Art and Sustainability

"Why should we think upon things that are lovely? Because thinking determines life. It is a common habit to blame life upon the environment. Environment modifies life but does not govern life. The soul is stronger than its surroundings." –William James (1842-1910), American philosopher and psychologist

Photos from Gretchen Van Dyke’s show at Sightline November 17, 2011

Learn more about artist Gretchen Van Dyke and this show here.

 

The view of Gretchen Van Dyke’s “Figures Observed” show from the hallway

 
"fan" by Gretchen Van Dyke

“Fan” 21″ x 18″ charcoal on paper by Gretchen Van Dyke

 

Gretchen Van Dyke’s art hanging in the lobby of the Sightline Institute office in downtown Seattle

 

Gretchen Van Dyke’s art hanging in the lobby of the Sightline Institute office in downtown Seattle

 

“Man in Bright Shirt” 10″ x 8″ oil on panel by Gretchen Van Dyke

 

Gretchen Van Dyke’s art hanging in the lobby of the Sightline Institute office in downtown Seattle

 

Artist Gretchen Van Dyke

 

See more of Gretchen’s artwork here.

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“Figures Observed” by Gretchen Van Dyke October 3, 2011

"Jump" oil on canvas, 20"x24” by Gretchen Van Dyke

We begin and end the year with art of the figure, just as sustainability problems and solutions essentially begin and end with choices made by the human race. Now on view through the November 30, “Figures Observed” is the fourteenth show in our “Art & Sustainability” series at Sightline Institute. It features 11 oil paintings and 6 charcoal drawings by Issaquah artist Gretchen Van Dyke.

Through observation and memory, Gretchen captures gesture, spirit, and the complexity of human nature in her drawings and paintings. Whether abstract or more representational in nature, her two-dimensional art is imbued with a sense that the subjects are three-dimensional living, breathing individuals. They make you wonder, “What are their hopes, dreams, regrets?” Gretchen says about her work:

My paintings explore time, surface, color, and human introspection. I work from observation, with memory, and abstractly, creating paintings and drawings on canvas, wood panel, and paper. Still life and the human form are my subjects. Whether painting a person or thing, my work is a direct dialogue between self and subject. It is about the act of slowing down, deeply observing, and being in the moment. It asks the question:  How is it that a brush and paint can capture the spirit of a person or thing?

A native of Washington, Gretchen has a degree in Graphic Design from The Art Institute of Seattle, as well as a BFA in Drawing and Painting from the University of Washington. She recently completed Artist Trust‘s EDGE Professional Development Program. Her influences include the figurative painters Frank Auerbach and Lucian Freud, who said, “I paint people, not because of what they are like, not exactly in spite of what they are like, but how they happen to be.”

Gretchen’s work has been in both group and solo shows around the state. Locally, Gretchen is an active member of artEAST, Issaquah’s non-profit arts organization. She and fellow member Ellen Borison (who showed at Sightline at the beginning of the year), have curated figure drawing shows the past five years at artEAST. Gretchen also participated in the organization‘s first 24-Hour Art Marathon last spring, in which she created four oil paintings on-site in a period of 24 hours.

Conscientious about sustainability issues such as food, transportation, consumerism, and land use, Gretchen walks the talk. She lives in downtown Issaquah, where she is close to stores and services, the bus, trails, and the creek. In addition, she is the Assistant Executive Director at Athletes for Kids.

To view Gretchen’s paintings and drawings at Sightline now through the end of November, visit the office between 10am and 3pm on weekdays. Most works are available for purchase. Contact Gretchen directly at gretchenvandyke (at) earthlink (dot) net with sales inquiries.

Sightline Institute
1402 Third Ave,
Fifth Floor, Suite 500
Seattle, WA
206-447-1880 ext. 100

What thoughts about sustainability are inspired by Gretchen’s art (and by art in general)? Share yours in a comment.

