ArtistsinAuction

Marilyn Weiss, an accomplished artist for more than 30 years, considers herself to be first and foremost a collagist.  The constant changing nature of this special medium always offers something new and allows her to work with an infinite variation of colors, textures and shapes.

A material world

While there is no specific material that is her favorite, Marilyn finds herself drawn to those that elicit history.  She uses “bits and pieces” from her life or the lives of family and friends.  Old papers, thread, strings, and buttons will often turn up in her work, as will fabric or yarn from a baby sweater or, possibly, a vintage dress.

The material is not used literally, rather it is melded into a piece so that it loses its original identity and takes on another.  But each collage piece chosen has to have meaning and be relevant to the specific work  – it is not just “stuck on”.

And yet, in the end, for Marilyn, collage is strictly an emotional process. She does not try to figure out why something works – she just feels it when it does.

Take “Cool Space” for example. The work is a hand-worked monotype, one of a series of three – this being the most colorful. It is a whimsical, bright and happy piece  inspired by children and one can easilyvisualize the play between the real and the artificial.

Cool Space

“Just Me,” is a sweet and sentimental mixed media, collage.  We witness a female figure sitting by herself, seemingly content and happy.

Just Me

A feminine touch

A self-proclaimed people person, Marilyn’s art usually includes human figures, and most often they are women.  Fascinated by relationships and the way forms and figures interact, there is a dominant feminine theme and form in much of her work.

“You can say that I’m a feminist,” she explains.  “Not in a beat- yourself-over-the-head kind of way, but in the fact that I always paint women.  I guess I’m saying that we’re here and we’re important.  It’s subtle, but it’s there.”

Some great examples of this genre of her work are “Studio View, Grays” and “Sister Act,” both intricate collages with a distinct feminine theme.

Studio Views, Grays

Sister Act

Weiss is quite clear that she loves what she does – creating art gives her great pleasure.  She believes that art is meant to be seen and enjoyed, and hopes that her work stirs sensibilities, provokes emotions and most importantly, brings joy to those who experience it.

After meeting her and studying the pieces offered in our upcoming December auction, we can say that her hopes have been achieved – we have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know both Marilyn Weiss and her wonderful body of work.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

To view more of  Marilyn Weiss’ work, click here.

IN and OUT

Sunday Morning

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Evan in studio

ArtistsinAuction

Growing up Evan Graham Silberman (EGSilberman) never believed he could really become an artist, that is, as a true profession. He is still not sure it is possible, yet it is his dream.

In college he focused on advertising where he did loads of “art” work. And at one stage, when he began writing novels, he found painting to be a terrific release.

At first he worked on glass, building layers to the top surface and honing what would become his signature style – textured dimensionality. As glass became precarious (it breaks very easily), he discovered acetate, a great medium in which the artist can slowly form and build a piece, and with the similar ability that allows light to reflect through the surface.

The joy of light

All of EGSilberman’s work has a certain sparkle and joy based on light and texture. He uses acrylics to build dimensionality and acetate to capture light. At distinct times of the day his pieces often take on a different perspective, allowing the viewer to experience the light.

His work clearly expresses form over the literal. Take “Woman Form” for example. The piece starts with an actual hard plastic shape that a friend discovered. He applied his special white pigment paint and added adornments to create a lovely piece of sculpture.

Woman Form

Woman Form

In “Red Aquatic,” and most of his recent work, he creates a depth in which each part of the painting conveys a particular shadow. The piece is multi-dimensional, texturally-minded, and essentially built to play with light.

Floral #2

Floral #2

Red Aquatic

Red Aquatic

“Blue Woman” and “Chair Woman” are earlier works that focus more on the classic image than on dimensionality, while “Grapes,” a classic still life piece, is one of the few flat works in his repertoire.

Blue Woman

Blue Woman

Chair Woman

Chair Woman

A working apartment

Evan’s studio is a working apartment, as opposed to the other way around. Close to 500 pieces from more than 10 years of working are meticulously placed in every possible corner, nook and cranny.

