Kate Skinner, one of the featured artists for April exhibiting at The Dolphin, has taken a long journey to reach a place where she feels at home physically and artistically. Her journey started at nearby Solano Community College where her artistic studies began. Now, after a wide variety of artistic experiences, her paintings reflect personal emotions and artistic creativity that challenge the viewer both visually and intellectually.
After Kate completed her degree in Fine Arts at UC Santa Barbara, she moved to Houston Texas to pursue a career in graphic arts. However, she missed California and returned to use camera and drawing skills in newspaper production in Santa Barbara, Berkeley, San Francisco, and Sacramento. In Sacramento she combined her love of live music with her artistic skills by designing posters and flyers.
Memories of time spent in the Gualala area both as a child with her family and later in the early 90's drew her back when she felt the need to make significant changes in her life. She decided to focus on painting and this setting offered the physical and spiritual environment to do so.
Her first showing was at CITYARTS in Point Arena and she has shown for the past six years at Art in the Redwoods. Kate works full-time for the Sea Ranch Association, but her free time is spent painting. As she says, "I am very driven and look forward to painting in the evenings...I'm doing something I love."
April's other featured artist, James Joyce, works in a variety of metals - iron, stainless steel, bronze, copper and silver. Occasionally, he will use wood or stone. On any given day he works on a variety of commissions. He might be fashioning a balcony, chandelier, wine rack, gate, or furniture. Jim states, "I'm a jeweler for your home or business. What I create can be handed down from one generation to the next."
Jim's work is meant to fit the tastes of the client to his wide range of design and his intimate knowledge of joinery methods. He is equally comfortable drawing inspiration from the textures of a gnarled manzanita tree or pre-1700 traditional joinery design created by using only hand tools to evoke centuries-old craftsmanship.
Each piece is meant to make a statement. His work makes no attempt to cover the lessons of life. It should reflect the difficult and sometimes painful progress of the individual as he grows. Modern designs emphasize minimalist approaches that hint at meaning, leaving the viewers to create their own interpretations.
At the age of six Jim started his apprenticeship in blacksmithing by turning the crank for his grandpa's backyard forge in Louisville, Kentucky. In 1991 after a variety of career experiences he became serious about artist blacksmithing, making architectural and decorative iron for home and business. Jim teaches private blacksmithing and welding classes at his Stewart's Point studio and teaches at the Mendocino Art Center. He is an active member of the California Blacksmiths Association.