on the dining room table and multiple projects belonging to me and to my very creative daughter on every other surface available, the whole house can easily be overwhelmed by the creation process, and I am usually scrambling to try and keep the art messes under control.
I usually only paint, draw, or work on any detailed pieces when the house is completely quiet during the early hours before dawn. I cherish these rare meditative creative moments when the elegance and depth of silence can transform thought into spontaneous visual imagery.
I am super excited to be showing Bee and Butterfly Baths made out of recycled glass that I made with my amazing daughter Hali who is 8 years old and quite the artist herself already. She designed and stacked all of the glassware and I did all of the gluing. It was great fun, and they turned out really cool and beautiful.
I applied to Commonwheel for this gallery show after, (like most of my brilliant ideas), it was suggested to me by our super insightful Marketing Manager Juanita. A lot of my artwork actually has a lot of mushrooms in it for various reasons. I enjoy drawing, painting, and sculpting mushrooms because their shapes and colors are amazing, I find them an incredibly interesting and vast organism. Sometimes I just try to recreate them and sometimes they morph into Octopuses and/or hold symbolic meaning in my art. I thought it was a brilliantly fun idea to have a whole show dedicated to this amazing Fungus so I went for it.
I'm a proud member of Commonwheel Artist Co-op in Manitou Springs and Colorado Creative Co-op in Old Colorado City. I also have some art work available in the super groovy hippie and mushroom friendly Poppy Seed in Manitou Springs.
My website: http://www.flyvisions.com/
On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kellygreenhbaum/
I loved to paint as a child, and a career in the arts was the only choice I ever considered. My studies were in Textile Design, and I received a degree, LSIAD from Canterbury College of Art in 1975. I have always enjoyed creating patterns and was lucky to join the Hallmark team in Kansas City in the early eighties. My occupation as an Illustrator lasted for twenty-five years, most of them working as a freelance and licensing artist with major companies in the US. Presently, I am expressing my creativity in watercolor, as this allows me to work fast and in a spontaneous way. As I have retired from product design, I am able to devote my time to the pursuit of painting, which is a wonderful transition.
Lately I have taken on painting without a sketch or drawing on the paper. On the one hand this offers greater freedom; on the other hand, this requires a lot of concentration, as you can’t alter watercolor much. In this piece I started painting the mushrooms general shapes and added the detail later.
The piece I entered is called “Dancing Mushrooms”. I was trying to convey playfulness, while developing the many patterns that are present on mushrooms.
I happened to be working on this particular theme and saw that “Commonwheel" was having a show depicting mushrooms. What a fun moment of synergy!
My work can be found at www.beatricetrezevant.com, Trezevant Art on Facebook, beatrezevant on Instagram.
I am a collector of hobbies and a jack-of-all-trades. I’ve painted, knitted, crafted, and written stories since a child. In high school and college, I delved into the performing arts, becoming a Dance and English major and choreographed an entire musical as well as original dance pieces. After college I dabbled in professional modeling and got very involved in the medieval re-creation society (SCA), where I learned medieval sewing, embroidery, knitting, and weaving, as well as medieval dancing and singing. I enjoyed knitting sweaters and making costumes for my four children as I raised them. Later I started my mermaid swim tail business, opening my small factory here in Colorado Springs where I designed, sold and shipped mermaid swim tails all over the world for seven years. I even got to choreograph a mermaid dance/swim solo – a fascinating challenge. After closing my business in 2018, I transitioned to being a full-time novelist, and I’m also learning to spin my own yarn. I’ve also gotten into LARPing (live-action role playing) instead of medieval recreation, which is a great place for improv acting as well as costuming.
Above is my dryad character at my medieval-style LARP in winter, knitting a red cap in the round. I also spun the yarn to knit the medieval shawl you see here, with a turquoise crocheted edging.
I’m drawn to knitting strange and unusual pieces. I also long for the days of my youth when I traipsed through the woods for hours at a time. Mushrooms transport me to mysterious forests again. I’ve been working off a template with varying patterns for caps and stems, which I can mix and match. I’ve begun to experiment off of the pattern, creating unusual shapes to the stems – making them bulbous then diminish to very narrow stems.
For these pieces, I find special felting yarn. I knit the cap, then the stem. I use hot water and felt the pieces by rubbing them together – creating heat and friction. Once dry, I stuff and stitch them, matching a cap to a stem. I forage the woods for unusual weathered wood from nature, matching a mushroom to a piece of wood, then gluing the mushroom into just the right spot. Sometimes I take a single mushroom and tuck it into a plant, onto a homemade wreath, glue it onto a flat stone, etc.
I love Redcap Path. This piece of wood has many tiny little “paths” eaten into it, leading to this mushroom with the flat, curly cap. The redcap is one of the most beautiful mushrooms – standing out like a spot of joy in the dark forest.
I learned about the show from another writer/artist. I’ve been knitting these mushrooms for a while and am now getting requests for them as gifts, so I wanted to participate in this special call for mushrooms. This is the first time I’ve submitted and am selling my art!
My author website will be including knitting patterns and progress on my various projects: www.jerilynwinstead.com. I also post my work on my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/jerilynmermaid
Drawing and painting was a favorite activity for me as a child. Both of my parents were artists who met and fell in love as students at the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, so looking back, I think they naturally supported and encouraged me. I learned so much from their constructive criticisms, which is so vital to the process. I also wanted to make them proud of me, so I tried really, really hard at getting better. My main focus was always drawing, but later on, I've taken an interest in alternate mediums and surfaces to include 2D & 3D. I enjoy making an ordinary object something beautiful and special.
The first step in my process is the idea or inspiration, and usually, I know right away if it's something I can turn into an actual piece or image. I think about it quite a bit before I actually start, like what colors I want to use, or how I want it positioned on the surface. With my salt lamp art, I sometimes try to find an image in the salt crystal itself, and then work the design into the natural shape of the lamp. Next, I prepare the surface by hand sanding. I begin with a light sketch and then apply darker and more permanent paints and layers. I use a Dremel tool to sharpen and create more detail. Then I finish up with several coats of sealer.
My favorite piece for this gallery showing is the salt lamp entitled, "Mushroom & Butterfly" due to its whimsical feel and vibrant colors. It makes me want to do a HapPy DaNce :)
When I saw the Commonwheel's call for artists with a mushroom theme, I had two pieces that I had already completed. I had an epiphany and got busy submitting my entry form! It's hard putting your work out there, but I'm so glad I did, as should every artist. I love seeing other artist's creativity and work so that inspired me to apply as well.
In the past, I've had my needle felting work in two shops; The Pink Tulip in Indianapolis and The HeArt Market in OCC, but currently you can find me on my Facebook page, Bittie's Shop, where I sometimes post videos while I'm working on the salt lamps or drawings.
I'm an avid "Pinner" and have a large variety of visual interests and boards on Pinterest, to include a "Fungi" board! Just search for "Bittie's Shop" and I should pop up.
I started an Etsy Shop about a year ago and add new pieces as often as I can. Here's my Etsy Shop address: www.bittiesshop.etsy.com.
If you like my work, please consider giving me a like and a follow on all of the above!
I am a self-trained artist. Art was a found blessing in my life. Growing up, drawing and painting was just a rainy-day activity when I couldn’t be outside. However, after many years of unexplained illness, I was diagnosed with the chronic disease Lupus in 1992. During the difficult times trying to get my disease under control, I struggled with significant cognitive loss. For several years, I lost the ability to read or write…. but drawing was my life jacket. Since then a simple means to express myself has become my identity and a growing business. I am an active volunteer with the Wake Forest Guild of Artists and currently serve on the Wake Forest Public Arts Commission. I live in Raleigh, NC with my husband, two teenagers, and far too many pets.
