Jeni Bate, Skyscapes for the Soul
"I paint the skies with peace and passion, because that's the way they paint me."
Ancient Romans regarded the hour before dawn and after sunset as holy hours separate from the rest of the day; we still connect with that feeling. Most people enjoy a beautiful sunset and those that rise early enough, a beautiful dawn. Clouds are much maligned bringers of unpleasant weather but rain is a necessary part of the ecosystem and the clouds that bring them can be a beautiful composition of art. In fact, the sky is where we live – we just live there at ground level. It is the most important part of our world, the most changing, the instigator of most physical changes. And the weather is always in the news coverage.
I have been painting skyscapes for over fourteen years in many different mediums: initially watercolor, then moving to acrylic, oil, refractured watercolor/watercolor collage and mixtures of the above. The refractured watercolor medium starts as transparent watercolor on watercolor paper. I paint each sky or water reflection sometimes up to fifteen times, depending on the size I am working to. Each variant is in slightly different colors and because it is wet in wet it is always a little different each time. Then I cut them and collage back together. I like to juxtapose pieces that have a partially matched edge which gives an interesting mix of flow and clash. Finally, I may add foreground – often the hills and reflections in the initial inspiration – dawn off my back porch looking across the Salton Sea, sometimes random horizons, sometime no land, just trees, sometimes words are incorporated.
I also describe the creation of the refractured watercolors thus: I start with an abstract subject – the sky, and paint it realistically (though loosely). Then I cut it up and rearrange it to give a level of impressionism. My move to including words is one of the ways I have found of combining that other half of my creativity – poetry. I will create a painting, write a poem about it and paint it into the painting. Another step in my journey to depict skies is to not fill the entire panel with refractured watercolor, and then finish the un-collaged area in acrylic. The latter step into increasingly mixed media is also a step towards – or back to - abstraction. The other way of combining my creativity is in poetry and painting books.
Claudia Bucher, Lichen Femosa: Song of Myself as Lichen on the International Space Station
Lichen Femosa: Song of Myself as Lichen on the International Space Station is a performative sculptural installation piece designed specifically for the 29 Palms Art Gallery. The work is inspired by a three-week artist residency in Joshua Tree National Park sponsored by the JTNPCA in the fall of 2015. The piece attempts to encapsulate the artist’s imaginings arising from her experience of park areas close to the 29 Palms entrance. Long solo hikes led her to explore and commune with all that was small, subtle and nearly invisible. She became particularly friendly with lichen and was enchanted by the sounds of insects and bird songs exquisitely showcased by the extreme silence. Lichen is a symbiotic organism that can survive in space and has been the subject of experiments on the International Space Station. This piece presents the artist singing herself as lichen floating in the vacuum of space. The piece will be performed during regular gallery hours for the duration of the exhibit and may mutate in form and size.
Guild Member Artists present a Group Exhibition
Our valued Guild Member Artists will present a group exhibition in the Pickering Room.
Our Guild Members are the lifeblood of the 29 Palms Art Gallery. This all-volunteer, non-profit 501(c)3 Guild was started by eight artists in 1951-2, the permanent Gallery space was opened in 1963, and it continues to be operated and supported by Guild Members today. Its mission is to present high-quality art, to encourage creative growth through innovative educational programs, and to offer an inclusive environment for artists and community members to meet, exchange ideas, and create art.
The Gallery is one of the most important artist resources in the Morongo Basin. It is the longest-standing non-profit art space and for over 50 years has presented the best of the Hi-Desert. Each year, the 29 Palms Art Gallery presents a range of exhibitions that reinforce the mission of the Guild and the Gallery, and supports the artists and the community we serve. The diversity and mix of exhibitions reflects an ever-changing artistic community as well as the Gallery’s roots and traditions.
Members have the opportunity to exhibit artwork in members-only exhibitions, enter annual juried shows, or be considered for featured-artist exhibitions. Other perks include: free links to member websites, art classes, artist professional development, weekly paint outs, invitations to important events, and docent or volunteer opportunities.