My oil paintings depict the skies, fields, rivers, lakes and woods of the rural Midwest landscape. One of the pleasures of this work is exploring the countryside in search of places that grab my interest. I can’t exactly say what I’m looking for but, when I see it, there is just a rightness to it. It could be the way a barn is situated in a pasture or how a cloudy sky floats above a great expanse of land or how a group of trees is reflected in a lake, late in the day. These are rather ordinary things, really, but at the same time there is something extraordinary about them.
Painting is my way of connecting with and honoring the land. I sense there is a spiritual significance to nature’s forms, a spiritual landscape within a physical one. A scene need not be spectacular to convey this – there are no Grand Canyons or mountain ranges in Minnesota. Nonetheless, there are special places, often overlooked, that have a quiet, tranquil quality about them. Such places are small parts of the web of life that links together all beings and all places. I see my highest goal as connecting with this quiet wonder and sharing it by making the best paintings I can.
Potters Studio was established in Fresno, California in 1970 by Hazel Olsen, a former teacher and young mother with three children.
The studio’s original focus was on providing classes in clay work, supplies and equipment to local artists, potters and schools, and to provide studio space, networking, and a venue for display and sales for unknown and developing artists.
After a number of successful years, it was a natural transition to refocus the studio from community artist workspace to the development of a line of Hazel’s many creations she produced as a local artist.
Hazel’s son, Randy, joined her a few years ago. Randy, like his mother, is an established commission artist and has developed many of his own best works as pieces for the line in addition to those of Hazel.
The popularity and enthusiasm for the work of the Potters Studio has grown far beyond California. Hazel and Randy now enjoy international recognition. They are sought after for participation in many prestigious artistic events and their work is widely collected.
Scott Harris is an aluminum artist and sculptor working and showing primarily in the southeast. Born in Fargo, North Dakota, Scott re-located to the mountains of North Carolina in 1996. He completed his BA in Visual Arts from Brevard College with an emphasis in both painting and sculpture. It was there he first experimented with painting on aluminum due to its flexible surface. As the process evolved, he discovered the reflective quality of the material added depth and movement to his art.
My work is a series of vignettes about life; a commentary on the quirky, bizarre, funny and muddled up human existence on this planet. I’ve always been a watcher of life, and much of what I see is collected in sketchbooks in the form of gesture drawings. These drawings are then spun into compositions using strong design and color elements, which I make permanent through acrylic paint or oil pastel.
Animals tend to take center stage in my paintings and have human personas. They wander through my work looking for a purpose and a place to belong. Often the presence of people is implied, through the animals, buildings or vehicles. An idea started in one painting may continue into a series of work until a whole story evolves. These stories are how I process the thoughts and feelings about my own existence.
“When I hold clay in my hand I sense the movement of a horse.”
Internationally recognized as one of the leading sporting sculptors in the world, Alexa King’s works are eagerly collected by private and public institutions worldwide. Chosen from a field of one-hundred sculptors to create Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, her sculpture is the culmination of a life-time of studying movement in animals.
“You could not step twice into the same river, for other waters are ever flowing on to you.”
Quoted by Plato in Cratylus
My paintings celebrate the interplay of past and present, imagined and tangible, that which is lost and what remains. I have always been drawn to the physicality and evidence of transformation as a unique presence in the passage of time. The patinas that build up where architectural structures and atmospheric effects coalesce are especially interesting to me. Surfaces with a built up history of shifting colors and mark making, whether random or intentional, carry a visual and poetic resonance. While the fragments of ancient walls and fading frescoes in Italy are a particular favorite, moments from my everyday life are just as influential. The ever-malleable nature of layered paint and its unpredictable qualities simulates the changing nature of experience, and is conducive to the creation of my open-ended abstract works.
One of the most prevalent and compelling influences in my work originates from spending the last decade in Florence, Italy teaching in the summer at the Santa Reparata International School of Art. While there, I encounter an abundant palimpsest within the juxtaposed kaleidoscope of imagery. I find inspiration in the aging architecture, time worn paintings and sculptures, and other world-class art treasures existing side by side with realities of present day street culture. These overlaps, intertwined with memory and invention, continue to inspire ideas when I return. However, I constantly seek influences in other unexpected places. Wherever they may be, I am drawn to the stories suggested, but sometimes overlooked, in both urban and natural environments.
