Category Archives: Pastel

Absolute Abstraction and other art in Los Altos

Posted by Yelena Shabrova

Today was a gallery day. We went to see the Absolute Abstraction show at the Viewpoints Gallery in Los Altos. I anticipated seeing Jane Ferguson’s acrylics which of course were awesome but was surprised to see that Floy Zittin created an abstract too, ant it was a very unusual one with tree branches growing from nowhere. I love Floy’s new pieces done on canvas, they have a wonderful touch of magic to them; not a fantasy art, just something a little different than traditional realism. It’s still watercolor, but it looks so different on canvas, its amazing.

The rest of the gallery was just as much pleasure to see as the featured exhibit: Terri Ford’s glowing pastels, Jean Prophet’s pottery, Berni Jahnke’s watercolors (she had portraits of old people on display, and shared their stories with me and Slava), Diana Jaye’s colorful oils, Kathleen Alexander’s graceful flowers and exotic fruit (at least I think that green thing was a fruit, I loved it more than flowers, and it looked great in watercolor), and so much more. It seems that every time we visit this gallery it becomes better and better.

We stopped at Gallery 9 too, since it is located on the next street. Nice to see what Belinda Lima and Rajani Balaram have there, and I don’t remember if I saw Kiyoco Michot’s ceramics before but those bowls that resemble fruit split in half are very beautiful.

To add to the pleasure of taking in art, it was pouring outside. Such a wonderfully quiet, rainy day!

Kings Mountain Art Fair 2009

Posted by Yelena Shabrova

We came to the fair unusually late this time and found out that there were more opportunities to park close to the trail that lead to the fair. It was almost chilly, and taking a shuttle ride in an open trolley didn’t look even remotely appealing. Not that walking up and down hills warmed me up, but it was definitely better. The ground was dump in some places, like it was raining earlier here.

When we later talked to Terry Steinke (which is always a pleasure, just like seeing his wonderful etchings), he said it was just low clouds from the ocean that condensed on trees so much it actually felt like a drizzle if you were standing under a tree. What felt so nice to me, was not doing any good to unprotected artworks on paper, and even some glazed ones and their mats were warping.

There was a lot of glass art, and diffused light made it even prettier than on a sunny day: Dehanna Jones, Sue Marek, Dan & Eve King-Lehman, and a few others who didn’t have business cards or anything else to help remember them. Why do artists do that?

New great finds:

  • Esther Barr who creates almost animated animals in an ancient repousse technique
  • Chunhong Chang, a Taiwanese artist whose beautiful paintings combine traditional European and Chinese techniques. Classic small Dutch paintings meets Ming Dynasty art.
  • S. Fuess and her colorful horses in oil. She does not limit herself to horses only, it just happens to be my favorite subject that I notice first and that I remember better than anything else.
  • Paul Wisdom with metal art that almost always incorporates bamboo in some form.

Artists whose work I was glad to see again:

  • Joseph Battiato with all sorts of stoneware pots
  • Ginny Conrow and her elegant crystalline glaze porcelain, Bruno Kark with bold, large ceramics of which vases in the form of folded tubes are my new favorites
  • Nancy Chien-Eriksen and her most wonderful eclectic collection of dragons, horses, and other creatures
  • Timon Sloane and his pastels full of emotion and color
  • Sharon Spenser with new bronze sculptures that now harmoniously incorporate organic materials.

Got ourselves a new Aryeh Frankfurter’s CD, “The Twisting of the Rope.” Haven’t listened to it yet, but I am pretty sure it will be good. Everything by Aryeh that we had so far was good.

When we were leaving, ocean clouds were almost touching the ground. My attempts to shoot it without a tripod resulted in a series of images that showed varying degrees of camera shake. Still got some useful reference for future drawings.