Monday, December 27, 2010

Annual Group Exhibition

Best of TAG
Annual Group Exhibition
December 28, 2010 - January 22, 2011
Reception: Saturday, January 8th 3-6pm

Thursday, December 2, 2010

TAG Gallery Interviews Michael Knight

Austin 60 x 40" 
Michael Knight 

Blackbirds become symbols in Michael Knight's imagery as he explores patterns of relocation and change.

In observation of your work one gets the impression that there is a ritual taking place. How would you account for this?

 I don’t see it as being ritualistic. My work is communicating the rhythms of migration and the change that occurs when someone with established patterns of living moves from one place to another and has to understand how to fit in. People move, establish themselves, and survive; these things are a part of migration. The black birds are symbolic of humans as survivors, and the concentric rings are symbolic of time passing, growth, change, and the ripple effect that these type of movements engender. I present symbols of human migration, travel and change, leaving and starting, endings and beginnings.

Who or what determines the meaning of your work?

 I would imagine that each viewer can establish a unique meaning by bringing their own personal history to the work. The viewer and I add a layer of meaning, as does the culture in which the work is viewed. How people might feel about the concept of border, crossings, migration, and change also adds a layer of meaning. I invite the viewer to draw their own conclusions about the ideas presented in my work.

 Does your life experience play a role in your imagery?

 Yes. My life experience has lead me to make certain conclusions about life and see the world in a particular way. I think humans have a proclivity to unravel their surroundings to find meaning, and we all have different ways of doing that. As I find things important, trivial, or significant, I want to express them through a visual means of communication. I am understanding my environment and picking out what’s important and what I want to share

Which facet of art do you find more favorable: aesthetic, conceptual, commentary, objectivity or something different entirely?

I find all of these to be equally significant and I emphasize one of those aspects more or less in a particular piece.

Michael Knight

 Michael Knight's exhibition opens November 30.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Exhibition Featuring Shelley Adler, Eve Brandstein, and Michael Knight

November 30 - December 24, 2010

Saturday, December 4th, 5- 8 PM

Artists' Q & A Panel:
Saturday, December 18th, 3 PM
(Followed by Poetry Reading by Eve Brandstein)

Shelley Adler: "New Work"

In her new exhibition, Shelley Adler calls upon her love of old photographs and transforms them into small scale oil paintings to capture moments of casual sublimity that often go unnoticed in our everyday lives. Exploring human body language and vibrant juxtapositions of color, Adler breathes life into vintage black and white photographs of people unknown to her. Adler's work is the thoughtful product of her intuitive response to modes of human expression. "I do feel that I am intuiting truth about [my subjects] as I paint them, and I try to communicate my understanding of them as I work to complete a painting," Shelley says. This exhibition also includes Adler's explorations in painting contemporary still lifes, landscapes, and portraiture.

Eve Brandstein: "Word Forms"

In her new exhibition, Word Forms, Eve Brandstein blends her painting's sensual symbolism with the emotive voice found in her poetry to create levels of harmony and tension between her writing and forms of visual expression. Brandstein paints her subjects from live models before turning to rhythmic lines of poetry that are then directly layered onto the canvas to accompany her ambiguously painted figures. In light of her new exhibition, Eve reflects, "For me, making art and writing poetry come from the same place and have the same urgency that pour out of me in different ways. It was only natural for me to allow the two mediums to meet this way." By pulling together these two art forms, Brandstein extracts a vital narrative that exposes what her painting and poetry cannot express alone.

Michael Knight: "Border Crossings"

In his latest exhibition, Border Crossings, artist Michael Knight uses the ubiquitous crow as a symbol for human migration prompted by instinct, necessity, and fate. Knight creates unique works that he coins "digiglyphs;" -- a combination of hand drawing and traditional monoprint techniques with digital manipulation. Distorted maps become the backdrop of silhouetted black birds within a repetition of hand-drawn rings in-order to symbolize the rippling effects of time. "Black birds are symbolic of humans as survivors," explains Knight, "My work is communicating the rhythms of migration and the change that occurs when someone with established patterns of living moves from one place to another and has to understand how to fit in." Knight's work beckons the viewer to reflect on how these rhythms affect their own lives and our world at large.

Monday, November 15, 2010

An Interview With Shelley Adler

Honey #1
oil on gessoboard 8 x 10"
Shelley Adler

As if by clues sent through time, Shelley Adler's oils from old snapshots reveal unexpected stories.

Whom do you make art for?

Primarily for myself. I have to find subject matter that is intriguing to me. When I have a commission I try to have the client give me several images so that I can hopefully find one that is really appealing in some way, that grabs my attention so that I will want to work on it.

When I am painting to show the work or even if I intend to keep it, I always feel compelled to be very emotionally involved in the process and project. Otherwise the whole task is boring.

Do you have a favorite painting?

I love almost all of Vermeer's paintings.

What are your favorite things to look at?

People's faces, and also the way they hold or carry themselves, the way they dress. The sky with cloud formations, especially with colorful sunsets. Things that have wonderful color juxtapositions or combinations that may be either in nature or manufactured.

Are you able to learn more about your subjects, or even yourself, while going through the painting process?

Having imaginary conversations with the subjects of my paintings is exactly the process that I go through as I am painting their images. I do feel that I am intuiting truth about them as I paint them...and I do try to communicate my understanding of them as I work to complete a painting. I think I do this by carefully seeing the facial expressions and body language in the photos that I use as a basis for my work.

oil on gessoboard 16 x 18"

Shelley Adler

Are you driven to make your paintings more beautiful than the subect? Do you think such is necessary?

No. In fact I guard against making the subject more beautiful. What I try to make beautiful is the painting itself, by the selection of color and texture, atmosphere etc. The individuals or subjects in the painting need to look as "real" or "ugly" or "specific" as they appear in the original snapshot....because it is the flavor of the original image that I am attempting to expand on with the additional use of color and atmosphere. It is entirely possible to make an incredibly beautiful painting from a very ugly subject...such as a decaying structure or piles of garbage or a decrepit person. I think it is the artists' job to conjure up that transformation from what we glance at in passing and do not really what we actually notice. Naturally, if you start with a beautiful subject...either a person or scene you want to get all the beauty you can across also. Sometimes an artist can heighten the effect of a subject by contrasting the sadness or decay or fear of a subject by deliberately painting it beautifully. Something similar to the song sung by Billy Holiday called "Strange Fruit". The melody is haunting and lovely and then suddenly you realize the words refer to bodies hanging on trees. Paintings can do that also...John the Babtist's head on a platter was painted beautifully by numerous well known painters...the subject is grizzly, but the paintings are beautiful.

