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

“Symbiotic Relationships” by Cynthia Gerdes March 14, 2011

Filed under: Cynthia Gerdes,encaustic,shows — Becky @ 11:40 pm
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"Sundew No. 3" encaustic on birch panel 24" x 24" by Cynthia Gerdes

We are pleased to announce “Symbiotic Relationships,” the eleventh show in our series at Sightline Institute in downtown Seattle. Fall City artist Cynthia Gerdes has nine encaustic paintings on display through the end of April.

With this exhibit, we go back to the ancient medium of encaustic (“to burn in”), which is a mixture of heated beeswax, resin, and pigments. Encaustic art has survived for centuries. Cynthia uses this technique to depict flora in the two series for this show. She says:

I began encaustic painting in 2008. After years of cruising galleries and attending art shows as a patron, and being strangely attracted to working with sharp objects and fire, I tried my hand at mosaic, welding, glass casting, bronze casting, and watercolor. Then I took an encaustic painting class and was instantly hooked.

The four larger works in “Symbiotic Relationships” are part of her “Sundew” series, inspired by the tiny carnivorous sundew plants that she raises in her home. On the walls of Sightline, the light captures the subtle textures and color variations of the wax in her brilliantly colored magnified interpretations of a tiny sundew plant. The five smaller works are part of her “Paris Flower” series, which depicts Paris polyphylla, a flower named for its symmetry and used for its medicinal properties.

Cynthia enjoys the creative process, never knowing where it will take her, including finding ways to incorporate found objects into her artwork. A love of both nature as well as order are reflected in her works of flora and fauna, grids and patterns, organic shapes and vivid hues. She has shown around the state in both group and solo shows, and her work can be found at UP Front Gallery, part of the artEAST Art Center in downtown Issaquah. Cynthia recently survived artEAST‘s first 24-Hour Art Marathon, in which she created four encaustic paintings on-site in a period of 24 hours. All four were sold in the auction following the marathon.

To view Cynthia’s artwork at Sightline during March and April, visit the office between 10am and 3pm on weekdays. All works are available for purchase. Contact Cynthia directly at fallcitywax (at) comcast (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 Cynthia’s art (and by art in general)? Share yours in a comment.

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Photos from Ellen Borison’s show at Sightline February 28, 2011

Filed under: Ellen Borison,pen on paper,shows — Becky @ 3:30 pm
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The view of Ellen Borison’s “Instrumental Lines” series from the hallway

 

060224.3 guy clark, gel pen on brown paper 8.2″ x 11.7″ by Ellen Borison

 

Ellen Borison’s art hanging in the lobby of the Sightline Institute office in downtown Seattle

 

left: 050430 banjo bass workshop, gel pen on brown paper 8.2″ x 11.7″ by Ellen Borison
right: 030426.25 banjo bass workshop, gel pen on brown paper 8.2″ x 11.7″ by Ellen Borison

 

 

“Instrumental Lines” by Ellen Borison January 5, 2011

Filed under: Ellen Borison,pen on paper,shows — Becky @ 8:28 pm
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Detail of 030425.24 darrel scott, gel pen on brown paper 8.2" x 8.2" by Ellen Borison

With our tenth show in the “Art & Sustainability” series now on view at Sightline Institute in downtown Seattle through the end of February, we go back to the very basics of creating art: making marks and making music. Issaquah artist Ellen Borison elegantly (in scientific terms) combines the two in “Instrumental Lines,” a raw collection of 30 figure drawings on brown paper. This series of line drawings captures both the simplicity and the complexity of accomplished acoustic musicians performing live in concert, mostly in the genres of Americana, bluegrass, and blues. She says:

I have discovered that I listen better while drawing and draw better while listening.

The most interesting thing about drawing musicians is that they move. Rather than trying to draw impressions quickly, I draw deliberately using a modified blind contour line, often adding detail to faces . . . I often capture multiple superimposed views, giving the drawing dimensionality and dynamism.

In this body of work, Ellen juxtaposes the natural brown paper with the modern-day gel pen, which she likes because “the ink is saturated, and [she] can get strong lights on toned paper.” The results are drawings full of movement and energy.

Though both Ellen’s academic and occupational backgrounds are in computer science, she has been drawing most of her life. Most of her work is figurative and based on observation.

An active member of artEAST, Issaquah’s non-profit arts organization, she and fellow member Gretchen Van Dyke, have curated figure drawing shows the past four years, including one where participating artists drew from a model on the walls of the gallery. Ellen will also be facilitating open studio figure drawing sessions there, as well as teaching an expressive figure drawing class. For the past five years, she has also had her work included in Unclad: The Fine Art of the Figure, an annual international juried art show at Gallery by the Bay in Stanwood, Washington.

Formerly from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Ellen currently resides in Issaquah with her husband and cats. See cat drawings here.

To view Ellen’s lines (literally) of line drawings at Sightline during January and February, visit the office between 10am and 3pm on weekdays. All works are available for purchase. Contact Ellen directly at ellen.borison (at) gmail (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 Ellen’s art (and by art in general)? Share yours in a comment.

