All About Armonk

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Lyn Sedlak-Ford Mixed Media

Lyn Sedlak-Ford 
Mixed Media

Lyn Sedlak-Ford's abstract mixed media works live in the world of shapes. Sedlak-Ford isn't just about painting shapes, though. One work, for instance, is spread over three long rectangular panels. The panels each have painted circles mingling with more organic shapes in red, orange, yellow, and purple. The outer panels are both segmented by a row of metal circles. The middle panel has those same metal circles cut out at (seemingly) random intervals, resembling bubbles. These interruptions of the painted canvas are unexpected and playful. 

Other works might not have the same metal cut-outs, but still have unique uses of shapes. A blue, white, and purple canvas has texturized white rectangles. 

Color is as important an aspect to Sedlak-Ford's work as shape. She uses color to convey mood. A brown and white work is peaceful. Whereas a work combining red, yellow, blue, white, and black zips with high energy. Sedlak-Ford is self-taught. She uses a brush and a palette knife to apply color to a canvas. She adds texture a number of different ways, including with razor blades or pieces of cloth.

Sedlak-Ford lives in Oregon with her husband, who is also an artist. They occasionally work together collaboratively. They are avid gardeners, and find a lot of joy and inspirational from the natural world. 

Sedlak-Ford was new to the Armonk art show in 2015, when she won the Mixed Media Honorable mention.

Lauren Sundin Jewelry
Lauran Sundin

Lauran Sundin's unique jewelry melds the past and the future in one beautiful creation. Sundin describes her works as woven and bobbin lace jewelry, which is a deceptive name. The lace in question is made of metal wires. And while pearls are often used, these pearl and lace combinations are nothing like what our great grandmothers would have worn--these pieces would be more at home on a sci-fi warrior princess.

Sundin makes necklaces, brooches, and bracelets. Her decision to use wire as a woven material instantly creates a wonderful contradiction and combination of delicate and tough. One of the simpler designs has a strand of pearls sitting on top of a gold ruffle. This ruffle curves as a ruffle made of thread or fabric usually would, but it is rigid.

Sundin is constantly playing with shape. Curves abound. The "Sine Wave" necklace is made up of one line curving to different heights. The "Night and Day" necklace twists symmetrically. She also has choker style necklaces, notably her "Harlequin" series. These necklaces see a combination of gold and silver creating patterns on a flattened band, and pearls featured prominently or as details. One of the joys of working with wire, she says, is its ability to hold its shape. Another thing she likes about working with wire opposed to other forms of metal, is her ability to build up a shape, opposed to cutting it out of a piece of metal. She works with 14-22 Karat Gold and Sterling Silver wires.

Sundin lives in New Hampshire, but she has traveled the world. In an effort to learn all that she could about weaving she studied in Guatemala, Japan, Hawaii, and Denmark.

Annie Darling Mixed Media
Annie Darling
Mixed Media
"Austin Calling"

Annie Darling's mixed media paintings draw you in with their intriguing mixture of colors. The colors are bright or dark or light, but they are always fresh. By using encaustic (heated beeswax combined with colored pigments) the works furthermore appeal with their subtle textures and organic use of shape. Abstraction is Darling's style of choice. Many of her works are abstractions of the natural world; they often take the form of landscapes. In "Earth & Sky", for instance, bright and light green globs and dashes practically dance across the bottom two-thirds of the canvas, and then transitions into a white sky tinged with green. The representation is energetic, and so fully embodies the hopefulness of looking out on a gushing green landscape.

For Darling, exploration is key to her process. She finds great satisfaction in tapping into her emotional state as she works. Some of Darling's more abstract paintings might represent psychological thoughts or happenings. "Unearthing [Myself]" has an enormous bursting forth of color: drops of orange, peach, yellow, and black command the bulk of the canvas over a black and white striped background. Indeed, unearthing yourself can often be a chaotic journey.

In her most recent works, Darling plays around with the visual potential of the line. Lines zig zag and connect over the entire canvas in one painting, stand in a row in another.

Darling comes from a family of artists who worked in several different areas. Her father was a commercial photographer, her mother was an interior designer, and her uncle was a sculptor. From a young age she was interested in their works, and she saw art as a natural way of connecting with and understanding the world around her. She has always enjoyed the tactile aspects of creating art, whether that was drawing in color pencils as a child or working with encaustic now.  In addition to painting and drawing, she also has a career as a graphic designer and art director. She will be a new artist at the Armonk Outdoor Art Show this year.