I often choose subject matter connected to nature because I love dramatizing saturated hues and shadowed forms. My unique mixed-media techniques are work intensive and use both de-constructive and building processes. Each canvas becomes its own anthology. I start with a slew of understudy paintings done on variety of papers and materials. Once I rearrange and set the patchwork of squares into a composition that will make a good foundation, I then overlay my intended image. This lends the work to have depth, texture, and just a tad randomness. The common thread for all of my work is the creativity joining representational, raw, tactile, and abstract elements.
My favorite piece accepted into Mushrooms is “Humbled”. The painting is a reproduction of a photo I took while hiking in the Keweenaw Peninsula, MI. The intention behind this painting is a juxtaposition of how we view our life span versus that of the everyday life cycles of nature. “Humbled” is the stage of life when we have reached our maturity and we gain gratitude for even the smallest of blessings. In this case, a battered, leaning tree was giving way to a rich golden stand of mushrooms.
Since I integrate multiple elements into each work, I find it challenging to pick out appropriate call of entries. However, my creative heart was so happy to see Mushrooms! I see beauty in the unexpected…. So, I had mushroom art! Thank you for this opportunity.
Wake Forest, NC : Southern Suds & Gifts 213 S.White Street Wake Forest, NC 27587
My love for art started when I took Introduction to Art in high school, winning Second Place in a student art show with my very first painting. Being poor, I relied on teaching myself but would take college courses or private lessons as I could afford them. I mostly focused on acrylic painting but eventually added airbrush in 2008 and oils in 2009 (I had briefly worked with them in 1987). I’ve been doing murals since 1995. I’ve loved charcoal and graphite since high school, and I began working with pastel chalk in 2012 and colored pencils in 2014. I’ve been sewing since middle school and created “Bearing My Soul” Custom Teddy Bears in 2009. I’ve been whittling since 1992. My sister introduced me to pyrography in 2015, and I’ve been on fire for it ever since! (See what I did there?) It is very difficult for me to choose a favorite medium, which is why my art business is called “Stephanie’s Smorgasbord,” because I offer a little bit of everything.
When I am working on a painting, I will picture the layout in my mind for days, weeks, sometimes longer. I gather several reference photos before I get started, then sketch the layout in my sketch book, then onto the canvas, erasing and redrawing many times until I am satisfied with the composition. Unlike many artists, I don’t like to “prime” my canvas—I prefer to work on a white background. I put down basic shapes and colors, quickly working my way around the canvas (acrylic has a fast drying time!) building up layers until the canvas is covered, most likely redrawing many objects that got covered up in the initial stages. Once I am satisfied with the background, I break out the small brushes to work on the fine details and foreground objects. I believe I have one of the most unconventional methods of painting on the planet! Most artists mix their paint on their palettes, then apply it to their canvas. I do that to an extent, but for the most part, I mix my colors directly on the canvas, adding layers until l I get the details right. Even as I go through the painting process, I may change many of the objects based on shape, color, or size until I settle on what looks good. Once finished, I let it rest for several days, then look at it with “new eyes” to see if I need to tweak any additional details that I hadn’t previously done during the process.
My favorite piece for this show is “Fungi Fiesta” (credit for the title goes to my son Christopher Merchant). My 24”x48” acrylic painting of a forest scene with shafts of sunlight and mushrooms in the foreground. I birthed the concept when I was temporarily living in Maryland, which is when my obsession of mushrooms and appreciation of the forest began. I never realized how many different mushrooms there were! I spent hours photographing them and adding them to my Instagram feed (stepmercjohn), where I followed many other mushroom enthusiasts (machelspencephoto, yellowelanor, jill_bliss, and freymanbg are some faves!). I dreamed of doing a large painting for myself and began collecting reference photos, but it wasn’t until I moved back to Colorado in 2018 that I got serious about putting it all together. I bought a canvas but was so busy that it sat in my closet for over 6 months until my friend Carole Morrison (“Off the Leash Art”) sent me the link to Commonwheel’s Call for Artists. This was the kick in the pants I needed to get started! If it sells, I get to create another one! If it doesn’t, it’ll look fantastic in my new art studio! The painting took almost 80 hours to complete, and I loved every single mushroom I painted!
My obsession with mushrooms inspired to apply for this show! I have mushroom jewelry, mushroom embroidery, mushroom pillows, mushroom art, mushroom wreaths, mushroom knick knacks, mushroom keychain, mushroom fabric, mushroom kitchen canisters, trivets, salt & pepper shakers, coffee mugs … the list goes on! Of all the things I have ever collected, my mushroom collection is the largest! (Hmmm … I may have a serious problem here!) I am so grateful to Carole Morrison for sending me the Call for Artists link—she said, “This is right up your alley!” I felt like the show was created “just for me,” but I know there are many others who love mushrooms as much as I do!
Facebook Business: Owner, Stephanie’s Smorgasbord
Facebook Personal: Stephanie Merchant
Instagram: stepmercjohnart, stepmercjohnart
I have always loved drawing and painting, but it wasn’t until I retired that I had the time for it. It was then that I started taking classes for certification in Botanical Illustration at the Denver Botanic Gardens. I discovered within myself a curiosity, love and wonder at the complexity of a plant’s structure and found that I wanted to record all that!
Botanical Illustration is a precise form of art. It requires accuracy which can only be achieved by studying the plant where it is growing, measuring it, counting its components and noting their arrangement. Only then do I start to make preliminary sketches. I try to capture, not only the plant’s beauty, but also the accuracy of its make-up. This can result in several messy sketches! When I am pleased with a composition which shows as much detail as possible, I will make a contour drawing from it, showing only the outlines, by tracing the sketch. On a separate trace, I will make a value study, which shows only the shadows and varying degrees of shade. I will then transfer the contour drawing on to a clean, final piece of paper. I will set that aside, while I try to match the colors of the plant and mix up batches to use while I’m painting. Then the fun part starts, setting the plant in front of me, referring to my value study and my sketches, I start to paint – exactly what I see - with all its lovely details!
I only have one piece in this exhibition “Sarcodon imbricatus”, or the scaly hedgehog mushroom. I remember doing the preliminary sketches, while sitting under a tree, getting a slightly damp behind, in the mountains! Fun memories!
I have loved looking at all the exhibitions that have come and gone in the back gallery at Commonwheel. I have been interested in showing one of my pieces, but this is the first time I felt there was a “fit”.
My work is displayed at the Commonwheel Co-op and I have my own web-site at smithwickbotanicals.com
I recently moved from Delaware to Colorado Springs to pursue my photography career. I got my first DSLR camera in 2010 and have loved taking photos since. My junior year of college I officially declared my major as photography and dove in head first. Landscape, nature, and wildlife photography have always been my "jam" as I like to say. Photography gives me a means to find myself. Sometimes it takes getting lost to be found. Even at the most remote locations, in solitude, as long as I am camera in hand, I’ve never felt lost or alone, in fact those are the moments in which I feel most alive. Photography completes me in a way nothing else can. I have been taking small steps to further my career since moving to Colorado and I could not be more excited to see what the future holds.
First and foremost, I have to venture out into nature. Mother Nature is the ultimate artist and her inspiration is endless. I guess Photography is a bit of a different process than most mediums. I keep my eyes peeled at all times, constantly looking for interesting compositions (hint, they’re everywhere) but other times they jump out and smack me in the face. That’s one of the great things about Colorado, almost everywhere you look is picturesque. When I see a composition I like, I line it up through my lens to see how it translates through the camera. If I like it, I’ll go ahead and click the shutter. The editing process is a huge part of photography. I’m not big on Photoshop. I use Lightroom to adjust saturation, contrast, and highlights/shadows if needed. I like to bring out the bright, warm tones in a photo.
