Thursday, August 29, 2013
Wish all my show reviews were as eloquint! What a great write up by Luke Fannin for the Show at the Gallery at the Watershed in Eugene.
Jeff White & Michael Orwick: Masters of Light, The Gallery at the Watershed
by Luke Fannin
First seen on The Oregon Wine and Music Project site http://oregonwineandmusic.blogspot.com/2013/08/jeff-white-michael-orwick-masters-of.html
“Masters of Light,” featuring landscape painters Michael Orwick and Jeff White, is the latest show at Eugene’s Gallery at the Watershed. While these talented artists more than merit solo exhibitions, it truly does seem as though their paintings belongs together. Beyond the very general, their work isn’t overly similar, and yet it’s exceedingly complementary. As the show’s title suggests, the depiction light and its myriad effects is central to the work of both artists, but Orwick and White have taken their mastery into realms much more complex, far less tangible, than simple light and shadow.
Just why these artists fit so well together is not so easy to pin down. Maybe it’s the way they utilize negative space, drawing the eye through a painting while simultaneously engaging the edges of the canvas, never for a second allowing us to forget what might lie beyond -- as in White’s “Enchanted Moments,” where sky and water heighten the layered effect of clouds and mountains, asking us to keep looking up, up, up... Or in Orwick’s “Get Low,” where the moon seems to be pulling the sky down into the otherwise crowded tree line. Or is it the way each, in his own distinct manner, occasionally leaves ever-so-subtle traces of the uncanny, from the other-worldy red glow of Orwick’s “Crimson Clover” to the awesome figure who seems to be emerging from the clouds in White’s “Talisman at the Gates”?
Perhaps it is the striking range each displays in this show. White’s “Harmony in Motion” is an apt example of his trademark dramatic skies and cloud formations, swinging wildly between utter serenity and perpetual, swirling chaos. This painting stands in stark contrast to his pointillist landscape, “Fall Splendor,” and its profound, perfect stillness. Orwick’s range is perhaps less stylistically obvious, but, in terms of effect, just as dramatic. The familiar beauty of “Oregon Vineyard” is representative of his appeal. With its glowing rows of vines receding into a climbing, hazy landscape, this piece manages to be both quaint and expansive. In contrast, “Cool Breath” eludes the overtly familiar altogether. All detail is lost in shadow, heightened by the golden light of the background, creating a mystery far more inviting than it is imposing.
But maybe the answer is closer to home. Gallerist Amy Isler Gibson calls Orwick and White “beloved Oregon artists,” and of course she’s right. These landscape painters are two fine examples of the Pacific Northwest’s deep pool of artistic talent, and those of us privileged enough to see their work on a regular basis, to live in and near the landscapes that inspire them, is enough to make us feel a certain sense of ownership -- pride, even -- in these two artists who, in a manner of speaking, represent us and our corner of the world.
But, perhaps unintentionally, Ms. Isler Gibson’s simple sentiment points to something at the very heart of these artists’ work, the quality which seems to tie them together so well: it is not merely the artists who are beloved, but the Oregon they depict. So powerfully do Orwick’s stately vineyards and meditative sunsets, and White’s astonishing skyscapes and serene woodlands, impose themselves upon our own emotional memory that they become the places we live, visit, and remember -- as much as, even more than, their real-world counterparts. Orwick compares it to storytelling, whereas White sees something akin to a Rorschach inkblot, but the result is the same: these are more than just landscapes; they are our venues, settings in which we, the audience, become characters with unique experiences. Such an accomplishment transcends mere regional appeal, and requires so much more than solid technique and talent with a paintbrush. It demands empathy and human understanding of the most profound kind. Plein air painters are always saying how the eye sees differently than the camera -- well, as Orwick and White clearly show, the heart sees differently than either.
For all it has to offer, here is a show that simply doesn’t stop giving. It includes the work of a special guest: one Elena Orwick, nine, daughter of Michael. In her artist’s statement, Miss Orwick says, “I see beauty in everything and everyone ... and that is what inspires me.” This infectious, precocious charm notwithstanding, her work evidences startling talent and maturity in one so young, from the elegant simplicity of “Last Leaves” to the surprising depth of “Golden Hour on the Bend.” I’m far from qualified to throw around the term “prodigy,” but this young artist is one to watch.
“Masters of Light” runs at the Gallery at the Watershed, 321 Mill Street, through September 14.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
The Art of Landscape
Workshop Dates: 10/19/2013 - 10/21/2013
Location: 302 Colonades Way, suite 209 Cary, NC 27518
302 Colonades Way, suite 209
Cary North Carolina 27518
This workshop is designed to explore the fundamental reasons behind a painting's success as you create your own masterpiece.
Think of walking into a gallery and instantly being grabbed by a painting from clear across the room. What is it that reaches out to you and pulls you to get a better look? Learn what it is that first draws you in and how the painting continues to cast such a spell that you have to get within sniffing distance to learn all you can.
Through informative conversations and step-by-step demonstrations, students will gain an understanding of the interrelated components of painting- including value, shape, color, and edge relationship. Each of you will be given personal attention and friendly critiques. You will take home your own light filled landscape along with improved painting methods and theory.
The workshop is open to all mediums and levels of artist but is focused at the intermediate to advanced oil painters.
Michael Orwick's career in art started in animation at Will Vinton Studios and moved quickly into illustration, where he enjoyed bringing the ideas of others to life. As is true for many creative people, Michael was drawn to develop his own signature style of "Inspired Expressionism," painting his ideas on canvas and inviting the viewer to provide the narrative.
Orwick is a master of creating mood through atmosphere and color, utilizing space, a sense of place, and time of day to convey his vision. His work hints at a story and it is what he leaves untold that engages the viewer in the creative process of storytelling. He often hears that people feel as if they have "seen this place before". He has always been inspired by the ability of landscapes to tell stories.
Place: Waverly Artists Group Studio
Time: 9:00am to 4:00pm
Supply list sent after registration
Friday, August 9, 2013
Gallery Show: MASTERS OF LIGHT
Welcoming 3 very special artists to Eugene:
Mr. Jeff White returns for his first full on show in Eugene in many years! A beloved and favorite Oregon artist. Magically peaceful yet passionate landscapes that take you in, deep in, both towards and away...
Mr. Michael Orwick, award-winning Oregon Plein Air artist, known for his gorgeously colored landscapes and a special focus: the vineyards of the PNW...
And we are proud to welcome Ms. Elena Grace Orwick, 9 years old, already well deserving of this, her first public show ever. Ms. Orwick is under strict instructions that 100% of sales are hers, for college, ice cream, or whatever she and her parents decide. That might rule out puppies, might not.
Elena has already shown a gift for composition, color theory and both figurative and abstract design.
Show and Event Dates:
All 3 artists show together from
Gallery days and hours: Tues - Sat,
Artist Reception/Talk for Jeff White:
FRIDAY, Aug. 9th,
Artist Reception for Michael and Elena Grace Orwick:
PLEASE JOIN US!
Amy Isler Gibson, Owner/Manager
The Gallery at the Watershed
321 Mill St., Suite 6
Eugene, OR 97401