Lisa Ashinoff calls her two subject matters cityscapes and dreamscapes, and these categories veer into two different styles. Her cityscapes are bold and geometric, with thick white lines outlining buildings. The entire color spectrum shows up here in the houses, the sky, the trees. Ashinoff plays with shape as well as perspective, some buildings are flat while others have depth.
Then there are the dreamscapes. These are more abstract, but seem to be of urban or rural scenes. They are largely in a blue palette, and everything is softer than the cityscapes. A lot of the dreamscapes appear as if you're looking out a window while it rains. This gives the impression of something just out of your grasp.
There aren't any people present in Ashinoff's works. In her cityscapes, the buildings very much become characters in their environment.
Ashinoff is inspired by color and architecture. She grew up in a house designed by American architect Norman Jaffe, which sparked her initial interest in architecture. The influence of Jaffe's unique use of shape can be felt in Ashinoff's work. She is also inspired by architects Shigeru Ban, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Frank Gehry, and painters Gerhard Richter and Willem de Kooning.
Ashinoff is another exciting new artist at the 2015 Armonk Outdoor Art Show, joining us from Virginia Beach.
Jay McDougall is a Minnesota native who creates beautiful wood sculptures. He works with various types of woods, including American elm, cottonwood, boxelder, birch, and walnut. He selects logs from hardwood trees that have fallen near his studio and home, which is important to him as part of a sustainable lifestyle. He makes vases and vessels (a long, low boat-like structure), wall-hanging triptychs and obelisks. But what everything he makes has in common is their elegance and their subtlety. The way McDougall works with wood, it becomes something almost out of biblical times. He has a skilled eye for shape. The vessels are fluidly curve before coming to sharp ends; it is this mix that makes them so compelling. There are no straight lines in McDougall's work and this keeps each sculpture human. "Elements Ark" is a semi-circle slab of American elm mottled with fingerprint-like texture, with several hand-wrought steel staples inserted into the front (McDougall carves all his works from a single block of wood, so the steel staples are not there to keep separate pieces of wood together). Again, it is a perfect mixture of details, while still being minimal.
McDougall uses the reductive method of sculpture, which means material is removed to create the form, similar to how marble is carved. He feels that this process allows him to find only the most essential form of each sculpture. McDougall comes from a long line of artists and craftsmen, and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Education with an emphasis in Wood Technology and Furniture Design from University of Wisconsin-Stout. He has been working as an artist for over thirty years, and first started by designing and building furniture. He credits this beginning as helping him realize his desire to create an "economy of line and form" with each sculpture.
Gaston Carrio, joining us from Houston, Texas, is a new artist at the 2015 Armonk Outdoor Art Show. Carrio's abstract paintings are vividly emotional. The very brushstrokes are imbued with an urgency. He paints the purely abstract or sometimes mixes in figurative subjects--part of a face, a body, or fish swimming around one another. With moods he ranges to dark and light, but each end of the spectrum is tinged with its opposite, such as in several floral abstract representations. Red, orange, and blue flowers are bright and lush against a white background, but this also creates a stark atmosphere. Carrio's work is heavy in mood and challenging to the eye, in a satisfying way. One series, titled "Future Memories", portrays empty, shadowy rooms. What does it mean to have future memories? Where do they come from within us? Carrio's work leads to questions, and while the answers may not be readily available, they are worthwhile to chase after.
Carrio is also an architect, graduating with his bachelor's degree in architecture in 2001. He was always drawing as part of the design process and moved into painting as a natural progression. It is interesting that his one profession deals with the very grounded, the very physical, and then in his other profession he works to pin down the abstract, the unconscious and the emotional. He says he started painting as "a means of self-discovery and expression." Using his own interiority has served as a strong jumping off point for Carrio, as each painting pulses with a complex swirling of feelings. We look forward to welcoming Carrio to the Art Show this year.
All artist articles are written by Amanda Boyle, All About Armonk Arts & Culture Writer.
Daphne Covington Printmaking and Mixed Media
Daphne Covington's works push at the sides of the canvas, bursting forth. They are abstract and alive with a musicality. Some works veer more figuartive, with animals, houses, people, and dolls showing up. Covington paints colorfully, and brush strokes are very visible. While some works are in only one or two colors--"Cardinal Dance" is shades of red and "Calm Waters" is almost entirely blues and white--and others stick to one color palette, Covington isn't afraid to use a wide range of colors in one work.