My favorite piece accepted for this show is Chanterelles. I just love the contrast between the green and the orange. I also love how the composition of it leads your eye from mushroom to mushroom. When I look at my photos I am always taken back to the moment I took it. This one was taken while I was hiking through the Great Smoky Mountains. I am back in the lush, mountainous, serene forest and it makes me feel at peace again.
This question is a bit ironic to me in this context. I was never big on mushrooms until I went on my road trip around the country last summer. Mushrooms are such a unique and diverse plant and I did not realize this until my trip. Traveling around the whole country I found countless different kinds and ever since I have loved mushrooms, so when I saw this mushroom-themed show, I knew I had to be a part of it! I am very excited to see the rest of the art on display.
While in high school, my art class took several field trips to the Appalachian Center for Craft. From the first visit, I knew that I wanted to study at the Craft Center. It’s beautiful location and amazing facilities was the best place for me to pursue art. I graduated from the Appalachian Center for Craft in December 2017. I graduated with a BFA in Ceramics and a minor in Social & Behavioral Science. I’m currently the Gallery Manager at the Craft Center and I also teach ceramics to high school students through the Appalachian Center for Craft’s Focus on Fine Craft Program.
My forms are thrown on the potter’s wheel and then altered and pinched to leave my own touch, documenting my relationship to each vessel. I paint quick, expressive imagery using Amaco Underglazes, inspired by my perception of environments I’ve encountered in my life. I carve through my imagery to reveal my terracotta clay body beneath, providing contrast in each piece. This process is called sgraffito. My pots are then bisque fired to Cone 08 (1728 degrees), glazed in a clear glaze, and then fired again to Cone 3 (2106 degrees).
I enjoyed making my Mushroom Bud Vase! It’s different than what I usually make! I came across the call for entry for this show on Instagram and I thought it would be a fun show to enter!
Galleries: Appalachian Center for Craft Retail Gallery, Smithville, TN
Julia L. Wright
My love of Nature and being outdoors has been part of my life as far back as I can remember. Creating art in many forms has been the basis of my life starting with theatre when I built sets and directed others in High School and college. After college, I created fiber-based crafts that often incorporated found objects. For about 20 years, I traveled to art shows, participated in RenFests and showed in many galleries. Feathers have always been part of my art creations and that evolved into my creating feather masks, earrings, hairclips and pendants.
I have taken thousands of photographs on my hikes and in many gardens. About seven years ago I started using my realistic nature and other photos to illustrate my books and journals. And more recently, I began to use my realistic photographs to create different types of decks of cards for children and adults. Original versions of my photographic Nature-based images are just one way I express my love of Nature. Mushrooms have often been subjects of those photos in late summer and early fall when the pop up out of the Earth to delight folks that look closely at the ground.
A few years ago, I “fell down a rabbit hole of creativity” and began using my Nature photos to create abstract, kaleidoscopic and mandala style images by taking a little part of a Nature photo and playing with it in Photoshop. Two of these styles of images can be seen in this show.
When I am sitting at my computer, I get totally lost in the process and my imagination can run pretty wild thinking about how to take the images I captured and create something totally unique and fun or hone in a specific element found in a photograph, such as a mushroom. It uplifts my spirit to honor the beauty of the amazing places I get to hike and glorify Nature in various artful ways.
All art involves an artist taking up some media and transforming it into a new form or image that comes from their vision and imagination. I try to transform what most people see as ordinary into something extraordinary with a unique way of seeing the world.
Working in my feather studio or on a computer or taking photos on my hikes always has my creative juices flowing. I am constantly looking for some new way to use the images I captured in the wilderness or a garden to create a bit of awe and wonder when someone sees the finished art.
So, my favorite piece in this show is the one that I played with and abstracted. “Meet Me at the Vortex By the Orange Mushrooms” is my favorite image I submitted to this show. It incorporates bits of bark to look like a couple of adventurers thinking of stepping into another realm. A group of brilliantly orange mushrooms marks the place for them to meet and contemplate where they might go next.
Nature is my most powerful inspiration. When hiking or passing a beautiful garden, I often stop to take in the amazingly beautiful natural creations that surround me. A driftwood stump or a rock formation or some fungi popping up out of the ground can be as enticing to my eye as a beautiful wildflower. Each one makes my heart sing and my spirit soar with joy when I take the time to really look at the beauty others pass by each day without noticing it.
I have a great respect for the pristine areas found in our surrounding mountains. And I have respect for folks that hunt for edible mushrooms in a consciously sustainable way. The often share this fun adventure with friends and family members to increase awareness of what Nature offers to us on many levels. So glad to be part of a show that celebrates this often-misunderstood types of flora. I have the hope when people view photos expressing the beauty of Nature, the might become a bit more aware how they can take actions to keep where they travel as pristine as when they arrived and look closely at some fun fungi that may be overlooked for their less showy aspect than wildflowers exhibit.
Stores/Galleries: Commonwheel Artists Co-op
Manitou Art Center in the First Amendment Gallery
My books are also on Amazon under the brand name of HieroGraphics Books.
I’ve dabbled in many artistic media, but I’ve found that fused glass is the one that gives me the most joy. I love experimenting, and particularly enjoy creating 3-D pieces in the kiln. This requires a number of firings at varying temperatures, all taking between 9-20 hours, with 4 or 5 hours of cool-down time. My inspiration comes from nature, including both the mountains and the sea. I have been working in fused glass for over 14 years, I have four kilns, and have taken over every inch of available space in my house and garage for my studio!
I create the components of my pieces individually, which requires cutting glass, finishing the edges, and firing to create each one. Then they are fired flat in the kiln, fired again together to create the piece, and fired slowly a final time to drape over a form which creates a 3-D piece.
My favorite piece for the Mushrooms exhibit is my Mushroom Luminary. The idea for this piece has been brewing in my mind since I first heard about the exhibit. It turned out just as I imagined it, and I’m very pleased with the result.
I’ve loved mushrooms since I was first introduced to Alice in Wonderland as a child, so I was thrilled when I heard the theme for this exhibit!
My work can be found on my Facebook page, LoLo’s Paloozas (www.facebook.com/LoLosPaloozas/), and is currently sold in the Strictly Guffey Gallery in Guffey, Colorado. I exhibit at many other venues in the Colorado Springs area including the MAC, the Modbo, Cottonwood Center for the Arts, and others.
I have been making glass art for 25 years. Inspirations for me come from everything around me. I look for interesting patterns, textures, and colors from nature and try to depict those inspirations in glass.
For this mushroom show, I have made some really fun lampworked glass mushroom beads which have been strung for necklaces. The process for making a glass mushroom starts by melting a pencil thin rod of glass in a torch. I then wind the hot glass onto a mandrel and squish the glass into the form of the top of the mushroom. The stem of the mushroom (a bit of a rod of glass) is then delicately placed on the underside of the mushroom top. Once I’m happy with the form, I anneal the glass, cooling it slowly over time. This annealing process assures that the glass is molecularly sound, and the glass mushroom will be just as beautiful in 10 years as it is now.
All of the mushrooms that I have made for this show are favorites for me in different ways. I have made a variety of styles of mushrooms for this show, and each is very unique!
I was inspired to apply for this show because I’m a “fun guy”!
