Tag Archives: florals

The Poetry of Shapes: Susan Melrath

29 Jun

“Rich colors draw me in, patterns guide me through, and flat, poetic shapes allow me to rest.”  — Susan Melrath

It is just these rich colors and flat, poetic shapes that drew me in to Susan Melrath’s work.  Susan takes complex forms like flowers, architecture and figures and condenses them to their most basic shapes.

Crimson Kiss, acrylic on canvas, 36×36

By doing so, the viewer becomes more drawn in by the emotionality brought to the surface through her use of vibrant color applied to the forms, rather than by the subjects themselves.

 

Cafe, acrylic on paper, 11×19 framed

Though I love ALL of Susan’s work, it is her Garden series that speaks something to my soul.  Perhaps it is how I am amazed by the flora to be found here in the Northwest.  ( Wildflowers!! )

Out of the Blue, acrylic on paper, 22×22 framed

She takes what could be a mundane subject and with the use of pattern and color creates something extraordinary.  It’s a little bit Pop-Art, a little bit Fauvist, kind of Cubist without the hard edges ( Cone-ist? ).The flowers seem to be underwater, floating in a happy haze of pattern.  Or maybe it’s drizzly rain?  We ARE in the Northwest..Sometimes it seems that we are seeing the flower’s shadow, rather than the plant itself, looking through the shadow to the play of patterns and light beyond.  Which makes the work groovily mysterious.

Moonflower, acrylic on canvas, 24×24

Susan created a floral series called “Bloom” for a recent Art & Sustainability show at the Sightline Institute in Seattle, integrating technology and traditional painting, posting a mobile tag by each painting providing more insight and information about each work of art.  You can see the progress of one of these works and hear Susan speaking about the work here.  And because I always personally find these things to be so much darn fun, here’s a time-lapse video of Susan completing a painting.  What’s up next for Susan after her technology driven show?  Unplugged, artwork created during a one-week period in which artists went without TV, internet, social media and texting.  Because great art is always about finding balance.

Be sure to check out Susan Melrath’s website to see more of her work and learn more about the artist.

Pick of the Crop: Heralding Hager

23 Jun

In this digital age, it seems like you can’t spit without hitting a self-proclaimed “photographer”.  I don’t begrudge anyone a creative outlet– if you want to take photos with your digital SLR, slap ’em up on Facebook and call yourself a photographer, I guess that’s your beeswax.  But for me, there is a point where photography ends and artistry begins.  There are photographers who are truly artists of their craft and Thomas Hager is a master.

Tom takes the simplest of forms, like the sweetgum pods above and isolates them and infuses them with a ethereal quality.  These are no longer those annoying, sharp little balls that litter the sidewalk, they are now magical spheres where fairies reside.

A simple floral stem becomes a beanstalk for a boy named Jack.

Shore birds become ghostly apparitions in a watery tableau.  Are they really there or are our eyes playing tricks again?

Is the water moving or is it the earth?  Where does the reflection end and the reality begin? Does it even matter?

Check out more of Tom’s work on his website and be sure to stop by the site for his brilliant limited edition line, Town Editions.  Oh and did I mention he has a show opening tonight at the University of Maine Museum of Art?  Now I just have to get him out here on the West Coast..

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