The Golden Bull © Leslie Toombs
Leslie Toombs cites being an explorer all her life for the variety of styles, materials and subject matter you will find as you browse her work in our current gallery exhibit. She explains, “whether hiking, traveling or creating art, I have always felt the need to explore what is around the next corner. Living in and traveling to many different communities led me to appreciate many styles and forms of art.”
Her explorations led from rug and tapestry weaving to drawing (to improve her weaving cartoons∗) to painting to collage--artforms where she utilized paint, inks and pastels while also experimenting with differing substrates on which to work. In naming pastels and inks as her current favorite materials, she explains, “these materials allow me to add layer upon layer to my drawings and paintings, subtract and scratch back and finish or add again.” She adds, “I can’t ever see myself not finding another corner to peer around or finding another artist where I gain inspiration or learn new skills.”
∗Cartoon: “The term derives from the Italian cartone, a large sheet containing a full-scale preparatory design for a work in a different medium.”1 Further citations and descriptions of how weavers used the cartoon to guide their loom work (fascinating!) can be found in the cited article at www.archive.artic.edu.
1.“Tapestry Design and Weaving.” The Art Institute of Chicago www.archive.artic.edu/divineart/tapdesign/. Accessed 10 March 2020.
Left In The Rain © Vickie Morrow
Vickie Morrow could be labeled “a maker artist” extraordinaire for both her earlier work and her most recent work. Earlier work involved a huge time commitment producing ceramics, handmade tile mosaics and art pieces for residential, public art and commercial installations in Scottsdale, Fountain Hills and Sedona Arizona. Especially for public art and commercial installations, think large scale, months of work and at the end of the creative phase, managing the logistics and headaches of the installation.
So in 2009 she decided to “make a creative departure” from much of her public and commercial art commissions. Morrow has always collected objects, but serious object collecting ensued as she shifted her priorities and her artform “Object Assemblage” was created.
Here is how Morrow describes her collecting and recent art making:
I collect objects with history and patina. The hunt and gathering is a joy and as much a part of the creative process as the assembly. Once objects are acquired and homed in my studio among all the things collected but not yet used, I see these cast offs not for what they are, but for what they can be. When creating assemblages, a piece of fabric might call for rusting or I might need to make handmade tiles or beads, create a patina on metals or make paper or weave wires. “Making parts” is as much fun and creative as collecting and assembly. I combine these findings to create a new “salsa” – assemblages appealing to the eye or heart or one that triggers a memory in myself or the viewer.
The gallery’s Color and Construct exhibit includes a selection of Morrow’s assemblages from small to large. Among the “combinations of rust, metal and decaying wood, you’ll find memorable objects and always a handmade tile or two.” Each assemblage has a “story” as well. Engage the artist in a conversation and your time browsing the exhibit will be well spent.
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