My work can be found at The SideDoor Gallery in Old Colorado City, The Poppy Seed in Manitou Springs, and Commonwheel Artist Coop at which I am a member.
I dabbled in just about every media before discovering pyrography, also known as wood burning. I was drawn to the arts because it’s a language I can understand. As a deaf individual, I connect to the details of the visual world. My art is largely inspired by my passions. I adore animals, nature, science, and I also don’t mind smelling like campfire!
Pyrography has been around for centuries. It’s an age-old technique where a heated metal pen is used to burn wood. Each burn begins with selecting a wood slice and studying its character – the knots, grain, texture, and size. Next, I practice design ideas in my sketchbook. When satisfied, I draw in pencil the base sketch to the wood slice. I use a Razertip (10 amp detailed burning system) to burn the wood slice. The detail of each burn is achieved using a variety of wire tips and a range of heat settings. Each burn is unique because each wood slice is unique, which in turn affects how the wood is burned. My favorite part of my process is burning – it’s a slow, smoky art. I also love mixing my medias, after burning I will add watercolors or dried flowers to the wood slice.
Deciding which piece is my favorite is a tough choice – I really enjoyed burning complex mushroom gills in some of my other pieces. However, I would have to say “Moon Shrooms” is my favorite. I loved playing with rocky and smooth textures to bring imagination to life.
Mushrooms are such a fun subject matter – they are imperfectly perfect. Nature’s reminder that flaws are beautiful. I was also inspired by Commonwheel’s charm and cooperative mission: community.
On social media you can find my art by searching Woodstove Studios. Woodstove Studios started in my childhood home which was built in the late 1700s. My warmest family memories are gathered around our wood stove. Wood and wood burning will always smell like home.
Etsy Shop: Woodstove Studios
I enrolled in my first pottery class in 1975, I have not put clay down since. I love that I can take this malleable material, "clay" and move, manipulate, and form creative pieces to oneself and hopefully to many others!
I've been throwing mushrooms on the wheel for 8 years. I made these unique to this show, as they are "salt fired". A process where, when the kiln reaches 2400 F you add rock salt which instantly vaporizes and glazes the pieces with salt vapor. The finished piece has an "orange peel" texture, and an earthen or woodland appearance
My favorite piece for this show is the tall spiral mushroom that has the orange peel texture and some movement.
I wanted to participate in the show to see the public reaction to something unique.
My work is available at Hunter Wolff Gallery - 2510 West Colorado Avenue www.hunterwolffgallery.com
I work primarily in acrylics and my favorite subjects are florals, landscapes, fall scenes, animals, (especially lions and cows), mountains, abstracts, and now "mushrooms".
Both paintings* accepted for this show were inspired by a hike on the Pancake Rock trail 10 years ago during the height of the mushroom growing season. I had taken several photos and selected 2 that I very much enjoyed because of their location, natural color, texture of their surroundings and light. Creating new paintings for this show was a challenge as I had never done a mushroom before, and I remember still the excitement of finding these lovely shapes of nature that were so unique and fun to look at, almost playful.
I applied because I like the challenge of a new theme for me and knowing the colors of the forest floor and colorful mushrooms would complement my style. I hoped I could give the subject new life and style on canvas.
I sometimes post my work on Facebook. I currently have 2 paintings at First Pres. Downtown and 3 locations that are part of the "Art Aloud" art and poetry shows: Hooked on Books (downtown on Bijou), Academy Art and Frame, and Pikes Peak Market Place on E. Pikes Peak.
*I would say this is my favorite of the 2 because I experimented with more variety of color and the angle was harder to work with. The variety of colors are a more Impressionistic landscape.
Michael Ryder graduated from Metro State in Denver with a focus on large acrylic or resin paintings. Having spent a lot of time with some Navajo silversmiths he switched to jewelry, but presently enjoys both painting and silver work. Paint application is very important to achieve the effect he’s looking for.
This is a truly beautiful show that has been assembled. We have work by 24 Front Range artists in this juried show and wow, what a mix of work. The members who hang our gallery shows were very excited to see all of this art.
We asked these artists four questions:
1) In a short paragraph, tell us about yourself.
2) What does making art mean to you?
3) What has inspired you for this show?
4) Where can we find your work: website, social media, local stores.
Below are their responses.
I have always been told that I have an "eye for photography". I purchased my first Canon DSLR in 2010 and have been studying digital photography on my own ever since, with the help of a few inspiring hands-on workshops. My other passion is studying wildlife behavior. So naturally my "focus" is wildlife and nature photography. A year ago, I moved to Colorado where I have begun to expand my focus to the majestic Rocky Mountains, fascinating wildlife and beautiful flora of this area.
I love being in Nature and capturing it's beauty so I can share my visual images with others.
Flowing water in the high desert is not as plentiful as in other part of the country that I have lived in. Any chance I get, I capture its smoothing flow and am excited to shear my images in this show.
Here is where you can find my images:
Facebook: Alan Boucher Photography
Local Store: Bella Art & Frame
My grandmother was an artist with an appreciation for the environment. Growing up around her creative influences pushed me to pursue art at a young age. It started with just a pencil, then I continued with color throughout high school and graduated from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania with a BFA. I have been painting for about 10 years, focusing on landscapes and environmental awareness.
I like telling stories with a visual platform for the viewer to understand my interpretation of environmental issues. These statements will hopefully plant a seed to make people think more about their impact.
My love for the ocean. These two paintings are directed towards our acidic oceans bleaching coral reefs, our plastic problem and overall pollution to our lakes and rivers, which eventually lead to the ocean. We all live downstream!
"Sometimes I spend hours applying paint on a canvas before I feel Like I'm painting". Hedy DuCharme
Painting for me pure is relaxation and a challenge mentally and spiritually. My soul needs to create and express itself to be content and alive. It's a wonderful feeling to be totally absorbed in creating something from the mind and heart, even if it doesn't become a "best ever" creation.
My interest in art began in High School back in the 60's. It was the first time I was exposed to art: drawing, color, paints, clay, ink drawing, and learning to see.
I went on to study art and art history at Michigan State University and graduated with a BFA. I went on to teach art for 5 years. In high school and college I learned that I was most interested in painting. I love working and creating with color.
My favorite period of art is the Impressionists with their loose brushwork, textured paint, nature themes, natural light, and creating their own interpretation of a theme or scene.
For the past 10 years I have had much time to devote to painting more confidently, regularly, and with a more sincere passion then I previously had.
I was a docent at the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center for 13 years. I had the opportunity to be immersed in great art not just locally but in museums around the country on docent organized trips. The ongoing training in the docent program kept me engaged with art principles and theory on a regular basis, which kept me learning, and discussing art on a regular basis.
During this time I became more inspired to create my own work and appreciate the art of many local artists. I had to challenge myself to enter juried and non-juried shows to expand my abilities, to be challenged by new themes, and to become part of the local artists community. Traveling to the great museums in Europe has been a huge inspiration to see some of the greatest art, architecture and artists from all over the world.
Many of my paintings are created from photos I have taken around Colorado, New Mexico, Europe, from my garden and gardens I have visited.
Submitting paintings for this "Water" themed show was a good challenge because water is such an important part of our everyday life, we can't live without it. And we enjoy water visually in the mountains—lakes, streams, waterfalls, ponds, and rain. We enjoy swimming in water, fishing, snorkeling in oceans, and walking a beach. There is life in water. We see reflections in water.
Water is many colors and no color making it a challenge to create on a 2-dimensional surface. I wanted to expand my use of using a sponge instead of a brush to create softer lines, layers of colors, and smooth edges, and more use of my hands than a paintbrush allows.