Valerie Bunnell

Valerie Bunnell

Valerie Bunnell's figures come from the world of imagination. It's delightful to look through her mixed media sculptures. The sculptures are slim figures with neutral expressions on their face. They're colorful or monochrome, and always highly detailed: intricately designed costumes and any number of props sprouting from their head, arms, or inside a wire body. Bunnell works with clay, and freely adds found objects. Every sculpture is its own character, a fantastical story trailing behind them.

Some sculptures stand on their own, while others hang from wires, such as "Spinner" and "Jumper," which both have the appearance of flight. Flight intrigues Bunnell, and many of the sculptures have wings. In one sculpture, "Birdman," the wings are playful: a yellow and blue sculpture with wings outstretched and a bird's nest popping out of its head. In "Resilience", wings at rest give the appearance of calm potential. Bunnell names the mythical figure Icarus as the initial impetus behind the wings.

In Bunnell's Tinmen series, her characters have tin boxes for bodies. There's a nutmeg container in "Red and White", lock fluid in "Lock-Ease." These works are as playful as anything else Bunnell creates. Bunnell is a new artist to the Armonk Outdoor Art Show this year. She has been living in New England for many years, and she grew up in Long Island, where she learned to love nature--still a major inspiration for her work. Her mother collected antique dolls, marionettes, and puppets, and Bunnell found herself intrigued by the way the toys held a weighted past. Bunnell successfully imbues her sculptures with a similar sense of history. With every sculpture, it feels as if you just looked away they'd start moving.

All About Armonk Artists' Features are written by Amanda Boyle.

Luis Perez
Luis Perez
"Farnese Mail Box"

Luis Perez is an Armonk artist with boundless creativity. Perez works in multiple mediums--watercolor, oil, graphite, charcoal. Whichever medium he is working in, there is an extreme focus on detail. For Perez, details create a story.

In watercolors, Perez paints portraits and scenes. They are often lush with color. He is fascinated by city life. Homeless people are the subject of several paintings. Another paintings shows a woman playing violin on the streets of Florence, while her dog lays next to her. Other paintings show city scenes sans people. He beautifully renders stone and brick facades, and the lines of a wooden door. The textures have their own personalities. Perez notices everything. He says he finds himself drawn to imperfections and impermanence.

Perez paints and draws animals often, as well, and with the same tenderness and consideration as his human subjects. Drawings are done in black and white. He says that he takes the same stylistic approach to his drawings as his paintings, but the stories in his drawings are often "more specific." He draws cows, zebras, wolves, bison, kiwi birds, elephants, and even bumble bees. Every one of the elephant's wrinkles and every one of the eagle's feathers are captured. For Perez's drawings, he plays with canvas size, using either very long or very wide pieces of paper. This allows him to zoom in on specific areas of his subject to help convey personality. "Elephant and Butterfly," for instance, just shows the frontmost part of an elephant's face plus the trunk, where a butterfly has landed. This focuses our attention to the tranquil connection between the two beings.

Perez is a new artist at the 2016 Art Show, and it is always especially exciting to welcome a new local artist.

Helen Gotlib Drawing Purple Dahlias

Helen Gotlib
"Purple Dahlias"

Helen Gotlib draws two different subjects: plants and people. She has different styles for these subjects. When it comes to plants, it is all about very specific details. Gotlib draws dahlias, cabbage, stacks of firewood and more. The subjects she picks allows for a dizzying and delightful amount of details. Different drawings of dahlias, for instance, have their own personalities. "Fall Dahlias" have three flowers with shriveled petals, the flower a heavy head. "Purple Dahlias" show two flowers in a more triumphant air, with sharp petals.

For the people drawings, Gotlib uses a looser stroke. Details--the way hair falls or shoulder bones jutting out--are still beautifully rendered. Most of the people drawings are nudes. Often, the face is turned away, or hidden. The emphasis here is on shape. The people drawings are more colorful than the plants. Sometimes the color comes from a blanket or pillow the subject is lying on. Each person is surrounded by a swath of color, such as gold, green, or blue. This may be the color of the wall that was behind them, but could also be chosen to represent something about the sitter's personality. Gotlib uses watercolor and acrylic for these drawings. She likes using wet and dry medium for the texture they can create together.

Gotlib always works with a live model or a present still-life, as opposed to a photograph. She says this is the best way for her to see "pure emotion." Nonverbal natures of communication are a major interest to her. Gotlib has lived in Michigan most of her life, but has also traveled widely, to Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. While she travels, she enjoys observing people, and how they express themselves.

She attended the University of Michigan's School of Art and Design, where she studied printmaking and scientific illustration. The latter helped her develop a style focused on extreme detail.

Gotlib is a new artist at the 2016 Art Show, and we're excited to have her.

