During May, Gualala Arts’ Burnett Gallery will feature the art of
Suzan Friedland and Elisabeth Gladstone.
Gualala Arts’ Burnett Gallery will feature the art of Suzan Friedland and Elisabeth Gladstone in May. Gladstone works in watercolor, charcoal, and crayon on paper. Friedland’s work is watercolor, ink, and graphite on paper. The Opening Reception is Friday, May 3 at Gualala Arts, from 5 pm to 7 pm, featuring live music by “Wind in the Wires.” The members of that ensemble are Karl Young, shakuhachi, Janet DeBar, didgeridoo, Chris Doering, 7 string guitar and gizmos, Don Watanabe, upright bass.
Suzan Friedland holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from San Francisco State University. Her innovations in the world of contemporary textile art have been featured in numerous publications and exhibitions. They are part of the permanent collection of San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles in California along with private collections around the country. The natural environment is a powerful source of inspiration for her work.
“I spend quite a bit of time manipulating color and texture to portray both the color and topography of natural landscapes and the range of feelings they evoke. The recognition of impermanence informs much of my work. I gravitate towards the colors of fading flowers, the textures of clouds —
natural elements that are continuously changing in perceptible and imperceptible ways. The attempt to express their ephemeral qualities in a static form is inherently paradoxical: my meditation practice has helped me learn to embrace rather than avoid this seemingly contradictory effort.
Here on the Mendonoma coast, the interplay of growth and decay is embedded in geological instability: the uplift of coastal terraces in dynamic balance with continual erosion. Our rapidly fluctuating weather provides a particularly inspirational source. My philosophy of art is grounded in embracing both the necessity and impossibility of predicting directions and defining goals while the work is coming into existence. As Zen master Seung Sahn puts it, ‘Only don’t know.’”
Friedland has lectured and taught widely on surface design and has led workshops at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the de Young Museum of San Francisco. She was awarded a fellowship and residency at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont. Recently Suzan has participated in art intensives at the Palm Springs Art Museum, working in watercolors and ink on paper with Professor Kwok Wai Lau. Suzan Friedland currently teaches for the Art in Action program in Burlingame California. She lives in San Francisco and Gualala.
Elisabeth Gladstone began working as an artist in wool, spinning, dying and weaving on the island of Jura in her native Scotland and selling her work at a gallery in Edinburgh. She obtained her B.F.A. in photography via studies in Edinburgh and with Rondal Partridge and Pradip Malde at the San Francisco Art Institute.
Gladstone has explored a range of media and processes ranging from woolen textiles to hand-formed clay,
encaustic, charcoal, which she studied with Philip Sylvester in Portland, Oregon, and watercolor, which she learned from her father David. More recently she has worked intensively with Professor Kwok Wai Lau at the Palm Springs Art Museum. She credits his guidance and mentorship with helping her focus on natural media (charcoal, gesso, and pigments), processes and graphic themes that resonate with her imagination.
Gladstone added “My photography training gave me an appreciation of the entrancing interplay of light and shadow, blacks, whites and greys. It also helped me understand how perception itself introduces less-than-obvious colorations and distortions into our interaction with the world: sometimes it’s as if everything appears behind a scrim. The media I have chosen — water-soluble pigments, chalk and charcoal — all share this see-through, translucent quality that has the potential to express both seen and unseen aspects of experience. Growing up on the Scottish moors, I was fascinated by the standing stones that were placed in prehistoric times. They have a mysterious quality that I also find in the wild and rugged landscape and nature of the Mendonoma Coast. My work seeks not so much to depict objects that attract my attention as to explore the resonances they evoke in my emotions and imagination.”
Elisabeth Gladstone emigrated from her native Scotland to the Mendonoma Coast in 1990. She currently lives and makes art on The Sea Ranch.
The exhibit continues through Sunday, June 2, 2019.