To see some of my paintings and current shows I'm exhibiting in I post them on my Facebook Page under Hedy DuCharme.
Locally I have exhibited at Cottonwood Center for the Arts, The former Colorado Springs Fine Art Center (docent show), Chapel of our Savior, Academy Art and Frame,, First Presbyterian Church, Discovery Church, The Bridge Gallery, and currently The Little Wine Barrel.
I’ve had a love for photographing nature since childhood. While attending church camp in the summer, instead of coming home with pictures of new friends and fun times, the whole role of film would be filled with chipmunks and forested area. The passion has always been there, but it wasn’t until around 2005 that I decided to start sharing my work. There is beauty all around us, and I want to share God’s masterpieces with others.
To me, making art means being able to share something unique with others. I want the viewer to feel that they are in the photograph ~ that they can feel the cold, or smell the flower, or touch the tree.
Water is a powerful force on different levels. Whether it's the vastness of an ocean, or the intense momentum of a waterfall, they can equally make one feel like they're a minute part of our universe.
You can find my work at Facebook.com/ANobleTouchPhotography
Julia L. Wright
My love of Nature and being outdoors has been part of my life as far back as I can remember. Creating art in many forms has been the basis of my life starting with theatre when I built sets and directed others in High School and college. I created fiber-based crafts ranging from macramé plant hangers or unique wall pieces that included found objects and woven elements. Feathers have always been part of my art creations. Mandala style feather wall hangings evolved into my creating feather masks. Creating those masks still is very fun! Creating earrings, hairclips and pendants was a natural progression to ways to create artful accessories using feathers and found objects.
I have taken thousands of photographs on my hikes and in many gardens. About six years ago I started using my realistic nature and other photos to illustrate my books and journals. And more recently, I began to use my realistic photographs to create different types of decks of cards for children and adults.
Three years ago, I “fell down a rabbit hole of creativity” and began using my Nature photos to create abstract, kaleidoscopic and mandala style images by taking a little part of a Nature photo and playing with it in PhotoShop. Currently these can only be seen online. Original versions of my photographic Nature-based images can be seen in this show and express my love of Nature.
When I am in my studio or sitting at my computer, I get totally lost in the process and my imagination can run pretty wild thinking about how to take the images I captured and create something totally unique and fun or hone in a specific element found in a photograph, such as water. It uplifts my spirit to honor the beauty of the amazing places I get to hike and glorify Nature in various artful ways.
Working in my feather studio or on a computer or taking photos on my hikes always has my creative juices flowing. I am constantly looking for some new way to use the materials at hand to create a bit of awe and wonder when someone sees the finished art.
Nature is my most powerful inspiration. When hiking or passing a beautiful garden, I often stop to take in the amazingly beautiful natural creations that surround me. A driftwood stump or a rock formation or a bit of moss can be as enticing to my eye as a beautiful wildflower. The reflection of a mountain or rock formation or clouds in water can stop me in my tracks to look deeper into that fleeting image. Each one makes my heart sing and my spirit soar with joy when I take the time to really look at the beauty others pass by each day without noticing it.
The normal concept of a photograph is a translation or transformation of a scene onto a two-dimensional surface, and most photographers leave it at that. Back on my computer, I become immersed in the process of creating something new and visionary from what I saw to create a unique view and transform that image into an artistic composition.
Some of my photos get used as they were taken, or maybe have sections highlighted. Other times, the process of transformation starts when I notice some interesting element in a section of a Nature photograph. Then I will start to transform that photograph by modifying a section of the image in such a way that it becomes something totally new and uniquely changed from its original shape.
The idea of using my Nature photos for card decks for children came from seeing too many instances of how little respect people have for the natural world and can only hope that by showing how beautiful and fragile wildflowers can be starting with a card game that might inspire more kids to get out and search for them and find other reasons to respect their natural surroundings.
My books have very practical advice and have come from my own experiences and based on creating a more sustainable art festival and natural solutions for health. And I recently updated my tree squirrel book and created a new one about ground squirrels in which I express my love of squirrels and teach children a bit about them.
My journals are based on specific themes, but they are not just “blank books”. They have practical advice in the introductions and some photographs related to the journal’s subject. Each one has prompts for a person to fill in the blanks relating to that prompt and can be used to write down their thoughts and have pages to sketch on or color designs in some of the books.
All art involves an artist taking up some media and transforming it into a new form or image that comes from their vision and imagination. I try to transform what most people see as ordinary into something extraordinary with a unique way of seeing the world.
Often when hiking, I, Julia, stop to take some time to look at a bit of Nature. Sometimes it is a part of a tree; maybe a root, a stump or a burl. Looking towards the ground I may spy a uniquely shaped mushroom or flower that catches my eye. Sometimes moss growing on a tree or on a rock causes me to stop to look closer at a section of it. So I take a photograph.
Reflections seen in water have always captured my imagination. I am often surprised when I look at a photograph on the computer to see a reflection of clouds or shoreline plants that create a lovely addition to the landscape that I was seeking to capture.
I have a great respect for the pristine waters that flow down from mountains in rivers and creeks and form ponds and lakes I discover along hiking trails. It saddens me to see trash collecting in them and have never understood why if someone can carry in a heavier item, when it is empty, they can’t carry it back out . . . I am always careful to be sure the area I visit is not burdened with any items I bring in and pack them out myself. I have the hope when people view photos expressing the beauty of Nature, the might become a bit more aware how they can take actions to keep where they travel as pristine as when they arrived.
My work can be found at:
Manitou Art Center in the First Amendment Gallery
My books are also on Amazon under the name of HieroGraphics Books.
kj becker is a manitou springs-based artists with a unique set of skills and over 22 years of combined experience in the areas where there are deficiencies in the social system for the expressive arts and how we connect with marginalized populations, such as, military veterans, sexual assault survivors, and differently-abled folks. kj has been an artist all her life and received a bfa in studio art and psychology from the university of illinois in 2007 after 5 years of active duty in the air force as a mental health technician. kj went on to manage the arts of life in chicago and then worked for the va doing expressive art peer support. today KJ is a full-time professional artist.
for kj, artmaking is all about the process. having physical disabilities and ptsd from her time in the air force, kj has found the physicality of artmaking is most beneficial compared to traditional therapies and medications that are commonly prescribed.
"adored" is an artistic expression of kj falling in love with her partner in the summer of 2018. contrary to previous works that were more about the physicality of the art piece, rather than concept, kj is just starting to explore what her "story" is, as she has felt invisible for decades.
current residency at art111, the manitou art center, library 21c, and a solo show in april 2019 at goatpatch brewery
As with all life-changing shifts, I did not come to art gracefully or willingly. I received a channeled message in Jan. 2014 that I would be used as a conduit to create paintings that contained energetic messages designed to benefit humanity's evolution and that these messages would be embedded into the paint. The messages themselves would draw the people to them that needed those frequencies. My instruction was to "hold the brush and wait." I experienced tremendous discomfort and frustration in this process. It was 18 months before anything started to happen, before I felt any "click" while moving color on canvas or wood. I disliked almost everything I painted during this time. The one thing that made a difference, and that kept me squarely in the instruction, holding the brush while seemingly nothing occurred, was an earlier experience with receiving an internal intuitive message that also made no sense and was in direct opposition to my lifestyle, yet brought forth an outcome for me that consisted of success and happiness beyond my wildest dreams. At some time early on in this extremely stuttery, cranky-producing painting process, some dragon shapes started to appear in the paint that I had not created myself. They insisted on being seen and on being painted. They are in charge of this energetic process and bring joy to these paintings and to me.
