Artist John Jorgenson

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When you step inside John Jorgenson’s studio, you are immediately captivated by his imaginative artistry. With each painting, you feel as though you are peering into one of his dreams. “John serenades us with a brush on canvas to create insightful, clever and hilarious scenarios that just might make you want to live in a tree house.” (Andrea Newland Arts)

John illustrates fantasy creatures and surreal worlds so vividly, that you immediately want to step inside and look around. With each new painting you are intrigued with the story behind the canvas.

Jorgenson works mostly in acrylics, though he occasionally paints with watercolor, sketches in pen and ink, and creates sculptures. His works have been on display in San Francisco, Boston, Washington DC and currently at his studio in Chestertown, Md.

You can visit his website at www.johnjorgensonart.com or visit his studio at 317 Cannon Street in Chestertown, Md which is open every First Friday or by appointment.
“Whether it is a painting, drawing or sculpture done from life or directly from his imagination, they all convey an idea about ourselves and the world around us.” (Artworks)

Artworks Studio Tour

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This weekend October 29th and 30th as well as next weekend, November 5th and 6th, Artworks of Chestertown will be offering a Free Studio Tour. Local artists will be opening their unique studios to the public and you are invited to attend. “This fascinating, self-guided journey will lead you to discover amazing art by artists, many of whom are known and recognized for their achievements throughout the art world. Some 50 professionals will open their studios to demonstrate their craft and display their work. This self-guided tour is free and open to the public.” (Artworks)

The tours will be open from 10 am-5pm and you have the option to attend as many different artists as you would like. “The art is as diverse as the artists who create it, with styles ranging from traditional to the avant-garde, expressed in a variety of media that includes painting, photography, sculpture, metal work, pottery, fiber, woodcraft, jewelry, furniture and glass.

Visitors have the option of walking through the 18th-century village of Chestertown and visiting the studios “downtown,” or they can tour the countryside around Chestertown and Rock Hall, and visit the studios in the outlying areas of Kent and Queen Anne’s counties.

Examples of each artist’s work are on display at the Artworks Gallery, 306 Park Row, Chestertown, providing a chance to plan an itinerary that matches individual interests. Brochure maps that provide a brief description of each artist, along with directions to the studio, may be found at the gallery and at restaurants and shops throughout Kent County.” (The Star Democrat) You may also download a studio tour guide here.

 

Artist Angela Ranzoni

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Angela has been creating art all of her life. She was raised in rural Massachusetts surrounded by family. “Their traditional carpentry, colorful crafts and endless handmade solutions to everyday needs helped to root me in my love of drawing and making things.” In high school Angela had art teachers who inspired and motivated her to continue art in college. Throughout her life she has studied art whether it was through writing, dance, performance or music. Art has been a constant passion and therapy for Angela.

Angela’s broad range of creativity attests to her limitless talent. She primarily works with acrylics on small-scale canvases, but more recently she has begun making small paper clay animals. Angela also loves to use all kinds of drawing media and collage techniques. You can also find, at Angela’s Etsy store, ACEOs which stands for Art Cards, Editions and Originals. If you ever wanted to begin a collection of original art, this is a great way to get started. They are relatively inexpensive, titled, signed and dated.

Angela discovers loose representations of various beings as she works and a large portion of them possess autobiographical qualities. “I call it my inner mythology – which is often imaginary creatures in various situations, emotional states, and mysterious landscapes. They are sometimes cyclopes, aliens, or stilt legged humanoids. Most recently I am sculpting four-legged bird-like things. I just never know what will come out. The creatures and landscapes of my paintings emerge from the shapes and colors I play with depending on what soothes me at the moment.”

Learning to heal through her art has been a focus for Angela over the past years, as well. “I have dealt with health issues and still deal with chronic pain every day, but art making has helped me in profound ways over the years.” Angela has studied Expressive Art Therapy and attended various workshops learning different forms of healing methods.

“There is always some sort of healing or therapy that occurs each time I paint, and sometimes even a sense of spiritual bliss. My current art causes smiles, giggles and excitement in others, and connects me in so many new ways to the world around me.”

To view more of Angela’s art, you can visit her blog or her facebook page. Also don’t forget to check out Angela’s Etsy shop, where you can find unique, original handmade gifts.

Wood Carver George Lehmer

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George Lehmer has been wood carving for 35 years. He began taking wood shop classes and has been carving ever since.  Starting out on a commissioned basis only, George has expanded his business by opening a store in Chestertown called Wood Carvings Etc. In this quaint shop you can find smaller wood sculptures, all the way up to a large carousel horse statue. George partners the business with his wife Cathy. She helps design and conceptualize a project, then inspects it and once it is done, she paints it. George and Cathy recently won the People’s Choice Award for The Tea Exhibit at Artworks in Chestertown. George carved a whimsical interpretation of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and Cathy intricately colored each piece. The Lehmers generously donated their cash prize to Artworks Art Enrichment Program which serves local children.

