“As an artist certain qualities of our world look so beautiful to me that I am inspired to paint them; I can’t name the quality exactly, but I know it when it presents itself. It can be an ethereal sunset or the cathedral heights of a redwood grove. It could be the way light plays up the subtle color variations of white plumage or the elegant line of a creosote pylon standing in rippled water. It might be the sensuous curve or saturated color of a common vegetable, or the flavor of a place or culture. Sometimes it’s the irony of relationships or perhaps the feeling of a moment.
My one constant is technique; I work almost exclusively in watercolor and have no white or black on my palette. I mostly work from photos and start with an accurate as possible drawing, I also exaggerate certain features and have a tendency to stylize my line. What happens next can best be described as play: I splash and smudge, bleed and blend. I leave small holes in color fields and estimate details. I am completely lost in the moment. I know a piece is done when I stand across the room and get a feel for a realistic scene or object-because up close it makes no sense at all.”
Vance Balter is thrilled to be here. A former paramedic from Washington State, he always dreamed of creating a career out of his woodworking hobby. A back injury proved to be a mixed blessing. He left his day job and moved with his wife to Humboldt County, where he was quickly embraced by fellow devotees to his craft. Humboldt, Vance says, has a "great woodworking scene." Vance is one of many local artists who take advantage of our area's abundance of salvaged redwood and other quality hardwoods. He says that when he finds the right piece of wood the art is "inside it." Vance’s preferred medium is highly figured wood found in unlikely places like salvaged tree stumps. Each piece is uniquely inspired by what he sees in the wood. Carvings and sculptures often feature nautical and sea life themes. Vance also creates “live” edge and free-form furniture.
Creating art has been a part of Julia’s life since she was a child. Nature is her inspiration; from the beauty of a flower or a landscape, to the power and majesty of a rock formation or the charm and mystery of a cat. She works in watercolor or oil, painting in an impressionistic or realistic style, depending on the subject and her emotional response to it. Painting is her way of experiencing the beauty and wonder of nature and sharing that experience.
Julia serves on the Board of Directors of the Redwood Art Association and the Humboldt Arts Council and is active in several art groups, including the Representational Art League and the Fortuna Arts Council.
Julia maintains an art studio at home where she lives with several cats, starys who came from the gully to live with her and who often become subjects of her paintings. Her studio is open by appointment during the year.
According to Chinese philosophy, to make art good enough to enter people’s hearts is called “making stone into gold.” That has become Julia’s mission and her mantra.
Karen Lucchesi Berman, a North Coast resident since 1967, has had a number of shows at local venues including: Plaza Design, Garden Gate, A.G. Edwards. Karen also participates in North Coast Open Studios. Her paintings have been exhibited at the Morris Graves Museum of Art and First Street Gallery. One of her works was accepted into the California Watercolor Association’s 38th National Exhibition. Her work is in numerous private and corporate collections.
“I paint what I think is beautiful. As a gardener, I am passionate about the beauty of flowers… and find that painting them up close really makes me see their individual beauty and personality. Explorations of floral shapes are exciting because they are abstract wonders.
As a hiker, I love to paint the places I’ve hiked. I especially love to have water as a major element of a painting. It is very challenging and rewarding to capture the movement of water as it sparkles in the sunlight and the rocks reflected through the moving current.” www.karenbermanartist.com
Gilbert draws inspiration from nature and the beauty which abounds on California’s North Coast. Lush redwood forests, rugged coastline, wildlife in all it’s exquisite variety are reflected in the designs of his unique ceramics and one of a kind jewelry pieces. In addition, his rich Hispanic heritage can be seen in his use of many images from Mexico, such as his Dia de los Muertos tiles.
Gilbert began his artistic career as a reconnaissance photographer in the Air Force, during which he traveled extensively through the Pacific. He realized early on that there was something very special in the creation of lasting images reflecting the world around us and how we relate to nature.
“Art begins where nature ends”, is the theory behind Leonard Goldstein’s painting. “It is an ongoing and in depth look at the relationship of spirit and matter and how they work together; in a larger sense how spirit has a greater status than nature.”
Leonard Goldstein was born in New York City in 1945. He became aware of his desire to be an artist at age 5. In 1958 he attended the High School of Art and Design, a special high school focused on the visual arts.
