Sue Burke Harrington
Sue Burke Harrington, Neap Tides, 2015, acrylic on canvas triptych, 48” x 10’
Ann and James Harithas, together with the Art Car Museum staff, are pleased to present the exhibition “Seductions” featuring the artwork of local artists Michelle O’Michael, Sue Burke Harrington, Sylvia Ellis, Rosanne Hudson, and Veronica Dyer. With paintings in acrylic and encaustic, mixed media collage, and sculpture, the exhibition presents a micro-survey of abstract expressionist textures, elements, techniques, and theories. Influences of the early abstract expressionists are apparent in each artist’s work yet each presents a uniquely personal perspective on the movement. Also included in the exhibition is the art car “Shattered Vanity,” a 1997 Honda Accord covered in thousands of small cut mirror pieces by Nicole Strine as well as several classic cars whose curvy lines and sleek features seem to echo some of the forms within the works of art. With works resulting from meditative and natural flowing processes to more rigidly designed and structured pieces, “Seductions” offers a selection of artwork that exudes a courageous feminine sensibility and an undeniable joie de vivre.
The ebb and flow of water as it sustains life is an important influence in Sue Burke Harrington’s paintings. She works with glazes, mediums, acrylic paints, and found objects to create multi-layered paintings. As a staining technique, Harrington uses water to thin her acrylic paints and allows this mixture to flow naturally without the guidance of a brush. The thinned paint is instead directed by gravity, string, tape, and other means. She creates depth and texture with coats of gesso that advise the subsequent layers of paint. It is largely a meditative process that results in paintings that draw in the viewer and expose connections between the viewer and the artist.
Sylvia Ellis thoroughly explores the medium of encaustics in the creation of her paintings. She manipulates pure color to create paintings that exude a shimmering brilliance. Ellis’ work projects sensuality and tranquility as well as an ethereal quality that is both haunting and explosive. Content emerges organically, almost effortlessly in Veronica Dyer’s paintings. Her abstract collage pieces are born of total freedom of personal expression. Dyer’s works are built up in consecutive layers with each step altering the previous layer until the desired effect is achieved. Textual elements in her works act as signs or symbols generating a cultural context that seems at once both familiar and unknown.
Rosanne Hudson also creates works with elements that seem both recognizable and unfamiliar. Hudson works in oil, acrylic, and other mediums on canvas. Her style is a fusion of cubism and abstract expressionism created with layers of texture and paint to construct seemingly multi-dimensional designs of an alternate world for the viewer to contemplate. Michelle O’Michael’s elegantly curved and colorful three-dimensional steel sculptures further animate the exhibition. Her artistic aesthetic springs from flat west Texas, a land punctuated with cacti, steel-ring trees, and pump jacks. Her sculpture continues this vision in steel and resin. – Alicia Duplan, Assistant Director
“My work balances content, technical expertise, and beauty. It is my exploration of the interaction of mass, structure, space, surface, shadow, and volume through quality of line in 360 degrees. My expression is through the interaction of planes, with content stated in material and form. My larger sculptures are frequently commissions, some of which are public art, therefore site specific. For these works, aspects of form and content are informed with the consideration of architecture, landscape, and audience. This allows a range of styles to express the complexity and breadth of my vision. My sculptures begin at an inch and reach thirty feet in size, Nano to Monumental.”
Above: Beyond Thought, steel and resin, 56 x 32 x 18”
Top center: Laughing, steel and paint, 27 x 12 x 6”
Lower: Fibonacci Sunrise, steel and resin, 17 x 16 x 11”
Right: Wave Rider, steel and resin, 10 x 4 x 3’
Courtesy of Nicole Longnecker Gallery
Sue Burke Harrington
“My current body of work is a reflection on our changing environment and the powerful forces of nature that influence the human mind. The tension in the air as storms approach creates an eerie moment in time when all hangs in a fragile balance or the surf as it hits the rocks along the beach… all have such energy. Even the tranquil moments of the sunset or a sparkling pond find their way onto my canvases. Once I begin the process, I am guided by a stream of consciousness that often takes my work in unexpected directions. The process becomes a mentor in itself. I love to experiment, try new things and ideas.”
Sue Burke Harrington
Left: Evening Light, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30”
Right: Windows, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30”
“Most of my experience in art has involved discovering the process, so the process itself is my creativity. The texture in my work has been the mainstay, the constant that doesn’t change. Sometimes a piece is totally covered with paint or paper, at other times the original white form is easily visible. My primary interests are line, deep texture, and the underlying layers of paint and collage.”
Left: Windows, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 48”
Right: The Edge, 2012, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 48”
Sylvia B. Ellis
“As a former college-level fine arts teacher, museum director and art curator, I have researched the history of the visual arts from ancient to modern times. My present works are modern visualizations created in the ancient medium of encaustic painting. Largely non-representational, the works present atmospheric and other-worldly qualities. My encaustic practice began with creating small landscapes and over time progressed into the more abstract arena of color field paintings. The works have now evolved into what appear to me as ancient atmospheric nebular expressions. I’m enchanted by color, the way colors interact and how a color can catch and dazzle the eye. Some colors are magnetic forces that draw you in to a work, while others repel. It’s the positive and negative forces of color that keep me captivated with encaustic painting.”
Sylvia B. Ellis
Top left: Fools Rush In, 2015, encaustic on masonite cradle, 18 x 18”
Bottom left: I Must Have You, 2015, encaustic on masonite cradle, 18 x 18”
Right: Strangers in the Night, 2015, encaustic on masonite cradle, 48 x 36”
“It is the constant progression of a piece that excites me – the changes, the challenges, and the accidents, too. My enjoyment and fulfillment comes from that process of seeing and feeling the canvas acquire its own life, an expression of the intangible emerging from all realms of my experience.”
Left: So Is Mars, 2014, mixed media, 40 x 30”
Right: Awakening is Always Bright, 2014, mixed media, 48 x 60”
Nicole Strine, Shattered Vanity, 1997 Honda Accord, 2mm mirror tiles, GE black silicone, LED flexible lighting, Orange Show Art Car Parade award winner in 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010.