George graciously showed us around his studio, where he was crafting a figure-head for a client who had a nautical themed home. His workshop is filled with chisels of all sizes, cutting tools, sanders and stains. Cathy has an array of paints inside the shop as well, where she places the finishing touches on each project.

Their collaborative effort is truly extraordinary. Having been to the studio and seen firsthand the amount of work that goes into these sculptures, I can truly attest to their outstanding quality. Next time that you are visiting downtown Chestertown, stop into visit the Lehmer’s at Wood Carvings Etc. They are located at 308 Park Row.

First Friday

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This First Friday is full of fascinating art. The Totally Tea Exhibit opens from 5-8 pm at Artworks Gallery, in Chestertown. The reception is open to the public. Painting, fiber, wood, clay, glass, metal, photography, prose and poetry are anticipated. Teapots ranging in a variety of mediums, from Marilee Schaumann’s whimsical clay sculptures, to Rob Glebe’s symmetrical steel designs, to Peter Saenger’s elegant high fired porcelain forms, will be featured.

The Artist’s Gallery in Chestertown will host an opening reception for Sally Clark’s exhibit, Chasing the Euro, works in watercolors, oils, and mixed media will be featured from 5 to 8pm.

The Troika Gallery in Easton will highlight all 33 of their artists. This show features a meet-the-artist opening reception from 5-9pm.

The Adkins Arboretum in Ridgely will exhibit “Water, Water and Water” by Kit-Keung Kan, an unforgettable show of large Chinese ink and watercolor paintings on rice paper.

On Sunday, don’t forget that the work of award winning Multi-Media Artist Pam Foss will be on display at the Willow Gallery at Quiet Waters Park through September 18, 2011. The solo exhibit A Passion for Paper II will feature major new works in cast paper as well as a selection of her earlier bronze sculptures.

Music, Food and Chocolate

Enjoy this Wednesday night out of the house, eating delicious bread and pastries at Against the Grain Bread Company in Chestertown and listening to the artistic music of Bob and Pam Ortiz. Pam an accomplished songwriter and performer, was once part of the band Terra Nova. Bob, a masterful furniture designer and skilled musician accompanies his wife singing, as well as on the guitars and congos. They will be joined tonight by the very talented Nevin Dawson. Nevin has been playing violin and viola for more than 20 years and has performed all over the world with a variety of orchestras, chamber ensembles, and folk/rock bands. The performance is low key venue, which sounds like a great way to wind down a summer day.

Against the Grain Bread Company specializes in artisan breads and pastries crafted in the European tradition. Using the absolute freshest ingredients and the age-old method of long fermentation, their breads are absolutely marvelous. Head baker Douglas Rae studied bread and pastry at Johnson and Whales and has interned with artisan bakers across the United States. Be sure to sample one of their chocolate croissants, which are as delectable as any that you would find in Paris.
Against The Grain Bread Company is located at 203 High Street, Chestertown, Md.

Folk Artist Jimmy Reynolds

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Jimmy Reynolds is passionate about the Eastern Shore and his art reflects it. He has a deep understanding and fondness for the region.”I once intended my paintings to be a testament for my grandchildren and their children, so that they could know what a magical place the Eastern Shore was. But I have changed my mind this place is still magical and wonderful.”

Jimmy’s folk art paintings each capture a fragment of the majestic communities in the Chesapeake area. Folk art usually reflects the artist’s culture or tradition and for Jimmy his roots began on the Chesapeake Bay. He grew up on the Eastern Shore of  Maryland and is very knowledgable about the Chesapeake Bay and its history. Jimmy’s art takes creative inspiration from the natural beauty of the bay and he uses his own knowledge, in addition to old photographs, maps and charts to depict the different areas.  Some of the sectors include Annapolis, Baltimore, Chestertown, Rock Hall and Betterton. Jimmy has also written a series of books about the different rivers found across the bay entitled the Chesapeake Gazetteer.

Jimmy works primarily with acrylics and ink. He prefers oak, plywood, pine panels and any other kind of old boards to ordinary canvas. Jimmy use of rich colors and heavy brushstrokes give his pieces ample texture. To view more of Jimmy’s pictures visit his website at www.redlionstudio.com .You can find his artwork at the Chestertown Farmer’s Market, Centreville’s Farmer’s Market and Easton Market. Check out his facebook page to see where his current art will be displayed.

