Transitions in Life & Art

 Magdalena Bogart (left) with her new collector who bought the painting to the left.

Magdalena Bogart (left) with her new collector who bought the painting to the left.

March 1, 2018 was was filled with celebration and good cheer at Gallery House with the bubbly and European-flavored reception for TRANSITIONS in LIFE & ART, an exhibit of recent paintings by Magdalena Bogart and paintings and digital prints by Sydell Lewis. 

Magdalena Bogart spent her first seven years in Indonesia. She considers Munich, Germany her hometown though. She had been working as successful interior designer in the Bay Area for the past 25 years. She now is a full-time practicing fine art painter.

She has transitioned from 3-dimensional design to 2-dimensional composition in her paintings. Though she has painted for the past 20 years in her free time, she is now dedicating her time to developing her fine art career.

 Sydell Lewis discussing her process with art lovers and friends at the opening reception

Sydell Lewis discussing her process with art lovers and friends at the opening reception

Recently she moved from Los Altos to Tahoe City. Magdalena uses these changes to express its influences on and in her paintings.

The bustle of life in Silicon Valley while raising a family and working full-time versus the calmer ways of life in the present show up in her work.

Bogart paints on wood panels. The textural nature of her art can only be achieved by

sanding through countless layers, scratching the surface, marring and staining it. It is a

complicated process, but the result is of tactile quality. She states. “I encourage viewers to touch my paintings and experience the surface”. Don’t worry about the surface. It is thoroughly sealed.

  Rembrandt's Kitchen , acrylic and collage on board, by  Magdalena Bogart

Rembrandt's Kitchen, acrylic and collage on board, by Magdalena Bogart

The art of Sydell Lewis is in transition from traditional painting and printmaking to innovative digital art and her process is explored in the current exhibition.

She juxtaposes her painting “Having It All” with a series of digital images created from deconstructions of the painting. The reconstructed fresh, vital imagery is presented as pigment prints on paper and pixel paintings on canvas. In “BAM” a mixed media work on canvas she combines the pigment print seamlessly with acrylic paint.

Lewis states in an article to be published in the 2018 Journal California Society of Printmakers,

“As an experimental painter and printmaker interested in new technology I discovered that creating prints using art applications on a computer is a fascinating, inspirational and magical experience.” She believes “a print that is created using digital applications is the “NEW PRINT” of the 21st century “. Two of her digital pigment prints will be shown by invitation at the 9th Douro Biennial Print Exhibition in Portugal in August 2018.

Lewis has exhibited her work in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Bay Area including the Triton Museum.

A Sparkling Reception for Oil & Water

 Ruth-Anne Siegel (left) and Maura Carta (right) enjoying their reception

Ruth-Anne Siegel (left) and Maura Carta (right) enjoying their reception

  John , oil on canvas, by  Maura Carta

John, oil on canvas, by Maura Carta

  At the Window , acrylic on canvas, by  Ruth-Anne Siegel

At the Window, acrylic on canvas, by Ruth-Anne Siegel

On Friday, February 2, Maura Carta and Ruth-Anne Siegel celebrated their featured show, Oil & Water, with a unique and festive reception. The celebration was a sparkling wine and an all-chocolate affair with chocolate-covered marshmallows, home-baked brownies, and dark, rich truffles. The beverages including sparkling water, sparkling apple juice, and California sparkling wine, all served in champagne flutes. 

Why is the show called Oil & Water?

Realistic /Abstract — Subtle/Bold —Muted / Vibrant— Oil/Water — Carta/Siegel — Their styles are different, even opposites, both Carta and Siegel draw influence from the natural world and immerse themselves in their respective subjects to bring them to artistic life via oil paint for Carta and acrylic paint for Siegel.

Siegel, a prolific acrylic painter of abstract art, is currently focusing on flowers. These abstract floral portraits are bold with vibrant colors and expressive paint strokes.

With flowers, she has the freedom to capture impressions of colors, light, and movement with expressive brushwork filled with emotion. The viewer cannot help but notice the flow of a stem as it twists and turns into a lush bloom as well as the layering of petals over one another in a fluttering visual cacophony. With thick paint, palette knives, and silky brushes, Siegel is able to create a textured canvas that brings the viewer into this world of enveloping buds, blossoms, and twisting, turning growth.

“Living in California,” Siegel says, “I am also inspired by the bright sunlight and verdant landscape whose colors inform my bright paintings. My color palette is what initially identifies my style. Layer upon layer of bright pinks, blues, and orange explode on the surface to make up the foundation of my paintings. I paint purple, white, yellow clusters, organic petal shapes, and even more strokes over the initial collaged layers. I love the process of painting by exploring the medium and constantly challenging myself.”

Maura spends her days painting models, interiors, and roaming the Bay Area for landscapes to paint. Working only from life, her portraits are done over three 4-hour sittings. Her landscapes, typically with three or four visits to the same spot, begin with a grisaille and are followed the next days with multiple layers of translucent paint. Carta reveals, “I want my paintings to glow. Light reflects back from each layer of paint, so though my method is slow, the results are luminous. Working from life can be challenging - the light is always shifting, the model is never in the exact spot as the previous sitting, and someone always drives off in the car I just started painting. But it’s worth it when, on occasion, it all comes together, and I have created another world.”

The Power of Self Expression: Join us on August 19 at the Gallery House

Saturday, August 19, 4:00 - 5:30 PM

FREE and OPEN to the public.

Join us at Gallery House for a late afternoon of dazzling discussion and sparkling art. Miluna Fausch and our featured artist this month, Vidya Kane, will discuss their own unique visions of Self-Expression. Wine tasting with Theodora of Theopolis Vineyards.

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Studio Visit: Anne Lamborn

On August 7, 2017, Anne Lamborn, Gallery House’s only fiber artist, gave seven of us a wonderful tour of her home, studios and, as a special bonus, of her life. Her home is situated in downtown Los Gatos, down a small lane. An amazing 150 year-old Italian stone pine graces her front yard. Out the back door, down a steep embankment, runs Los Gatos Creek. A hammock swings over the creek. The main house definitely belongs to an artist who has been a world traveler. Outbuildings are stacked with art supplies and her main studio houses four looms, each with a started project. She has lived in her home for 47 years. 

Fellow Gallery House artist Hedda Hope brings us this account.

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