Santa Maria Sun / Art
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 26
Natural beauty'Forgotten Sticks' brings fall's raw beauty to the C Gallery in Los Alamos
BY SHELLY CONE
They lay to the side near a hiking trail or hitch a ride on a thin sprawling wave to the shore, but many times passersby don’t give much thought to the sticks, twigs, and bits of branch that just seem to make up the landscape. That’s the idea behind the C Gallery’s latest fall show Forgotten Sticks, which features the paintings of Carol Carbine and sculptures of Albert McCurdy.
Both artists have captured the raw beauty that can be found in the beautiful weathering of these sticks that have been cast aside by the elements, buried, and broken. They appear in Carbine’s collection of large oil paintings, which C Gallery director Connie Rohde called a somewhat unusual palette for sticks.
Carbine said she simply tries to figure out a sense of order from a chaotic landscape when she creates her work. “I was looking for a common thread, whether it be a fallen tree, old vines, a nest of sticks—just about anything that had ‘grayed’ and had withstood the age of time,” she said.
With a degree in fine arts from the University of Utah, Carbine has been an artist for 30 years. She has studied under the likes of Michael Drury, John Budicin, and Anita Hampton. Carbine’s work can be seen in local galleries and museums, commercial businesses, and private collections throughout the country.
Her paintings, along with the artwork of fellow Forgotten Sticks artist McCurdy and other Santa Ynez Valley artists, are in publication production by fine arts photographer Mark Robert Halpern, the author/artist of Sunlight and Water, a recently published photography art book about Santa Ynez Valley vintners and their careers.
Santa Ynez-based McCurdy contributes his 3-D work to the Forgotten Sticks exhibit. He sculpts knotty roots and gnarly dead trees into smooth, flowing pieces of sculpture. Some of his most recent work, which will appear in the show, is the result of something that would otherwise be an unfortunate event in the life of a tree.
McCurdy was recently forced to fell a 100-year-old pepper tree from his property because it was diseased. But disease in trees also makes design. So McCurdy began to mine the tree’s interior for the designs in wood that disease can make. Some of his sculptures in this show are designed and crafted from this pepper tree, along with the use of other woods. The result was a series that resonated with many visitors to the C Gallery.
“His pieces range from raw to elegant, sensual to sinewy; always following the wood, always provocative conceptually,” gallery director Rohde said.
McCurdy has shown frequently at the C Gallery and in Santa Barbara. He is a multiple award-winner, earning first place in the Carpinteria Valley Arts Council show in March of 2009, judged by Marcia Burtt; and Judge’s Choice in the Gallery 113 show; as well as an honorable mention at the Faulkner Gallery with the Santa Barbara Art Association show.
Take a walk through the C Gallery’s Forgotten Sticks and find a new perspective on nature walks.
Arts Editor Shelly Cone can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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