The painting "Transformation: The Fire/Water Dance" is a channel or portal for balance. During the floods after the Waldo Canyon fire, I often thought about how what we perceive as an extreme negative event might just be the exact thing that brings about perfect balance. The dance of fire and water in our particular geography is ancient and, I believe, directly impacts our consciousness, even if we are unaware of these effects. Our fiery moments tend to consume us. Our watery moments bring forth more fluidity in our moment to moment living. We are integral to our landscapes and our landscapes continuously offer us their blessings, even when they come disguised as catastrophe.
The dragons and I are eternally grateful for all opportunities to express, fulfill, and serve as conduits for any who are drawn to the energetic gifts of the galactic light art paintings.
Paintings can be viewed at http://www.galacticlightart.com and at Movement Arts Community Studio, 525 E Fountain Blvd, Ste. 150, Co Spgs: http://www.movementartscs.com.
Like many people, I had to wait until I retired to begin exploring my artistic abilities. Luckily I was able to retire early, and after experimenting with many media, including clay, mixed media, alcohol ink, jewelry, etc., I found my true passion in fused glass. I enjoy experimenting, and particularly enjoy creating 3-D pieces in the kiln. This requires a number of firings at varying temperatures, all taking between 9-20 hours, with 4 or 5 hours of cool-down time. My inspiration comes from nature, including both the mountains and the sea, having lived near the beach in Florida for 12 years. I have been working in fused glass for 14 years, I have three kilns, and have taken over every inch of available space in my house and garage for my studio! I’m looking forward to adding a fourth, larger kiln to my collection so that I can create taller and larger pieces.
Creating art is the most important thing I do. It makes me feel like I am contributing something of value, and it brings me much happiness, both in the process of creating and in the end result.
As stated above, the sea is a huge source of inspiration. All of the colors found at the sea shore are my favorites, and the beautiful colors of art glass lend themselves perfectly to this theme. I try capture the whimsy and movement of the sea, so I can remind people of how they feel when they are on the shore and in the water.
My work can be found on my Facebook page, LoLo’s Paloozas (www.facebook.com/LoLosPaloozas/), and is currently sold in the Strictly Guffey Gallery in Guffey, Colorado. I exhibit at many other venues in the Colorado Springs area including the MAC, the Modbo, Cottonwood Center for the Arts, and others.
These works represent a technique I discovered quite on accident over a year ago but have only more recently started to create actual pieces. I use a variety of surface material and then combine water and tissue paper to create texture and color. I control the color and design for any piece. They are then finished using a high gloss urethane. The water adds a fluid and abstract nature to the works that changes the color, light and perspective for the viewer.
I grew up in an artistic family and have always been drawn to creating, designing and working with color and pigments. My father was an interior designer and I learned much of the foundation of my knowledge in textiles and design from him when I was growing up. I later attended Denver University where I studied Interior Design and the Instituto Allende in Mexico where I studied the fine arts and sculpture. As an adult I studied French Interior Design and French Culinary Arts in Paris.
I have lived in the Cascade area now for over 35 years permanently. These last 5 years I have enjoyed studying and experimenting with many different mediums, creating my own, directly from plant-based pigment. I photograph natural color from food, flowers and birds. And study light. The only element that creates color. I cook. And eat. And enjoy life, from a different perspective these days. And always creating. And designing.
You can see more of my design work by visiting my website at: DeramusDesigns.houzz.com linkedin.com
Rhonda Van Pelt
I grew up in an artistic family: my dad worked in wood and my mom painted. I earned my bachelor’s degree in art (painting emphasis) in 1980 at the University of Southern Colorado, where I studied with Lew Tilley, Robert Wands, Ed Sajbel and Orlin Helgoe. I’ve been a working artist ever since and have combined that with my love of writing to work as a graphic designer and as a journalist with various publications.
For me, a day without being creative is a wasted day. I am excited and inspired by nature, other artists’ work and simply walking down a street and being observant.
I love the patterns I see in nature. I manipulated photos I took at Monument Valley Park to make them abstract and then, for the first time, had my photos printed on metal. I think it’s especially appropriate and effective for this subject matter.
I mostly show at the Manitou Art Center and Academy Art & Frame Co., but in March, I will also have a solo exhibit in Colorado Springs City Hall. Also see: rhondashouseofcreativity.shutterfly.com.
As a child I was always making stuff with no concern about whether or not it was art. I simply enjoyed it. Born and raised in central California, I attended Fresno State College (BA Degree and General Secondary Teaching Credential), followed by graduate work at the University of California at Berkeley (MA Degree with Specialty in painting). Further studies were undertaken at the University of California at Los Angeles, the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, and overseas at the International Summer Academy of Fine Arts in Salzburg, Austria.
Before moving to Colorado Springs in 1995, I spent 29 years as an art teacher with the Department of Defense Dependents Schools in Germany and Belgium. Extensive travel, including photo safaris to East Africa and scuba diving trips to the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and Hawaii have been rich sources of inspiration for my art, which has appeared in local, national, and international shows.
Here in Colorado, I was a studio artist at the Manitou Art Center for 4 years, a member of the Commonwheel Artists Co-op for 10 years, and taught ceramics part-time for 12 years at Pikes Peak Community College. Now I enjoy working in my own studio at home.
Art, in whatever form it might take, is something that I must do, and I’ll keep doing it as long as I’m able.
Fifteen of the most exciting years of my life were spent as a scuba diver, exploring the undersea world in such faraway places as the Mediterranean, The Caribbean, and the Red Sea, as well as the Indian Ocean and the Hawaiian Pacific. It was like entering another world of coral reefs teeming with life beneath the surface of the water, and with an underwater camera was able to capture some of it on film.
Now that I no longer dive, I can relive those fabulous adventures by scanning a few of the many slides I’ve collected. Each has a story to tell. These old photos can be reworked and improved by enlarging, cropping, repositioning, and enhancing in various ways. The possibilities are endless. My goal is that these pictures have artistic value and are more than just snapshots. For me, a clay artist, this is an exciting new creative adventure into another medium that I’m happy to share with you, the viewer. I hope you enjoy these pictures.
My ceramic work and photos can be seen by appointment at my home studio in Colorado Springs. I can be contacted by phone at 719/592-0984 or online at email@example.com. Also, I have a few ceramic pieces in Commonwheel’s online store at www.commonwheel.com.
I recently moved from Delaware to Colorado Springs to pursue my photography career. I got my first DSLR camera when I was 18 and have loved taking photos since. My junior year of college I officially declared my major as photography and dove in head first. Landscape, nature, and wildlife photography have always been my "jam" as I like to say. I have been taking small steps to further my career since moving to Colorado and I could not be more excited to see what the future holds.
To me, making art means I get to show the world the way I see and feel it. One of my favorite things about photography is that no one else sees the world exactly like I do or feels exactly what I felt in the moment that I create a photograph. It is fulfilling and profound to create something that makes you happy no matter how simple, or complex, it may be.
Being from Delaware I grew up surrounded by water - ponds, lakes, the bay, and the ocean. It has been a common subject of my photography since I first started out 8 years ago. There is a huge draw to water for me, whether its capturing a reflection on a still lake, or the rushing waters of a river.
Instagram: @ amyshortphoto
Gallery: Colorado Creative Co-Op in Old Colorado City
I've been drawing and painting as long as I can remember! I was the "artistic" kid in my family, even in elementary school. I majored in graphic design in college and worked in that field for 20 years. Although I took some painting classes in college, I'm mostly self-taught. Throughout my teens and adult years, even when working full time as a commercial art, I continued to paint - always in watercolors. I started showing and selling my work in local and regional art festivals about 15 years ago. I feel that my artwork enjoyed a significant "growth spurt" in quantity and quality a few years ago when I was able to devote more time to painting.
