FLOW: painting the nature of flowing water



watercolor and acrylic paintings exploring the nature of flowing water

Opening Reception: August 1 20146-10 pm


Three women explore the nature of flowing water in three different ways: Lil McGill by initiating flows of liquid paint, allowing it to behave as water does, blending, channeling into rivulets and then converging into delicious mixtures, so the essential nature of the liquid leaves its marks on the canvas in brilliant testimony.

In her studio in Grass Valley, CA, Denise Wey paints large scale canvases of her beloved Yuba River, the water’s living surface dancing with light and shadow, pockets of brilliant sunlight penetrate the water to its stony depths, letting the eye explore the mysteries beneath.

Della Heywood loves to paint water with watercolor. She paints ‘en plein aire’, trekking out to the river’s or ocean’s edge and, finding a perfect vantage point, settling in to paint. She often doesn’t move for a few hours, becoming so engrossed in the exchange between herself and nature. Water has always been her favorite subject, with its reflective surface and intriguing depths, it is always changing states … from foaming currents to mirror stillness. It is the very expression of life itself.

Denise Wey | Statement

“I am an Artisan of all trades… jewelry making, book covering, serigraph printing, leather working, fiber arts. And my absolute favorite ways to make art are painting and ceramics.

Painting landscapes and rivers! Painting them fulfills my mission to document my own personal awe that Nature inspires within me. In some moments, painting can be so much like singing…it can feel so big that my spirit soars with gratitude and my brush dances across the canvas filled with intent of purpose…These moments are why I paint. This is how I wish to spend my life energy!

And clay! Clay is so willing to be formed into whatever my heart desires (if I treat it right!) This is the quality that attracts me to this medium. I’m a dreamer with a vivid imagination and the fact that fired clay is one of the few things left to tell an ancient people’s story constantly fuels me creatively. I form the beads of Clay and sgraffito and paint and fire in the kiln and assemble them into a necklace which someone falls in love with and acquires…Now where will the beads travel? Will they end up in a Museum in a few centuries? What story might they tell in thousands of years once they’ve left my hands forever?”

Lil McGill | Bio and Artist Statement

Native Californian Lil McGill is an abstract painter who creates ethereal abstracts, dreamscapes, energetic studies and explorations of pure color and mood. She works with diluted acrylic paint on canvas, which allows the colors to flow and blend to create their own worlds, reminiscent of deep space nebulas and starbursts, undersea visions, spirit guides and wild florals. She also paints abstract interpretations of great works of music. She has most recently embarked on an exploration of astrology, developing a color system to translate its language into visual, abstract form. Keenly interested in art as a form of healing, she lives and works in Grass Valley, California.

“My paintings are inspired by the deep mysteries of life.  I allow the colors to flow and blend to create their own worlds and archetypal imagery which appears as an imprint of energy carried by the element of water.  Painting is my way of connecting to a higher consciousness, and my paintings are imbued with love and infused with spirit, transmitting wisdom that allows this world beyond to saturate, inspire and guide our daily lives.”

Della Heywood | Bio and Artist Statement

“Painting is my way of communing with the world, both seen and unseen. To really paint something well, one has to really see… to bring the subject inside oneself and feel it. Then the hand can move the brush, and hopefully something essential will emerge, a quality of atmosphere, form, expression… whatever it was that moved the artist in the first place. I love watercolors for their portability, their watery alchemy and translucence. They are a difficult medium, requiring a loose precision that is very demanding and rather Zen.”

Della was born in Vancouver, B.C. in 1953, and had a happy childhood swimming around in the relatively warm water of the local beaches, and playing in the woods at her grandmother’s house in central B.C., all the while drawing and painting. Eventually, she studied Life Sciences at Simon Fraser University, with the intention to become a field zoologist, but the prospect of institutional science career seemed much more likely, and she left university to study at the Emily Carr School of Art.

Since then, Della moved to California, and lived in the Gold Country of Nevada County for almost 30 years, raising two children, and painting numerous murals around Grass Valley and Nevada City. Ten years ago, Della moved to San Francisco, where she developed a serious addiction to watercoloring ‘en plein aire’ requiring frequent and immersive trips to the ocean’s shores and many pilgrimages to her beloved Yuba river. She now runs a gallery of her own in the North Beach district of the city, called The Emerald Tablet, and also manufactures a non-toxic fixative for artists, known as SpectraFix, which she sells worldwide.

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