Galleries: View ‘Tattoo Series,’ Block Prints, Tranquil Watercolors

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    The Lamorinda Arts Council’s July exhibit features the artwork of Bill Carmel, Marie Cotter, George Ehrenhaft and Hallie Strock in the Art Gallery in the Orinda Library.
    At press time, it was unknown whether the gallery will be open to the public due to the shelter-in-place order. If the building is open in time for the artists to hang their show, the exhibit will go forward. Otherwise the exhibit will be rescheduled.

(Contributed Photo)
Bill Carmel’s Pulling the Rabbit Out of the Hat.

    Carmel, of San Ramon, is a member of the Lamorinda Arts Council and co-curator of the Orinda Library Art Gallery. He says he loves to draw and painting is an extension of drawing. Originally he painted with oils but developed an allergy to turpentine so turned to watercolor and pastels. It wasn’t long before he tried acrylics and developed techniques that gave him the kind of results with acrylics that rivaled the results with oils. He especially likes the fluid, buttery feel of the paint and the ability to use underpainting and glazes for brilliance and saturated color.
    His exhibit includes four large giclées of paintings on vinyl and a few drawings. The large paintings are from his ongoing “Tattoo Series” because, “It’s as if the canvas and my skin are the same.”
    These paintings begin as abstractions and as the work progresses the association of random marks and shapes coalesce into things that contain meaning, similar to seeing shapes in the clouds. He says he enjoys the process of chaos becoming recognizable.
See more of his work at www.fineartamerica.com/profiles/bill-carmel.

(Contributed Photo)
Inspiration Point by Marie Cotter.

    Cotter, of Berkeley, paints using watercolors and acrylics and also works with pastels. She began painting at age nine, took lessons in oils, painting through college in oils. She received a lot of training for creating renderings for an architecture firm, all of which were done in watercolor. Like Carmel, she converted to acrylic because she found ways to do everything with acrylics that she could do with oil and watercolor.
    Her favorite artists include Granville Redmond, a California artist who was unable to hear or speak, J. M. W. Turner, Monet and other Impressionists. “Art is a self-generating engine that keeps me tuned; I paint every day because I need to self-express. I work at not being attached, the hardest lesson of all. It’s the doing that’s important, not being attached to the work,” Cotter said. To sample her exhibit visit https://bit.ly/2Njpo33.

(Contributed Photo)
George Ehrenhaft’s watercolor, The Old Hay Wagon.

    Ehrenhaft, of Moraga, is a prolific painter of watercolors, more so while sheltering in place.
    “During the last three months I’ve done 30 paintings,” he said. Most of his paintings come from photographs he’s taken rather than plein air excursions. He has a file on his computer with 2000 photographs he peruses for ideas.
    He is showing about 24 watercolors, most of which are outdoor scenes in Lamorinda as well as paintings from other California locations.
    People familiar with his artwork have repeatedly told him it is very calming and tranquil. “I think my paintings serve as a temporary escape from politics, the police and pandemics; it’s the opposite of reading or listening to the news,” he said.
    View more of his plein air watercolors at www.mesart.com/indexps.jsp?artist=3939

(Contributed Photo)
Magical Forest by Hallie Strock.

    Strock is a painter, printmaker and mixed media artist with a studio in the Berkeley hills. She is exhibiting a large group of linoleum block prints, hand painted with watercolor. She says she never thought she would enjoy printmaking as it is a fussy process. But she has found endless interest and challenges in the process, especially how it pushes drawing further. She loves the unmistakable graphic look of block prints and the opportunity to interpret lots of subjects.
    Using images from source photographs and her own inspiration, she develops them into drawings, then designs which may be carved into linoleum. “Pre-design thinking involves my personal point of view, how much I want to abstract the images, and how much black to incorporate into the design. At some point it becomes all about shapes and patterns, negative and positive space, rather than subject matter,” she says.
    Her prints are made on printmaking paper on a professional printing press. Carved linoleum is inked with black then run through the press. Each print is then hand painted with watercolor, then mounted on a cradled wood painting panel. She is showing 25 pieces.
See what she’s up to at www.halliestrock.com/home.
    Meet the artists at their reception scheduled for 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. July 12. Check with www.lamorindaarts.org/gallery-2 for updated scheduling. 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. Call 925-254-2184 for more information or visit http://ccclib.org/.

(Contributed Photo)
Sherry Ravazza’s Healing Effect, acrylic and fabric paint on canvas.

Wilder: Inspired by Aboriginal Art
    The paintings of Sherry Ravazza are scheduled for July if shelter-in-place restrictions are lifted. A reception for the artist is set for 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on July 25. For updated scheduling information, go to www:lamorindaarts.org/current-exhibits-wilder/.
    Ravazza, who lives in Lafayette, became interested in Aboriginal art eight years ago when she was in college. As an art history major, she learned about a huge variety of artistic designs, styles and art forms dating from prehistoric to contemporary times.
    She receives inspiration in different ways. Sometimes a flash of an image appears in her head and she makes note of it. Other times she is inspired by something she sees in nature. At other time,s she expresses a climactic transformation in her life emotionally, mentally and physically in her artwork. Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqlCjTZ3fcs for a sample of the artwork in her show.
    Contact co-curators Denise Nomura or Aniston Breslin at wildergallery@lamorindaarts.org for more information about the gallery.

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