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 

Jeff White & Michael Orwick: Masters of Light, The Gallery at the Watershed

“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

Willamette Valley Plein Air is nearly here!!!

ART Elements Heeaer
Meet the artists
Meet the artists and see the work 
Artist Reception August 29, 2013

This summer our four featured artists took multiple excursions together throughout the Willamette Valley to produce paintings for ART Elements Gallery. "Painting outdoors is the best way to learn and grow as an artists," says oil painter, Michael Orwick. "The constant change of light, wind and color challenges you to grasp a moment in a ever-changing environment. Our time out and about will make my future work stronger."

"The gang gets together about once a month in the spring and summer time to plein air paint all over the Willamette Valley.  It's always an adventure full of laughs, stories, and shenanigans. Oh! And paintings too!" says Romona as she giggles and winks at her cohorts.
Willamette Valley Plein Air @ ART Elements, Gallery Artist Interviews
Willamette Valley Plein Air @ ART Elements, Gallery Artist Interviews

Romona Youngquist
Self taught and painting since the age of four, Romona Youngquist grew up amongst vast landscapes and the thunderous big sky of Oklahoma. The severe contrast between shadow and light carry you right into her paintings of weathered architecture, flowers, fields and country roads. "We are honored to be one of the few galleries carrying Romona," says ART Elements Gallery owner and art consultant Loni Parrish. Though Romona is a painter that rivals the masters, I'm sure few of them were notorious for raising squirrels, puppies and all critters of the Pacific Northwest. All living things are attracted to Romona's quick loving and easy going personality. "We love having her live five miles from the gallery. She's a quick call away for clients that want to meet the artist behind the breathtaking paintings. When they meet her, they are always astounded that such large masterpieces came out of this petite woman." 

Michael Orwick started his career as an animator in the Will Vinton claymation studios and quickly moved to illustration. His storytelling, his signature style "Inspired Expressionism," is evident on every canvas he paints. Every viewer is left feeling reminiscent of something familiar and wanting. Michael uses the entire Pacific Northwest as his painting playground spanning from the Oregon coast, Mt. Hood and the vineyards of the Willamette Valley. Michael is a natural teacher and often holds workshops and classes in various mediums. He prefers to teach people out in the plein air, in the elements.

Don Bishop, a northern California native, is the quieter soul of this rambunctious bunch of artists. His grandiose quiet landscapes reflect his demeanor. "There is something so peaceful about Don's work. They are very reflective, meditative pieces. There are times in the gallery where his trees blow in the summer breeze, the clouds trail across the canvas and somehow the days troubles melt away," says gallery manager, Lauren Wylie. Don's work and tonal style reflects those of the early California plein air impressionist artists.
Oregon native Brenda Boylan, the newest artist to ART Elements Gallery, is a sprite bubbly artist that paints lush and rich oil pastel paintings. She has earned the distinction of Signature Membership with the Pastel Society of America, the Northwest Pastel Society and has been published in several fine art magazines. For such serious and honorable accolades, she seems to be the trouble-maker/instigator of the group. "She is always laughing and seeing the bright side of every occasion, we see that in her paintings. Her pieces bring you joy, peace and highlight details that one wouldn't normally see. Her layers of color with hints of random highlights of orange and deep blue keep your eyes drawn to the detail and care of each of her pieces," says Lauren. 

We're in Southwest Art!

Art Elements Gallery
The Gallery is open to the public
604 E. 1st Street
Downtown Newberg, OR

Tuesday - Saturday from 10 - 5 p.m.
and by appointment by calling  
(503) 487-6141

 Our art is also featured at the following Oregon wine tasting rooms this season:
   Beaux FreresBella Vida 
See you in the gallery soon! 
Sara Starnes, Lauren Wylie & Loni Parrish
The ART Elements Gallery Team
The Art Elements Team
PO Box 1060  |  604 E. 1st Street  |  Newberg, OR 97132
Phone: (503)487-6141    
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Art of Landscape workshop in Cary North Carolina

Current Workshops:

Friday, August 9, 2013

We would like to announce one show with two special openings!

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 August 6 - September 7, 2013
Gallery days and hours: Tues - Sat, 11am - 5 pm
Artist Reception/Talk for Jeff White:  
FRIDAY, Aug. 9th, 
Artist Reception for Michael and Elena Grace Orwick:  
SUNDAY, August 11, 4-5:30 pm


Amy Isler Gibson, Owner/Manager
The Gallery at the Watershed
321 Mill St., Suite 6
Eugene, OR 97401