In addition to the beautiful paintings, Jimmy and his wife Julia own the Magnolia Bread Company. A favorite at the area farmer’s markets,  they have been selling artisan bread since 1993. This family business is dedicated to sustainable agriculture and economic development through the employment of members of the Eastern Shore community. The wheat and herbs used to make their bread are grown right on their 14th generation Maryland farm. Their bread is available at Fifer Orchards, Easton Market Square, Home Grown Cafe, Newark Natural Foods, St. Michaels Farmers’ Market, Westview Annapolis Mall Farmers’ Market, Maryland Table, Tilghman Island Country Store and the Chestertown Farmers Market. You can learn more about their delicious bread and pastries here.

“Support our farmers. Support our watermen. Resist development. Buy local. And just slow down and smell the honeysuckle.”-Jimmy Reynolds

Painter Emily Kalwaitis

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“My most recent work centers around young girls. The figures appear in spare, symbolic vignettes. Each piece stands as a part of an on-going, ambiguous narrative reflecting stories of vulnerability, reverence, loss, growth and spirit.The figures are most frequently amidst some element of nature; clouds, plants, birds, deer, water, earth. Observance and awareness of nature lead me into myself, to parts which I tend to fiercely protect.”

Subtle, soft colors help make her characters delicate and vulnerable.

Emily captures small, solitary, intimate moments “portraying that which is fragile, vulnerable and pure.” Her pieces draw you in and make you want to enter the fanciful world of her characters. They help you to remember your own childhood, when life was less complicated .

“Emily’s paint is applied as a wash of thinned layers of acrylic. Some of the pieces are on un-stretched, lightly primed or unprimed canvas (or other fabric), so they are able to hang freely from a thin piece of wood. The pieces that are “stretched” are on wooden embroidery or quilting hoops. The intrinsic qualities of the fabrics (weave, frayed edges, drape) often are significant elements. She also works on watercolor paper, leaving much of it without paint, again to reveal the paper itself as part of the piece. Although the medium is largely paint, she often includes drawing media, simple stitching, applique and collage. Various types of paper, fabric, dry plant material and other findings often become part of the works.” (Carla Massoni Gallery)

Emily’s art is featured on her website at emilykalwaitis.com , where you can also see her book illustrations, cd cover designs and portraits. Emily has shown her paintings in various galleries around the country including the Memphis College of Art, the Paper Boat Gallery in Milwaukee, and the Womanmade Gallery in Chicago, the Smith Farm Gallery in Washington DC, Artworks and the Carla Massoni Gallery in Chestertown, Md. Take some time to enjoy these beautiful pieces of art.

Pastel Artist Mary Pritchard

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When I look at Mary Pritchard’s paintings I am reminded of the reasons why I love living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The rural landscapes, the rivers and marshes, and the old buildings which seem to blend in with nature, are all subjects of Mary’s paintings. Her extraordinary use of vibrant colors and saturated pigments of pastel on textured paper, make you want to step into her paintings and explore.

“My mother had left me her pastels. I took literally a three-hour class and it just clicked. It was like turning on a light bulb,” she said.”For me, pastel is the ideal medium.I respond to its capacity for directness, spontaneity and flexibility. There’s no brush. There’s nothing between you and the paper. You just go at it,” she said. “By the time I’m finished, I have it all over my hands, my face, my clothes. Fortunately, it washes out.”

Mary prefers to create her paintings “en plein air” and often spends hours creating a scene on the grounds of local farms or beside rivers. En plein air is a French expression which means “in the open air”, and is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors. In the nineteenth century, artists began to step out of their staged studio settings and moved their easels outside to focus on a more natural setting. This led to the discovery that what you saw in nature was not form, but rather light on form. And light could be conveyed by color. To prove their theories, they took their paint tubes and easels outdoors, where they re-created the world as colors which suggested light. Mary is able to brilliantly craft the light in her work not only through the use of color, but also through textured paper. Mary usually begins her drawings on burgundy or deep red paper. “You can use it as a foil to blues and greens,” she explained. “I like the transparent sense when you see through the strokes of pastel. When you get the lights very opaque, they leap off the page.”

Following a career in education administration at the University of Delaware, Mary returned to painting fulltime. Galleries representing her work include Carla Massoni Gallery, Chestertown, Md. and the Station Gallery, Greenville, De. You can view her paintings at www.marypritchardart.com. And some of her works are currently on display at Bishop’s Stock, a trendy art gallery located in Snow Hill, Md. This gallery features fine art, crafts, and wine. You can learn more at: www.bishopsstock.com.