Shelley Adler

Shelley Adler's exhibition opens November 30th.

Monday, November 1, 2010

TAG Presents: New Exhibition Featuring Katherine Kean, Susie McKay Krieser, and Sally Jacobs

November 2 - November 27, 2010

Saturday, November 6, 5- 8 PM

Artists' Q & A Panel:
Saturday, November 13, 3 PM

Sally Jacobs, "From the Ground Up"

In her latest exhibition, "From the Ground Up," botanical artist Sally Jacobs inspires us to find the extraordinary in the ordinary with her hyper-real depictions of the every day fruits, vegetables, and flowers we find at the local Santa Monica or Hollywood Farmer's Markets. While staying true to the botanical art tradition of accurate portrayals of plants, Jacobs brings a modern edge to her subjects through her eye-popping displays of color and detail that she captures with her watercolor layering techniques. Jacobs explains, "I want people to wonder at the pattern on the skin of a strawberry, or the marvelous colors in a head of garlic; things we 'see' all the time, but perhaps don't really observe."

Katherine Kean, "Atmospheric"

As a painter, Katherine Kean seeks moments of breath-taking transition in nature - a gathering of clouds or changing tides; times when the elements of the landscape combined with memory and observation illuminate the world of heightened mood and sensation. In her latest exhibition, "Atmospheric" Kean explores the inherent beauty within the powerful forces of wind, storms, and volcanoes. "These phenomena have a huge effect on the look of the landscape," explains Kean, "whether it is the light effects caused by the reflective particles thrown into the air by a volcano, or the strange twilight caused by a storm suddenly and dramatically changing the angle of the sun's rays and for a moment, relighting the landscape." Her works capture these fleeting moments in time and reveal the serene center that can arise in the midst of nature's turbulence.

Susie McKay Krieser, "Building a Story"

In her latest exhibition, "Building a Story," Susie McKay Krieser articulates the essence of her subjects in a minimalistic fashion, placing the importance instead on the colors and shapes. The minimalistic views are filled with daring color clashing with flat, interlocking shapes inviting the viewer to explore the merging of exuberance and serenity. Using live models in the creation of each piece, Krieser often found herself using multiple canvases for each work and experimented with rearranging the positioning of the canvases to alter the effect. She explains, "Even after the work was completed, I found there was still room for the image to evolve. It's an organic process, and the viewer is invited to complete the story already started on the canvas."

Monday, October 25, 2010

TAG Gallery Interview: Katherine Kean

Trace in the Sky
oil on linen 30 x 40"
Katherine Kean

Katherine Kean's paintings reveal a serene center that can arise in the midst of nature’s turbulence.

What does a painted landscape offer that the natural landscape cannot?

A work of landscape art can create a view that doesn’t exist in a natural landscape. The painted landscape can be edited and rearranged, or come wholly or in part from the imagination. All of the elements of the landscape, including the element of time, can be put in an order that supports the artist’s vision. In my work, I might put a thunderstorm from one time and place together with a field of grass from another. I might emphasize the light to allow for more drama. I routinely remove buildings, people, and cars, or anything that does not contribute to the meaning – adding or taking away whatever I feel is called for to reach the mood and tell the story.

The path-like waterways in your paintings seem to invite the viewer into a docile and curious natural realm. Are you in-fact sending the viewer an invitation?

The meandering, serpentine pathways invite the viewer to wander, to free the mind, to contemplate or explore, to dream and imagine, and ultimately they are an invitation to one’s inner world, to one’s Self.

oil on linen 18 x 24"
Katherine Kean

Can you describe the feeling when your idea of the painting that will-be comes to a finish?

It can take some time to realize that a painting is complete. I’ll often let a painting rest while I work on others – the drying process in oils creates subtle shifts in color that I need to see. Once dry I’ll have a fresh look and may decide to add something; another glaze, a highlight, whatever is needed. However, there’s a moment when I realize that there’s nothing else to add, which often takes me by surprise. This feeling is followed quickly by the excitement of wanting to show the new painting to someone, to share it.

If you had to part with every piece of work but one, which would it be?

The one that I can clearly visualize in my mind’s eye, but I haven’t painted yet – the next one.

Does where you live now hold any influence in your painting?

I have a great respect and appreciation for the places that continue to hold space for that which is still undomesticated, for what is wild. I’m lucky to live quite close to the edge of a National Forest and have easy access to vast and unimpeded views. I hope that the proximity helps some of that sense of wildness and freedom to reflect in my work.

Katherine Kean in the studio.

Katherine Kean's exhibition at TAG opens November 2.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sally Jacobs Interview

Garden Flowers
watercolor 22 x 27"
Sally Jacobs

Sally Jacob's enjoyment of the natural world shines through in her precise botanical watercolors.

Whom do you make art for?

I wonder sometimes if I would create art if no one except me ever viewed it. I love the process, so I guess my primary audience is me. But I also love to show my work, to share my joy.

Would you collect your own work if you saw it in a gallery? Why or why not?

I have pieces that I can’t part with, so yes, I do collect some of my work. Some pieces I keep for sentimental reasons; others because I can’t imagine ever doing the subject again.

Can someone be taught to be an artist or is it an innate ability?

I think much can be taught. But like anything else, it’s 80% perspiration. Maybe the part that is innate is the motivation to create art; I feel that strongly. As frustrating and challenging as it can be, I’m happy when I’m drawing or painting; the motivation is there.

So I Won't Run Out
watercolor 21 x 17"
Sally Jacobs

What is your biggest fear?

I have lots of fears but the biggest one that relates to my art is anything that would disable my hands. My work is so detailed; I need a great deal of hand control. So far, so good.

What excites you about painting?

I paint from life and get great pleasure in really observing plant life. When you study it, the complexity and beauty of the simplest flower, fruit or vegetable is inspiring. If I can make a plant come to life and have people pause and really observe what they may have seen in passing hundreds of times, then that work is a success.

