Artists, crafters and art fans attended Revel's first Art Galley Opening Night.
by
Colleen Martell
,
December 15, 2020

Now Showing: Revel’s First Art Gallery Opening

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Artists, crafters and art fans attended Revel's first Art Galley Opening Night on Dec 10, celebrating and sharing with fellow Revelers! Everyone was decked out in festive attire and the night started with a toast to all. There were 15 artists who submitted multiple pieces of artwork, which included everything from painting, drawing, photography, beading, clothing and textiles, quilts and collages. The artwork was presented via a grand gallery walkthrough and then attendees visited breakout rooms to hear details from artists in a smaller setting.

Revel members Elena Lopez and Colleen Martell curated the Art Gallery because art is even more important now than ever before. The growing pandemic, states on lockdowns, economic stress--the crises we face mean that we turn to art to help heal us. Many of the pieces shown here first appeared in Revel events on arts and crafts hosted by Elena and Colleen. 

We’ve gathered the artists’ stories and details on their artwork for you to enjoy here. For a look at the complete slide show, click here.


Gretchen Addi

Type of Art: Black and White photography

What does your art mean to you? 

Photographs are like an on-going visual essay for me and are attached to the places where I capture the images. They help me to frame my thoughts and impressions of people and places and they show me how I am progressing in my work, what I am learning and seeing. It doesn't matter the camera so much, it is about the eyes and the soul of the person taking the photos. Black and White photography takes you a step away from the real and allows you to see beyond just visual duplication.

What do you want viewers to feel when they look at your art piece?

To share in the moment of capture and to potentially see things in a new way.

What artist inspires you personally?

I like the older masters of black and white photography like Brassai, Kertesz, or Cunningham, but also some of the newer street photographers


Diana Blackwell  

Type of Art: Watercolor, mixed media, collage

What does your art mean to you? 

Art is the one area of my life where I can do or attempt to do whatever I want, without any external constraints.  Partly for this reason, my work is all over the map, not consistent in medium, size, subject matter, or approach.  My art can be playful fun or hard work.  It is paying close attention and trying to communicate. It’s a never-ending challenge that feels thrilling when it works, agonizing when it doesn’t. My realistic work is about letting the subject impress itself on me and conveying that impression.  My work from imagination is about dredging up something private and making it public.  My abstract work is about letting the materials call the shots:  how does this color want to behave beside this other color?  How does this pen feel like moving across this surface today?  

What do you want viewers to feel when they look at your art piece?

I’d like for viewers to feel pleasure and a sense of recognition.  This could be based on accurate likeness in the case of realist pieces, or it could be based on the surprise of encountering a visual representation of some thought or feeling the viewer believed to be their own.  Ideally, I’d like for viewers to experience this recognition as beauty.

What artist inspires you personally?

Almost everything.  I love so many different kinds of art, it’s frustrating because I want to imitate everything I see.  I love masters of realist portraiture, like Jan Van Eyck, Hans Holbein, Rembrandt, Goya, etc.  I love artists with an intensely unique vision, such as Aubrey Beardsley, Tamara de Lempicka, Toulouse-Lautrec, Egon Schiele, Gustave Klimt, Vincent Van Gogh, Daniel Merriam, Naoto Hattori, Andrea Kowch.  I love great illustrators like Ronald Searle, J.C. Leyendecker, Norman Rockwell, Kate Baylay, Jos Speybrouck, Blanche Fisher Wright, Jim Schaeffing, and the unsung heroes who painted all those racy, overwrought covers for pulp fiction. The list of artists I love goes on forever.

Describe your art journey

I took a few art courses in high school and college but acquired most of my knowledge of figurative art by working as an art model for about twenty years. This allowed me to “attend” countless classes and to hear countless hours of instruction.  Modeling  gave me direct experience of both sides of the artist/model collaboration.  The chemistry that exists between artist and model, especially when accompanied by a genuine bond of some kind, makes portraiture from life the most satisfying kind of art I do.

 

Shayna Billings

Type of art: SoulCollage and art journaling

Tell us about your art journey

I never considered myself to be very good at art, because I couldn’t draw or sketch, but I have discovered, through scrapbooking, SoulCollage, and art journaling, that I am good at design and enjoy using tools like stencils stamps and other finishes to create art that has meaning for me.  Doing SoulCollage and art journaling have been wonderful for me during the shelter in place.  They helped me to express and release my feelings during this past year.  A whole afternoon or evening just flies by while I am working with images, acrylics and watercolors. It’s very restful and contemplative.

What do you want viewers to feel when they look at your art piece?

I want viewers to feel whatever the art brings up for them since it is in an evocative and intuitive process and it will mean different things for different people.

What events inspire you personally?

I get particularly inspired by events around me such as the Covid pandemic, the Sonoma County fire storms, mass shootings in synagogues and churches, black lives matter, the election, etc.  Sometimes when things around me seem overwhelming as they have this past year, or when I feel I have a little impact, my art helps me to process these feelings in a positive way.

Tell us more about yourself 

I want to encourage everyone to try out an art form that works for them whether they consider themselves an artist or not. There are so many forms of expression and it is helpful curing turbulent times.


Christine Cumpston

Type of Art: Geometric Beadwork

What does your art mean to you?  

I’ve always been a “crafter” and amateur artist since I was a kid, whether it was playing piano or designing and building houses with Lego bricks.  Throughout life, I've tried everything from sketching to loom weaving to needlework to Zentangle to my current hobby of sculptural beadwork.  Making things that, to me, have artistic value gives me a sense of order and quiets my mind, something that is hard to obtain in today’s world. While I’m beading, I feel calm because I have to focus and can tune out the disorder for a while. I enjoy the sculptural beadwork because it creates something that people can pick up and turn over and study.

