The pandemic and the state of the world made my creativity take a big hit. I just couldn’t seem to ﬁnish anything. So I turned to collage, one of my favorite ways to work. The collage process is like a jigsaw puzzle that gives me a way to silence the noise, forget what might be worrying me, and totally occupy the moment. Life is messy, and I just have to get out of my head and let the art pour out of me.
I like the appropriating nature of collage. Collecting and making imagery and various materials is for me just as exciting as making the collage itself. The littlest thing can speak to me with such significance.
I start by sifting through my various piles of materials. As I look through these papers I start to sort out little piles that I like. Some are arranged by color, content, pattern or whatever I am drawn to. I’m not too worried about anything at this point. Sometimes I carefully design, plan and organize; but more often I develop the work intuitively, by building one piece at a time- building a surface by constantly adding and altering until I am satisﬁed.
As the work progresses I have to start making more careful decisions about what comes next. The closer the collage comes to being ﬁnished, the harder it becomes. It helps to think about how one element informs the next. I cut and tear papers. And make trial compositions. When the arranged and rearranged shapes are ﬁnally positioned, they are glued down. With collage I can create a picture organically simply by moving pieces around on a page.
With “Blooming,” I collected dozens of images of ﬂowers and leaves. I also made some painted papers to allow for some interesting textured surfaces. I cut several dozen circles of various sizes to form the reconstructed petals and greenery in the blossoms. I brought the “bouquet” together by incorporating thin stems of painted papers. I like that this piece is full of color and whimsy.
In “Uplift” I used the different sized circles again, but almost all of the pieces are hand-made, incorporating various paints, printing using a gelatin plate, stamps, stencils. The process of making these collage papers has become almost a form of meditation, choosing my colors and using them to suit my own taste and the project I have in mind
“Four Birds in the Bush” is part of a series about birds in fantastical settings. Hopefully they bring the viewers a sense of joy! I had fun juxtaposing disparate elements, styles and colors against one another.
Collage is really the art of “listening to your materials.” If I stay open, I sometimes surprise myself with what emerges.
When you visit 4th Street Fine Art you will see my work in a variety of media. Because all of my art is intended to communicate a particular idea and materials are often the first thing that makes an impression on the viewer, I choose the art form that I believe will most effectively convey my idea.
My works in fused glass are a great way for collectors to acquire a unique piece of art that will last for generations at a very accessible price. Pacific is an abstract work in fused glass all about color, movement, cool winds and briney air. Pacific is mounted with tiny nails on sustainably forested birch plywood with a white stain. The frame is salvaged vintage dark walnut and is unstained and unvarnished. These natural materials give the piece a warm cozy feeling reminiscent of 1970’s decor.
Above and Below is another abstract piece in fused glass that would pair well with Pacific. It is all about color and texture and balance. These are elements of art that speak quietly to the viewer like a secret whisper drawing you in.
All the Things You Are is titled after one of my favorite jazz standards. It is oil on canvas and like the song, has deep colors. Layers of colors and brushstrokes create a sense of movement. The square canvas suggests neither portrait nor landscape but something more ephemeral like a memory of a beautiful moment
Coming Soon: Currently I am working on an exciting project that combines my musical compositions with two dimensional visual art. Follow me on Instagram for updates @georgiannakrieger I can’t wait to share it with you.
As wildlife photographers we employ a variety of techniques to respectfully observe and photograph animals. People often ask us if our clever ploys work and indeed, they do! We own ghillie suits which we will wear when photographing wildlife that are sensitive to human presence and we often remain in our van and draw a curtain across the window, so we can place our lens out the window without being visible.
Our top priority is to never compromise the welfare of an animal, which might mean remaining in our vehicle and simply observing an animal’s behavior rather than opening the van’s door and alarming the animal as it goes about its daily routine for survival. The images of this badger are just a few of many were able to capture after spending one and half hours photographing from our van. We placed the cameras on silent shoot mode, so the animal would not hear a clicking sound and discover it was being watched! We observed this badger grooming, digging for grubs, having a good scratch on the top of his burrow, and finally photographed it as it dug up and ate a gopher!
We are working with a new company, Reed Art & Photography, and have added another product which truly enhances our images. These handcrafted fine art prints have a walnut beveled edge, which provides a dramatic touch to the photograph. We continue to have our metal prints done by Magna Chrome, who do a superb job of creating customized prints.
Many visitors to the gallery have commented our display section is like a mini version of a scientific museum. We love to share the stories behind the images we have captured and we want people to be able to look into the soul of the animals we photograph with our cameras. Our favorite bumper sticker is “Shoot Them with A Camera”, which says it all! If you discover an image on our website you fall in love with please contact us and we can create a customized piece for you. (email@example.com)
As we do each year, we donate some of the proceeds from the sale of our images to nonprofit organizations who are doing tremendous work to help our environment. Our three favorites are Lindsay Wildlife, River Otter Ecology Project, and Sea Otter Savvy. We want to do our part to help to support the nonprofit organizations that are doing invaluable work to keep our ecosystems healthy.