I find pleasure in the experimental nature of mixed media combinations and thrive on unfamiliarity when making an image. Most of my paintings are made on braced panel with oil paint, beeswax, and other things such as powdered marble, dry pigment, gold leaf, and varying drawing tools. The process includes adding and subtracting paint, excavating, scraping, printing onto the surface and improvisational calligraphic mark making. The presence of my drawn and written marks sometimes reference the ideas found in Asemic or illegible writing. This approach to painting seeks connections between recognition and suggestion, specificity and chance. Ultimately, I am interested in creating works that evoke materiality and meaning from a free spirited studio practice – with no preconceived notions of what may happen.
Since earning her MFA in painting from Arizona State University in 1985, Rebecca Crowell has led a life focused on painting. When she is not traveling for teaching or for artist residencies (in such places as the Catalonia region of Spain, northern Sweden, and coastal areas of Ireland) she works almost daily in her studio in rural western Wisconsin. She draws significant influence from these residencies and travels, as well as from her surroundings at home.
Rebecca Crowell is known for her innovative painting techniques involving cold wax medium and mixed media, and is represented by a number of fine art galleries in various locations including Dublin, Ireland; Chicago, Illinois; Telluride, Colorado; Atlanta, Georgia; Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Columbia, Missouri. Her representation with Gormleys Fine Art in Dublin has recently led to international exposure, including several European art fairs.
Curt Crain paints mostly in the impressionistic style – the influence of the European and American artists in the late 1840’s through the end of the century have had a great impact on the artist. Curt enjoys working thick and fast, and deals with a variety of different subjects.
“I am inspired by the world around me, the beauty and grace of everyday events and objects. It’s a gift to be present, to observe and paint this life. I’m humbled and overwhelmed with joy.”
Curt’s favorite subjects are boats, waterscapes, flowers, and people. Most of his work is objective, loosely painted, but with liberties taken on detail and color. Curt doesn’t overcomplicate his work, instead striving to say more with less.
When I left my career in the fashion business, I was able to spend my time studying art, which has been a life long interest. I have pursued painting full time for the last 15 years. My career in fashion involved the components of color, design and composition. I carry this experience forward into my paintings.
I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin amidst the north woods and small lakes of the region. So when I started painting I naturally gravitated to the landscape. I am captivated by the light and its affect on the landscape forms and colors. In the summer and fall, I enjoy painting outdoors in the Midwest landscape and also made a trip to paint in Italy. This direct observation in my plein air paintings is a springboard to the studio works in which I use more vibrant color and more abstract compositions in order to capture the feeling of the day and the sense of place. In the studio, I am also able to paint much larger in size. The surfaces in the paintings (which are all oil on canvas) range from thin veils of layered color to thick applications of paint with the palette knife.
In 2012 I spent several weeks painting in a hill town in Umbria and this experience inspired a collection of paintings based on the Italian landscape.
I am also fascinated by the architectural landscape surrounding me in my home in Chicago and continue to paint these cityscapes.
Inspired by natural forms, honest materials and genuine passion for truly handmade in USA lighting, Janna Ugone & Justin Thomas synchronize contemporary and modern industrial elements that explore life interests and tell a story. “From incorporating reclaimed materials to merging traditional artist processes with innovative technology, we continually strive to present fresh ideas”, says designers Janna & Justin. The results are distinctive, multi-dimensional table and floor lamps, pendants, clocks, mirrors and accent tables that transform space and stir the imagination.
We have been in business since 1987. After all of this time, our concept of quality has grown beyond the scope of our lighting. High standards become important not just for the product but in all the relationships we enjoy. This is true of our colleagues within the company, as well as our family of customers and community. In our sunny studio, located in a historic New England mill building, our small group of highly-trained artisans collectively hand-make each piece individually with lots of discussion and a good, old-fashioned work ethic.
As we and the company evolve, even in the face of the growing number of import products, the idea of providing among the best made in the USA lighting and home decor products still comprises the backbone of our studio. Our goal is a consistency of handmade quality and distinctiveness virtually lost in much of today’s manufacturing.