What do you want viewers to feel when they look at your art piece? 

I’d just like somebody to look at it with a little bit of wonder.  I feel like sewing sculptural pieces out of miniscule glass beads is a bit of a wonder. 

What artist inspires you personally? 

I’m currently inspired by a couple of beadwork artists.  I especially like the work of Nico Williams, an indigenous gentleman who lives in Canada. His sculptural beadwork is displayed in museums and he often includes messages of indigenous joy and suffering in his work.  I also like the work of Joke van Biesen, who is in the Netherlands. Her work invokes curiosity and is immensely complex and detailed. I strive to someday be able to design and create such works as these artists.



Lourdes (Lulu) Katigbak

Type of Art: painting

What does your art mean to you? 

I like to paint colorful pieces that are full of life. I like portraits where skin tones are of different hues. I enjoy painting flowers and birds, especially macaws and toucans. My father had a macaw and a cockatoo in his apartment and painting these bring back fond memories of my life in the Philippines.

What do you want viewers to feel when they look at your art piece?

I would like viewers to feel connected to people and nature.

Tell us about yourself 

I also am a craftsperson and love to knit. I knit scarves, hats,and ponchos and give them as gifts to my friends. Pre-Covid they would come to my home and model the pieces I made. I hope to be able to sell my artwork and knitted work in the future. The first step was to learn to use Instagram from Lisa Marrone at Revel. So I have several pieces on my Instagram account.


Elena Lopez

Type of Art: Mixed media

What does your art mean to you? 

It’s an expression of how I see the world and my thoughts and feelings. Each of the pieces I submitted for this Revel art gallery represent work I did after attending various Revel events on arts and crafts. 

What do you want viewers to feel when they look at your art piece?

I express different emotions depending on an art prompt. For example, when I took Ilona Sturm’s Diary Art event, she asked us to paint our names, expressing whatever we felt in the process. I chose to focus on one letter in my name--L. At that time, during the spring, beyond America’s reporting on Trump and Covid, several countries were struggling for democracy --- the Philippines, Hong Kong, and the Ukraine. Each of the three symbols that make up the letter L are characters that come closest to resembling the phonemic sound of  L in the respective alphabets of the three countries. In the Philippines, where I come from, L is also the first letter in the word “laban” which means fight. And the red background is meant to evoke for the viewer their own meanings about the fight for democracy.

What artist inspires you personally?

I am fascinated by indigenous art and the fine detailing I learned in the Revel Zentangles class reminded me of Australian aboriginal art and Mithila art from India. But rather than simply create abstract pieces I used shells and cactus as my canvas, so to speak. I am an avid hiker and perhaps was inspired by beach and desert walks. 

Tell us about your art journey

My father was an art collector and played the cello as a hobby. We grew up in a home that exposed us to art from an early age. We came to know several artists in my father's collection and had the opportunity to see them actually painting their pieces.

 


Maggie Mamin

Type of Art: Zentangle

Describe your art journey

My art pieces are a reminder that we have elected a new president in 2020. If you look closely at my work, you should be able to see the name  B I  D E N  in the 5 squares.

What do you want viewers to feel when they look at your art piece?

Hope

What art inspires you?

I got inspired to start an art journal in November 2020 and Colleen inspired me to try Zentangles.


Colleen Martell

Type of Art: Watercolor

What does your art mean to you? 

I love how painting turns off my mind and I focus intently on the colors and the process of creating. I see art as a way to tune into ourselves and to turn off the rest of the world. After a day of working with clients in my public relations consulting business, it’s great to shift from left-brained activities into my creative right-brain.

What do you want viewers to feel when they look at your art piece?

Little sparks of joy!

What artist inspires you personally?

I love any type of Southwestern art since I grew up in New Mexico. I love the turquoise blues and terra cotta colors. I love strong, vivid colors.

What is your earliest art memory?

My mother used to take my two sisters and I to the fabric store and have us choose the material for whatever outfit she was sewing us. That memory of feeling material and matching up fabric colors is forever imprinted in my brain. When I try out colors of paint, I think of my mom and that experience.



Michele Martell

Type of Art: Watercolor sketch

Describe your art journey

I started watercolors during the quarantine as a way to tap into the lawyer side of my brain, and am working on "de-coupling" the process from the product. Our society only values artists if their "work" is valuable - I'm focusing on the aspects of making - not the end product.

What do you want viewers to feel when they look at your art piece?

I share my work really as a way to encourage other folks, who don't see themselves as artistic, to take the plunge and just begin.

What artist inspires you personally?

Georgia OKeefe - a great artist and a woman who lived on her own terms, vibrant and creative her whole long life.

Tell us about yourself

As an attorney, I never thought of myself as "creative” but now I can say that I am an artist.

 

Ilona Sturm

Type of Art: street photography, art diary

What does your art mean to you? 

Art for me is an invitation to value my interior life and subjectivity. Having an art practice commits me to expressing my response to daily life. I paint, draw, journal, photograph, and also make artist books, collage, and installation art.

What do you want viewers to feel when they look at your art piece?

I would like viewers to feel connected to something outside themselves. To see and feel things differently through someone else's vision. To be moved. To understand what I was experiencing. 

"Do you see what I mean?" Yes, to see what I mean.

What artist inspires you personally?

I love the work of the Russian-Jewish painter, Chaim Soutine, for his emotionality and expressiveness with color and drawing. I'm enchanted by how his paintings embody his experience painting them. The photographer, Helen Levitt, from New York City, is also one of my favorites. 

Tell us about yourself 

I hope to have a gallery show of my newest paintings in 2021. I teach and offer workshops.