Sally Jacobs in the studio.

Sally Jacobs exhibition opens November 2, 2010.

Monday, October 11, 2010

An Interview With Susie McKay Krieser

Girl With the Curl
acrylic on canvas 40 x 20"
Susie McKay Krieser 
Susie McKay Krieser’s bold and vibrant works explore the divergence of stimulation and serenity.

When did you first realize you were an artist - or have the courage to identify yourself as an artist?

My college degree is in Art, with a Business minor. I concentrated on Graphic Design and Photography. When I graduated, I worked as a Graphic Designer and a Cartographer. I became a real estate salesperson and discontinued my art for more than 30 years. Six years ago, after having taken a year of art classes, I was approached by two interior designers, who owned a store in Lake Tahoe. They asked me to frame my work and sell it in their store. That was the beginning of my professional life as an artist.

Can anybody be taught to be an artist or is it an innate ability?

I believe it is an innate ability, although everyone can be shown how to do it, and learn to enjoy the process. It is important to not have expectations and just let the magic happen. Making art frees us up mentally, putting us in touch with our spirit.

Have you learned any new techniques this year? If so, will you share what they are?

I learned how to do screen printing, which I am excited about incorporating into my paintings. I already use my photography in my mixed media paintings, and would love to do a version of it on canvas.

How do you decide on your palette?

My palette is a very subjective thing. It has to do with how I am feeling on a particular day. I find that oftentimes, the colors in my outfit are reflected in my art. My art is all about color and shape, and the correlation of one to the other.

Pink Cadillac

acrylic on canvas 24 x 24"

Susie McKay Krieser 
What excites you about painting?

I love mixing colors together and then figuring out the juxtaposition of the shapes. I love the challenge of reducing what I see to it’s essence, while still being able to articulate it. My goal is to find the essence of the forms.

Where do you find inspiration? Does your own life experience play a role in your imagery?

I continually push myself to see life in a new light, guiding me in new directions. Live models and my photography also serve as inspiration. I study the great works of Wayne Thiebaud, Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Amedeo Modigliani, Alex Katz, Rene Magritte and myriad of other fine artists. Studying art is exciting.

Whom do you make art for?

I make art foremost for myself, because it speaks to my soul. I also enjoy sharing it with others and the highest compliment in the world, is for them to enjoy my work. I feel that Spirit works through me, and that my work can bring comfort and inspiration to others.

Susie McKay Krieser

Susie McKay Krieser's exhibit opens November 2, 2010.

Monday, October 4, 2010

New Exhibition Featuring Anne M Bray, Karen Florek, Joe Pinkelman, and Stephanie Visser October 5- 30, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 5- 8 PM

Artists' Q & A Panel:
Thursday, October 14, 7 PM

Anne M Bray, "RoadTrip"

Anne M Bray's roadscapes are a celebration of fleeting moments frozen in time. Whether depicting urban or rural settings, or the roads in between, her works create windows of contemplation for her viewers to get lost in the moment themselves. Working from photographs taken while driving cross country, Bray then interprets the images in the studio, simplifying the compositional elements with chalk pastels.

Karen Florek, "Seeing Through: The Function of Light"

In her latest exhibition, Seeing Through: The Function of Light, Karen Florek uses light, film, found materials, and x-rays to explore below the surface of what is obvious to the eye, and uncovers the essential role light plays not only in our real world, but in our language as well. Her photographs of the completed images capture how light can evoke feeling, enhance an emotion, reveal our vulnerabilities, and create drama.

Joe Pinkelman, "New Ceramics from Jingdezhen, China"

Destruction and re-creation strike a delicate balance in Joe Pinkelman's three dimensional forms in his latest exhibit. The forms of Joe Pinkelman's work consistently appear to tip, balance, fragment, and reconnect in a myriad of patterns and designs. The physicality of the clay fuses delicacy and solidity. The metaphysical aspect of the clay is that shapes are created, destroyed, and recreated.

Stephanie Visser, "Mysterium"

In her latest exhibit, Mysterium, Stephanie Visser's mixed media artwork moves away from the predominantly geometric forms of previous exhibitions to much more ethereal, moody and emotive images - although still reminiscent of landscape and skyscape, both urban and rural. Built layer by layer through translucent color washes; scumbled color upon color; and scratched in line and collage; each piece represents a "mind photograph" that hints at everyday life and its impact.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Interview With Stephanie Visser

Mysterium #1
Acrylic Mixed Media Collage on Paper 76" x 43"
Stephanie Visser

Stephanie Visser's intriguing abstracts explore the relationships of sunlight and shadows, stillness and movement, sound and quiet.

Which of these pieces was the most challenging to create or conceive?

Initially, these new pieces come from a surprise chemical reaction that occurred, when attempting to be frugal, I mixed regular house paint with dried acrylic paint and worked it over with sand paper. The first piece in this series was on a large unprimed canvas. The result of the experiment was a look and feel that was not typical of my process which I found exciting and intriguing. I had no idea as to how far I could take it and in what materials it would be the most successful.

If you had to swap being an artist for a separate role that you would commit to at the same capacity, what would it be?

That's an easy one for me since I would most likely recommit to my career as an interior designer. It always afforded me an opportunity to work with color and form in a three dimensional format and I found it challenging and rewarding as well as artistic.

What 3 things are most unlike you or your work?

I am not a painter or a person that is struggling to make social commentary in my work or in my life. I often see work I admire that is a composite of images with deep subconscious meaning. However, my work is more lyrical and emotional and does have subconscious meaning, but is less image related and more like a Rorschach ink blot than realistically interpretive.

Mysterium #8
Acrylic Mixed Media Collage on Paper 76 x 43"
Stephanie Visser

Does art serve a function beyond decorating walls?

I certainly hope so....even though in my other life I often am called upon to "decorate" walls. I most often preferred that people have the opportunity to have art around them that speaks to them at the deepest level, even if they did not have the desire to explore or understand why. For me, art's purpose is to examine and illustrate our interior worlds in any form that it takes, realistic or abstractly. Everyone has a unique language or personal culture that they may not be able to articulate except through the work of another that arouses their personal psychology and explains themselves to themselves.

