Library Gallery: Watercolors, Abstractions and Light The Sky Literary Journal

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(Contributed Photo)
Ann F. Fallin’s watercolor entitled Lilypond #9.

    The Lamorinda Arts Council (Council) has reconfigured art exhibits to be virtual until COVID-19 restrictions change. Artists scheduled to display artwork in the Art Gallery at the Orinda Library for the month of October include Dina Asna, Loralee Chapleau, Ann F. Fallin and members of the San Francisco Peace and Hope organization.
    Drawn to paint watercolors to transfer feelings onto paper, Moraga’s Dina Asna sees applying color as the most exciting part of her process. Her theme for this exhibit is “Be Happy!”
    Two years after she was born into a warm, loving Tehran family, she developed polio and was fully paralyzed. Within a few weeks it subsided and remains today only in her legs.
    “I believe art can heal a lot of wounds,” said Asna. Get a glimpse of this at etsy.com.
    Everchanging seasonal beauty inspired paintings of Loralee Chapleau of Danville. Favoring large pieces, she paints in oils and acrylics with an expressive style, using vivid colors and energetic brushstrokes. Her theme for this virtual exhibit is “Recollections: Experiential and Imagined.” Sometimes she paints from direct observation on location, but more and more she draws on past experiences and memory to create large semi-abstract pieces.
    Chapleau strives to present emotion with every stroke in her paintings. Her Cautious Optimism, a 30” x 40” oil painting, leads one into the surprising vibrancy between land and sky. Visit loraleecs.wixsite.com/loraleeart for more of her work.
    Ann F. Fallin of Walnut Creek began as an oil painter but switched to watercolors in 1980. Painting watercolors motivated her in a way oil painting never had: “Through painting I like to communicate the upbeat and the positive.” Her goal is to share her enthusiasm for the subject – which can be anything from a landscape, portrait (human or animal) floral or still life – in hopes of engaging the viewer to become positively involved with her work.
    “I love the battle to gain control over the medium, which often decides what it’s going to impose despite the painter’s plans. I love the transparency of watercolor, the endless effects it produces, its versatility, and how much just plain fun it is to paint with,” said Fallin. She describes her work as contemporary realism.
    Founding Director Elizabeth Hack of Lafayette works with advisor Al Young, California Poet Laureate emeritus and photographer Philip Lewenthal to ensure local and international voices are heard in San Francisco Peace and Hope (SFPH). SFPH reflects a hopeful vision in its literary journal devoted to poetry and art through online and print publications encompassing art and the spoken word.
    When 9/11 occurred, Hack started a blog. She realized a community used to expressing creative voices through spoken word, poetry, visual art, dance and more could articulate a singular, much needed mission in trying times.
    The blog prospered and a literary journal devoted to poetry and art emerged. SFPH’s first publication debuted in 2015 with an introduction by Al Young.
    Viewers of the virtual exhibit will see photographs and a video of written and visual excerpts of Light The Sky. The book was further honored by a California State Library “Book of the Week” award: “If you’re seeking a glimpse of what humanity can be, this is the book for you.” Noted illustrator Elaine Drew created the book jacket. To learn more about this nonprofit organization go to sfpeaceandhope.com.
    Photographs of artwork from each exhibitor are featured at the council’s virtual gallery which also includes videos of the exhibit at lamorindaarts.org/online-galleries. A new feature allows you to purchase exhibiting artists’ artwork online during their scheduled month.

(Contributed Photo)
Reverie by Margie Caldwell-Gill.

Art Gallery at Wilder: Abstraction – Alive and Well in Orinda
    The Lamorinda Arts Council invites you to view the mixed media paintings of Margie Caldwell-Gill during the month of October. Caldwell-Gill, who lives in Orinda, started out as a photorealist painter in college, rebelling against dominant art forms of the time, pop art and abstract art.
    In graduate school, Caldwell-Gill studied to become a medical illustrator and equated being a good artist with making every painting look exactly like what the subject looked like in life. After working in this field for 15 years, she lost interest in recreating what she saw in the world and became interested in abstract painting.
    She fell in love with the beauty of the materials themselves – thick and thin layers of paint, the edges of one shape next to another, how marks disappear behind a brushstroke of paint and how this can convey space, time and emotions. Classic abstract artists such as Richard Diebenkorn, Mark Rothko, Richard Motherwell and Hans Hoffmann inspired her.
    She now paints intuitively, which means she never knows where a painting will take her. “I approach my paintings with a sense of experimentation and play,” she said. She’s learned more about color, composition and value than she ever learned when doing representational work. Most of her paintings begin with pencil marks; each line and mark influences the next.
    She is showing nine works in her virtual exhibit, including Reverie, a 16.5” x 22.5” mixed media work. Expect to apprehend an abstract work with lots of geometric shapes in complimentary colors, including blues, grays and orange earth tones. To see more of her work go to www.caldwellgill.com.
    Learn more about the Council’s virtual Art Gallery at Wilder by going to http://www.lamorindaarts.org/current-exhibits-wilder. To view photographs of Caldwell-Gill’s work and a video of her virtual exhibit, visit www.lamorindaarts.org/online-galleries. Contact the Lamorinda Arts Council Curators Denise Nomura and Aniston Breslin at wildergallery@lamorindaarts.org with any questions.

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