To me, making art is one way that I interpret the world that I experience, and one way that I "archive" an experience in a tangible form. Art is a recording of my experience and an invitation for the viewer to share that experience.
I was inspired to start painting water scenes because, frankly, it was a challenge, and I like to take on painting "challenges" especially when others comment "oh, that's SO hard to paint!". I'm especially drawn to interpret and portray local water scenes in my paintings, because water is so precious and so scarce here. I painted the 'Blue Mesa Reservoir" scenes from photos I took there on a cold, very windy day. The rocks and whitecaps made me feel like I was at the ocean, and I tried to capture that feeling.
I belong to the Mountain Artists in Woodland Park, the Pikes Peak Watercolor Society, and the Western Colorado Watercolor Society. My work can be viewed on the Mountain Artists website, and in various exhibits that they sponsor in Woodland Park, including the Mountain Arts Festival.
A 1998 graduate from the Colorado Institute of Art, I found my love for photography at an early age through the appreciation of geometric angles and in 2013 evolved to underwater photography...
Underwater photography should take you to another realm, a world that people can experience through my imagery.
Challenged by the unpredictable element of water and weightless gravity, the outcome produces some of the most visually unique images - human forms unlike any found on land, free flowing of fabric, no worry hair and an unearthed world that is created.
I am Underwater Conceptual Photographer
I have always had a love for the water from the sound to touch to even the smell. When I see underwater imagery there is a kind of purity and freedom. By putting people into an environment that human life is not generally pictured, a whole new world of imagination can be created. There is such natural beauty within the source of water. We are surrounded by water internally and externally and combining the two shows the strength that water is composed of and how it truly is a source of life. Water can be interpreted in many ways, it is up to the audience to decide what they see and how it moves them. I love the unpredictability of the outcome, both for myself, the subject and the audience.
I was motivated to take my photography further upon moving to this beautiful state of CO from the Midwest. I am a self-taught photographer and have been taking photos professionally for 7 years now but photographing as a non-professional for years & years prior. I work full time in corporate America but photography is my passion and the pastime in which I lose all sense of my surroundings and time. I can completely submerge myself into the act of photographing and love to spend a day doing nothing but shooting.
Making my art is an opportunity to capture, with a lens, & share the extreme beauty I see in this world, painted all around me. My hope is to inspire others in some way or to give others the chance to see something they may not ever have the opportunity to see with their own two eyes.
My inspiration for this show was the amazing beauty of Grand Exuma Island in the Bahamas. I saw water in colors I had never seen before and every where I turned were spectacular landscapes and amazing sea life.
You can find my work in the Commonwheel Co-op Gallery in Manitou Springs, in the Colorado Creative Co-op in Old Colorado City, and online at http://tinarodholm.zenfolio.com. You can also follow me on Instagram @hisbeautifulcanvas and on Facebook at "His Beautiful Canvas"
My art is in photography, from shooting to processing, framing and printing. I can't call it a career since I did that in the electronics field, and am retired. My quest is to take decent pictures and process them with an intent to capture the beauty or other fascination that was observed at the moment each was taken. I am highlighting the third dimension by distorting the print in various ways. I have been at this now for six years.
My great pleasure is in seeing the printed image “come to life” as I do my work. Sometimes the added value is amazing, other times perhaps marginal, but I am inspired after working with each one to continue making them “better”. It means a lot to me when others can see and enjoy my finished work.
I keep looking for opportunities to display my pictures and since I have some that fit into the category of “Water in the High Desert” there was no hesitation to enter. I was pleased to have two accepted. In fact, those two were a new design I just began, using a 5”X7” Shadow Box frame to display a couple of my 3-dimensional ideas. It allows me to use a distance gradient on the print (it is slanted back toward the rear of the picture) as well as a form of embossing the surface to further emphasize that phenomenon.
I have a lot of pictures on Fine Art America, but you won't see any 3-D on the website since that part of the process takes place on the print. firstname.lastname@example.org I have entered my work previously at Commonwheel for the “Autumn Colors” event, at Tri-Lakes Monochrome Photography gallery and at the Academy Art and Frame Gallery where one photo placed second and another got honorable mention in their Miniatures event.
To promote my work further, I have rented a hallway room at Cottonwood Center for the Arts for the months of March and May and will also have work on display at Boulder Street Gallery and Framing during the month of April, 2019. I registered my photo business as Richard's Photo Craft in Colorado, working in my home. Contact me at email@example.com.
March 16—April 16, 2018
Join us for both of our evening receptions: March 16 and April 6, 5-8 pm.
All art involves an artist taking up some media and transforming it into a new form or image that comes from their vision and imagination. Artists take many different types of materials and give them a thorough and dramatic change in form or appearance wherein it undergoes a radical transformation to become a piece of art. Some artists start with a lump of clay or precious stones and metal. They take these materials and mold them into beautiful bits of sculptural art. Other artists begin with a blank piece of paper and by using paints, inks, or photography create an image no one else has created before. Artists transform what most people see as ordinary into something extraordinary, unique to their way of seeing the world.
“Transformation” is a gallery show that looks at the journey of three local artists and the materials they use in their creative process.
Julia L. Wright, long known for her feather masks and jewelry, has been expanding her artistic palette to incorporate nature photography. As she hikes she takes images along the trail. Then back at home she transforms those photos into kaleidoscopic digital art.
Jerry Rhodes starts with clay and transforms it into dramatic vessels and sculptures. His raku work incorporates disparate concepts and elements drawn from a global, temporal, and cultural palate into harmonious designs.
Ace McCasland’s jewelry has a rustic, eclectic, industrial feel and for this show she is considering how seeds transform into plants as diverse as grass and trees. Using ancient metal-smith techniques she strives to create modern, one-of-a-kind designs.
Julia L. Wright
Talk a little about yourself
Creating art in many forms has been the basis of my life starting with theatre when I built sets and directed others in High School and college. I created a variety of art using a myriad of fibers. Feathers were added to many of my art creations, and I am best known for creating feather masks and other artful accessories using feathers and found objects.
I have taken thousands of photographs on my hikes and in many gardens. About five years ago started using my realistic nature and other photos to illustrate my books and journals. And some of them got a bit twisted to fit into the idea I was trying to illustrate.
About 2 years ago, I “fell down a rabbit hole of creativity” using my Nature photographs to create abstract, kaleidoscopic and mandala style images. I find a little part of a Nature photo and by playing with it in on the computer; I transform it into a totally different type of image.
What does making art mean to you?
When I am in my studio or sitting at my computer, I get totally lost in the process and my imagination can run pretty wild thinking about how to take the materials at hand and create something totally unique and fun.
Taking photos on my hikes always has my creative juices flowing. I enjoy watching people try to imagine how I went beyond a simple Nature photograph when looking at my artwork. I am constantly looking for some new way to use the images I begin with to create a bit of awe and wonder when someone sees the finished art.
What inspires you in your art?
Nature is my most powerful inspiration. When hiking or passing a beautiful garden, I often stop to take in the amazingly beautiful natural creations that surround me. A driftwood stump or a rock formation or a bit of moss can be as enticing to my eye as a beautiful wildflower. Each one makes my heart sing and my spirit soar with joy when I take the time to really look at the beauty others pass by each day without noticing it.