Stephanie Visser

Stephanie Visser's next exhibition opens October 5, 2010.

Monday, September 20, 2010

TAG Gallery Interviews Anne M. Bray

Desert Sunset
Anne M. Bray

Anne M. Bray’s Road Trip pastels celebrate fleeting moments captured on the road and frozen in time.

What goes into making work like yours?

My steps for creating my Road Trip pastels:
1) I get in the car and drive off.
2) I shoot digital captures when I see something that catches my eye (while driving).

this set of captures was shot in about 10 minutes

3) I edit my favorite shots and get them printed as glossy photos at Walgreens.
4) I crop the photo with tape, if needed.
5) I clip bristol paper to foam core on top of some large gridded paper
6) Holding the photo in my hand, I plot the general composition: sky, ground.
7) I start applying chalk pastel in large swaths and smear and smooth with my hands.
8) I work in color sections and do the sky first before any mountains or foreground. (I don’t want the dust from the sky getting on the lower parts). I smudge with my hands a lot. I do NOT use fixative. Fixative ruins my pastels because of the many many layers of pigment.
9) Done! I remove the drawing and grid paper from the foam core and tape both with a cover sheet. I keep these all together until I get the piece to my framer.

Who are some artists, contemporary or historical whose work you like?

Hudson River School, Whistler (the dark landscapes), Rebecca Campbell, Danielle Eubank, Paul Klee, Nancy Monk.

How did you end up becoming an artist?

I've always been an artist. One thing that helped shape my vision was growing up with original oil landscapes painted by various relatives. Also, when I was five or six, my grandfather would sit and doodle with me - we would both work on a sketch and pass it back and forth.

What do you like/love about being an artist?

For me, the best thing about being creative is that when I'm truly involved with
my work, I go into a whole different place that is not of this world.

What projects are you working on right now?

At TAG, I like to show every year to justify my membership dues. Since I also have money jobs, my art time is limited. I work in series and have many going on simultaneously. One big project still in the planning stage I call "On the Edge." My concept is to circumnavigate the contiguous US states that border the Pacific, Mexico, the Atlantic, and Canada. I will drive as close to the edge as the highways allow and will shoot video out the passenger side window. I will make incremental stops along the way and do work based off the video feed.

Name something you have done or that has contributed to your art career?

I've had residencies at four different art colonies -- unstructured time away
from home to concentrate on getting work done. I've had four sessions at Dorland Mountain Arts Colony in Temecula, CA which almost functions as a studio for me. Almost all of the pieces in this show were created at colonies.

Anne M. Bray's exhibit, Road Trip opens October 5, 2010.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Joe Pinkelman Interview

Legs With Decals
42 x 21 x 14"
Joe Pinkelman

Destruction and re-creation strike a delicate balance in Joe Pinkelman's three dimensional forms.

Does your own life play a role in your imagery?

Yes it does. Most if not all my life experience plays a role in my imagery. I think that is always the starting point and hopefully it expands beyond self. That allows someone else to share and be empathetic with the form and experience. In addition, ceramics adds an abstract element to the work because it is a pot and not a reference something else.

Who are some artists that are currently producing work that you like?

In the ceramics I like Paul Mathieu, Grayson Perry, and Daniel Kruger. On an international scale I like Jeff Koons, Anish Kapoor, Martin Puryear, and Richard Serra.

Would you collect your own work if you saw it in a gallery? Why or why not?

There are some specific pieces I like and wish I had kept. In general though because I am constantly surrounded by it (I can't sell most of it), it's good to look at work that is opposite of my interests. There is a story of Soutine admiring the works of Rembrandt in the museum yet their paintings are polar opposites.

In your work do you prefer timeless themes or current issues?

All my work has been an attempt at timeless issues and it is just recently since my visiting Jingdezhen, China that I am interested in current issues. I am working on a series of pieces that respond to pedophile catholic priests and the amnesty they receive from the Vatican, and in a new body of work I want to explore the involvement and culpability of the U.S. in regard to Iran, Iraq, and 911.

What is the purpose of art?

I think the purpose of art is to communicate ideas and emotions that have significant and universal meaning. Not to sound crass, but everyone scratches their ass. Even the Queen of England scratches her ass. Yet is that a universal that has significant meaning? The ideas and emotions expressed through art should be about understanding the world and individuals in more complex contexts. The purpose of art allows us to see those contexts and great art gives us the knowledge that we are free in our own lives to direct them as well. Consequently I am not a believer in causality.

Joe Pinkelman's exhibit at TAG opens October 5, 2010.

Monday, September 6, 2010

New Exhibition Featuring Julienne Johnson, Sue Keane, Pat Doede Klowden, and Ellen Starr

Saturday, September 11, 5- 8 PM

Artists' Q & A Panel:
Tuesday, September 14, 7 PM

Julienne Johnson, "Ashes For Beauty"

For her first Solo Exhibition Julienne Johnson presents a powerfully poetic body of work in a visceral, yet painterly language all her own. Working an Abstract Non - representational format, Johnson leads us through a complicated, dangerously vulnerable drama on canvas. Acting out each scene with emotionally charged, often hand mixed color pigments and symbolic references - we follow her down a path of angst and honesty as we try to put our own feelings in order.

Sue Keane, "New Ceramics"

After a successful career in architectural design, Sue Keane began working in clay, and one can see her work is still strongly influenced by the geometry of architecture and how forms relate to their surrounding space. Surface textures play an important part in the visual attraction of each piece as does light and shadow and types of glaze used. The fine detail of her work requires close examination of both surface texture and form.

Pat Klowden, "La Famiglia"

In 'La Famiglia', sculpturist Patricia Doede Klowden continues her exploration of the notion of place and identity as it functions in the modern world. Her newest bronze figures represent a transitional shift from the more androgynous communication of humanity seen in her previous series, 'The Bronze Age'. Here, recognizably female figures express the power of cultural origins and physical strength through attenuated form and subtle detailing. Klowden then moves to her most personal exploration of identity yet: her own family. In ceramic, she touches upon the forms and personality of her grandchildren, trading the universal cast of her earlier bronzes for the more personal markings of family.

