Nature Beckons at Library Gallery with Exotic Avian Photography in April

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(Barbara Brady-Smith, Photographer)
Venus, a blue-fronted Amazon parrot, puts her colorful wings on display in photographer Barbara Brady-Smith’s Pride of the Amazon.

    The Lamorinda Arts Council suggests taking the advice of Roy Gilson, who reminds us to, “Keep your faith in all beautiful things; in the sun when it is hidden, in the spring when it is gone.” 
    While spring is still with us you are bound to see beautiful things during April in the Art Gallery at the Orinda Library: Barbara Brady-Smith’s exotic avian photography, a retrospective of master printmaker Moose Wesler’s work and majestic nature photographs from Wenda Pyman. Join them Sunday, April 7, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m,. for an artist reception where light refreshments will be served.
    Barbara Brady-Smith of Lafayette is showing about 20 avian photographs. Her theme is “Flight” because she says she finds the photographs of birds to be breathtaking in their detail, clarity and color. Learning how to photograph a bird in flight, wings spread, in her studio was no mean feat. She describes this as “freezing the wings of a bird in flight” albeit in a photograph.
    Smith was introduced to Venus, George Boscoe’s exotic blue-fronted Amazon parrot, by accident when she was driving to a photo shoot in his Orinda neighborhood. Seeing Boscoe walking outside, with a bird on a leash circling above his head, she decided to stop and meet him. Thus she met Venus as well. Back in her studio she practiced until she learned what photographic equipment and settings she needed to capture Venus’ wings in flight. The public, too, can meet Venus if you attend the artist reception because Boscoe promises to bring her to the exhibit. 
    The photographic studio in her home is about 30 feet by 20 feet. The tropical birds she photographs are trained by their owners to fly to a perch she has in the studio — even flamingos. Smith says she strives to develop a relationship with every pet she photographs so they are comfortable; thus their images reflect their true personality. For more information go to www.sharethejoyphotography.com
    Moose Wesler, an East Bay resident, teaches art at Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School and printmaking at Center for Community Arts in Walnut Creek. She is exhibiting 40 works, mostly etchings and block prints.
    “A mini-retrospective of my prints from the past 35 years or so,” says Wesler. Her focus has been architecture – both interiors and exteriors, and musicians. She creates linocuts from gesture drawings made during live musical performances.  
    Where does her inspiration come from? “When I travel to a different country I love discovering artists who are new to me. In Scotland I saw the paintings of Joan Eardley; they were a revelation to me. Last year I hopped to New York City to see both the Michelangelo and David Hockney exhibits at the Met. I visited Los Angeles to see the colorful Yayoi Kusama exhibit. This is what I call fun!” These are the words of a life-long artist who connects to the world via drawing and has kept a sketchbook since college.
    Look for The Dovecote, a 10” x 8” inch etching memorializing these medieval structures which were an important food source in Western Europe. They were highly regulated in France and other countries. Usually these aviaries were integrated into a stable, barn or shed surrounded by a specific amount of arable land. To keep up with Wesler go to www.doodlecity.com.

(Wenda Pyman)
Wenda Pyman’s 26” x 36” photograph Moonrise, Mammoth Lakes captures the fleeting time when day blends into night.

    Wenda Pyman of San Francisco spends a lot of time “roaming the hills in the East Bay for subject matter,” and has been a member of the Moraga Art Gallery for more than 15 years. Her theme for the 20 photographs she is showing is “Intercepting Light.” Her first photography workshop was with Ansel Adams. Since then she has exhibited in Lamorinda, Oakland and San Francisco; her work is in both local and international collections. 
    Pyman’s black and white 22” x 26” photograph Half Dome Solitude exemplifies her theme. The curvilinear, sweeping clouds are echoed in the trees, trails and snow drifts shimmering down Half Dome. The way light and shadow play together pulls the viewer right into the massive scene. “My photography has actually made me more aware of the environment, the beauty in nature and how it should be preserved for future generations,” she says. 
    By contrast, her 26” x 36” color photograph Moonrise, Mammoth Lakes, juxtaposes the delicate color of the moonrise with the many hued sunset, watery blue lake, deep green forested hill and craggy tree stump. Her images have appeared nationwide on magazines, album covers, calendars and cards.
    The Moraga Art Gallery is at 522 Center St., Moraga in the Rheem Shopping Center. To see more of Pyman’s landscape, travel and scenic photography visit www.wendapyman.com
    The Orinda Library gallery is at 26 Orinda Way. Open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The library is closed April 21 for Easter. Call 925-254-2184 for more information or visit http://ccclib.org.

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