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.
 

Posted on July 10th, 2015


Art by George Fluke

During the month of April, Main Street Artists Gallery will feature new works by the inimitable George Fluke, probably the most innovative conceptual artist in our midst. George is a master at re-purposing found objects, creating astonishing sculptural pieces, frequently injected with subtle messages either spiritual or political but always displaying a delightfully quirky sense of humor.  The current show is titled "Hinder," meaning held back or stymied, exemplified by three pieces done in the style of installation art, to be further explained by the artist at the show's opening event.


The show is both provocative and enlightening, as the artist will present an original poem "Fire In A Crowded Room," inspired by the shootings of political cartoonists in Paris, followed by a discussion of the role of art in political satire.


Also presenting unique sculptures made of scrap metal and motorcycle parts will be Guest Artist Jeff LaMattina, of Indian Valley.  

 

Posted on July 10th, 2015

It has been fascinating to watch Michael Kerby's majestic mountainscapes take
shape as he shares each of his works-in-progress with a wide internet audience.
His repertoire includes breathtaking scenes of some of the major mountain
ranges in America: Tetons, Yosemite, Lassen, Zion, Rainier, Sequoia and our
own Spanish Peak.  All are meticulously executed using multiple photos to accurately
capture the way light changes in each setting.  Michael enjoys watching a painting
develop and likes to share the process online with viewers on his email list, as well
as on Facebook and his website.


Michael's attention to detail both insures accuracy and illustrates his mastery of
landscape art.  Each work invites the viewer to virtually step into it and explore
the scene in detail.  There is also a secret recurring motif in every piece: 2 ravens
flying side by side - symbolizing Michael and wife Terri's explorations of all the
wilderness sites they have visited together.


Michael paints in both watercolor and fluid acrylic, employing watercolor technique
for both mediums.  Using "flow release" to aid the acrylic to flow easier allows him to
layer thin glazes one on top of the other, so that the bottom color can show through, 
thus creating more depth.  For watercolor, he uses aquaboard instead of paper so
that he doesn't need to use glass and adds four coats of a spray and two coats of 
a brushed archival varnish.  This allows color to stay on the surface and appear more
vibrant without being clouded by glass.


Currently, Michael is in the planning stages of a 5' x 6' canvas picturing the Tetons
range.  For this, he uses 3 or 4 photos to combine the view during different hours
of the day and refers to his multiple sketches to accurately depict the details of 
this awesome and majestic scene.


The June show at Main Street Artists Gallery entitled "Touching the Spirit, Sharing
the Beauty" will include scenes of Long Pine Peak, two new Mt. Lassen scenes
including the currently dormant but volatile geyser "Bumpass Hell", as well as some
older scenes and many limited edition prints.


Also appearing, as Michael's guests, will be "Allison & Victor", musicians who will
be playing in the Clinch Building courtyard behind the gallery beginning at 5:30 PM.
Complimentary wine and appetizers will be served.

Posted on May 1st, 2015

​James Johnson 
 
 
Main Street Artists Gallery opens the month of May with the works of watercolorist, James 
Johnson, a new member with an exceptional eye for detail in depicting the landscapes around him. His work combines the technique of watercolor painting often with an overlay of pen & ink which defines and accentuates the detail of a scene, giving it a special vibrancy.  His landscapes, both large and small, draw the viewer's attention by conveying a mood of peaceful solitude amid breathtaking beauty.
 
Born in Kansas after World War II, James spent his first five years on a farm then moved to Maryland when his father, an electrical engineer, took a position with Westinghouse Defense.  Later, the family moved to idyllic Whidbey Island on Puget Sound in Washington State where James spent  his adolescence developing his passion for nature.  A final move to California allowed him to finish high school and begin training for his life's work.
 
James came to his vocation as landcape artist through extensive travel and a fascination with
the dynamics of nature's ever-changing movement through wind, water, cloud formations and
light.  Studying art at San Jose State in the 70's, he learned the techniques for producing 
lithographs, etchings, silk screening, airbrush & intaglio,  He studied alongside  Roy DeForest,
learned watercolor painting from Eric Obach and attributes particular influence to mentor Goeff Bowman..  After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree, James traveled to New Mexico, tried his hand at video game art, then bought a printing press and switched to lithography and etchings,  some of which will be included in the current show.  
 
Today, James resides at Tobin in the Feather River Canyon where he is surrounded by the
gorgeous scenery that appears in his art.  Each of his pieces is meticulously executed, evoking 
a mood of idyllic serenity in some, and a sense of turbulence from the forces of nature in others.   He says his goal  is to connect the medium with the painter and the observer to convey the feeling he originally saw in the design. The plein aire watercolor method he prefers allows him to capture the dynamics of nature's forces in real time and in a variety of places throughout the state, including Big Sur, Santa Cruz, the Central Valley as well as Plumas County.  The result is a large variety of soul-stirring scenes celebrating the beauty of our natural world.

Also featured as guest artists during May will be Quincy High School students Sylvia Wood and
Rachel Hana representing the next generation of Quincy artists
 
The opening will take place Friday, May 1  from 5-7 PM.  Complimentary wine and appetizers
will be served.

Posted on November 9th, 2014

     It has been fascinating to watch the progression of Phil Gallagher's artwork at Main Street
Artists Gallery over the last five years: from symbolic Hawaiian petroglyphs to abstract
segmented color fields to stylized Porsche engines to metal sculptures of animals and
torsos.  The upcoming October show, however, goes in a totally new direction that is a
challenge to categorize.
 
     Some of the works are quite large, others long and narrow but all are detailed in a 
surrealistic fashion that requires study and exploration.  This leads to the discovery of
surprising figures, organic elements and a tumultuous sense of movement portending
either chaos, hallucination or some impending apocalypse.
 
     The viewer can find faces, torsos, airplanes, tunnels, tiny plant-like objects, organic
elements all swirling in a tornado of energy and in rich swaths of brilliant color.  It is
tempting to create one's own story from this soup of organic symbols, giving reign to
the subconscious and finding narratives in these dense compositions.
 
     The artist calls this new style "gesture drawing" - where figures simply happen without
forethought.  They may be recognizable or not and are open to multiple and constantly
changing interpretations.  
 
     Also featured in this show is the somewhat simpler triptych from which the current 
larger, more complex, pieces evolved, culminating in what the artist calls "a new direction
with punch" : organic, random, like nature, yet with an underlying order.  
 
     Unlike traditional landscapes or figure drawings, Phil's new work stretches the
boundaries and blazes fresh trails in combining both figurative and abstract art
resulting in these extraordinary pieces that lend themselves to careful study and are
sure to leave the viewer in awe.  They are a testament to the artist's creativity and his
tireless exploration of new and unique ideas.
 
     Also appearing in October were works by Chicago artist Jaroslava Kuchma, returning to
MSA with a striking display of photos re-purposed through the use of string and pattern
weave structure, an unconventional art form.
 
     Finally,  in observance of Halloween, Trish Atiken from Genessee will present her assemblage of handmade and very fanciful hats.
 
The opening  was held Friday, October 3 from 5-7 PM.  Complimentary wine and
appetizers served, as always.


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