What’s Happening at Meyer Vogl Gallery

Through August 31
LEAVE A MARK: Group Exhibition Featuring Susan Altman, Anne Darby Parker, Laura Deems, and Marissa Vogl

Four abstract artists — all women; all living in Charleston; all leaving their marks on Charleston’s art landscape. Although the artists featured in Meyer Vogl Gallery’s group show, LEAVE A MARK, span four different generations, they all speak through the marks they make on their canvas. They are Laura Deems, Marissa Vogl, Anne Darby Parker, and Susan Altman.

  

Thank you to the Post and Courier and Charleston City Paper for the excellent write-ups on Leave a Mark.

Laura Deems: We Love Her; You’ll Love Her

You heard it here: This young artist is one to watch. In celebration of her participation in the group exhibition, Leave a Mark, we talked to Deems about her textile design history, fun and funky tools, and how she titles her work.

Meyer Vogl Gallery: Your background is in fabric design. What triggered the switch from textiles to visual art?

Laura Deems: I’ve always been drawn to textiles and their dimensions. That originally led me to studying fabric design as an undergrad. But as I progressed in the program, I found that my marks weren’t structured enough. They were loose and tended to break out of the grid-like form that pattern-making calls for. My professors encouraged this kind of unconventional exploration, but I knew the idea of translating textile marks into paintings was more intriguing to me. It had more of a personality and a story.

MVG: Tell us about how your work today incorporates elements of textile design.

LD: I rarely use a traditional paint brush. I use a little bit of everything — a rag, a squeegee, kitchen tools. And I use things we would use in the dye lab or in screen printing. That is my language. If I was told to paint on a primed canvas with a filbert brush, it would take me a hot second to get my rhythm down.

MVG: What would you like for viewers to take away from your work?

LD: I think just to feel something. To be evoked in some way. I try to make it relatable by the titles; that is the viewers’ gateway in. They can take what they can from them and run with it. I love the idea of viewers making the work into something of their own.

MVG: love the titles of your work (for example: Snippity Snip Yoko Ono. So good!). Where-oh-where do they come from?

LD: I love them, too. I have way too much fun with them. I’ll normally be reading and come across some stuffy critique explaining a body of work in terms that half of the general public would be entirely flabbergasted by, and I’ll try to summarize it in a phrase. A quickie if you will. Light-hearted and to the point in a cultural-awareness sense.

MVG: You’re a Charleston newbie. What are your favorite spots?

LD: I am a huge fan of The Ordinary — the bar seating is prime. Hampden Clothing is an all-time favorite. All of the stylists are so helpful and have such a vision. Goat Sheep Cow, Vintage, Fig, Xiao Bao Biscuit, R Kitchen, and Luke’s for pizza on the beach are fab.

Read more about Deems in the Charleston City Paper’s recent article about Leave a Mark.

Director’s Picks

Favorites from the current exhibition, “Leave a Mark” 


Everything’s Connected by Anne Darby Parker
40 x 30 oil on panel 

“If I had to pick one word to describe Anne Darby Parker’s work in this show, it would be ‘fresh.’ The work feels raw and necessary; the color palette thirst-quenching. But what really makes this painting in particular for me are those overlapping shapes of green and peachy-pink.” — Katie Geer, gallery director 

Honorable Mentions:

Playful by Susan Altman
Snippity Snip Yoko Ono by Laura Deems
Garden of a Gypsy by Marissa Vogl

View all of the work in Leave a Mark

Director’s Picks

Favorites from the gallery this month: 


Afraid to Love, Afraid to Fail by Aimee Erickson
12 x 24 oil on panel 

“I was really excited about the idea of a collection of nocturne paintings when Aimee came up with the idea. But I didn’t know how blown away I would be by this work! Aimee has an incredible way of capturing the quiet magic of evening time.” — Katie Geer, gallery director 

Honorable Mentions:

A Ski Lift in Summer at Night by Aimee Erickson
The End of Something by Aimee Erickson
Eva’s Tree by Laurie Meyer
Perfect Timing by Marissa Vogl
Clear Sky With a Touch of Pink by Sandy Ostrau
Belle by Nancy Hoerter

Get to Know (and Adore) Aimee Erickson

In celebration of her solo show Nocturnes, we chatted with the Portland painter about studio upgrades, favorite artists, and summer plans.

Meyer Vogl Gallery: As an artist and a teacher, you have a particular interest in what enables or inhibits our progress as artists. Can you tell us a little about this?!

