Gayle Weisfield at the Gallery in August

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We are excited to feature one of our favorite Portland artists, Gayle Weisfield. In her exhibit, No Reservations, Gayle will show her beautiful landscape watercolors. Gayle works primarily with transparent watercolor. Her subjects range from the natural scenery of the Columbia River Gorge, in which she lives, to the architectural beauty found in Thailand, Rome, and beyond. 

Gayle Weisfield, Artist Statement

Rather than be a reporter of what I see, I work to interpret the essence of the scene in a style I describe as “conceptual realism”. I seek an active relationship between artist and viewer by creating mystery with lost and found edges allowing the viewer an opportunity to sue their imagination. With fine detail and refined brush work, I invite the viewer to move closer to the piece to enjoy the beautiful subtleties offered by the fluid nature of transparent watercolor. To me a successful work must exhibit the intrigue and complexity to spark the viewer’s curiosity and hold their interest over time.

Artist receptions and First Friday events on August 3 and September 7, 2012, 5-9 p.m. No Reservations runs through September 30, 2012.

Image: Small Town USA


What gallery owners know

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Do you find the idea of visiting a gallery intimidating? Do you settle for window shopping instead of boldly walking through the front door? Fear not, here is your gallery visitor intervention. We hope by sharing these inside tips, we can alleviate some of the mystery and trepidation.

  1. Don’t be afraid! Galleries are not used car lots. Yes, galleries want to sell art, but gallery owners know that people have to see the art and fall in love with it, before they’ll buy. Browsers are always welcome!
  2. Most galleries offer layaway plans, so take that second look and if you can’t live without it, consider paying for it over a period of time.
  3. Galleries will sometimes offer a discount for payment with cash or check rather than credit. It pays to ask!
  4. Artists will often agree to redo a piece based on your preferences, so if you see a piece you love, but would like something changed, you may be able to have it customized. Again, don’t hesitate to ask.
  5. If you love an artist’s style and would love to have them create a completely new piece using your idea or subject, be sure to inquire. Many artists love commissions.
  6. If you have been thinking about that piece you saw several months ago, and don’t see it in the gallery now, be sure to ask. Galleries rotate work, so it might be in the stacks. In any case, the gallery will gladly contact the artist and try to locate the piece.
  7. Art is an investment. Be sure to ask about receiving Certificates of Authenticity. You never know when that emerging artist will become a “Picasso”.
  8. Many galleries operate on a limited schedule, but most will see clients by appointment. If you just have to have that piece now, be sure to call and ask for an appointment. We know very few galleries that would refuse a sale, even at an off time.
  9. Gallerists and artists love to talk about “the process”. Take advantage of their knowledge and willingness to share. You’ll quickly become gallery savvy and a confident buyer.
  10. Gallery representation implies that the artist will sell their work for the same price as the gallery. Generally speaking, buying through a gallery should at the very least get you the same deal, maybe even better. If the gallery offers you a discount, it usually comes from their side of the commission, so shop the gallery!
  11. Many galleries do allow picture-taking, although it’s best to ask. This can be helpful, especially if it’s a piece you are considering or know someone who might. Also, many galleries have a system set up that allow clients to take a piece “on loan” for a few days so you can live with it before making a final decision.
  12. Gallerists are problem solvers. Take advantage of their interior design expertise. They can offer the best solutions for placement, display, or installation of your art—or know people who can!

Well now you know, galleries really are user-friendly. Stop by ours or any of your other favorites. Remember, we want you to like us!

Famous bronze sculptures

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Most of us are very familiar with Rip’s bronze sculptures, but we thought it would be fun to take a look at some famous sculptures, a few of which we were surprised to learn were actually bronze!

One such piece is Prometheus—you know… the iconic golden guy at Rockefeller Center in New York City. In 1933 contemporary American sculptor, Paul Manship was commissioned to create a focal piece for this public location and Prometheus was born. The model for Prometheus was a man named Leonardo Nole. Inscribed in the wall behind the sculpture: “Prometheus, teacher in every art, brought the fire that hath proved to mortals a means to mighty ends.” Prometheus is considered one of the most familiar public sculptures, but it is told that of his over 700 pieces, this was not a favorite of Manship’s.