In addition to the high energy of Covington's work, they are also playful, even more so when toys and animals show up as subjects. In some paintings with toys, Covington also brings the written word into the scene, with the words "PAPER DOLLS" floating across the canvas in white stenciled letters. It seems there is no limit to Covington's creativity.
Covington is a self-taught artist, and as a teenager she began making abstract needlepoints, which she sites as her first experimentation with color and composition. She was raised in Atlanta, and has lived there for almost forty years. The verve of city life can definitely be felt in Covington's works.
Covington has also worked in fabric design and ceramic art, before coming to mixed media in 2000. For her paintings, she works with oils, chalks, colored pencils, charcoals, and ink. She is influenced by Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Wassily Kadinsky, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Covington is a new artist to the 2015 Armonk Outdoor Art Show, and we look forward to welcoming her.
Peggy Furlin paints abstract geometric watercolors. Her shapes are softened, and overall the works are subtle. They seem close to nature, and not just because occasionally the shadow of a leaf or branch will show up. Partially it is Furlin's color palette which is very natural, even when purple shows up it brings to mind a field of lavender viewed from above. More than that, many of her paintings have the impression of shape interactions that came about from years of wind, rain, plant growth, and animals coming through. The paintings are lived in the best way.
Furlin has a compelling way of putting shapes together; she makes layers and clusters and jolts with small details, such as the small green rectangle amongst the purple and blue shapes in "available space."
Furlin is a lifelong Wisconsin native. She was an art director in Milwaukee for twenty years. During those years she would paint and show her work when time allowed, but when her work grew in popularity she decided to open up a studio, and leave her job to be an artist full time. She only uses watercolor canvas for her paintings. As she layers paint, she manipulates it both when it's wet and when it's dry. This helps her to create interesting textures. She cites using canvas as an important part of her process because it allows her freedom to experiment while also "providing the happy accidents that only watercolor can provide." She feels that a certain amount of unknowingness on the artist's part helps to create a truly compelling work.
Furlin has only just started to show on the east coast, so it is a pleasure to welcome her as a new artist to the 2015 Armonk Outdoor Art Show.
Lori Lupe Pelish Fiber "The Mustache Makes the Man"
Lori Lupe Pelish makes art quilts and hooked rugs--art for your walls and your floors, as she puts it. Through color palettes and facial expressions she expresses mood.
Both quilts and rugs are alive with interacting shapes. The rugs are more abstract while Pelish uses portraiture on her quilts. She builds up faces and backgrounds with different textures, which come from different printed fabric. "Stream", with its blue, green, and purple palette and the subject's closed eyes, has a relaxed mood. However, Pelish's work is not as simple as just that. Each of her subjects has shapes that overlap on their faces. In "Stream" the shapes are blue wave icons over the man's cheeks. You are left wondering if maybe he's crying.
Meanwhile, the shapes on the rugs seem to be in a dance with one another. There are a collection of shapes that make up the foreground--they're often flowers, such as in "Flower Power II" and "Motif Madness"--while a pattern makes up the background. Both her rugs and quilts have a strong energy from their interacting colors and shapes.
Pelish grew up in upstate New York and always felt she would become an artist. She received her BFA in 1979 from Southampton College of Long Island University, where she did an independent study in printmaking. When she discovered fiber in 1990 something instantly clicked into place and while she is a diverse artist, fiber is her main medium. She first started making quilted art hangings and then expanded into rugs. Her rugs are made from 100% wool fabric, which she dyes herself.
Pelish is a new artist at the 2015 Armonk Outdoor Art Show. Artists at other art and craft shows had suggested the Armonk show to her. We're looking forward to having her.
Sharon Matusiak and Robin L. Washburn Sculpture "New Beginnings"
Sharon Matusiak and Robin L. Washburn are an artist couple new to the Armonk Outdoor Art Show in 2015.
The two have worked individually as well as together in the past. Matusiak is sculptor working with wood and clay, and Washburn is a sculptor working with metal. They have recently been focused on their collaborative work. They work together on the design, and then Washburn does the metalworking and sometimes a small part of the woodworking, while Matusiak does most of the woodworking and all of the painting. They produce free-standing and wall-hanging sculptures.
