Carol Chell: watercolor & mixed media
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 4, 2014, 5:00 p.m.
Dianne Van de Carr: fused glass
Exhibit remains through November 13
The October 2014 exhibit at the Dolphin Gallery features Carol Chell and Dianne Van de Carr. The opening night reception is on Saturday, October 4 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and the show runs through November 13.
An art / interior design major in college, Carol always has found ways to express her artistic side. However, raising a family and working full-time in interior design and sales did not allow much opportunity to paint. That she deeply missed. She always knew that someday she would get back to it.
When she and her husband Steve found a home they loved on the coast, they retired. The home had a workshop for her husband, also an artist, and a small studio for her... perfect for both of them.
Though experienced in other media, Carol always preferred the fresh, fluid nature of watercolor. Carol's style often is described as wet and loose with abstract qualities. Her work was influenced in college by Eric Oback, a renowned watercolor artist and much sought-after instructor. "He was a master of shape, space, and fresh, bold painting," says Carol, "and he has had a lasting impression on my work."
Since moving to the coast, she has taken workshops with Fred Graf, Karen Bowers, Pat Osborne, Dale Laitinen, John Hewitt and Judy Greenberg, all award-winning watercolor artists. She feels it is important to be always growing and evolving as an artist. "I feel the word 'artist' can become a label, an end in itself. For me, the value of my work is in the growth process."
Though she loves clean, fresh watercolor, she is not a purist, "I love to experiment with new techniques, materials, and tools and often work collage into my paintings to provide interesting texture."
Carol works from photos as well as painting plein air. She believes a subject worth painting must create emotion for the viewer. "That's the challenge and the fun." she says. "As an artist, it is important for me not to be locked into what I see, but rather, what I want to say about what I see."
Carol rarely paints a scene or subject exactly as she sees it. She strives to connect patterns of color throughout the painting, often using bold strokes. One workshop instructor reminded the class that they were painting with watercolor, not colored water. That challenged her to be bold with both color and paint.
While she finds watercolor unforgiving, she also finds its freshness comes from the spontaneous effects you can get by charging paint into a wet wash, or an unplanned drip of paint. "Those delightful surprises are part of the beauty of watercolor."
Carol finds painting to be a deeply personal and intimate experience. It comforts her, frustrates her, reflects her mood, demands her heart, her intuition and her mind and gives her joy. Her work has been exhibited locally at Gualala Arts Center, the Edgewater Gallery in Fort Bragg, the Corner Gallery in Ukiah, the Mendocino Art Center, and the Dolphin Gallery in Gualala, which she manages.
Dianne Van de Carr
Visitors to the Dolphin have seen many of Dianne Van de Carr's smaller pieces, which have been part of the store's inventory for years. In this exhibit, her fifth at the Dolphin since 2004, the viewer will have an opportunity to enjoy more of her larger pieces and see how her work has evolved.
She is a free spirit whose imagination roams across a wide spectrum. She produces not only ornamental works such as mobiles, wall pieces, and installations, but also glass flowers with exquisite petals, jewelry, earrings, animal figures, bowls, platters, fanciful mermaids, delicate jellyfish and countless other creations.
In describing herself Van de Carr says, "I am a creative person and love to make things, especially things that make people happy! I've always loved the color and texture of glass. It's a thrill to see how light affects my work."
Although she was first attracted to stained glass, she started to focus on fused glass in 1985 and has been refining her skills with that process ever since. She is interested in using glass powders and frit (ground glass) in her pieces. She has also experimented with incorporating clay with glass. She does extensive "cold work" shaping the glass after it has cooled and then repeating the procedure multiple times.
Van de Carr called what she does "Confusion." The "con" is the attentive study as the artwork evolves and the "fusion" refers to the joining of separate elements that become the final product. She compares the process to cooking. The same dish takes on different characteristics depending on how it is cooked. This principle also applies to glass.
She shares time between her Sea Ranch home and a residence in Carmichael, California, and finds inspiration from both the Northern California coastal marine environment and her home studio looking out an open door at the garden. Van de Carr's virtual gallery can be found at her website -
- where viewers can survey the full range of her fertile imagination.
Dolphin Gallery is located at
39225 Highway 1 in downtown Gualala, CA,
behind the post office on the south side.
Open daily 10am - 5pm
(closes at 4pm January-March).
Call (707) 884-3896 for more information.