Mitch Fry “Announcing Spaces”

At workWood sculptor, Mitch Fry, has exhibited in museums around the Valley; and this Thursday, February 28th he will be opening his show, “Announcing Spaces” at Bonner David Galleries, from 6-9pm.

Featuring new creations in wood, this show will be full of exquisite sculptures which explore the use of space, in addition to his intricate sketches for planning and preparation for each of the pieces. Each meticulously constructed sculpture represents forms, both geometric and organic, which contradict the hardness of the wood’s texture.

Fry’s show will be on display in the gallery through March 20th. Don’t forget to stop by and see these marvels in wood in person, as they are truly stunning and eye-catching works of art.

Nocona Burgess Native Artwalk

Kicks IronThis Thursday, February 28th, on Main street is Scottsdale’s Native Artwalk. In celebration of the rich culture and long standing tradition of fine art among Native artsts, Bonner David Galleries will be featuring the work of Native artist, Nocona Burgess.

Burgess is a Comanche from Lawton Oklahoma, from a family consisting of several artists, which specialize in many forms of art. Considering his close relationship with art all throughout his life, he feels it was inevitable that he would one day become an artist himself, it is in his blood. 

Burgess uses his own personal, contemporary style to depict traditional subjects and old portraits. He feels the act of  painting these images and looking them over for hours at a time, allows him to connect with the subject matter and “is a way of saying thank you to them for all of their sacrifices.”

Burgess’ show will open on February 28th, during Native Artwalk from 6-9pm. Make sure to come down to the gallery to see the beautiful and unique work of Nocona Burgess.

Romona Youngquist “Complex Simplicity”

Climbers_and_OldFashions-40x60The stunning landscapes of Romona Youngquist have always demonstrated a beautiful blend of crisp detail and vivid color with the soft, delicate grays of the shadows. The canvasses are brought to life through her complex technique and masterful use of her brushes, palette knives and paint. This year for her show opening on February 21, from 6-9pm, she is focusing on simplifying her work, causing it to take on more impressionistic qualities and an intriguing combination of drama and quiet.

Inspired by the Oregon scenery which surrounds her, each painting has an architectural focal point, be it a barn, an old house or a little garden shed, which is intended to give you the sense of home. As a child, Romona feared the idea of being homeless and though that is no longer a fear of hers, she still finds comfort and inspiration in scenes that remind her of home.

Her romantic landscapes, each with a beautiful narrative, will be on display through March 20 in the gallery. Come and see the breathtaking world of Romona Youngquist for yourself and enjoy the enchanting scenes.

Please visit our website to see new works by Romona Youngquist, or follow this link to view the PDF of the show brochure: RomonaYoungquist2013ComplexSimplicity

Dyana Hesson “Up Close and Personal”

Blush Flower #1 24x48Dyana Hesson has been painting beautiful close-ups of flowers for years. However, this year, with her show “Up Close and Personal,” which opens on February 14th at 6pm, it’s a little more personal. With each sale, Hesson will donate a portion to Show Hope.

“Imagine you are standing at the edge of 50 acres of land looking at 10 million blooming flowers.  Rows of red, yellow, pink, fuchsia, coral, orange, gold, blush, and white racing out ahead of you like ribbons in the wind. At times, the intensity of the colors is so great it’s helpful to remove your gaze and fix it on the monotonous blue of the Pacific Ocean near by.  The prospect of experiencing something so vast is overwhelming. There is a desire to get up close and personal with each bloom, but that’s not possible. Walking away in not an option.  It’s time’s to dive in.  

“This was my Easter Morning at the Carlsbad Flower Fields in California in 2012.  I had seen the fields on TV and in photos, but nothing prepared me for the enormity and intensity of these fields.  Immediately I though of how I could paint a whole show on these flowers, but how?  One flower at a time.

“Now imagine you are standing in front of the 153 million orphans of the world.  Children who through no fault of their own are parent-less. Red, yellow, black and white, from all nations.  The enormity of the problem is overwhelming.  It would be easier to look away.

“How can you make a difference, how can you get up close and personal with each child?

“Walking away is not an option. Its time to dive in.  One child at a time.Flowers # 4931,4932  24x24

“Adoption is personal to me. Mine is a life that was forever changed when the Walker family took me home to be in their family.   I will always be eternally thankful for the sacrifice my biological parents made, and the commitment my parents made all those years ago.

“This year, I am honoring orphans with this show.  When you look at these blooms, think of the children of the world needing care or waiting for a home.   If you take a painting home with you, you may have the honor of naming it, whatever you’d like, and I will donate a portion of your sale to “Show Hope” that helps families with their adoption costs.

“One flower at a time.  One child at a time.  It’s personal.”

