Opening Reception: Saturday, February 1 at 5:00 p.m.
Exhibit remains through February 27, 2014
Burnett Gallery & Jacob Foyer
Gualala Arts Center
"It is doing the work which is rewarding, not satisfaction from the finished work
that counts most. Working in my studio, with great classical music playing,
I become immersed, concentrated, happy."
- George Hellyer
George Hellyer discovered his calling as an artist late in life. After a successful career as a lawyer that spanned many decades, Hellyer resigned from his law firm in the 1960s. He continued in private practice, but also began to study and practice ceramics, particularly the use of Raku firing methods.
After living abroad in Corfu, Greece for ten years, Hellyer returned to the United States and found his interest continuing to expand beyond the law.
In the late 1990s he was unexpectedly inspired by an exhibition of paintings on reverse glass. Hellyer began to teach himself to paint with acrylics, and then ultimately with oil paints, by copying the works of great master artists. He was particularly interested in still lifes, landscapes and portraits.
Today, Hellyer resides on a small farm property and vineyard in Napa Valley and is an accomplished oil painter who frequently exhibits his work publicly.
"One boost of inspiration along my way, came from a small cookbook by Lorenza da Medici, with illustrations by Giovanna Garzoni (1600-1670), a painter at the Medici court," says Hellyer.
"Garzoni's little paintings were exquisite, still lifes with figs, peaches, quince, objects, a little pug dog. I kept busy for months just copying, learning, and laid a foundation, I believe, for the still life paintings that mostly fill my painting hours today.
The paintings I do now are almost all still lifes. Now I plan and arrange a setting, then draw and paint it on canvas as realistically as I can get it. Setting up a still life scene to paint takes time to get a satisfying balance. Ira Yeager has been a constant mentor and consistently brings me objects, old crock pots, dishes, eighteenth century bottles, baskets, rusty gasoline cans, Santo's figures, conch shells, objects of all sorts. There are copper pots from Corfu, blue and white dishes, silver creamers."
Still Lifes is an exhibit of oil paintings inspired by the arrangement of real objects, as opposed to constructing the paintings from photographs or images. As Hellyer points out, "The real object with shadows and shadings and a relationship to other objects is much more interesting to work with." Hellyer also recently painted a series of 18th century wine bottles that fellow artist Ira Yeager began collecting some time ago, which will also be included in the exhibition. The wonderful shapes and variation in bottles adds depth and interest to the compositions.
The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email
Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.