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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

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Larain Matheson, painting &
Charis Webb, fiber vessels

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 7, 2013, 5:00 p.m.
Exhibit remains through October 2
Dolphin Gallery

The September 2013 exhibit at the Dolphin Gallery features Larain Matheson and Charis Webb. The opening night reception is on Saturday, September 7 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and the show runs through Wednesday, October 2.

Larain Matheson

encaustic painting by Larain Matheson Although Larain Matheson works in a variety of media - oil, acrylics, pastels, jewelry and even video - her interest in encaustic painting sets her work apart from others. Also known as hot wax painting, the process dates back 2000 years ago to Egypt and Greece. The process involves adding oil color pigments to hot beeswax, which is then applied onto a variety of surfaces, primarily wood but also canvas, paper and other materials. It has seen a revival in recent years.

Matheson paints with brushes and a variety of tools using colors she formulates herself. The wax base allows her to fuse the paint to the surface in layers, sometimes as many as seven to 15 different applications, to create the desired effects. Modern heating tools allow her to extend the time in which she can work the paint and fuse one layer to another. The final result is rich layers of transparencies.

After receiving a Masters of Fine Art from U.C.L.A., Matheson taught art for several years at the junior college level. During that time she was able to work with some exceptional artists - Richard Diebenkorn, Tom Holland and Lynn Foulkes. J. De Feo was her mentor at the San Francisco Art Institute and inspired her to become a serious full-time artist. Later, she lived in Guatemala and Mexico and she was further influenced by Native Americans when travelling in the Southwest and living in Southern Colorado.

encaustic painting by Larain Matheson These experiences brought a deep appreciation of the land and elemental forces that can be found in her work, both the representational pieces and the abstracts. Her paintings incorporate strong colors and forms. She is equally comfortable in a variety of styles, but always there is a sense of nature. A sample of her oeuvre is available on her website,

Eventually her path led to the South Coast in 2005. She has become well known in the local art community with works shown at the Mendocino Art Center, Gualala Arts Center, Discovery Studio Tour and the Encaustic Art Institute in Santa Fe among other venues.

Among her numerous awards are the Mendocino Art Center's Award in 2013 in Member's Juried Show, Best in Show - Painting in 2009 and Best in Show - Multi Media in 2010 at the Kensington Invitational Art Shows. Matheson teaches encaustic workshops at her ocean studio in Gualala seasonally, and will be a featured artist in the 2013 Studio Discovery Tour.

Charis Webb

Mt. Kilauea, by Charis Webb The pieces Charis Webb produces are a natural extension of her longtime interest in quilt making. That interest led first to wall art textile pieces and then to a three dimensional expression of her work with fabrics. She calls her work "fiber vessels" and they are a way to sculpture fabric in the same way a potter uses clay.

Webb's process begins with white fabric that she dyes, screen prints, monoprints, paints or combines in a collage. Next, she determines a shape into which she can mold the material. In a time consuming process she layers the fabric and interfaces different sections.

She then machine free-motion quilts the parts before assembling the final contours. The vessels are not meant to contain liquids but they are waterproofed. They make distinctive additions to any décor.

Jack in the Pulpit, by Charis Webb Like her fellow exhibitor this month, Webb draws her inspiration from nature. Many of her pieces are named for the locations that inspired them. She strives to create a piece that conveys the beauty of nature to the viewer through her selection of color, texture and pattern. The use of fabric as a base adds an inherently sensuous quality.

Although Webb does not have formal training, she comes from an artistic background. She has taught art classes since the 1970s and experimented with various art forms until she found textiles, a passion that eventually led her to create the distinctive fiber vessels featured in this show.

She returned to the South Coast after spending eight years in Canada where she worked with an art group and participated in many shows. This exhibit is her inaugural show in this area and her work complements well the paintings of her friend and fellow artist, Larain Matheson.

The Dolphin Gallery is located at 39225 Highway One in downtown Gualala, CA
(behind the post office on the south side). Open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-3896 for more information.