 

Photos from Liz Ruest’s show at Sightline January 3, 2011

Filed under: digital collage,Liz Ruest,shows — Becky @ 9:26 pm
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Liz Ruest’s art hanging in the lobby of the Sightline Institute office in downtown Seattle

 

“Rusted” 24″ x 16″ digital collage by Liz Ruest

 

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

 

“Dry” 10.7″ x 16″ digital collage by Liz Ruest

 

Liz Ruest at Sightline

 

To see more of the work from this show or to order prints, see her website.

 

“Growth” by Liz Ruest November 7, 2010

Filed under: digital collage,Liz Ruest,shows — Becky @ 6:12 pm
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"Misted" 10.7" x 16" digital collage by Liz Ruest

We are pleased to announce “Growth” as our ninth art show in the “Art and Sustainability” series at Sightline Institute in downtown Seattle. Sixteen digital collages by Liz Ruest are now on view through the end of December.

For her own growth as an artist, Liz explores a new theme and/or medium every year. This year her work has been a combination of photography, scans, and collage effects using all-digital manipulation to create unique works of art about trees. The results are at once recognizable yet mysterious as she focuses on various aspects of trees from the region as well as abroad. Liz, who also does printmaking and encaustic artwork, writes about her current body of digital work:

I used photographs to build up colorful textures and then used those colors as my palette. I found that using the trees as the layer in between the textures produced a print-like quality, varying from batik to linocut, that still appeals to my printmaking self.

I’ve been contemplating history: where we come from and how we got here. I am fascinated by contrasts: detail against simplicity, or timelessness in nature versus artifacts showing the effects of time passing. I try for a sense of age in my work, but am of course making a new piece each time, another opposing set of forces.

Liz has lived in the temperate Pacific Northwest for 23 years, but she grew up in Ontario, Canada, a land of Great Lakes, birch trees, and an abundance of snow. Her computer science degree from the University of Waterloo has been balanced with a variety of art classes, both in college and at Pratt Fine Arts Center. Liz’s art reflects this background of contrasts in surprising ways. Come see for yourself!

Currently residing in Bellevue with her husband and 12-year old son, Liz splits her time between her studio in the Central District of Seattle and artEAST, Issaquah’s non-profit arts organization, where her computer expertise and other skills are much appreciated. You can see her encaustic work at UP Front [art] in downtown Issaquah. Read more about her art and process on her blog.

To view Liz’s digital art at Sightline during November and December, visit the office between 10am and 3pm on weekdays. All works are available for purchase. They also can be purchased in other size prints: on canvas, matted and framed, or as greeting cards. Contact Liz directly at info (at) lizruest (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.

 

Photos from Terry Sargent Peart’s show at Sightline November 2, 2010

Filed under: acrylic,shows,Terry Sargent Peart — Becky @ 6:03 pm
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Terry Sargent Peart’s artwork in the show “State of the Urban Landscape” at Sightline Institute

 

Terry Sargent Peart’s art hanging in the lobby of the Sightline Institute office in downtown Seattle

 

Terry Sargent Peart’s art hanging in the lobby of the Sightline Institute office in downtown Seattle

 

“Spokane #3” acrylic on canvas 10″ x 8″ by Terry Sargent Peart

 

“Spokane #2” acrylic on canvas 10″ x 8″ by Terry Sargent Peart

 

Terry Sargent Peart’s art hanging in the lobby of the Sightline Institute office in downtown Seattle

 

“State of the Urban Landscape” by Terry Sargent Peart September 17, 2010

Filed under: acrylic,shows,Terry Sargent Peart — Becky @ 3:23 pm
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"17th & Roxbury" acrylic on canvas 30" x 20" by Terry Sargent Peart

Now on display in Sightline Institute‘s downtown office until the end of October is the exhibit “State of the Urban Landscape,” a series of 17 acrylic paintings by Terry Sargent Peart. From vacant buildings to freeway buttresses, many of Terry’s subjects are views we may wish to ignore or deny. With her strength in line, color, and depth of field, she forces us to look, and ultimately see beauty in these structures.

Now a dispatcher for King County, Terry was a full-time truck driver for 25 years, and many of her paintings are evidence of being inspired by the view from the cab of her truck. She says that she “enjoys the play of light and shadow on the ever-present cement structures found in urban settings.”

Terry constantly carries a sketchbook and camera with her, never knowing when inspiration will strike, whether it’s catching moments in coffee shops through gesture drawings, creating sophisticated figure drawings, or doodling that becomes future experiments in paint, fabric, and/or printing.

Yes, not only does Terry paint and draw, but she makes prints on her own full-size printing press, dyes her own fabric, and makes quilts! Recently she has started to combine her media interests into unique mixed-media pieces. Follow these pursuits on her blog. A recent post describes the process of dyeing fabric with blackberries.

Terry currently lives in West Seattle with her husband, furnituremaker Darrell Peart, and their Jack Russell terrier. Though she often explores urbanity in her artwork, Terry, like most native Washingtonians, savors the natural wonders of the area. Walking her dog and bicycling give her many opportunities to do so.

To view her art at Sightline, visit the office between 10am and 3pm on weekdays through the end of October. All but one of the works are available for purchase. Contact Terry directly at peart (at) comcast (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 Terry’s art (and by art in general)? Share yours in a comment.

Self-portrait of Terry, acrylic on canvas