Ellen Starr, "Return to Nature"

In her latest exhibition, "Return to Nature," Ellen Starr explores the endless possibilities of subject matter presented to us in the natural world. She explains, "I am attracted to complexity, perhaps because I'm an inveterate organizer. I like to find logic in disorder; to see beauty in the intricate; to make confusion understandable. I strive to balance form against form; color against color; and light against dark. My ultimate goal is to achieve a stable whole out of many parts to create a sense of equilibrium and serenity."

Monday, August 23, 2010

TAG Gallery Interviews Patricia D. Klowden

Two Women
Ceramic 12 x 4 x 4" eachPatricia D. Klowden

Patricia Klowden calls upon a strong rapport with her materials to create in three dimensions.

What about your work is most satisfying?

The most satisfying thing is to create a figure or a piece where am using my hands. I am very touch oriented. I paint with my hands and have been for 17 years. I find it difficult to use brushes. I like intimate contact with the surface of whatever I’m working on. I love the material on my hands, it feels natural to me.

What are your ideal conditions for creating new work?

I need light air and music. Sometimes I enjoy having other people around. A lot of people need absolute silence, but I prefer the company of others. For me its helpful to talk.

What three things are most unlike your work?

Darkness, total control, and a lack of movement.

Why do you make art?

Much of my becoming a full time artist began 18 years ago when I lost my younger brother. He wanted me to be an artist, that was my only gift at the time. I spent 8 hours a day painting, everyday. There are times when I’m far more possessed by the need to express myself, and making art is my best form of expression. It fills my need to articulate a feeling. I think that being an artist is a tremendous gift, we get to go to our material, what ever it is, and express what’s going on in our lives. Its a phenomenal way of coping.

Is art only Meaningful when its seen?

No, It is important to the artist. Its our need to do it.

Patricia D. Klowden's exhibit begins September 7, 2010.

Monday, August 16, 2010

TAG Gallery Interview With Julienne Johnson

Mixed Media Triptych 60 x 168"
Julienne Johnson

Layering, scraping, painting, and sanding are among the processes used by Julienne Johnson to create her abstract paintings.

What is it like being an artist in Los Angeles?

I think it is perhaps like being an artist anywhere. Only it’s more expensive here. While I have been an artist in Michigan, it was not with the same commitment to the work that I have now in Los Angeles.

Whom do you make art for?

I’d like to think that I make art for the world. However, when one works passionately in any area there is definitely something in it for themselves; that something is always beyond the obvious or what you can put in the bank… so much bigger. I make art for myself: to please myself.

Do you work in more than one medium? How do the two influence each other?

When my expression must make more sound it goes from drawing to painting to assemblage. When it must shout even louder, that assemblage becomes sculptural and free standing.

Have you been an artist all of your life, or is art something that you’ve come to recently?

I was first called an artist when I was about nine years old. I had a substitute art teacher in elementary school, Johanna Spargo from Estonia. Everything I made she praised and put in the highest position on the board. She singled me out; called my parents and wanted to mentor me. My father hung up on her. She called several times to no avail. Finally she called and said she would like to do a portrait of me at no charge. She was well known for her pastel portraits of children and they were expensive, at least to a family like mine. So to this free offer my father finally responded. For the next three to four months, every Saturday I went to her house for several hours. I had the most wonderful times. She would draw and sketch me happily in various positions and we would have graham crackers with applesauce on them and tea with milk. She would tell me about Estonia, about the communist labor camps she had escaped from and about how I brought her good luck. When the portrait was finished I begged to take it home with me on the bus; I fell into a mud puddle. Until she died, she stayed in my life. She always insisted that I was an artist, no matter what I was doing. She impacted me greatly with her blue eyes and kind heart.

Why do you make art and what excited you about painting?

I am compelled with all that is in me to make art. If you take away my paints I will draw. Take my pencil and I will carve with a knife. I need nothing special to work with. I will make art. If I have nothing I can still live it. On my bed I will dream it.

Julienne Johnson's exhibit opens September 7, 2010.

Monday, August 9, 2010

TAG Interviews Ellen Starr

Park Bluff
acrylic on canvas 18 x 24"
Ellen Starr

Ellen Starr's paintings clarify the visual intricacies of everyday subjects.

How do you decide on your palette?

My palette is determined by very concrete subject matter that gives rise to an image. I work with the original colors in nature, so I use an awful lot of blues and greens.

What goes into making work like yours?

As you can see I love detail, and it takes a substantial amount of time to produce the amount of detail that I like. I’m drawn to the extreme complexities of nature, ones that I can simplify and organize. I try to create a sense of serenity in my subject matter. It is this feeling of harmony that I want to communicate to the viewer of my work.

The Banana Bunch
acrylic on canvas 20 x 20"
Ellen Starr

How do you know when a work is finished?

If I can look at my work in total comfort, not see any small detail that I wish to change, then I know I’m done.

What is the most memorable comment someone has made about your work?

An art consultant bought one of my pieces and told me months later that she enjoyed looking at it every day. It brought her pleasure. When someone appreciates my work, it makes me realize that my efforts have value. It feels good to be recognized for giving satisfaction to someone else because of something I’ve done, no matter what it is.

If only one person were allowed to experience your work, who would It be and why?

I would have to say my husband, James. We share our assorted interests – art, music, magic, making videos, and more. He comments on my art, and gets after me when I don’t spend enough time working in my studio, so he is the logical person I’d share with.

Ellen Starr in the studio with Redford.

Ellen Starr's exhibit opens September 7, 2010.

Monday, August 2, 2010

TAG Gallery Hosts the Fifth Annual California Open Exhibition Juried Show at Bergamot Station from August 17 through September 3rd

Jumping Beans
Karen Yee

Santa Monica, Ca. – TAG Gallery is proud to present the Fifth Annual California Open Juried Exhibition beginning on August 17th and running through September 3rd at Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Avenue, #D3 in Santa Monica. The nationwide competition features artwork in a variety of mediums including painting, photography, computer generated art, mixed media, printmaking, drawing, and sculpture. Though TAG Gallery has been hosting this competition for five years running, this will be the first CA Open Exhibition at TAG Gallery’s new location in Bergamot Station, Southern California’s largest art gallery complex and cultural center.