We have copies of our annual wildlife calendar available for sale in the gallery. We also include a page which includes the story behind each of the images. The proceeds from this calendar will donated to support the organizations mentioned above.
Here are some of the exciting image’s featured in our calendar:
Ever since I met Mara Galvao, amazing artist and former member of FSFA, I have wanted to take on weaving. I was inspired by the multitude of textures she combined into a vibrant, almost sculptural tapestry.
I first tried basic circular weaving a couple of years ago for an installation I designed to add a bit of pizazz to the exterior walls of the gallery during the 2018 holiday season.
Then this summer, after I volunteered to participate in a show dedicated to fiber arts with artists Celena Peet and Noemesha Williams, I decided to experiment with a real loom, if a very simple one.
I approached weaving with the same commitment I made in my other projects, that of utilizing what I already have, as well as discarded or recycled materials and tools whenever possible. So I dug out a refurbished frame loom from the depths of my garage. As for the materials, I started with the green plastic netting saved from months of purchase of avocados bags. Once the top and bottom parts of the bag discarded, I stretched its sides, creating long thin loops, that I attached to each other to form a long chain. With it I created a pattern that became the structure of the piece. I filled in the “boxes” with a bunch of ribbons recovered from an old project stored in my garage, as well as roving and ribbons gathered over the years.
The green netting inspired the color scheme of the work. More importantly, it pointed to its general theme: the Ocean, and our paradoxical relationship to it. It is essential to our very existence, and yet we, as a species, have so far failed to care for it, asphyxiating it with plastic, from literal floating islands of agglutinated plastic bags all the way to microscopic particles absorbed by everything living in and from the ocean, including us!
Ultimately, though, this piece is about hope, a minute example of the numerous solutions to this existential problem that everyone of us, at every level of society, and anywhere in the world can produce and promote.
Painting with full self and floating mindset
I am Prabin Badhia a member artist at 4th StreetFine Art in Berkeley. During my practice over the last few months, I created two paintings which stand out for a significant reason. While art can primarily be for decoration, I cannot ignore my emotional involvement in these paintings and the impact they have on me. These paintings taught me possibilities and fill the gaps of uncertainty.
My first painting is “Four Given”. This is four human figures interlocked and taking flight by loosening their attachment to the ground and their grip on reality. They are defying gravity and posed with big brush strokes to suggest the movement and dynamism.
My second painting is “Gyrate”. Human figures are forced to give up their individuality to form a spiral path for a bigger cause. Working together to play with a continuously shifting target. This continuous act of spiraling generates energy for new emerging lives.
In recent months I have also created numerous other works including landscapes, drawings and figure paintings. I’m fully dedicated to creating paintings at 4th Street Fine Art in Berkeley.
Let’s get together to know each other. Please visit.
Picasso: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
Recently I’ve been working on learning to love something that I usually try to avoid at all costs: Failure. In most walks of life we understand that developing expertise takes time. We don’t decide to become a doctor and expect to be performing brain surgery two weeks later. But for some reason when it comes to our art, we expect to be making fabulous interesting work almost from the get go. I’ve had quite a bit of formal training in art, and if my results are disappointing, I tend to want to give up.
So, in order to make the art that I dream of, I’ve been trying to tap into the deeper parts of myself in order to express what’s inside. I know what makes a good painting technically, and I struggle with trying to achieve that every time. I’ve been giving myself more time and space to experiment and not always rush for results. I’ve been trying to approach things with more curiosity and humility.
My fear of failure has sometimes stopped me from taking chances. But once I’ve taken chances and failed in my art, I’ve learned that nothing really bad happens! The sky doesn’t fall down. I just made a painting that didn’t work…..but in doing so I learned a lot. I’m learning all sorts of things to NOT try again…. and maybe I am coming up with some ideas about what might work better. It’s hard. I keep failing. But I want to make amazing work and have fun doing it.I hope you enjoy what I and the other amazing artists at 4th Street Fine Art are doing.
- Hallie Strock
I’m Hallie Strock, and I’ve been involved with the 4th Street Fine Art group since 2006. I feel privileged to be a part of this wonderful collaboration of local artists. The diversity of work, the opportunity to learn from each other, and special friendships have meant a great deal to me.
I am a painter, printmaker and quilter, and, for the past couple of years have been diving into collage and mixed media. I tend to focus on imagery, vibrant color and strong composition. I find elements in daily life that touch me, and invite the viewer to look and linger. I continue to explore, learn and look for breakthroughs
My collage technique has evolved from purchased decorative papers and magazines to hand-painted art papers. I can create my own paper palette and have more control over color, value, textures and pattern. I paint, stamp, stencil and make marks. I can even embellish purchased and found papers. Combining painting with collage lets me capture the transparency of watercolor, the brilliance of acrylic, the unpredictability of monotype.
I don’t plan my collages too carefully. Most of the time I just start and see where it takes me; I choose some papers that are “calling” to me at the time and start cutting and tearing shapes. Then comes the absolutely engrossing experience of laying the pieces out in pleasing and gratifying ways.