The Thinker
, by Auguste Rodin, was originally named The PoetThe Thinker was originally to depict Dante sitting on a rock in front of the Gates of Hell pondering the poem and the characters of the Devine Comedy. Feeling this depiction of Dante would be without meaning, Rodin “conceived another thinker, a naked man, seated on a rock, his fist against his teeth, he dreams. The fertile thought slowly elaborates itself within his brain. He is no longer a dreamer, he is a creator.” Sculpted in Paris, it was first displayed at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904 and then given to the city of Louisville, KY. This particular piece was the first and only one of all created using the lost-wax casting method.

If you are a fan of western art, then surely you recognize Frederick Remington’s Bronco Buster. Considered the most popular of the artist’s pieces, Bronco Buster was created in 1895 and was also his first sculpture. You might be surprised to learn that Remington was a native New Yorker, only living for a short time in Montana. He attended Yale University for art, but preferred football and boxing to his declared major. Between the ages of 19 and 25 he was a reporter, a rancher, owned a hardware business and saloon, and began dabbling as a sketch artist. He became a magazine illustrator, oil painter, published writer and eventually started sculpting. Bronco Buster is still being cast today using the lost wax method.
Little Dancer of Fourteen Years
is a sculpture by Edgar Degas of a dancer named Marie van Goethem. The original was made in 1881 of flesh toned wax with actual clothes of linen, muslin and satin. Degas sculpted over 100 pieces using this wax, a material he loved because of its malleability. The first cast pieces were made of plaster and it wasn’t until 1922 that the piece was cast in bronze. Little Dancer of Fourteen Years was first exhibited with mixed reaction. The face was considered unattractive and misshapen, and because the sculpture was displayed in a glass case, it was also perceived to be clinical, as if a medical specimen. This was the only sculpture Degas exhibited in his lifetime. The original was sold at Sotheby’s in 1999 for over 12 million dollars.

Inspired by Michelangelo, Henry Moore, decided at a very early age he wanted to become a sculptor. Relatively classical in his early work, Moore’s eventually became recognized as a daring, modern abstract artist. Moore often used the subjects of mother and child in his sculptures, as in Reclining Connected Forms. Moore says about his piece, “In my sculpture there are three recurring themes: mother with child; the reclining figure; large form protecting small form. In this sculpture I have united all three. I draw on human feelings of man. The need of protection is one of these primary instincts.” At the time of his death in 1986, Moore’s abstract monuments had become viewable in countless public locations all over the world.  Reclining Connected Forms was cast in bronze in an edition of 9. It is also viewable in marble at the Aria Hotel, City Center, Las Vegas.

July gallery exhibit to benefit orphan relief and rescue

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Mel BorgOur exhibit this month is not only spectacular but will benefit a fantastic cause, Orphan Relief and Rescue. Our extreme wood turner, Mel Borg, has shared his passion not only for his craft, but also for this organization to whom he will be donating all his proceeds from the sale of his work in this show. Mel has always been philanthropic and devotes his time and money to several causes. Along with Mel, Rip, fellow artists in this show, Rod Cartasenga and Tim Maben, will be donating a portion of their proceeds to the organization.

The goals of Orphan Relief and Rescue are:

• To bring children in orphanages immediate relief from hunger, sickness and premature death.
• To provide sanitary living conditions through orphanage reconstruction projects.
• To create partnerships with other organizations to maintain the health and welfare of these children on a long-term, sustainable basis.
• To empower orphanage directors and older children with skills to sustain positive change, build self-sufficiency, and enable continued spiritual growth.

We hope you come in and see this awesome exhibit and consider acquiring a beautiful piece of art which will in turn help a child in need. To learn more about this great organization visit: http://www.orphanreliefandrescue.org.

Patina—how we get the beautiful colors

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Patina refers to a coating that develops on the surface of an object when exposed to external elements like air and water. Most commonly thought of as a change that only happens to the surface, patination can occur on any object that is exposed to the elements.

In the case of bronze it also refers adding color to embellish the piece. Generally speaking chemical compounds are applied to the surface of the bronze and combined with heat to create the desired effect. Understanding how to create this effect is an art in and of itself requiring the artist to have a creative sensibility and a technical understanding of the chemistry involved.