This year’s Open attracted a record number of applicants with over 600 individuals submitting work. “The response we received for submissions was really inspiring,” explains Cheryl Medow, co-president of TAG Gallery. “The rich pool of entries allowed the juror to select an extraordinarily diverse show representing artists from 10 different states. The result is an exhibit with some of the most intriguing works contemporary art has to offer today.”

Deus ex Machina
David Pruitt

The juror of selection and awards for this year’s exhibition is Karen Moss, Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Programs at the Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA). Moss holds a B.A. in studio art and art history from the University of California at Santa Cruz and completed her graduate work in art history at University of California, Berkeley and University of Southern California (MA, PhD/ABD). An art historian and curator, she has worked in museum and academic positions since 1980 and has lectured and taught extensively on contemporary art history and theory.

Flora of the Westchester Place
Olga Ponemarenko

The Reception and Awards Ceremony for this year’s California Open Exhibition is open to the public and takes place on Saturday, August 21 from 5-8 PM at TAG Gallery, 2525 Michigan Avenue, #D3 in Bergamot Station. TAG Gallery was established in 1993 as a not-for-profit corporation, owned by its members, who share in all business decisions, responsibilities, and expenses. It is both a physical gallery and a community of approximately forty artists. TAG’s mission is to offer artists invaluable opportunities for promotional and creative growth. TAG offers extensive exhibition opportunities through the gallery and off-site venues, exposure to prominent members of the art community and inclusion on its website. TAG has been a resource for launching the careers of both emerging and mid-career artists. For more information about TAG Gallery or the California Open Exhibition please see

Monday, July 19, 2010

Brigitte Schobert, David Twamley, and Anne Ramis

Brigitte Schobert, David Twamley, and Anne Ramis

July 20- August 14
Artists' Reception: Saturday, July 24th, 5-8 PM

Brigitte Schobert, "Dreams and Reality"

In her latest series, printmaker Brigitte Schobert exhibits subtly surreal prints from etching and relief plates that explore the edge between dreams and reality. Using printing techniques that have not changed much since Duerer’s or Rembrandt’s time, Schobert strives to engage the viewer with images that can be puzzling and freed from reality in order to leave room for the beholder’s own fantasy. “The ideas for my images are derived from many different sources: happenings in daily life; movies I watch; books I read; or my numerous travels to foreign countries. I see my work as a journey and invite the viewer to be an active participant in the unfolding of that journey,” say Schobert.

As an artist, Brigitte Schobert is a late starter and she spent most of her professional life as a scientist at UC Irvine. After being involved in the art scene for several years, she realizes that there are a lot of similarities between art and science, and sees her transition as a moderate shift in methods and goals rather than a radical change. She has received training in Graphic Design, Drawing and Printmaking at UCI and Saddleback College. Her work was shown in numerous competitions throughout the US. It is in the homes of private collectors and at the Center for Political Graphics, Los Angeles. She is a member of the LA Printmaking Society and TAG Gallery.

David Twamley, "Miniature Collages"

David Twamley’s latest works entitled “Miniature Collages” use collage and mixed-media to celebrate the complexity of Western society which he describes as “a collage of experience in and of itself.” These works are a continuation of Twamley’s ‘LA’ series, which is inspired by the colors, shapes, and patterns we see around Los Angeles. David’s fascination with smaller pieces of artwork, such as Persian miniatures, also influences this body of work. He explains, “I find that creating smaller pieces forces the viewer to look very closely and become more involved with the piece.”

Twamley views his collage technique as a way of ordering sensory input rather than being overwhelmed by it. He states, “It’s an ideal medium to explore diversity,” and one finds this to be true in his creative use of color and light in his miniature works. Creating art for over 30 years, David has displayed work in numerous galleries throughout the US, and in several private collections. He has received training at the University of Minnesota, the University of Southern California, and the Otis Art Institute. David Twamley is a member of the TAG Gallery in Santa Monica, California.

Anne Ramis, "Most Recent Work"

Creating art since high school, Anne Ramis’ new show at TAG Gallery explores the three themes of “color play in abstraction,” “famous kisses,” and classical “horror” characters through the endlessly experimental medium of digital prints. Her varied show highlights familiar characters like Dracula and Frankenstein and famous kisses like that of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. In her abstract images, Anne pulls the unconscious connections of shape, color, size, and patterns to the surface through a series of spontaneous decisions made during her creations process.

“Each year, I explore a different medium to uncover the spontaneity of the art process,” say Ramis. “Using a variety of methods encourages me to keep evolving in my work.” With this latest series, Ramis cleverly captures a playful take on pop culture horror and kisses. “The digital prints really lent themselves to exploring the finer details of these themes and was a particularly exciting new arena for my art work,” says Ramis. Trained at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Brentwood Art Center, Anne uses her work to feed and reflect all aspects of her life.

The reception for Anne Ramis, David Twamley, and Brigitte Schobert will be held on Saturday, July 24th 5-8 pm, and the exhibition runs from July 20 through August 14th at TAG Gallery in Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Avenue, #D3 in Santa Monica. For more information, please see or call 310-829-9556.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Anne Ramis Interview

The Infamous
Anne Ramis

Exploring new mediums with a playful approach, Anne Ramis allows her process to take unexpected turns and deliver happy surprises.

How long have you been an artist?

I have been ready to call myself an artist since 1983.

Why do you make art?

Because it feels good. It shows me parts of myself that I don't know or expect. It's fun. It's problem-solving. I go into a kind of trance state and get to use everything I've accumulated up to that point.

Can you name a few of the most important artists to you?

Massacio, the Master of the Portinari Altarpiece, Caravaggio---so many of those I studied in Art History. My studies didn't get up to contemporary art, so I'm kind on my own after WWII.

Did you go to art school?

Yes. High School, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Brentwood Art Center.

Do you work in more than one medium?

Yes. Every year I work in a different medium, often combining them. I'm really motivated by having a show every year. It's freeing and it keeps me off the streets, or in the streets--a little of both.

What is your thought process while working?

I actually don’t have an end image in mind. I trust that I can get to a point where I'm satisfied. There's always the problem of going on past that. The process takes over and surprising myself is integral to that.

Is there a separation between your "normal" life and your art making?

No. All aspects of my life feed and reflect each other.

Do you find that the solitude is good for your art?