-Dyana Hesson

On Friday, February 15th, from 6-8pm, there will be a special preview night benefiting Show Hope- Bringing Hope to Orphans. During this event, there will be champagne, live music and raffle items. Tickets will be sold at the door for $20 with cash or check, or you can purchase advance tickets.

Her show will be hanging in the gallery until February 28th, so we hope to see you in the gallery, so you can see these beautiful works of art for yourself!

Please visit our website to see all of her new paintings, or view the PDF of her 2013 show brochure: UpCloseandPersonal

Michael Carson “Depth Perception”

Inspiration vs. Imitation
By Dr. Clark David Olson

Just where do artists draw their inspiration? Landscape artists typically spend much time in nature. Still life artists work with composition by collecting vases, flowers, tables, and fabrics. But figurative artists gather their inspiration from people—people everywhere. For Michael Carson, he admits “Anything I see, a hairstyle, whatever, I’m constantly gathering.” And just think of the variety of people one encounters during everyday life.
No doubt if you’ve visited major museums around the world, the Metropolitan in New York City, the Louvre or d’Orsay in Paris, or the Prado in Madrid you’ve seen talented artists in the galleries, working to recreate the works of the masters as they set up their easels and bring their palettes (and permits) to the museum to see if they can’t replicate these masterpieces. It’s commonly said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

But where should, and where can one draw the line between pure imitation and genuine inspiration? Artists typically surround themselves with the arts—fine architecture, music, fashion, theatre, and paintings and sculptures. Often these influences resonate within an artist and they are synthesized into their creative spirit, distilled, and then reflected in the unique art they create. As Carson notes, “artists only do themselves a disservice by not taking from other people’s art.”

Indeed, various artistic movements and schools have begun and benefitted by artists collaborating toward different styles. Kandinsky was the first known “Abstract Expressionist” followed a generation later by American Jackson Pollock, Max Ernst and Willem de Kooning. Color Field was inspired by Mark Rothko, and continued with such artists as Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, and Helen Frankenthaler.

Carson willing admits to being influenced in his figurative work by college roommates and artists Malcolm “Skip” Lipke and Milt Kobayashi, who obviously influenced each other. Both of them became successful artists and teachers, who passed down their style and techniques to countless students, some of whom have become successful in their own rite. Among artists, there is a culture of sharing, of borrowing, of finding inspiration in another artist’s work and putting your own unique spin on it. In Carson’s view, this give and take is what helps artist progress with their work, finding new and more personal ways of expressing their own artistic vision. Without it, he cautions, there is a risk of falling into an artistic rut. “People who I see who have their own completely original ideas—or say they do—I don’t see them evolving as fast as other artists.” And while being inspired by other artists, finding elements he wants to uniquely work into his own paintings while still retaining his own creative voice, seems, for Carson, quite intuitive. He says, “I can never be influenced enough…any new idea is an influence.” Carson believes that his growth as an artist hinges on his keeping an open eye and open mind to what his fellow artists are doing, using those influences to break new artistic ground.

Within the past two years, since he’s relocated from his native Minnesota to the Arizona desert, Michael notes that not only have his figurative subjects’ wardrobes changed, but he is aware of a shift in his color palette, using fewer colors to create a more sophisticated look. “I feel like I’ve evolved into a different artist,” he comments as he now works painting in layers to achieve of simpler, looser style. He admits to a complete evolution as an artist. His upcoming show evidences a new confidence, leaving old influences behind, as he makes little effort to hide brushstrokes, drips, or even the sketches he began with on the canvas.

It is Carson’s hope that audiences who experience his paintings will be keenly aware of themselves as viewers and question how that affects their relationship with the work as he takes figurative painting in a new direction. “I want to take the genre and do something new in that field. . . .I want to do something different with it. I will always keep in the back of my head that I want it to be a beautiful painting. . . but I also want to create something new for myself. It’s kind of a selfish thing that I do, actually.”

Sadly, some observers still make unfair comparisons of his work, as well as the work of other figurative artists. Carson believes that figurative art is a little unfairly targeted when it comes to critical discussions of imitation, “It’s kind of interesting how in the figurative painting world, it’s a little more obvious to pick [similarities] apart. I could walk into a gallery right now and see two or three landscape artists whose paintings look exactly alike, but no one ever talks about this with landscapes. There’s something about the figure that’s so recognizable. . . .I notice more of a conversation around artists imitating when it comes to figurative work.”

Despite such criticism, Carson proceeds boldly in his own, new directions. Acknowledging his skillset gained from his teachers and mentors, he now works to combine all the influences he exposes himself to toward painting in his own, bold and unique direction. Both skeptics and believers agree that Michael Carson’s paintings are original and truly inspired works of art.

Michael Carson’s show, “Depth Perception”, opens on Thursday, February 7th at 6pm until 9pm. His show will run in the gallery through February 26th. Visit our website to see all the new works for the show or view our show catalog at this link: MichaelCarson2013DepthPerception