Evan studio

He doesn’t really display his pieces much, in fact he hardly ever formally showcases his work as self promotion is not in his nature. Evan continues to write and work as a freelance advertising specialist, but is hopeful that his art will be more recognized in the future. We are very optimistic.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

To view more of EGSilberman’s work, click here.

In the studio

ArtistsinAuction

Monika Agic was born in Bosnia, part of the old Yugoslavia, and witnessed first hand the acute struggles of war. As a 22 year-old refugee in her homeland, she decided she had no choice but to flee to the US with her husband and five month old son. How did she muster up the courage? Survival is the only answer.

To this day, Agic cannot understand the logic to war and especially the hatred that ensued in her country. Her art, however, shows none of this demoralizing pessimism. In fact, her art could not be more optimistic in nature. Her past behind her, Agic only looked to the future.

Optimistic interiors

Agic (“Magic” to her growing fan base) concedes that she always had a certain talent for painting, even as a child. And while Bosnia was very supportive of the arts, a life as an artist was not viewed as appropriate.

Nonetheless, when she arrived in Iowa, bought a house and realized she had more space, she started to seriously focus on her true calling. Her real love was interior design and she always envisions a home when she paints, with the ultimate aim to create something beautiful and interesting. That is when she started exploring texture and the use of interference paint, which gives a different perspective based on the angle viewed from.

Money

Money

All her pieces have a certain cheerfulness to them, often a result of the inviting textures and warm colors she uses.

Yin and Yang

“Her” came out of the desire to create something “hot.” The piece is extremely textured, starting with a background of pinks and oranges, gaining shape with the use of a palette knife.

Agic likes painting in pairs as she believes a solo painting often doesn’t hold up well in an interior. Hence, the creation of “Him,” the opposing side to “Her.”

Her

Her

Him

Him

“Strawberry Quilt,” which also has an opposing side called “Old Denim,” currently hanging in her own home, clearly conveys Agic’s signature texture. In fact, she created a YouTube video that describes the step-by-step process of this piece.

Strawberry Quilt

Strawberry Quilt

Essentially, she works with a palette knife at a 45 degree angle, building the texture. Then she works on highlighting through use of lots of glimmering paint. Finally, she finishes the piece with high gloss polymer.

Guitar

Guitar

Agic has a website, but she admits she has not been successful selling through this avenue. Rather her site acts as a starting point to invite people to come over and view the work in her studio.

She has also started a coop with a partner, in which she brings in many local artists at varying stages of their career to participate in group showings. She explains that while her aim is to grow as an artist and expand her reach, she also wants to help others to succeed. No doubt this highly altruistic nature stems from the memories of her past and the optimism she received upon coming to the US.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

To view more of Monika Agic’s work, click here.

Evening Light

Evening Light

ArtistsinAuction

“Until you apply things with love you cannot start living,” says artist, Mary Sonya Conti. And there is no question that she thoroughly loves what she does. You can just hear it in her voice as she explains her unique techniques. But even more so, you can see the love she puts into every single piece of her art.

“Sonya” is a self taught artist that learned her craft at a very young age – long ago when her mom started craft night for she and her six siblings. Each kid had to create a different project from things collected outside the house. It was a great form of entertainment and a great way to expand the imagination, something she fears has gotten lost these days. Sonya clearly remembers collecting river rocks and tiling the bathroom floor at seven years old – a technique that has, ironically, become really popular today.

Much of Sonya’s work is based on tactile objects found in her garden – hosta and maple leaves, gravel, moss, and even dirt. She explains that the idea is to stay connected to what is around her so as to elicit a feeling and a mood- a defined focus from the many textured elements she uses. She admits she can even produce a fragrance from certain textures. If she does her job well the viewer will connect with the piece and further spark the imagination.

Unique techniques

One popular technique Sonya uses is with gauze. Concentrated watercolors are poured over the material, which is then draped to bring texture and lines. Once the piece has dried and the material is peeled back (sometimes she leaves the material in the work), the piece conveys the feel and texture of linen, and the colors are all blended naturally. Images are built slowly in this way. She then finishes the entire work by sealing the gauze with a glaze so it won’t deteriorate. As you can imagine, it’s a very time consuming process.

selfportraitgrey4 copy

gallerywork 004

Five years ago, Sonya started teaching workshops in which she teaches her “laying” techniques, specifically, the laying of elements into color and certain pouring methods.