Yes and no. Sometimes solitude doesn't feel healthy. Often the ideas are generated from interactions with others and then built up when I start to play with them on my own.

Anne Ramis's exhibition opens July 20, 2010.

Monday, July 5, 2010

An Interview With Brigitte Schobert

Red Carpet

Brigitte Schobert

Brigitte Schobert encourages discovery with her subtly intriguing, often amusing, etchings and linocuts.

Where did you grow up? Do you consider where you are from an
influence on your artistic development?

I grew up in Germany, and yes, I think that there is an influence,
because German Expressionist art and woodcuts in particular made a
great impression on me and I always wanted to do something like that.

When did you first realize you were an artist or have the courage to think of yourself as an artist?

I still have a problem thinking of myself as an artist. I was always
interested in art, but spent my professional life as a scientist and
waited to do art until after my retirement.

I have a friend who is a printmaker and she told me to come by to
print something together. I went off to the art store and bought some
linoleum and used the lino cutter, which I still have from my high
school days, and I carved my first two linocuts. I liked it and found
I wanted to do more and that is how I grew into it.

What process or medium do you use for your work, and why?

I use etchings, linocuts, and also photography. When people ask me
why I prefer these media to painting, I usually give them this
answer: "Paper burns better than canvas."

But seriously, I don't know! I just feel attracted to it and I like
the process of carving and working with the knife.

Will you share with us the process?

In etchings are many fine details and it takes a long time to compose
and draw the picture on paper and then I have to draw it again on the
etching plate. The next step is to etch it and add aquatint to it.
This whole process takes weeks and weeks. After that I pull a proof and
sometimes I have to make corrections and finally I can print the
edition. Even with experience it is always a surprise to pull the
first print and I am happy when it comes out how I expected it to be.

With linocut there are different rules. It is not possible to work
with very fine detail and you have to concentrate on the most
important lines to create the image. It is similar to a photography
with high contrast.


Brigitte Schobert

Where do you find inspiration for your works? Does your own life
experience play a role in your imagery?

It comes from different sources like books, movies, events in the
news and photos. I basically came from photography to printmaking.
With digital photography it is a whole new world to be able to work
on the photos and print them yourself. Printmaking was a next step
for me after printing my own photographs.

Do your images come then from your photography?

Well, not always or not entirely. I may use the photograph as a
starting point, but in photography there are different rules. A good
photograph may be perfect with very little and just a small detail,
but for etchings or woodcuts you need more to make a good image.
Sometimes I use part of a photograph as a model and modify it or add
to it whatever comes to my mind.

How often do you start a new work?

Now with a show coming up I made a list of what I wanted to do and
just went down the list. On average I start a new work every month,
but the projects always overlap. If I weren't having the show I might
have experimented with new and unfamiliar methods, but they don't
always work out.

How do you know when a work is finished?

I have in mind what I want to put into my design and I develop and
draw it at first on paper. When this is done it is done. Only very
few corrections can be made at the stage of printing.

Who do you make art for?

Like many artists, I make it mainly for myself. However, I am happy
when other people enjoy it too.

Brigitte Schobert at work in the studio.

Brigitte Schobert's exhibition; Dream and Reality, opens July 20, 2010.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Darlyn Susan Yee, Carol Kleinman, and Betty Sheinbaum: June 22- July 17, 2010

TAG Gallery Announces

New Exhibit Featuring Works By
Darlyn Susan Yee, Carol Kleinman, and Betty Sheinbaum

June 22- July 17, 2010

Reception: Saturday, June 26, 5-8 PM

Artist Talk: Saturday, July 10 at 3 PM

Contained!, Darlyn Susan Yee

Although Darlyn Susan Yee has been creating containers in various media since childhood, for the last twelve years she's been stimulated by the textures that the knotting process yields. Through her study of the human form and character, Darlyn realized that we judge others by their appearances and attire, or their own personal containers. Fascinated by its simplicity and raw beauty, Darlyn has chosen cotton fiber for this series. Employing the basic knots - Lark's Head, Overhand Knot, Half Hitch, Clove Hitch and Reef Knot - she has created non-functional objects of art to be enjoyed and passed to future generations. Darlyn has hand-built each piece knot by knot, just as one would shape or form a clay object. Utilizing the knot structures and fiber properties, she has encouraged the final shape of each unique sculpture.

Paris Reflections, Carol Kleinman

Carol Kleinman is known for her unique ability to capture and highlight the "mystery in the mundane" through her bold, unmanipulated single digital exposures printed on canvas. In her latest exhibit, Kleinman's creative use of window reflections that capture images from inside and outside at the same time, allows her to depict the complexities of Paris life while simultaneously drawing out universal human themes. Whether or not one has ever traveled to Paris, Carol's work provides a gateway to get lost in the moment and discover the multiple realities that present themselves to us, but so often get overlooked as we rush through life. These reflections provide an emotional glimpse into the life, the charm, and the soul of one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

People, Betty Sheinbaum

Betty Sheinbaum is neither a struggling newcomer nor a jaded veteran. Coming to art seriously in the 1950s, long before feminism carved the freedom for women to select and juggle roles, Betty has led a full, complex life packed with "other concerns." Nonetheless, she is a true artist. Betty's latest series, People, goes beyond mere portraits and explores her subjects on a deeper level. She captures them mid-activity in order to translate onto the canvas how the participants are pouring out their hearts and souls. For the last 40-odd years, Betty Sheinbaum has worked in painting, sculpture and weaving.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Carol Kleinman: An Interview

Window Dancing on the Rue de Rivoli 
Archival Digital Image on Canvas 40 x 60" 
Carol Kleinman 

With bold, unmanipulated single exposures printed on canvas, Carol Kleinman presents Paris through a series of complex reflections on windows.

Where did you grow up? Do you feel that environment has had an effect on your artwork?

 Hawaii is my place of birth and where I spent my formative years. The Islands had a profound effect on me. Growing up I remember mystical, visual stories of the past layered with the reality of the present. In my work, I look for layers of reality through reflections on windows. I combine what is inside with what appears outside in an attempt to challenge the viewer to look at mysterious layers that float just below the surface of life. To give that moment a sense of immediacy, I do not manipulate these images. What you see is what I saw.......a fleeting moment....a place in time.

Can you teach somebody to be an artist or is it an innate ability?