The duo is very interested in symbols. Boats are popular subject for them, as are books. These subjects are more icon, and less realistic, bringing to mind not a specific boat but what a boat could symbolize, such as journeys, and hope. Books they see as a symbol of enlightenment. Matusiak and Washburn also produce some more abstract work, where several bold shapes interact on a texturized background. All their work has a cohesive feel. It is minimal. It is also heated, thanks to the earth tone color palette of reds, golds, and browns. The interplay of multiple shapes and textures is always strongly done.
Matusiak and Washburn can also be tongue-in-cheek, such as with their sculpture "Dear John Letter" which depicts a piece of paper tied up sitting in a bowl, with the words "Dear John" scrawled across it. Or in "Crow's Nest" where a literal bird's nest (opposed to the lookout point on ship's that is called the crow's nest) done in copper sits on top of a boat.
Both artists have been actively creative since they were young adults. They met in 1990 and bought land together in Southern Illinois for a home and studio. At that time they collaborated on sculptural art furniture, before turning to their individual endeavors. They decided to return to collaboration more permanently in 2011.
Mimi Damrauer is interested in shapes and color. But she likes to throw things off kilter, as can be seen in her "Drunk Circles" works. Each "Drunk Circles" is one or more rows of circles within circles framed with by mustard squares. It's a little dizzying but a lot of fun as she plays with color combinations within each cell. There is the smaller circle, the larger circle, and the background, as well as the coloring of each cell interacts with the surrounding cells. No line or curve is perfect, adding to the "drunken" affect.
Damrauer's fabric is hand-dyed cotton, hand cut and machine sewn. She calls her work "textile collages" and says she was initially influenced by Amish quilts when she began working with fiber. Damrauer is a new artist to the Armonk Outdoor Art Show this year, and is joining us from Chicago.
Damrauer loves the strictly geometric, but she also shines with her flower works. Each work features one flower (usually a tulip or a daisy). The flowers are represented by their simplest shaped forms. Damrauer leaves stitching visible on the flowers as well as on the border. The works are splashed with bright colors.
Damrauer also makes baby blankets. Her signature style is intact in depicting subjects such as dinosaurs, stars, boats, lady bugs, cupcakes, and lollipops. Another project in the works is a line of rugs she's designing with Crate & Barrel.
Kathleen Scranton makes beautiful and fun vintage book purses, a dream for book lovers looking to carry around a good book not just for reading but for fashion, also. The saying goes don't judge a book by its cover, but Scranton's purses are all about celebrating the aesthetic side of books. She uses covers from many classics, such as Charlotte's Web, The Great Gatsby, several different covers of Black Beauty. There are also lesser known titles--one dark-green-patterned cover promises in gold lettering New England Bygones--as well as covers without titles chosen simply for their beautiful imagery. One hand purse has rows of women in the same red dress, while another hand purse has the Empire State Building silhouetted against the rest of the New York City skyline. Scranton's purses are appropriate and would surely delight readers of any age.
Scranton makes a variety of different purse options, and she is hardly gripping onto vintage books to forsake modern technology, as she not only has shoulder purses and hand purses she also makes laptop purses and eReader book jackets. She also makes journals, for those who want their own words to take on an old-fashioned feel. The spines of the books have been triple-reinforced so as to hold the weight of belongings, new book board has been added for longevity, covers have been waterproofed, and Scranton added one or two interior pockets for credit cards or licenses.
Scranton and her husband Dennis are beekeepers in Coventry, Connecticut. One time searching for vintage books on beekeeping, she learned that thousands of older books get destroyed each year. Alarmed by this, she started visiting library sales, tag sales, and book dealers to save vintage books from being shred. Scranton had been making folk art for some time before then, and came up with the idea of re-purposing the books into purses. To avoid waste, and save the entirety of the book, she rebinds each book's pages into paperbacks which come with the purse for your reading pleasure. Currently, Scranton has over 3,000 vintage books in her inventory which can be searched on her website and requested to be made into a purse.
Scranton is a new artist to the Armonk Outdoor Art Show in 2015, and she is excited to show after several other artists had recommended Armonk's Art Show to her.