Active in the Mendocino art community since 1992, Debra Lennox, this month’s featured two-dimensional artist at The Dolphin, is a fresh face for local art patrons. Inspired by her life along the dramatic North Coast shoreline her work in this show will explore a marine theme in a variety of media.
Lennox combines her careers as a practicing architect and a working artist to express herself. In addition, she does not limit her work to one particular medium. Depending on her mood and the subject matter, she may use watercolors, acrylics, oils, or a variety of printmaking techniques to produce a finished piece.
Through the Mendocino Sister City Association Lennox has often visited Miasa/Omachi in the Japanese prefecture of Nagano. She has been captivated by the Japanese woodblock prints found there, the clean lines and temperate color palette. This traditional style now informs both her architectural designs and her art.
Recently, Lennox has been drawn to an etching process using solar plates. Her safe and non-toxic process replaces the acids normally used to burn the plates with a prepared, light-sensitive polymer surface on a steel backing that burns the image when exposed to sunlight. She prints, then hand-colors to enhance the image.
Currently, Lennox lives in Comptche and Mendocino. She has taken art classes throughout her life but has been especially influenced by classes at College of the Redwoods, Mendocino Art Center and by fellow artists in the Artists’ Co-op of Mendocino. She has studied with Bill Martin, Bob Rhoades, and James Maxwell among others. She is a member of Mendocino Eco Artists, serves on the Mendocino Art Center Board of Directors, and is President of the Artists’ Co-op.
At the Artists’ Co-op of Mendocino website, one can find numerous examples of her acrylics watercolors, and prints. Follow the links to “Artists+” and “Debra Lennox.” Her own personal website “DBL Art & Design” has additional examples of both her artwork and her architectural projects.
When she was five years old Paige Likins, September’s three-dimensional artist at the Dolphin Gallery, found a rhinestone bracelet on a sidewalk. She has been fascinated by jewelry ever since, enamored with jewelry and stones.
In the 60’s, Likins started to create “love beads” for friends and family. Then, a move to Hong Kong in the 80’s introduced her to pearls, semi-precious stones, and antique trinkets and it was then that she was inspired to start her jewelry business. Her activities as a model, fashion show coordinator and as a magazine editor honed her sense of fashion.
While traveling to the beaches of Tahiti and the Philippines Likins collected shell and coral beads. She found crystals in Prague and more beads outside King Tut’s tomb in Egypt. In the 90’s while living in Malaysia she added old silver and even more beads to her list of collectibles.
Back in the United States Likins became a vintage costume jewelry dealer. She worked these materials into some of her creations, which she sold in Beverly Hills. Abalone diving led her husband to the Mendonoma Coast over 26 years ago and the purchase of their home. They have been full-time residents for 17 years.
Wherever Likins has traveled she has found inspiration and has further refined her flair for designing jewelry. While each piece she creates is distinctive and original, there are definite traces of their exotic origins. Many combine both antique and Asian influences in a striking manner that sets her work apart.
This is Likins’ first two-person show at the Dolphin Gallery, but she has been very active in the local art scene especially in helping organize the Studio Art Tour. Last year she captured a blue ribbon at the annual Art in the Redwoods (AIR) exhibit in the jewelry category. In 2014 she received the Judge’s Award at AIR for another jewelry piece. She has also shown her stained glass creations in AIR, another medium for her artistic expression. She is a member of the North Coast Artist Guild.