Dolphin Gallery
Beth Seaward (silk paintings/watercolors) and Mercedes Romo (mosaics)
October 1 through November 2, 2005

Opening reception: Saturday, October 1, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Beth Seaward and Mercedes Romo came to their current artistic endeavors after following other paths. Each found her individual creative spark after moving to the Mendocino coast. Seaward draws on the scenic Mendocino and Monterey coastline. Romo travels further afield to Italy to find her inspiration.

"California Coast: Byways and Backyards," the tile for Beth Seaward's exhibit this October at The Dolphin, contains a series of paintings done on location. Seaward uses a variety of medium - watercolor, silk painting, and paint on glass - to capture the vivid seaside light and the spirit of magical space one experiences when driving the back roads of the northern and central California coast.

Formerly trained as a coloratura soprano, she renewed her interest in the graphic arts, especially watercolor, when she moved to the town of Mendocino. Influenced by the writing of Gerald Broomer, from whom she had taken watercolor workshops, Seaward saw the need to emphasize purpose in her work rather than the tools or methods of painting.

Her current collection on silk, watercolor paper, and glass reflects this new direction in artistic expression and content. The goal behind each piece is to communicate a spirit of place, to spark an emotional reaction distilled into concepts such as silence, warmth, comfort, or energy. She has had several solo gallery shows and her work is in private and corporate collections in the U.S., Europe, and Japan.

This show marks the debut gallery exhibit for Mercedes Romo, who has been featured in the Studio Discovery Tour. Before moving to Gualala eleven years ago, she followed an interest in murals in Sarasota, Florida where she attend the Ringling School of Art for Design.

All that changed when her daughter encouraged her to visit Italy. After viewing mosaics at both classical and contemporary Italian sites, Romo became interested in the medium of mosaics. She taught herself the ancient art form and continues to derive inspiration from return visits to Italy, most recently last November.

The presentation can vary from a classical representation to a more whimsical motif. She draws on nature for her subject matter especially animal life - birds, fish, crabs, and cats. She uses both glass and ceramic tile to piece together her creative jigsaw puzzles. They are incorporated into tabletops, vases, frames, faux fragments, and wall pieces.

Each of this month's featured artists found her current interests after taking other avenues. The work of both shows that their journeys have led them to a place where the viewer can appreciate and enjoy the artist's special vision. An artist reception from 5 to 7 p.m. with complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres will take place at the Dolphin on the opening day of the exhibit, Saturday, October 1.

The Dolphin Gallery is located at 39225 Highway One in Gualala, and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please call (707) 884-3896 for more information.