The April, 2016, exhibit at the Dolphin Gallery features Miriam Owen and Suki Diamond. The opening night reception is on Saturday, April 2 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and the show runs through Sunday, May 1.
Frequent visitors to the Dolphin who associate Miriam Owen with the whimsical Kelp People she creates from dried kelp bulbs and driftwood will be interested to see the new tack her artistic vision has taken when they see the series of original monoprints featured in this exhibit.
After working for over thirty years as a potter producing functional wares, she decided to make art from found materials. Beachcombing locally, she was drawn to driftwood and kelp. Foraging elsewhere, she picked up rusted metal and other natural and unnatural adornments for her figurative sculptures.
Owen has gone off in an exciting direction. She spent a year renovating her studio, first removing her potter’s wheel and two kilns. Thirty-five years of clay and sawdust were cleaned off the white walls, which were then painted barn red and two different teal greens.
The printing process Miriam executes begins by rolling oil-based inks onto a Plexiglas plate. Then, she lays materials such as templates cut from flexible Mylar or simply leaves, onto the inked plates to create her compositions. After placing the Plexiglas plate on the press bed, she places a piece of BFK Rives print paper on top of the plate. Finally, the press wheel is turned running over the paper and the plate and a print is created.
Her prints are one of a kind. They are not duplicated. She may use the same plate more than once, but adds ink in different places or changes the composition. One print may resemble another, but each one retains its own distinctive characteristics.
Owen says, “The process is an exploration for me, full of endless possibilities, as I learn to use my eye in a whole new way.” She derives her inspiration from her dog Pumpkin, her flower garden, the bouquets she makes with her flowers and the beautiful natural world of her North Coast surroundings.
Her artistic journey began in 1974 at her first studio, Pescadero Creek Pottery. Further examples of her prints, the latest chapter in her growth as an artist, can be seen on-line at miriamowenmonoprints.com. Her studio now called the Gualala Ridge Print Studio is located on the Gualala Ridge a short distance from the Dolphin. Her studio is open by appointment anytime.
This exhibit introduces the distinctive works of Sebastopol artist Suki Diamond to Mendonoma residents and visitors in her first two-person show at the Dolphin. You will see examples of her majolica serving ware, sculpture, garden totems and birdbaths.
Her pottery makes any meal more festive and brings artistic flair to the table. She uses traditional majolica, a technique of Japanese brush painting with vivid colored stains on a white glaze. Each piece is imbued with painterly motifs from abstract patterns to animal and human figures.
Her clay works range from the graceful to the witty. She enjoys working with clients and accepts custom commissions. To explore the full range of her imagination, visit www.sukidiamond.com.
Drawing early inspiration from growing up in a home filled with wonderful antiques and art that her father acquired in Burma and India, Diamond says, “I was obsessed with making anything and everything out of any artistic medium I could. Early on I discovered the joy of working with clay. I enjoy having people tell me the charming animals on my cups and bowls brighten their day.”
Over the years, Diamond has been a college and workshop instructor. She participates in numerous artistic events including the Sonoma County Art Trails tour, the Art at the Source Open Studio Tour and the prestigious juried annual Palo Alto Clay and Glass Festival.