For Barbara Sapienza, creating a painting is about movement that communicates a deeper understanding for the viewer. She says, “Each brush stroke is an expression of being in the present moment.” One stroke informs the next until the final product appears, an image that bonds the viewer and artist in a single experience.
The artist explains, “I love that moment – when facing the blank page where all is possible. This moment leads me to the intersection of matter and inspiration. With my tools – brushes, rags, palette knives, oil, and solvent I strive to stay present, maintaining the initial zest and freshness of expression.”
Sapienza strives through her use of vivid color to emulate a feeling or spiritual expression. She attempts to lead the viewer to a spontaneous insight. She says she constantly searches for the place where form and formlessness interplay.
Much of her work hints at Oriental influences especially in the use of bold brush strokes reminiscent of Sumi ink drawings. This show will include some pieces inspired by a recent trip to Myanmar. Other examples of her work including an interesting group entitled “Muses and Martyrs” can be found on-line at barbaraspienza.com.
Retiring from a career as a clinical psychologist allowed Sapienza more time to pursue her passion for painting that began twenty-five years ago. Her professional experiences also inform what she creates. She believes the creative process like psychotherapy involves being in the present and being attuned to others. She has studied under Fred Reichman and Leigh Hyams at UC Berkeley Extension and later under Glen Moriwaki, Andrew Leone, and Robin Kanishiro at Community College SF.
Although this is the first time Sapienza has shown at The Dolphin, she has had appeared in numerous venues including Live Worms Gallery in San Francisco, Cowell Theater Bayfront Gallery at Fort Mason, The Blue Door Open Studio in Caunes Minervois, France and juried shows in various Sausalito sites.
The Japanese concept of wabi-sabi is a focus for the exhibition by artist Susan Shaddick at the Dolphin Gallery, opening in February 2016. The term wabi-sabi developed from Buddhism and essentially states that nothing is perfect, nothing is complete and nothing is permanent. As a long-time student of meditation and an artist who has worked with natural materials and minimal processes, Susan feels that this concept describes her work most clearly.
The work in this exhibition will include sculptural and functional forms using clay, kelp and other materials that are sustainable or recyclable. Susan may include small models of installation work exploring these themes or interactive sculpture engaging the visitor to the gallery, as well.
In our culture of over consumption, Susan hopes to trigger a discussion on the part of artists and patrons alike about what materials artists use to create and the environmental sustainability of the materials and processes used.
Artists who inspire Susan include Joseph Beuys (especially his ideas regarding what he called Social Sculpture), Ana Mendieta, Cycladic sculpture, as well as potters Hans Coper, Bede Clark, Elspeth Owen, and Gareth Mason. Susan’s recent travels in Cornwall and Dartmoor have also informed her work in clay, which is a new medium for her.
Susan has a Bachelor’s in Art from California State University, Sacramento, where she studied with Joseph Raffael, Bill Allan and Carlos Villa. She received a Master’s in Art from San Jose State University, where she studied with Sam Richardson, Leigh Hyams and Rupert Garcia. Her work there was in sculpture and performance art.