 I do believe art can and should be taught. I also believe people who become artists are born with an unstoppable need to create art. For us it is more then "should" I create art - it is what, when, how, where, now! We need to do this.

Tour de Eiffel Bus Window
Archival Digital Image on Canvas 54 x 36"
Carol Kleinman 
 Why art? Why not writing or theatre?

I was very active in theater in high school as well as art. In collage and graduate school I concentrated on art as my medium for expression. I have worked with many art mediums and have a teaching credential in ceramics. I came upon photography in the last 10 years when I realized I could capture wonderful, complex images using windows and reflections on glass. These reflections constantly surprise me. I feel the more I do this work the more complex the images become. With this latest work the images go from the strange layering of "Window Dancing on the Rue de Rivoli" to the almost minimal "Tour de Eiffel Bus Window". Both of these images magically appeared in my camera.

Are there any artists, historical or contemporary, that you feel have been an influence for you?

 Art History is one of my passions. I've learned from artists past and present. I'm particularly interested in photographers who have worked with reflections since that is the scope of the work I have chosen.


Does your own life experience play a role in your imagery?

 I love being an emotional, intuitive, feminine human being. My work is an extension of that. I offer my complex multi layered images to viewers as a metaphor for the human condition. Being human is complex, layered and even mysterious. With my work I try to bring all of this to the some joy, fun and,
 Carol Kleinman photographing window
reflections in Paris.
of course, a touch of humor.

Carol Kleinman's exhibition opens June 22.

Monday, June 7, 2010

An Interview With Darlyn Susan Yee

Does Knot Hold Water I
knotted cotton 10-1/2 x 7-1/2 x 7-1/2"
Darlyn Susan Yee

From hand-tied knots in cotton, Darlyn Susan Yee constructs intricate versions of seemingly everyday objects.

At what point in your life did you decide to be an artist?

I don’t think I really decided. It decided for me. I started entering some of my craftwork into fairs. From there it was recommended to me that I should put some work in galleries and that the best way to do that would be to enter competitions. So I started getting my feet wet there. And that’s how it all started happening.

Is the craftwork you started with related to what you do now?

I started knotting when I was about 9 years old. That’s the one constant throughout my life. That’s my favorite medium. I also paint and have done some paintings that have sold, but I’m thrilled by the knotting and what I can do with it. It’s a guilty pleasure in a way to be able to do what I want to do.

How did you learn knotting?

I was at summer day camp and we started on basic knots to form things around the campsite. We made a belt and a little pendant and all sorts of little decorative items and I thought that’s really cool, I could do a lot with that. Since then no string was ever safe with me again.

What is it about the string, or the knots that you like?

I like the ability to make a fabric, to make a structure, to construct something. I am really in a way hand building my forms, knot-by-knot, piece-by-piece and choosing the knots that will help it to stand up, that will help it to move in a certain way. There aren’t many people who knot structurally. Jane Sauer is really my inspiration. She currently has her own gallery. Her work is hard to find online, but she has pieces in the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Museum of Arts and Design.

Can you share about your technique? Or is it a secret?

It’s not a secret. In fact I’m working on a book right now about the knotting techniques. It is a “how to” and has a segment that has some of my artwork. I was really lucky to be tapped - right after being included in 100 Artists of the West Coast II, one of the editors wanted me to write this book. I’ve never written a book. So again, I’m trying something I’ve never done, but I’m really enjoying the process. It’s causing me to analyze everything that I do: “Why is this not working, why am I still doing it?” It’s been enlightening to go back to the basics and find the words to describe what is second nature to me.

Excessively Handled
knotted cotton 13-1/2 x 8-1/2 x 8-1/2"
Darlyn Susan Yee

Do you have an idea in mind before you start about what it’s going to look like?

I have a general plan. I don’t work from patterns or anything like that. I’m an anti pattern person. I like trying to build something. Awhile back I looked at a tree and I said, “I bet I could make that in knots”. And I made an abstract knotted tree that people do recognize is a tree.

How often do you start a new work?

Not often enough. I get sidetracked by gallery work, various obligations, family things. At this point I haven’t been starting new pieces more than once every three months and completing them about once a year. They really are time consuming. What normally happens to me is that I get a burst of desire to complete - right around show time. I pull a few all nighters and get it all finished. I decide what’s the closest and I often have to set a piece aside because it’s not clear where it needs to go next. Everything lives in a corner somewhere and I pull out a piece when I see what I need to do with it. And I always work faster on a deadline. I grew up in magazine publishing and the idea of the deadline and how do I get to that point from here. I have to set my own deadlines in order to get things accomplished.

Is there any separation between your "normal" life and your artwork? If so, how do you manage to keep each in its place?

I really strive to do work at work and as soon as I leave I can put on the other hat. I try and keep it really separate and distinct – I wouldn’t want my employee doing something else on the side while I was paying them.

There’s a lot to being an artist that isn’t about doing the actual work. There’s the website, there’s trying to develop some sort of blog, I’ve been hammered recently, “Why aren’t you on Facebook? Why aren’t you Twittering?” If I had eight arms and maybe four brains I could do all that. There’s a lot that goes into it. I realize that I’ve had accumulated a lot of knowledge about the various pieces along the way. The skills I’ve acquired in my normal life have informed my work and life as an artist, and vice versa.

Do you find that your own life experience plays a role in your imagery?

Sometimes. I know that some of the first few pieces that I created I could correlate to dreams that I had, that I really wanted to flesh out. Not everything though. More of my recent work is just things, trying to represent things and people and thoughts, clearing out the clutter in my brain with all those projects that I’ve wanted to do. The last several years have been about clearing the clutter in my life. Part of moving is reassessing, “What did I have this for? Why haven’t I used it again,” and clearing some of that out, finding new uses for things, finding new ways to express using the tools that I have.

Does art serve a function beyond decoration?

Yes. I think most artists will say the same thing – that it’s meditative. They get into a groove, they get going, and where does the time go? I have to set an alarm to tell myself to do other things if I allowed myself, I would procrastinate on everything else. I’d rather be knotting, but the balance of activities is better for me in the long run.

Darlyn Susan Yee

Darlyn Susan Yee's exhibition at TAG Gallery opens June 22.