Thursday, July 31, 2014

Earth, Water, and Fire -- and More!

There is a group of women of a certain age, retired from professions that may or may not have offered outlets for creativity, who have gathered together for nearly 10 years to delve into the subject of art.  A contingent of this artistic support network is bringing new work to Second Story Gallery in August to show the “heart” of their group Earth, Water, and Fire

Four artists from the group will be introduced at a free reception on First Friday, Aug. 1,from 5 to 8 p.m.  The evening will  include jazz and a reading by nationally recognized poet Scott Poole, who performs weekly on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Live Wire!

Members of Earth, Water, and Fire who will be displaying their art are Marj Casswell, Millie Kimery, Cheryl Poole and Roxce Stavney.  They represent a gathering of women who have met for a decade to critique their work and tackle artistic challenges.  As Casswell explains, “Let us, whose work is shown on these walls, be a window into the art of Earth, Water, and Fire.”  She says the name of the group was agreed upon because “Earth” represents pigment, “Water” is used by all the women in their work, and “Fire” represents their burning desire to create. 

Casswell is one who returned to painting as well as writing after retirement.  She has authored one book and has two novels awaiting e-book publication.  After finishing those projects, she says she picked up a brush again to work in acrylics and collage.  “Creativity can be in everything we do when we are open to the search,” she point out.

Boat, Friday Harbor by Millie Kimery
Kimery calls the Earth, Water, and Fire group her special place for critique, fellowship and support.  She was living in California when she retired and resumed her art training but she has come back to Vancouver where she launched her teaching career.  This time she participates in art shows and art associations, aiming with her work “to create feelings of what is not always visually there, but exists from within.”

Poole studied graphic design in college but worked as an elementary school teacher until retiring in 2005.  “My process and mediums have changed” she says of her painting style.  “I am now intrigued with the interplay of shapes, textures, and patterns.  Using a mixed media approach, I am now working on how interlocking and free-form shapes can be a springboard for powerful, expressive and abstract design.”  

Stavney travels from her retirement home on the Oregon Coast to participate in the Vancouver art critique group.  She calls painting her “passion” and favors encaustic, using oil and cold wax applied with a palette knife.  She says she looks for poetic patterns in the seasons, observing how nature creates layer upon layer the way she applies layers of color and depth.  Just like nature, she says she creates abstract compositions where she hopes the viewer will begin to experience vibrating patterns in the landscape.

All of these styles and methods will be on display during August at “Earth, Water, and Fire, Our Group Show.”  The art exhibit will continue through Aug. 30 in the gallery, upstairs in the Camas Public Library.

Also contributing to First Friday in the gallery will be poet Scott Poole, known for his work on Live Wire!, broadcast nationally from Portland.  In addition, the Battle Ground Jazz Trio is scheduled to perform.  

5 TO 8 P.M.