Posted on November 9th, 2015

​November ushers in not only a vibrant change of season but also a fascinating show at
Main Street Artists Gallery featuring Beth Aitken and Graham Shea and their unique talents in
two very different mediums.
 
Beth Aitken has been a long time resident of Plumas County and an established artist in the
unique medium of encaustic painting,   This ancient Greek art form involves painting with a 
mixture of beeswax and tree resin which, when heated, adheres to a surface and can be
manipulated, scraped and gouged with tools to achieve all manner of interesting results. When
hardened, it will last 2000 years if not subjected to extreme temperatures either hot or cold. 
There is a theory that ancient Greek statues were all covered in colored wax to give them
a lifelike appearance but the wax was stripped away over time.  However, some death masks
that survived show traces of both color and wax.
 
The encaustic process can be applied to a collage and can contain embedded objects for a 
3-dimensional effect.  It can also be mixed with paint and built up to many layers both opaque 
and transparent.  For Beth, this medium brings out her playful side and she always encourages her students to simply have fun with it and let their imagination soar.  She herself was drawn to this medium 8 years ago  and was immediately fascinated with the transparency of wax and its mysterious effects.  Having done drawings for 20 years, Beth worked with the late great Bill  Peters (art instructor at Feather River College and mentor to many of the current members of Main Street Artists Gallery) who encouraged her to explore this art form and introduce it at MSAG.  There she developed a following and today gives seminars in this technique.  
 
In the current show, Beth steps out of her comfort zone and displays some new pieces that have no specific subject or embedded objects but are pure abstract forms open to individual interpretation.  In these, encaustic art is not a vehicle for ideas or messages but simply a way for Beth to allow herself the freedom to enjoy the process, letting the viewer decide what it all means.
 
********************************************************************************
 
Graham Shea, a gifted photographer and our newest member comes to Main Street Artists Gallery with an impressive background as well as a wide range of  experiences which inform his art. A native of Quincy, he attended Plumas Christian School then went on to study journalism and  economics at  Pepperdine University, finishing with a masters degree in theology from Cambridge University, UK.  After college, he traveled extensively throughout Europe, South America, New Zealand, Iceland, Virgin Islands, Fiji and Africa, collecting experiences (such as camping on the top of  Mt. Kilimanjaro)  and photographing the amazing sights and people he encountered.   
 
After receiving a digital Canon camera from his family, Graham picked up photography skills on his own through trial and error, perfecting his craft by photographing flowers. In college, he received a scholarship to work on the student yearbook and newspaper and soon became the photo editor for student events.  Later, photography became the focal point of his travels and the vehicle for his creativity.  His goal was to achieve satisfaction by creating art that people would enjoy but also to pursue an activity that provided both variety and spiritual fulfillment.  While traveling in Argentina, Graham visited Adulam, a Christian community outside Buenos Aires for homeless adults and children and stayed to help them by translating their website into English.  The purity of purpose at this community so impressed him that he now contributes all proceeds from the sale of his photography to this mission.
 
Grahams's photos in this show span many countries and  cultures - from African Massai tribesmen tending their cattle to Tanzania flamingo's flying in colorful formation to Iceland's dramatic glaciers.  It is the type of photography that mesmerizes and is sure to fill the viewer with wonder and awe.
 
 Also featured in the November show will be the brilliantly thought-provoking constructions of
Lou Boschee which are sure to inspire conversation.
 
The opening will take place Friday, November 6 from 5-7PM.  Complimentary wine and appetizers will be served.

Posted on November 9th, 2015

Highway 32, photograph by Betty Bishop
Aluminum Boat, photograph by Betty Bishop
Sailboat, painting by Sally Posner
Joshua, painting by Sally Posner

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.

Posted on August 11th, 2015

Main Street Artists Gallery is once again hosting a summer Studio Tour event where you can step inside the studios of 5 artists from the gallery, see where they work and view many more creations that you might see at one time in the gallery.  The dates are Saturday and Sunday, 8/22 and 8/23, from 10 am to 5 pm.  The artists who invite you to visit them are: 

IN MEADOW VALLEY
Phil Gallagher (56 Cottonwood Drive) - come and see his mixed media on paper and canvas, metal sculptures, and Giclees.  Oh......and he will fire up his PIZZA OVEN!

Marc Ellen Hamel (6672 Bucks Lake Road), and Michael Kerby (266 Willow Way). She will show some of her original monotypes, giclees, paintings, and barn quilts.

Michael Kerby (266 Willow Way) will show his beautiful watercolors, acrylic paintings and some print of mountains, hills, rivers, trees and other nature scenes.

IN TAYLORSVILLE
Sally Yost (corner of Ann & Hodgkin Streets) will have many paintings, drawings and prints on view to be enjoyed.  She is offering 25% off on all art this weekend.  

Trisha Aitken will also be present at Sally Yost's studio with her creative fabric art, hats and fashions.

IN QUINCY
Main Street Artists Gallery (436 W. Main Street) will be open both days representing 25 local artists in a variety of media.  A map is at the bottom of tis post and postcards with maps  and more information are available at the gallery.


Posted on August 11th, 2015

​The featured artists at Main Street Artists Gallery during the month of August are
Diane Williams and Chuck Potter, a married couple with roots in the Bay Area but
connected to Plumas County through property in Greenville where they conduct an art 
retreat during the summer months.
 
Diane is classically trained with a B.A. degree from UC Santa Barbara in studio art
and sociology, a Masters degree from California State University in studio art and
an M.F.A. degree from JFK University in arts and consciousness studies.  Diane and
Chuck traveled to China through an art-exchange program where they studied Chinese 
painting and calligraphy and learned of the transformative, healing effects of art.  This
became the guiding principle of their work and has prevailed in their artistic explorations
to date.
 
A trip to Jamaica in 1977 opened up a new and mesmerizing world which kept Diane there
for ten years, incorporating that culture's music, rhythm, water elements into her artistic
style.  She found Reggae music to have a huge influence on her artwork, as she maintains
that it follows the rhythm of heartbeat and promotes healing.  She believes paintings have
a similar rhythm which one can detect in her large canvases of swirling abstract forms
and bold swaths of color.
 
Upon returning to the States, Diane settled in the now-famous community of artists of 
Benicia where she found kindred spirits and inspiration.  She taught art at Chabot 
College and National University in Sacramento but also worked at Kaiser Hospital
scheduling surgeries which gave her added insight into the body's capacity for healing.
It was through an Arts Benicia art auction that she met her husband, Chuck, a mortgage
broker at the time with a keen interest in art.
 
Chuck grew up in the East Bay, studied at Hayward State, majoring in business.  As a
child, he enjoyed model making and costume design.  Later, he also learned carpentry
and tile setting.  But after their first date, Diane set up canvases and invited Chuck to
paint with her.  This experience ignited in him a visceral/spiritual response that changed
his course forever.  He and Diane attended JFK University together and have been painting
together ever since.  He builds canvases as a sideline and experiments with unconventional
materials and techniques but his main focus is nature-based abstract painting.
 
Both artists spend much of their time conducting workshops both in Greenville and Benicia
and building relationships with other artists.  Their recurring theme is Art and Consciousness,
helping professional and amateur artists get in touch with their spiritual side, to which abstract
art is well suited.
 
Also featured as guest artist during August is Oakland stained glass artisan, Ted
Ellison, member of  "Artistic License", a guild of craftspeople specializing in period
restoration of historic Bay Area buildings such as the dome of SF City Hall, the "Painted
Ladies" and many Victorian and Craftsman homes.

The first image, below, is "Forgotten Window" by Chuck Potter
The second image, below, is by Diane Williams.
 


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