I realize there are hundreds of people who take beautiful Nature photographs, so I wanted to do something a little bit different with mine. I really enjoy finding a hidden piece of a Nature photo to twist and turn into a totally unsuspected image. Watching people look deeply into the images and point out to friends what they see and get a conversation going about that image is a joy to watch.
Walk us through your production process.
I take lots and lots of pictures on a hike or in a garden, and then sort through them to find which ones will work for various types of art projects I may be working on. Sitting at the computer, I will crop out extraneous objects for a book illustration or to use in a deck of cards. The real fun comes when I see a piece I want to play with to create a mandala or kaleidoscopic or surrealistic abstract image. Each one of these can take hours and many twists and turns, and sometimes changes to the coloration, to get to the place I feel satisfied with the final image.
What reaction do you want to achieve in the public looking at and buying your artwork?
I want people to look deeply into each of the abstracted photographs use their imagination to discover images within them. I want people to use their imaginations and discover a myriad of images within each image. I enjoy asking if they can see the starting image or if it just all melts into one new piece of art.
What is your recent favorite piece? And why?
I have had lots of fun creating these images. I do hope some will inspire others to gain an appreciation for Nature and this beautiful planet we live on. But more than that, to let their imagination run wild when looking at stump or rock formation or a bit of moss and see a fantasy creature that may inspire a poem or story to tell their children.
I think my most favorite surrealistic image I have in this show is the “Magic Mushrooms Reflected in the Aspen Pond”. What a great hike that was! Actually, hidden in this image is a reflection of my shadow, very hard to see. The magical feeling of the golden Aspen leaves floating on the water still evokes a feeling of joy I felt on that hike walking through the autumn splendor in silence only broken by the wind and the cry of birds.
Here are two sets of images:
Each one has the original image, then the cropped piece I used and the final image that will be at the show. Both came from this hike and have Aspen leaves in them, but from different ponds. Both use most of the original image, but the “Magic Mushrooms“ image has many more twists and changes to it.
The little piece of driftwood looked like he was praying or looking up on wonder. So “Prayer Circle” came about as a kaleidoscopic image.
Where can we find your work?
1. Web sites:
My books are also on Amazon
And I usually have 2-3 images showing in the Manitou Art Center member Gallery and at Commonwheel Artists Co-op.
In a short paragraph, tell us about yourself
I think it was 1995 or 1996 when I went to a Renaissance Festival and saw these hand-made beer steins that I really liked. I was too cheap to buy them, and I was convinced that they were probably really easy to make. How hard could that be, right?! So I decided to go to a craft center and teach myself to throw pottery. After many, many years, I amassed a garage full of ashtrays, flower pots, and a few artistic pieces that were kind of ok. I decided to take some pieces to galleries in Santa Fe, Taos, Denver, and around Colorado Springs, and the owners actually consigned a few--so that's how it started. I still consider pottery a bad hobby I got into, and I STILL haven't made a good set of beer steins.
What does making art mean to you?
I've never really philosophized deeply about what my art means to me. I don't try to make socio-political statements with my work. I don't feel I need to create an homage to any genre, trend, style, or palate (although I do favor Raku). I don't try to emulate famous artists. I don't care that my technique is all wrong. I don't have an insatiable urge to create...I just like make pots. The ultimate satisfaction for me is pulling a piece out of the kiln and saying, "Yeah, that's ok. I like that one."
What has inspired you for this show?
My inspiration for this show was forgetting that I signed up months ago to do it, and then panicking and trying to get a bunch of pieces done at the last minute.
For this show specifically, tell us about your process.
The process is pretty straight forward: throw the pot, trim the pot, bisque fire the pot, glaze the pot, Raku-fire the pot, hope it doesn't break during any of the steps above. I've posted a few "Befores-and-Afters" on Facebook.
What emotions do you want to explore in the public looking at your artwork?
I'd hope that others looking at my work don't try to overanalyze it or look for profound meaning. If you like a particular piece, great. If you think it's crap, that's great, too.
What is your favorite piece for sale at this event? And why?
I think my favorite pieces, for now, are the Sagar-fired Bonsai tree pots. They're not quite where I want them to be stylistically yet, but the technique offers an almost limitless variety of experimental approaches.
Where can we find your work?
I have a website that I haven't updated in years: www.jerryrhodespottery.com, and galleries in Charleston, San Francisco, New York, Golden & Manitou, and a few other places.
In a short paragraph, tell us about yourself.
we are all seeking, exploring, wondering, dreaming... after years of adventuring and wandering the western landscape, I’ve begun to express these experiences with a variety of artistic mediums. being an avid traveler, I am especially drawn to art you can easily take with you, and even better, wear. My jewelry designs are earthy yet industrial, eclectic, and unpretentious, often incorporating materials that challenge preconceptions of what is 'valuable'. I experiment with unusual techniques such as hammering annealed metal against concrete or railroad track or melting scraps of leftover silver into a ring band, for a truly unique texture. I create my own chains, jump rings, ear wires, clasps, and much more, finishing each unique piece with heavy oxidation, buffed slightly for highlights, to create an archaeological 'freshly unearthed' creation. I work intuitively, so each day I enter the studio, I rarely know what is going to happen, but the opportunity to elevate something common into something precious is a challenge I look forward to each time, and often surprise myself with the results.
What does making art mean to you?
My work can be described as 'wild-crafted metal': inspired by the wild, crafted by hand, incorporating the exquisite textures and patina of metal with minerals, gemstones, found objects, and organic material. My creations embrace personal adornment as small sculpture that is worn upon, and interacts directly with, the body. I seek to create an abstract story with my art, as jewelry especially becomes intimate and expressive for the wearer, in turn becoming a part of their own story.
What has inspired you for this show?
For this show, “Transformation”, I am exploring the idea of change, of alchemy, of growth. The tiniest capsule of a seed holds the most profound and exquisite example of transformation, able to alter itself into a simple blade of grass, or a stately redwood tree. This thought has inspired organic pieces evocative of that moment when a seed first sprouts, that moment of unrealized potential, when slender tendrils reach passionately and determinedly toward the sky. Other pieces are simply inspired by the transformative process of changing raw and often recycled or found materials into wearable pieces of art for the body.
For this show specifically, tell us about your process.
I have included a process photo collage that documents the transformation of raw materials, in this case scrap silver, into a ring band: first the scrap is laid out onto a charcoal block, then fire is applied, melting the bits to each other without completely melting it into a shapeless blob. I take this strip and hammer, file, edit, and shape, ultimately forming a ring band. After studying the shape and potential negative space, I may discover a natural spot to place a gemstone, here, a warm glowing citrine is placed into a hand fabricated prong setting, then the piece is complete.
What do you hope people to experience when looking at your artwork?
Jewelry is an exquisite medium that allows one to wear art that directly interacts with the body. Jewelry becomes personal and expressive for the wearer and becomes a part of their own story. To be able to create a piece of jewelry that becomes so intimate and meaningful for someone is extremely gratifying as an artist. I often ask the viewer or the wearer to step outside of their comfort zone. Push the limits, bend the rules, poke at the ideals of perfection. I do not seek to express flawlessness, I seek authenticity. I seek the truth within the layers. I seek the nitty gritty, the weathered, the worn, the discarded, the overlooked. We all have rough edges we try so hard to conceal. I choose to reveal those flaws, to embrace the ragged, the wild, the raw. It is in these moments of pushing our own limits, we will discover ourselves.
What is your favorite piece for sale at this event?
to be determined...... possibly meaning it hasn't been made yet... ha!
Where can we find your work: website, social media, local stores.
Locally, my work can be found at:
Poor Richard's Downtown (320 North Tejon)
G44 Gallery (1785 S. 8th Street)