Her Work

“Through a Child’s Eye,” was created by highlighting the veining of hosta leaves. Acrylic inks were poured over and the “bones” were revealed once the leaves were peeled off. Then detailing began – pen and ink, as well as diluted watercolors were used to build up a glazing effect. Originally Sonya set out to create a peacock, but an excited child changed her mind in mid-creation and she just let the piece be what it was.

Through A Child's Eyes

Through A Child's Eyes

“Giving Tree” is part of a series in the ArtistChallenge.com. Artists are selected and invited to create based on a chosen theme. This one was based on the story about the giving tree, a tree that had supported a man all throughout his life. The group showcases their work in two monthly local galleries.

Giving Tree

Giving Tree

“Riviera” was a commission for the Dayton Philharmonic Opera House. It was actually housed in the ladies bathroom – greatly admired by all the women who saw it. “You have to start somewhere,” says Conti.

Home Comfort on the Riviera

Home Comfort on the Riviera

Mary Sonya Conti has two upcoming local shows in September, and she is up for selection as a mural artist for the city of Dayton, Ohio. We wish her much success.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

To view more of Mary Sonya Conti’s work, click here.

close up of American Kente

close up of American Kente

ArtistsinAuction

To speak to Clairan Ferrono about her artwork is to receive a compelling and informational lesson on Fiber Art. Fiber Art was a medium of visual arts that we were not entirely familiar with until we brought Clairan on board and had a chance to speak with her about her craft. Prior to devoting her life to creating, exhibiting and selling her art, Clairan had been a Literature teacher for twenty years. You don’t have to be a genius to recognize that the art created by a former Literature professor will be nothing shy of smart, layered and textured.

Ripples

Ripples

The Early Years
In the mid 80’s when Clairan realized that traditional quilting could be made more exciting by simply fooling around with miscellaneous materials other than just patterns, she was unaware that it would change the direction of her entire life. Clairan taught herself how to machine quilt in 1989. She then attended the Q.S.D.S. (Quilt Surface Design Symposium) in 1997 in Columbus, Ohio and she says that it changed her life forever. She then returned home and began taking classes at the Studio Art Quilters Association with renowned art quilter Nancy Crow. Clairan will be the first to tell you that she has learned her skills from the best in the industry and her work supports that.

It was in 2001 that Clairan was ready to start exhibiting her Fiber work. Straight out of the gate, she received nothing but positive feedback and acceptance, which encouraged her to continue.  The first two shows to which she submitted slides accepted her art. Since then she has been in lots of exhibitions and genuinely loves what she does.

Figure Study III

Figure Study III

A True Craft

One thing became clear during our interview with Clairan; the general population should be more aware of Fiber Art. The artist offered us a crash course lesson on the genesis of her work. Creating a piece of art for Clairan takes “huge amounts of time.” One piece can take up to a week to create. The labor-intensive process requires dying, painting, cutting and sewing. She uses prepared-for-dying fabrics (PFD) that she dies and paints. She also gets into screen-printing and block printing. Finally, she sometimes uses a collage technique called appliqué/reverse appliqué to achieve a dense visual surface. Clairan’s “work for the wall” is rich in layers, textures and technique. “Every random piece becomes harmonious” in her art.

Japanese Garden
Japanese Garden

Clairan finds inner peace while she works. Design and sewing are a form of meditation for her. In fact, creating her art has helped her heal emotionally during several difficult times in her adult life. She has extreme connection to certain pieces that she will never sell or let go of. A few pieces in particular: Last Conversation, Mother and Through a Daughter’s eyes are all autobiographical.

Right now, the prices of Fiber Art are extremely modest in the artist’s opinion. She does however foresee a boom in Fiber Art over the next five years. Clairan is constantly evolving in her work and we are honored to have her as one of our featured artists. Check out pieces in our Gallery like Runs Through It, Fields Web and Paintbox and you’ll see exactly what we’re talking about. You’ll see a real mature artist who is also a master of her craft.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

To view more of Clairan Ferrono’s work, click here.