In the May 2017 exhibit at The Dolphin Gallery two friends and artists, Leslie Moody Cresswell and Anne Vernon, explore the duality of looking out from within as the source and essence of creativity, and the “magykal thynkyng” that sparks the act of creation. This show is an exploration of the idea that whatever happens on any level of reality (physical, emotional, or mental) also happens on every other level, “As above so below, as within, so without.” With their two unique perspectives, they present, share, exchange, mirror, and delve into artistic consciousness.
Leslie Moody Cresswell
Most people familiar with the artwork of Leslie Moody Cresswell envision sculptural blown glass vessels with delicate, iridescent surface designs, or 3-dimensional mixed-media assemblages incorporating her blown glass. Since 1982 she has been working with the medium of molten glass, but also during this time, she has maintained another interest in jewelry making.
For The Art of Magykal Thynkyng, Moody-Cresswell will be showing works in various media exploring this theme in order to create a conversation about belief. Talismans, amulets, symbols, deities, myth and magic have always held their place in the daily life of early societies throughout the world; many of these beliefs continue today or are rediscovered by each new generation.
Her interest in jewelry making and working with crystals and precious metals seems to be a fitting match with her blown glass. Years ago, Moody-Cresswell did a series of works she called “Talking Glass” in which she embellished her vessels with crystals, pearls, bone and other materials which could be translated into holding other meanings, thus, telling a “story.”
Her interest in this exploration of belief continues with her recent jewelry making and blown glass bottle forms which hold precious gems and crystals to impart “health, wealth and happiness,” courage, love, and the human wish to control the caprices of life (or at least give them a shove in the desired direction!).
Originally a printmaker for sixteen years Moody-Cresswell honed her skills with glass at the Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle founded by renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly in 1971. She also apprenticed under Loren Chapman in Laguna Beach, CA. In addition, she has taught students and demonstrated glass blowing at venues from Knott’s Berry Farm to Phoenix Studios in Harmony, CA.
Moody-Cresswell has exhibited in both juried and invitational shows throughout the United States and in Japan including some of the most prestigious juried festivals in locales as diverse as Denver, CO, Sun Valley, ID, and Scottsdale, AZ as well as at Sausalito, La Quinta, and La Jolla in California.
She works on a number of projects at The Seaview Art Glass Gallery located on Meyers Grade above the rugged Fort Ross coast in a studio her late husband Fred “Sonny” Cresswell founded in 1968. Using an exclusive molten Opal Ash Glass formula she fashions hand-blown and sculpted glass that incorporate cremated ash remains into most notably distinctive memorials.
Further examples of her work can be found on the gallery web page www.seaview artglass.com.
As a child, Anne Vernon was an artist, writer, and musician. She attended Mills College on scholarship for music and writing but finished with degrees in art and English, as well as a Masters from Syracuse University in illustration. Her parents always thought she would be a classical pianist… but Vernon was an artist and writer first, with a deep love of music.
Her career has remained in these core interests for decades, and expanded with study of the subconscious through clinical hypnotherapy training, allowing her to further her examination of artistic consciousness; both hers, her clients’, family, and friends’.
For The Art of Magykal Thynkyng, Vernon will be working with this “power of the mind,” portraying the subconscious as the seat of the soul, and the undelineated crossover of time, space, and multiple dimensions it projects.
Her works include immediate paintings and drawings in watercolor and pastel, and more elaborate ancient encaustic techniques going back to the Fayum Mummy paintings in ancient Byzantium. Her subject matter and resulting artworks are influenced by her fascination with the allegorical, the symbolic vocabulary, and the primal connection through meditation, dreaming, hypnosis, and the subconscious state.
Vernon hopes these works will create an interpersonal connection with the viewer and evoke a reflection on what each of us uniquely defines as reality and Magykal Thynkyng.
Originally an illustrative designer, Vernon became an illustrator and Creative Director of her own agency in the early 1990s. She and her shop have achieved regional, national, and international acknowledgement of their creative work in the New York Festival Awards, the Addys, the Summit Awards, The American Advertising Awards, the Sadie Awards, and the Fleet Awards, among others. She was also the first recipient of the “Women and Industry Award” through the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women.
In 2008, Vernon began her exploration of her personal art and has used it in conjunction with her illustration and her hypnotherapy studies to develop a unique interpretation of her view of consciousness through art… an outward expression of an inward process.
Although the human body and portraiture remains a central focus, she also communicates her message with allegorical symbology and abstract work. Living on the coast in a low stress, meditative environment provides the perfect setting for her to develop her work.
“Canvas, Paper, Sand, and Object, a show at Gualala Arts in 2014, featured both of this month’s artists.