I learn from my mistakes. I’ll start something, and it’s a disaster, then I’ll correct it and it will look great, then I’ll do something else and it will be ruined! Every twist and turn makes a difference, until I feel the joy and optimism that happens when it all comes together.
Recently I have been studying the work of San Francisco artist Rex Ray. He takes the vocabulary of mid-century modernism and lets it splash and crash together in bold color combinations, and he reconfigurations things that already exist like imaginary plants, bottle shapes, flames and spinning ferris wheels. Other influences come from the work of Kurt Schwitter, Anne Ryan, and Perle Fine: all artists doing their best work in the 50’s and 60’s, and who were part of the Dada and Abstract Expressionist movement.
People often ask us which is our favorite season for photographing wildlife and we would have to say it is a tie between spring and fall. Spring is the rebirth of new life! There is a cacophony of sounds-birds singing to attract a mate or to protect their territory. The trees are leafing out and flowers are blooming, the lush green grasses and fields of mustard grass and poppies are intoxicating.
In the early spring we search for birds displaying courtship behavior and then revisit those areas every few days. This spring we have been fortunate to locate a Western bluebird nesting cavity, an American kestrel nesting cavity and a rookery filled with nesting herons and egrets. We also spent time with a family of river otters.
We will never compromise the welfare of an animal just to get a shot. Although it is tempting to stay at a nest site or den for hours, we know our presence can be unsettling for the wildlife doing their best to survive. We photograph with long lenses and often crop our images rather than inching closer to wildlife-we know they appreciate not having humans too close!
We believe spending time with wildlife is sacred time and the goal for every photographer should be to be a voice for all animals and never compromise their welfare.
Our images tell a story about the occurrences in the lives of various animals. We try to capture shots that are often not seen by many people, so the images are all the more distinctive.
We think the medium of metal prints enhances our wildlife photos and we can customize our images to meet your needs. We also create unframed custom sized giclée prints on hot press watercolor paper. Please come visit us at 4th Street Fine Art and the eighteen other talented artists that display their work in this gallery.
Camille Torres is one of the resident jewelers at 4th Street Fine Art. She has been with the gallery for about two years, showcasing her nature inspired work, which re-imagines the the geometric forms found in monarch butterfly wings and the simple beauty of celestial skyscapes. However, Camille is ready to turn a new leaf.
When Camille bought her home in San Pablo, she was immediately enchanted by the many stories the previous owner, Brenda, shared about growing up in the house and her fond memories of living there with her mother. At one point Brenda brought out a small treasure chest of gemstones, which her mother had procured but never had a use for. Camille was deeply honored that these gems were offered to her and she purchased them without a second thought.
It took four years to find the inspiration to use these gemstones. "They were just so special. I wanted to create something that felt right," Camille explains. She kept the chest in plain sight where the contents constantly called to her, but she just couldn't bring herself to make anything with them. The idea finally came to her one spring morning while she was looking out at the many colors of her blooming garden.
Gems in Bloom is her latest project. An amalgamation of stackable rings fashioned after the flora and fauna found in her backyard landscape. "I've wanted to tackle a project with stackable rings for awhile, but I've been looking for an angle that I haven't seen before. The little spots of color in these gems remind me of the bursts of color confetti that you see when spring is in bloom. For good measure I have designed some gem-studded insects as well."
This is a young project, only a couple weeks in the making, but stay tuned to Instagram to see the new pieces as they make their way to the shelves.
By Georgiana Krieger
Like many artists the shelter-in-place of 2020 brought with it a change of focus and some new work. People mostly know me as a sculptor who has another life as a saxophonist. So it is surprising that during the pandemic I have produced a series of paintings. I have been painting in recent months because I had some painterly ideas occupying my mind and some time to explore that.
Reflections is my new series of oil paintings on discarded mirrors. My goal was to take these discarded objects and turn them into something with organic beauty. The paintings depict a mysterious and imaginary biome of growing things. Small areas of the mirror show through to reflect the real world, but only in tiny bits. Mostly these works are an escape.
In my studio today there is a sculpture in progress on my workbench. This is a small piece depicting the earth supported by two polar bears. I’d like to cast this piece in both cement and glass. I began casting in cement a couple of years ago and then painting the surface in bright colors. I became interested in this technique after reading about the bright colors that the ancient Greeks and Romans painted their marble sculptures with.
Here is an example. Water is Life, 2020 is inspired by water activist Autumn Peltier. The blue palette of Water is Life transcends traditional portraiture and sybolizes inner strength and moral clarity. She is supported by the earth. In her gaze, there is determination, in her heart, there is truth.
Being creative in different media is all about making the work I really want to see! (or hear) Sometimes what I’d really like to see is a sculptural idea, sometimes it's two dimensional, and sometimes it’s music. Moving between different media keeps me thinking in different ways while each work informs the others. For instance, my work in fused glass gave me the inspiration for painting on mirrors and my work in painting informed my work in brightly colored sculpture. I don’t allow myself to be reigned in by an arbitrary definition of what type of artist I am. I just strive to make the things that occupy my imagination.
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