Marc Ellen Hamel & Norma Lewis - September 2015

Posted on September 6th, 2015

​The September 2015 show at Main Street Artist Gallery features current works of two
very different but equally gifted artists, Marc Ellen Hamel and Norma Lewis.

MARC ELLEN HAMEL:  Since joining Main Street Artists Gallery three years ago, Marc Ellen Hamel has been producing and showing crisp, linear abstract paintings in vibrant primary
colors, reminiscent of the Constructivist style of Charles Biederman with the color
palette of Hans Hoffman.  Lately, however, Marc Ellen's orientation has shifted to more fluid, less formal composition: looser and freer experimentation with different brush strokes
resulting in impressionistic paintings which capture the atmosphere of being in
nature.

Since setting up a summer residence in Meadow Valley (her getaway
from the intensity of San Francisco), Marc Ellen has explored her pastoral
surroundings and incorporated their visceral effect into this new series of paintings.
Each piece, though unplanned, evolves into a story for her, although it may be a
different narrative for the viewer. There is languid movement in some pieces and
welcome serenity in the pastoral scenes, yet others appear more intense with a
hint of urban edginess. However, they are open to the viewer's interpretation which
makes them accessible to all.

She has also explored different aspect of printmaking, playing with different designs
and patterns both unique and repetitive with a more commercial application.
[In 2004, one of her paintings was selected for a wine label by California vintner, Paro
Wines of Healdsburg. It now appears on their 2015 Russian River Pinot Noir.]
In addition to her participation in Main Street Artists Gallery, Marc Ellen also belongs
to the art community at Hunter's Point in San Francisco - a large collection of studios
in the abandoned shipyard which provides artists with low cost space and a great
opportunity for collaboration. Her work is also available at the SF MOMA rental
gallery.

NORMA LEWIS: Longtime Quincy resident and well-established artist, Norma Lewis, has been
with Main Street Artists Gallery since its inception in 2009 and is a venerable member
of the art community here. Her work is readily recognizable by style and subject matter
although it has slowly changed over the years - a testament to the collaborative spirit
and influence of this collective. Where she began with depiction of logs, hay bales,
boulders and forest scenery, her art now also includes impressionistic nudes, abstracted
Indian baskets and lately, wall-hanging wooden sculptures.

Originally from Minnesota, she arrived in California on Pearl Harbor Day at the age of ten.
Her family settled in the Monterey/Carmel area and her art education started in junior college.
When she later moved to the Bay area, she continued her art education at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland and years later also took classes at Chico State.

After marriage to firefighter, Gordon Lewis, the newlyweds remained in Monterey for the
next 30 years and raised their two children there. After moving to Quincy, Norma
held a variety of jobs including running a camp across the street from the Post Office and
then the local Greyhound bus depot. Yet during this time, Norma continued with her painting, switching from oils to pastels and exhibiting her works at the college library and the local
bookstore. Norma's art continues to evolve as she moves from representational art to more abstract forms. She would like to explore new trends but finds them to be a challenge given her traditional training. Still, she is intrigued by the new talent in the local art scene and takes
inspiration from the variety of styles on exhibit here. Her energy and focus are an
inspiration to the younger artists in our group.

Also returning as guest artist will be San Francisco photographer, Tim Isom, with a romantic
photo display of Paris.

Images below:  first is "A Walk in the Woods" oil on canvas, 30 x 30" by Marc Ellen Hamel; 
next is "View of Snake Lake from Above" by Norma Lewis.

​The September 2015 show at Main Street Artist Gallery features current works of two
very different but equally gifted artists, Marc Ellen Hamel and Norma Lewis.

MARC ELLEN HAMEL:  Since joining Main Street Artists Gallery three years ago, Marc Ellen Hamel has been producing and showing crisp, linear abstract paintings in vibrant primary
colors, reminiscent of the Constructivist style of Charles Biederman with the color
palette of Hans Hoffman.  Lately, however, Marc Ellen's orientation has shifted to more fluid, less formal composition: looser and freer experimentation with different brush strokes
resulting in impressionistic paintings which capture the atmosphere of being in
nature.

Since setting up a summer residence in Meadow Valley (her getaway
from the intensity of San Francisco), Marc Ellen has explored her pastoral
surroundings and incorporated their visceral effect into this new series of paintings.
Each piece, though unplanned, evolves into a story for her, although it may be a
different narrative for the viewer. There is languid movement in some pieces and
welcome serenity in the pastoral scenes, yet others appear more intense with a
hint of urban edginess. However, they are open to the viewer's interpretation which
makes them accessible to all.

She has also explored different aspect of printmaking, playing with different designs
and patterns both unique and repetitive with a more commercial application.
[In 2004, one of her paintings was selected for a wine label by California vintner, Paro
Wines of Healdsburg. It now appears on their 2015 Russian River Pinot Noir.]
In addition to her participation in Main Street Artists Gallery, Marc Ellen also belongs
to the art community at Hunter's Point in San Francisco - a large collection of studios
in the abandoned shipyard which provides artists with low cost space and a great
opportunity for collaboration. Her work is also available at the SF MOMA rental
gallery.

NORMA LEWIS: Longtime Quincy resident and well-established artist, Norma Lewis, has been
with Main Street Artists Gallery since its inception in 2009 and is a venerable member
of the art community here. Her work is readily recognizable by style and subject matter
although it has slowly changed over the years - a testament to the collaborative spirit
and influence of this collective. Where she began with depiction of logs, hay bales,
boulders and forest scenery, her art now also includes impressionistic nudes, abstracted
Indian baskets and lately, wall-hanging wooden sculptures.

Originally from Minnesota, she arrived in California on Pearl Harbor Day at the age of ten.
Her family settled in the Monterey/Carmel area and her art education started in junior college.
When she later moved to the Bay area, she continued her art education at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland and years later also took classes at Chico State.

After marriage to firefighter, Gordon Lewis, the newlyweds remained in Monterey for the
next 30 years and raised their two children there. After moving to Quincy, Norma
held a variety of jobs including running a camp across the street from the Post Office and
then the local Greyhound bus depot. Yet during this time, Norma continued with her painting, switching from oils to pastels and exhibiting her works at the college library and the local
bookstore. Norma's art continues to evolve as she moves from representational art to more abstract forms. She would like to explore new trends but finds them to be a challenge given her traditional training. Still, she is intrigued by the new talent in the local art scene and takes
inspiration from the variety of styles on exhibit here. Her energy and focus are an
inspiration to the younger artists in our group.

Also returning as guest artist will be San Francisco photographer, Tim Isom, with a romantic
photo display of Paris.


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