We normally think of bronze as golden in color, but as you can see from the images almost any effect is possible including gold tones, blues, greens and reds. Surface textures can also be created that emulate stone, marble and even wood. In the case of bronze, the piece is generally heated before applying the patinas, but some might be applied cold. Finally, a clear wax coating is applied to enhance and preserve the patina.

If you have a question about how to care for your bronze, see our blog article “Restoring and Caring for Your Bronze”.

In the news…

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A restored French “Statue of Liberty” was unveiled at the Orsay Museum in Paris last week after having been on display in the Luxemburg Gardens for over a century. The piece was purchased in 1900 for an undisclosed fee and was displayed in the Luxemburg Museum until 1906 when the artist’s widow asked that it be moved to the Senate gardens.

Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi created the 9.5 foot bronze statue, Liberty Enlightening the World in 1889, three years after installing the larger Statue of Liberty in New York. The bronze was cast from a plaster prototype of the original statue to honor the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution.

The Orsay Museum in Paris had lobbied, since its opening in 1986, to inherit the piece symbolizing the friendship between France and America, but for over 25 years the Senate ignored the request. In September 2011, after the statue’s torch was stolen and Senate elections shifted power, the Orsay finally acquired Liberty Enlightening the World.

After over 100 years of outside exposure, the statue has been restored to its original patina and had the stolen torch replaced. A second copy of the piece was also made for the Luxemburg Gardens to replace the relocated original.

Bartholdi took years to build the Statue of Liberty, but failed to finish it in time for the 1876 American Centennial. The statue was finally installed in 1886. The metal base of the Statue of Liberty was built by Gustave Eiffel in 1886.

Our next post: Restoring and caring for your bronze.

Source: Agence France Presse

Sculptural conversations at Bush Barn Art Center

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The Pacific Northwest Sculptors will be participating in a group show at the A.N. Bush Gallery of the Bush Barn Art Center. The exhibit will feature recent works by PNWS mem­bers with sculp­ture demon­stra­tions in Bush’s Pas­ture Park offered dur­ing the Salem Art Fair & Fes­ti­val, July 20–22. This exhibit will feature work by 24 PNWS members and will be on display through August 25, 2012.

The Pacific Northwest Sculptors, of whom Rip is a Board member,  is a volunteer driven 501(c)(3) organization comprised of sculptors and persons in associated fields who live and work in the Northwest. Its purpose is to foster the art of sculpture by increasing public awareness of the issues and techniques that surround sculpture and to facilitate communication between member sculptors. PNWS sponsors seminars, workshops, lectures and art events that are open to the public. Meetings are held monthly and may be educational, featuring a demonstration, lecture or studio tour or general which give members the opportunity to freely interact. Member benefits also include exhibition opportunities, exposure on the PNWS online Gallery, but most importantly the opportunity to interact with other sculptors. For more information check out: www.pnwsculptors.org

Located in the picturesque setting of Bush’s Pasture Park in Salem, OR, the Bush Barn Art Center is a vibrant cultural hub offering stimulating admission-free exhibitions as well as a sales gallery and gift shop offering works of art by talented Pacific Northwest artists and craftspeople. The A.N. Bush Gallery presents major interpretive exhibitions of regional, national, and international artists. It is the Art Center’s largest exhibit space.

Gallery admission is free, except during the Art Fusion event on July 6, 2012, when admission will be $5.00. This exhi­bi­tion is gen­er­ously spon­sored by Atrio Health Plans.

Bush Barn Art Center
600 Mis­sion St.
Salem, OR 97302
Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 10-5; Saturday-Sunday, 12-5

Image: Fracture of the Id,  Rick Gregg

Participating member artists include:
Jim Ayala
Kim Chavez
Jennifer Corio/David Frei
Gordon Davis
Wendy Dunder
Martin Eichinger
Bob Foster
Tamae Frame
Michelle Gallagher
Leroy Goertz
Dave Gonzo
Rick Gregg
Jeanne Henry
Robert Hess
Anna Lee-Hoelzle
Alisa Looney
Carole Murphy
C.J. Rench
Alisa Roe
Phil Seder
Maria Simon
Denise Sirchie
Sara Swink
Jim Talt

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