encaustic

Cord of Three – Loss, Anguish, and Redemption

I have lived all my life in Georgia and during my years here I have seen the South embrace a multitude of transformations, one of which has taken place within me.  At the tender age of 19 I joined the workforce and steadily climbed the corporate ladder, I worked hard and attended the school of hard knocks and I excelled. From this experience I took many positive lifelong lessons that have been integral to not only my success in business, but my personal life as well.

As a young girl I had an engulfing desire to be creative; whether drawing images in the clouds, daydreaming in a classroom or getting my hands into something I could attack, destroy and then make beautiful.  Over the years I took art classes here and there when I could, but being a single mom and needing a steady income I could not seriously pursue my artistic career until 5 years ago.  In 2011 I started working under the tutelage of Michael David; this experience has been life changing for me.  Michael not only opened my mind to a higher level of understanding and creativity, but he believed in me and challenged me to do the same.

It is my belief that if your work ethics are solid and you truly love what you are doing; the integrity of your work will show through.  My paintings do not become “real” until I feel a personal connection to them.  I choose materials such as the wedding gown I wore when I was a bride at 17; dirt from specific places as far away as Minnesota; hot wax, oils, charcoal and even tar at times. I work with materials that demonstrate my vital spark.  I respect the act of painting as well as the fight to find resolution in each story.

Cord of Three

Cord of Three – Oil and Wax on Canvas 72″x48″

My work represents a direct metaphor of my life, and how faith has helped me triumph over great adversity.  Whether painting Figures or Landscapes, the themes of loss, anguish and redemption are a common thread in the soul of my work.  We have all gone through personal challenges, but it is how you cope and heal that is a true testament to your character.  One of the greatest gifts I’ve received is the lesson on how to forgive.  To forgive does not necessarily mean that you have to forget, to forgive means to move gracefully past the hurt, pain, and destruction. To truly forgive one must fill the voids with positive energy which is cultivated from experiences; it is the illustration of this strength in my work that can impart on others the wisdom to not be forever stagnant in their pain.

The women in my work are not victims but survivors; warriors that have fought hard for a brighter way and a better quality of life.  My landscapes are also based on the same principles; after illness, loss, or violence there should be a time for healing, cleansing, and grace, as well as acceptance of the things that one cannot change – with that acceptance comes the power of growth.

On October 11, 2013, after three years of excruciatingly hard work I was humbled to have my first SOLO show at Bill Lowe Gallery.  To be presented in such a sophisticated environment, alongside great artists through the gallery was truly a rewarding experience.  My involvement with Bill Lowe and his staff has been remarkable, and I am appreciative to be a part of a gallery with this caliber. Moreover I am touched that the gallery believes in my work and continually supports my success as an artist.

Ellen DeLoach

Encaustic Enlightenment

I was born when TV’s were black and white, music was on vinyl and art in my house only existed in my step-father’s dreams.  We moved with his job every year, and my Mother’s creativity was demanded to quickly make each house a home. Actually I had three parents: a musician, a singer aka creative Mother, and then the strict German engineer step-father, who appreciated art. The contrast of the three has fueled a conflicting stream of discipline and desires.

The many moves with the family ended in Atlanta, and the ultimate career with The Coca-Cola Company.  The last half of my long tenure was in advertising, working with creatives and production – the perfect stepping stone to my career as an artist. Art was always this unknown and forbidden realm that lured.  I played with art as a child – making the discarded into what I thought was beautiful.  My step-father was always telling me to “sign that!”  Funny, I had no idea what he meant.

The Bill Lowe Gallery has always been where I go to see, and buy, great contemporary art. But attending Michael David’s opening at The Gallery in 2007 was a huge turning point. Seeing his encaustic creations made an incredible impact on me.  His pieces were exhilarating – and I was instantly fascinated with the visceral qualities of wax.