Katie Musolff Watercolors

Katie Musolff
"Long Island Cheese Squash"

Katie Musolff paints her subjects with vivid personality. Of course, a lot of those subjects are vegetables or birds, but that doesn't make them any less intriguing than her intimate portraits and self-portraits.

Musolff uses a white background to highlight the pheasants, turtle shells, or mushrooms. With her skillful detailing and shading, you feel like you can pick up the objects. An orange leaf could be one brought inside on a brisk fall day by a child, the rutabaga picked out of a personal garden.

Sometimes, Musolff incorporates text into her paintings. In "Dogfish," underneath the long skinny dark green fish, Musolff muses in small print on the "man-made phenomenon" of some animals being valued while others are thought of as a nuisance. She continues that the particular dogfish that she is painting was one that she saw being dragged out of the water and left to die in the grass, something that clearly distressed Musolff. This empathy Musolff has for other living creatures informs some of her other paintings, including the surprising "Shooting Holes in the Sky", which shows a duck without its torso. With a wry sense of humor, she writes at the bottom of "Long Island Cheese Squash": "Long Island Cheese Squash of 2011, all that was left from what we had consumed throughout the winter."

Musolff is from Wisconsin, and says she paints what she finds around her. She certainly doesn't shy away from showing exactly what she sees: fish that aren't considered attractive, or dirt falling off plant roots. In her portraits, she often practices an all-seeing eye. The people are amongst their habitat, whether it is their work space or their living room. She captures things as they are. Musolff paints year round. She received her BFA in Painting from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in the early aughts, and has been working as a professional artist since then. She is new to the Armonk Outdoor Art Show this year.

Karen Klinefelter Jewelry
Karen Klinefelter

Karen Klinefelter's jewelry has a solid, almost industrial look to it. She makes rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. She utilizes bold shapes and unique detailing. Klinefelter works largely with sterling silver.

Klinefelter designs works to fit into different collections, such as the Mesh Collection or the Tagua Collection. In the Mesh Collection, Klinefelter plays with the different potentials of mesh. One silver pendant has a mesh rectangle surrounded by a solid frame of silver, while another pendant is the silver rectangle of mesh with a grey pearl hanging off the bottom. Unexpected touches like that hanging pearl are what make Klinefelter's work so engaging. Klinefelter is a fan of using found materials, and all the works from the Mesh Collection come from one piece of metal mesh that she found on the side of the road one day. She said scrap metal has always drawn her eye for its patterns and textures. Even decay can be valuable. The mesh was rusted, and that decay created unique textures when the mesh was cast with silver or gold.

Klinefelter finds inspiration in many different places. The Thai Collection, featuring a wide gold ring with a very small diamond in it and hanging cube earrings, came about after her trip to Thailand in the late 90s. The Tagua Collection is made out of Tagua nuts, which grow in Central and South America and are popular with woodworkers. Klinefelter was attracted to this material because they are organic. A lot of the pieces have a visible, distinct pattern on their surface, another attraction. Klinefelter thrives on working with materials that have their own personalities. The natural color of the Tagua nuts is white, but Klinefelter also dyes them, using tea or spices. This results in rings with a teal disk, or a brown oval pendant with columns of squares carved out of it.  

Her Wrist Wrap Collection was designed with an eye toward practicality, without sacrificing looks. These bracelets have leather straps holding onto silver rectangles. Leather colors include black, red, orange, and gray. Klinefelter designed the wraps to sit on the wrist similarly to watches.   

Klinefelter grew up in Vermont and now lives in Idaho. She has been working with metal for twenty years, and she first started making jewelry for herself.

The Art Show Dazzles in its 55th Year

September 25, 2016
Paint applied to canvas, the view from behind the lens, stitched and painted newsprint, dyed fabrics, chiseled metals, smeared charcoal and pastels. These are only some of the varied works displayed on the tented field of the 55th annual Armonk Outdoor Art Show. Almost two hundred artists showed paintings, drawings, photographs, mixed media works, fine crafts, sculptures, jewelry, and wearable art to the delight of the crowd who attended the first day of the two day show.

This year’s artists practice many creative techniques. There are new artists, additional genres, and returning artists with their latest work.

While the process of creating the thousands of handcrafted pieces vary, the common thread is the intricate creative steps which are explained to those who ask. The artists' stories unfold. If the listeners are intrigued they may take home a treasure to cherish forever, or even win a donated piece from the raffle booth. To experience the show is to take in the art that stimulates the senses. In addition to the visual senses, there’s plenty of fresh food and desserts to satisfy everyone.

There are also several booths in the back of the field where kids are entertained with a variety of activities, including face painting, sand art, and coloring.