 

Photos from Liz Ashley’s show at Sightline September 7, 2010

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The view from the hallway of Liz Ashley‘s “Life in Cascadia” series

 

Liz Ashley’s art hanging in the lobby of the Sightline Institute office in downtown Seattle

 

Liz Ashley’s art hanging in the lobby of the Sightline Institute office in downtown Seattle

 

 

“Early Moonrise” oil on panel 12″ x 24″ by Liz Ashley

 

Liz Ashley’s art hanging in the lobby of the Sightline Institute office in downtown Seattle

 

Liz Ashley’s art hanging in the lobby of the Sightline Institute office in downtown Seattle

 

Liz Ashley at Sightline in front of “The Crows of Marymoor” oil on panel 36″ x 48″

 

“Life in Cascadia” by Liz Ashley May 12, 2010

Filed under: Liz Ashley,oil,shows — Becky @ 5:44 pm
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Beginning the second year of the “Art and Sustainability” series of art shows at Sightline Institute, we are pleased to present the art of Liz Ashley, now on view through the end of June. “Life in Cascadia” is a collection of 13 oil paintings on wood panels, each depicting a landscape and/or wildlife that is (or could be) a scene found in Cascadia. Liz says this about her work:

I consider myself a naturalist painter who sways between realism and impressionism. I’m inspired by my surroundings and that is the root of each painting. Sometimes I start with a photograph to get the essence of a piece and then put the photo aside and let my memory of a place or an animal paint the rest of the picture. I find by doing this that it can dramatically change the colors and the landscape and make the scene more inviting than in the actual photograph.

When you see her work in person, be sure to read the accompanying “Field Notes” next to each painting. Each gives a story behind its creation and, when applicable, some facts about the wildlife present. With her elegant paintings of birds in the wild, Liz was appropriately part of a recent group show, “Birds of a Feather,” at Cancer Lifeline in Seattle.

Born and raised in Northern California, Liz received a BS degree in Design from UC Davis, which led to being a design stylist and later a website designer. She considers herself self-taught in oil and watercolor painting. Currently living on Tiger Mountain in Issaquah, Washington, where she is inspired by nature every day, Liz is one of the original members of artEAST, Issaquah’s non-profit arts organization, as well as a board member at Providence Marianwood. Her artwork can be found at UP Front [art] in downtown Issaquah.

To view her art at Sightline during May and June, visit the office between 10am and 3pm on weekdays. All works are available for purchase. Contact Liz directly at liz (at) lizashley (dot) com with sales inquiries.

Sightline Institute
1402 Third Ave,
Fifth Floor, Suite 500
Seattle, WA
206-447-1880 ext. 100

What thoughts about sustainability are inspired by Liz’s art (and by art in general)? Share yours in a comment.

UPDATE: Liz’s show has been extended through the end of July!

"Cattails" oil on panel, 24" x 48", by Liz Ashley

 

Photos from Julia’s show at Sightline July 9, 2009

Julia pondering

Julia Hensley pondering the placement of her artwork in the Sightline lobby.

 

West From Gasworks by Julia Hensley

“West from Gasworks” Gouache-on-paper collage by Julia Hensley.

 

Show

Julia Hensley’s art hanging in the lobby of the Sightline Institute office in downtown Seattle.

 

Show

Julia Hensley’s art hanging in the lobby of the Sightline Institute office in downtown Seattle.

 

Urban Perspective: City Views by Julia Hensley June 4, 2009

by Julia Hensley

Miller Paint by Julia Hensley

I am pleased to announce the work of artist Julia Hensley now on display at Sightline Institute through the end of June. “Urban Perspective: City Views” is a collection of mostly local urban landscapes in abstraction and multiple media: oil, acrylics, and gouache-on-paper collage. An excerpt from Julia’s statement about this body of work:

I love coaxing a composition from the banal chaos of urban detail – the more obscure and unpromising the corner of the city, the better. My vision is an invented perspective informed by cubism, pixelation, quilts, and Mondrian’s grids, in which the city is seen as if from above and head on simultaneously…The flattening effect of the verticals and horizontals also serves my interest in reality as illusion – an idea reinforced by years of painting scenery for theater and television…I invite the viewer to freely interpret place and mood.

Born in South Africa, Julia received her BFA at Boston University. She currently lives in Seattle and is a talented painter and collage artist, as well as a much respected and beloved teacher of drawing and painting. She is represented by Sunne Savage Gallery in Winchester, Massachusetts. Keep up with Julia on her painting blog, her art discussion blog, and her journal.

You can view a slide show of most of the works on display, but be sure to see them in person at Sightline! All 13 pieces are available for purchase.

What thoughts about sustainability are inspired by this art? Share yours in a comment.