October Galleries: Three-Eight Art Studio; Swirls of Sky and Sea

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(Contributed Photo)
Nature and architecture contrast and complement in Beichin Li’s Autumn, a 54” x 38” paper and acrylic on canvas in the Library Gallery this month.

    Three-Eight Art Studio is a group of East Bay Chinese American artists who say that whether they create art or simply get together, it’s all in the name of fun.
    Artwork from five members of the group will be on display in October at the Art Gallery at the Orinda Library. Meet the artists at their reception Oct. 6 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. when light refreshments will be served.
    According to members, the numbers “three” and “eight” mean fun, whimsical and crazy (in a good way) in Chinese popular culture. The entire gallery will be filled with 60 pieces of artwork within the theme of “Color Melody.” What visitors will see is an example of how whimsy translates to different art forms. Members keep their work fresh by traveling, having group discussions and taking classes.
    Doris and Wang Hai Chen of Berkeley are displaying paintings and Chinese ink drawings on rice paper. Doris’ 23” x 34” watercolor on paper, Dahlia Flowers In a Vase will appeal to gardeners everywhere. Wang Hai’s 27” x 32” acrylic on board work, Yaya’s First Astonishing, pulls us into the world of a very young girl discovering something wonderful.
    Celia Huddleston of Antioch works as a Chinese brush painting teacher when she is not creating her own work. She is showing watercolors and Chinese ink drawings on rice paper. Her 25” x 52” ink and color on rice paper, National Park – Canada portrays a North American wilderness scene seen through a traditional Chinese aesthetic. It appears Canada is chilly no matter your aesthetic. To view more of her work, go to shunghwachow.com.
    Beichen Li of Oakland is a prolific acrylic painter. Her portfolio includes a variety of series: musical instruments, abstract works, portraits, architectural and travel works. She often uses photographs from her travels as a source for her paintings and likes using vibrant colors. Her 30” x 40” Rapid Transit evokes a bumpy ride on a city street. See what she is up to at www.beichenlifineart.com.
    Lucia Tsang of Walnut Creek creates both utilitarian and artistic ceramics. Tsang knew from a very young age that she wanted to be an artist. She says, “Art has nourished me at every stage of my life. I am inspired to make sculpture by the moments in life that move me including the birth of my grandchildren, the death of my father, the internal life of trees. I create my pieces with a deep appreciation for my 5,000-year rich cultural heritage.”
    With the 16” x 8” x 8” figurative sculpture, I dream, I fly, Tsang has “translated whimsy into art” because the expression on the girl’s face is pure joy.
    To learn more about the Lamorinda Arts Council, go to www.lamorindaarts.org. The Art Gallery at the Orinda Library is at 26 Orinda Way and 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. It is closed Oct 14. Call 925-254-2184 for more information or visit http://ccclib.org/.

(Contributed Photo)
Sydney Chaney Thomas’ expressive landscapes are on exhibit at Wilder this month, including this 12” x 30” oil on canvas San Francisco from the East.

Art Gallery at Wilder: Lyrical Swirls of Sky and Sea
    The paintings of Sydney Chaney Thomas will be on display in October. Meet the artist at a reception Oct. 5 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. where light refreshments will be served.
    Sydney Chaney Thomas’ solo show consists of 20 paintings, mostly in oil, in varying sizes up to 48” x 37”. They are a lyrical representation of natural phenomena swirling about the land and sea. Always they reflect a relationship between sky or water and land. Color is brushed on color until one can just discern a sense of hills, trees, clouds or water. Whatever is geometric represents the work of what humans create – sailboats, cities, buildings, houses. This is especially evident when you compare the 48” x 37” Ghost Boats with the 12” x 30” San Francisco from the East.
    Chaney Thomas’s lifelong immersion in, and sense of belonging to, the world out of doors is the bedrock behind all she paints. It’s what she returns to over and over; this is not surprising considering she was raised on a horse ranch. A Moraga resident, Chaney Thomas has been painting and drawing since she was a young child; both her parents were painters.
    As an adult, she studied watercolors for five years and for the last five years has painted with oils. The Impressionists – Renoir, Monet – are among her favorite artists. She studied economics in London and spent a lot of time in museums. Just as her parents ensured she was introduced to the world of art, she has done the same for her two college-age daughters, Paris and Siena.
    Chaney Thomas says it is important that people find some kind of expression for their creativity. She says her artwork exemplifies how much she enjoys her life. “I tried painting darker themes like the Flemish masters did, but everything always comes out happy,” she says. She hopes to bring awareness to people that an original piece of artwork has its own beauty and hopes it inspires others to find their own creative work. To catch up with Chaney Thomas, go to her blog, http://sydneychaneythomas.com.
    As the Wilder Art and Garden Center, 20 Orinda Fields Lane, is a new building, the Art Gallery at Wilder is now open to the public only when classes or events are scheduled. For now that is the first Saturday of every month for an artist reception from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m., Wednesday and Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. or arrange an appointment with Lamorinda Arts Council Co-curator Denise Nomura at wildergallery@lamorindaarts.org.
    Moving forward, more regular hours will be scheduled. The Orinda Parks and Recreation Dept. is seeking bookings of classes and meetings. Contact them at OrindaParksandRec@cityoforinda.org, visit them at 28 Orinda Way or call 925-254-2445.

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