In 1963 he attended the University of New Mexico, where he studied only the subjects that interested him: painting, astronomy, and archaeology are but some. In 1967 he met and became friends with Robert and Bobby Creely, who taught poetry at the university. They introduced him to the “Beat Poets” who often came to visit. Creely introduced Leonard to John Chamberlain, a prominent New York sculptor. Chamberlain invited Leonard back to New York to work with him. It was there that he met the leading American artists of the 60’s: Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Robert Wilson, Phil Glass and Lou Reed.
This experience caused Leonard to look inside, and discover what, if anything, he had to offer art. He discovered that it’s not the destination, but the journey that matters. “The focus of my journey is to bring together the Spirit and Matter so they can be experienced as a duality acting as a singularity. Art begins where nature ends is my mantra. Art is the spirit, nature is matter. We impose beauty on the physical universe. It is only beautiful because we say so.”
Jim Lowry received a bachelor’s degree in Art History from the University of Long Beach in 1968 and went on to do extensive post graduate studies in drawing, painting and sculpture at the University of Long Beach and Humboldt State University. His work has been shown and collected internationally. He is currently on the Board of Directors at the Morris Graves Museum of Art where he chairs the Exhibition Committee.
“To say that working in the digital medium is a stimulating experience would be an understatement. With digital art the potential for exploration is vast. The computer and digital camera combination gives me the feeling of freedom to do whatever comes to mind. There is a sense of newness to this medium and I enjoy being near the edge of new directions in art.”
Most of Lowry’s images were acquired with digital cameras and uploaded into a computer. Some images were captured on film and scanned into a computer. Extensive software manipulation produced the resulting images. The prints have been produced on an Epson Photo 2200 using archival inks and paper.
Sara’s tiles draw from her background as a painter. She hand cuts all her tiles and surfaces each one with porcelain slip. After drying and bisque-firing, she paints lines to define areas on her tiles using a wax-resist technique, cuerda seca, which originated in 15th- century Spain. She then pours glazes to create distinct shapes. Her finished works often reflect the natural environment of Humboldt County- redwood trees, shore birds, and wildflowers are recurrent themes.
Love of color is reflected in the vibrant glazes she achieves with selected glazes for high-fire tiles. All work is fired to Cone 10 and is suitable for outdoor installation or for kitchens and baths.
Sara has been an artist member at Arcata’s Fire Arts Center since 2006. She has created commissioned works, such as kitchen murals for homes, and art in public spaces, such as Eureka’s Sequoia Park Zoo.
I have always been compelled to create. My earliest childhood memory is coloring with Crayola crayons in the “Gingham Girl” coloring books given to me by my grandmother. I loved the smell of the wax as it heated up when blending colors. Color had always been my favorite element of art.
Currently I am working on more recognizable subject matter of birds and succulent plants. I love to work with the organic forms found in nature. I find them soothing and inviting. It is amazing how many colors can be found in a single plant. I am enjoying capturing that in paint. I am very influenced by the work of Georgia Okeeffe. When I was a teen I had a poster of an Okeeffe painting and would lie for hours staring at the color transitions and forms. I have had the pleasure to see many of her works and have been emotionally moved by them.
Christine Siverts (See-verts), born in 1957, began her artistic career at the age of 5, drawing all over the sidewalks of home with many colorful chalks. Christine began entering art contests as a child, winning some and learning something about competitive art.
Competitions and formal exhibitions have not been her chosen path. Instead, Christine chose to focus on the marketing and design of artisan worthy goods in an effort to be simple and sufficient. Christine’s style has a way of providing a force through color and brush stroke in a manner that is almost tangible. Traditional, hand crafted fine art is her focus, with pieces and prices that are accessible to all. Christine works primarily in silk and watercolor painting and is well rounded in many mediums.
As a native Californian, Christine feels drawn to the open spaces and the incredible diversity nature provides, especially here in California. Currently she is adding more nature inspired renderings to her ever expanding repertoire of color, light, and energy. Over 30 years of prolific persistence in open market artistry has gained Christine recognition for her style, playfully named “Siverts Energy”. Christine has staked a claim in the creative forces of our universe and keeps it flowing with love.