Clyde Hockett Photography
Clyde Hockett

Clyde Hockett's vibrant wildlife photography shows animals in great detail and personality. Hockett practices metal print photography, which means that the image is printed into the metal. This medium gives the photographs their stunning color and vivid detail. It also has practical applications, as these metal prints are moisture proof and scratch resistant. Hockett shoots with a digital camera and long telephoto lenses.

Hockett's main subjects are birds. He photographs birds locally in his home state of Vermont, and travels widely, to Florida, Japan, and the Falkland Islands. He shows the beauty of many different types of birds: ravens, crows, eagles, cranes, hummingbirds, owls, egrets, ducks, geese, penguins, and more. In his close-up shots, every feather is visible. Colors and patterns are beautifully on display. He skillfully photographs mammals as well: bears, otters, deer, bison, and more.

Hockett captures animals both individually and in group shots. Group shots truly show the social nature of different animals. Three crows look as if they're gossiping on a tree branch. One macaque (a type of monkey) cleans another, who looks as relaxed as if they were at a spa. Other subjects look peaceful, pensive, busy at work, annoyed, or playful. Hockett has a real skill for capturing unique moments, such as two cranes looking skyward and unfurling their wings look like ballerinas. Another photograph shows three seagulls leaning with interest toward a fish, that a bear, eyeing them right back, is holding in his mouth. Hockett says that one of his goals in photographing wildlife is to "help to preserve our natural environment for wildlife and their habitat."

Hockett began formally studying photography in the late 90s, but has long had an interest in it. He has a varied background, including working as a psychiatrist and a Naval Aviator. With these past careers, it is no surprise that he had an appreciation for flying animals and an eye for capturing personality. He is a new artist at this year's Art Show.

Johnathan Spector
Jonathan Spector
“Lava Wave"

Swimming in hurricanes....most people think it's crazy, but for Jonathan Spector it's just another day at the office. When his hometown of Long Beach, New York was evacuated as Hurricane Irene approached, Jonathan grabbed his photography equipment and ran towards the beach. There are certain fears to being in the water during a hurricane or winter storm. However, he is drawn especially to surf photography during the winter months. The lighting, textures and shapes of the waves crashing over him is both exciting and frightening. Jonathan uses an SPL Camera Housing to protect his Canon 7D along with a pair of flippers to navigate in dangerous rip currents. Jonathan says he is fascinated by the natural beauty he captures with his camera.

Jonathan's interest in photography started 18 years ago when he became a high school counselor. Ironically, he spends most of the day advising teenagers about being responsible and counseling them about risky behaviors. Another part of his job is college counseling. Jonathan visits and takes pictures of college campuses around the country so his students and their families can learn more about the schools. Photography became a new passion. Seven years ago, Jonathan combined both his passions: Photography and Surfing. As a surf photographer, Jonathan travels all over the world taking photos of waves, surfers and the most beautiful beaches.

Vicki Bolen Paper

Vicki Bolen

Vicki Bolen has a wealth of different types of paper works. She makes handmade prints, origami prints, paper quilts, poetry broadsides, art books, journals, boxes, greeting cards, garden art, earrings, and magnets. If it can be made with paper, Bolen makes it. Her creativity has no limits.

Throughout her work, Bolen uses patterns in exciting ways. With her earrings, she chooses matching paper to create origami cranes, which Bolen then compliments with colorful crystals. For her handmade prints, she combines different papers to create moods, and then paints with ink birds, letters, or further patterns. Bolen also frequently stitches paper together, and uses the visible stitches as another sort of pattern. For her origami prints, she adds texture by placing origami--either cranes or butterflies--on the flat paper canvas.

Stitching is particularly visible in her paper quilts. For these works, Bolen had quilts from pioneer days in mind, which were made of scraps of leftover cloth. She used scraps of leftover paper from other works. She sews the scraps together and then adds words or symbols on top, also made out of paper. The quilts often have positive messages on them: "peace" or "dream" or "love."

Bolen's poetry broadsides are very personal works. Bolen is married to poet Richard Wolfson and for her broadsides she combines his words with her paper creations. Again, the messages here are positive, on themes such as peace, love, and art.

For her boxes, Bolen also combines patterns. The boxes are small, and either have the same paper style on each side and a different one on the removable lid, or different style papers on each side as well as on the lid. The styles compliment one another. The patterns may be flowers, cranes, origami cranes, gingko leaves, or geometric patterns.

Bolen has been working with paper for twenty-five years. She first learned origami as a fun way to make gifts for friends. She found the process of folding paper to be a soothing one. She quickly saw that there were many possible ways to work with paper, not just folding, but also weaving, sewing, and more. Bolen is a new artist to the Armonk Outdoor Art Show in 2016.