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The Sea – Barbara Brenner, Encaustic on Birch 42×42″
#LoweLook

Fast forward to 2010; researching encaustics for years, I had learned some of the mystery of this medium, but then I discovered Michael was planning an encaustics workshop in Atlanta.  I was amazed and excited – nothing could stop me from taking that workshop! Life after that was never the same. Michael encouraged me to take chances; scaling up, loosen up, but stay safe.  Encaustic is a dangerous medium, and physically challenging to work with on a large scale.  You must have respect for this almost 200 degree medium, for much of the creation is a fusion of the wax and I.  My goal is to create imagery that invokes a peaceful pause for the viewer.  I want to feel like I’ve been pulled into a place to float, be soothed, and refreshed.  It is ironic that it takes a fiery blow-torch, sharp scrapping instruments, loud exhaust fans, and heavy panels to achieve this peacefulness.

Many of my pieces contain a circle or oval.  This imagery is comforting, and says there is ease in our movement through time.  Knowing we really can’t control either, they just happen.  My career as an artist has happened in a way that can be illustrated with the oval: a continual, yet slow movement towards being an artist.

An early fascination with creating objects, a career that eventually focused in the creative process of advertising, building admiration of contemporary art, becoming a collector, and then having the time to study and create encaustic art, eventually with the artist I long admired, to selling my art with The Bill Lowe Gallery, one that I have always savored.

So, it’s easy to understand why being in my studio, listening to music, and immersing myself in the exploration of my own creativity is so satisfying. All my parents would understand. And I get great pleasure in signing my work.

Barbara Brenner

Ibrahim_Awareness13_48x60_MMOnCanvas

Paradisio

Bill Lowe Gallery presents “Paradisio” featuring new works by Jimmy O’Neal, Kimber Berry, Tom Brydelsky, and Bassmi Ibrahim. If you’re in Atlanta, please join us for the opening reception one week from now – Friday, May 4th from 6-9 pm! For more information, visit our website.

More about PARADISIO:

We live in a time where life is lived in multiple and simultaneous dimensions. Consciousness is constantly traveling back and forth between the real and the virtual. As a result, our sensory appetite has become insatiable and no singular experience feels complete or gratifying for more than a millisecond. The work in this show demonstrates a possible solution to this manufactured ennui. Illustrated here are pathways for us to navigate our own visions of paradise; time stands still, speeds up and becomes liquid form all at the same time. Paradisio explores the visual and psychological landscape of the multi-dimensional experience, enveloping us in our own yearning for heightened self-awareness.

 

About Jimmy O’Neal:

Southern artist Jimmy O’Neal invigorates archetypal icons of myth and legend with new meaning through his utilization of scientifically-augmented traditional materials, such as his own unique colorless paint that brilliantly reflects light as a mirror. His opulent showmanship pushes the envelope of pictorial expectation and charters the definition of new beauty in our image-bombarded world. The result is an articulated vision that embraces the breadth and depth of our collective cultural mythologies, independent of traditional time-space parameters.

 

About Kimber Berry:

American abstractionist Kimber Berry has captured the attention of the global art community over the past decade with her explosively colorful, visually dense, multi-dimensional canvases and installations. Her masterful integration of the digital with pure paint creates a symphonic dance between the virtual world and the organic universe. This universe is an ultra-world that exists within and without the time-space continuum.

 

About Tom Brydelsky:

Tom Brydelsky’s mixed-media encaustic paintings are an investigation into the ephemeral nature of perception, memory and the living environment. After manipulating digital photographs, he then encases them in cloudy layers of wax which act as a metaphorical time capsule. In this process, Brydelsky reclaims and preserves the reverent nostalgia that mankind has for the natural world.

 

About Bassmi Ibrahim:

Bassmi Ibrahim’s work is unique in its ability to produce emotional, ethereal, and hypnotic responses in its viewers. None of his paintings insist on literal narrative; instead they speak in a language we intuitively recognize through atmospheric vibration. Whatever is recalled, it is the play of presence and absence that asserts itself as the fundamental rhythm of life.