Aimee Erickson: Oh, yes. I am very interested in the sweet spot where learning is easy and natural. I think we can foster an awareness of ourselves — where we are relative to our comfort zone of known skills — that can change how we learn.

MVG: Tell us about your studio.

AE: I’ve used my garage as a studio since I moved to this house 20 years ago. Last year, I jumped off the deep end and built a new studio with a 13-foot ceiling and better everything. It’s close to being usable, but it will be a while before I’m really settled again.


Transitions
12×12 oil on panel

MVG: Give us a glimpse into a day spent painting. Any studio or plein-air rituals? 

AE: I’m a sideways painter. I don’t mind waiting. I tend to circle a bit till I get clear on what I want to do. It helps to pretend I’m not going to paint. There’s a lot of rearranging of things.

MVG: Your perfect day off: 

AE: It would involve a pool, and catering.

MVG: Artist(s) you admire, living:

AE: There are so many people painting really well right now! I can’t get enough of Alex Kanevsky. And Ann Gale. There are a handful of lesser-known painters who are friends of mine whose work I really like.

MVG: Artist(s) you admire, not living: 

AE: As much as I’d like to name someone obscure, I have to put John Singer Sargent near the top of that list every time.

MVG: Beside Meyer Vogl Gallery, in what other galleries/spaces can we find your work?

AE: Meyer Gallery in Santa Fe, Nancy Dodds Gallery in Carmel, and Vanessa Rothe Fine Art in Laguna Beach.

MVG: Summer plans? Or anything else exciting on the horizon?

AE: I have seven or eight more trips planned, including Easton, Sonoma, Laguna, and China, and in between I’ll most likely be doing more finish carpentry and painting of walls.


Photograph courtesy of OutdoorPainter.com

Read more about Aimee in a recent article from Southwest Art magazine.

Say Hello to Generation Z Yellow

In the design world, colors go on and off trend all the time. As Millennial Pink gently fades away, a bright bold yellow is taking her place: Generation Z Yellow. This cheery hue demanded attention in 2016 when Beyoncé wore that iconic marigold Roberto Cavalli dress for her Lemonade video. After the video aired, yellow skirts, dresses, and tops could be found in stores and online. The color’s popularity in the fashion industry has grown and seems to have touched every area of pop culture, from sunglasses, dresses, and swimsuits to Instagram feeds.

Gen Z yellow is “somewhere between marigold and the shade of French’s mustard,” according to Vogue. But we’re seeing many shades of yellow popping up — lemon, banana, buttercream, daffodil, and more. The last time Pantone featured a shade of yellow as their Color of The Year was in 2009 with Mimosa.

One of the reasons this color is so eye-catching? Yellow is the most visible color on the spectrum to the human eye. Yellow was also one of the first colors used in art history. The Lascaux cave in France has a yellow ochre horse on the wall, painted over 17,000 years ago. The color represents joy, optimism, celebration, and pleasure.

We’re seeing it in the gallery, too. Here are a few new works that embrace yellow:

 

 

Written by gallery associate Sara Burd

Peek Into Laurie Meyer’s Studio

 

We’re in celebration mode at Meyer Vogl Gallery, kicking our heels up over Laurie Meyer’s solo exhibition, Second Course  a colorful tribute to the restaurant kitchen. In honor of the “Month of Meyer,” we chatted with Laurie about her sunny studio, painting restaurant kitchens, and the best burger she’s had all year.

Meyer Vogl Gallery: Why restaurant kitchens?

Laurie Meyer: I like what happens in them.  Energy, clatter, clutter, delicious smells.  I feel especially lucky if I find one with warm lights and colorful tiles.

MVG: Paint the scene for us with one of your paintings from Second Course.

LM: The Pastry Chef got its start during a painting workshop trip to Positano a few years ago.  I was mesmerized by the chef’s careful drizzle of cream on the puffs he baked, as well as the beautiful interior. The restaurant is called Bacco, and it is near the beach level. After I took a photograph, the chef winked at me and smiled.

Other paintings in the show were inspired by restaurant kitchens in Big Sur, Cabo, Manhattan, Pebble Beach, Ischia (Italy), and of course Charleston. I have recently traveled to all of these places and enjoyed the food as well as the scenery!

MVG: Any favorite real-life chefs?

LM: Ken Vendrinski has been a favorite since the opening of Lucca and now Code de Pesce on the Isle of Palms.  His grandmother is from Lucca, Italy, and he brings that authentic vibe to his restaurants. A few years ago, Shannon Smith Hughes and I visited Lucca, Italy, and we ate at a restaurant on Ken’s recommendation. I also learned, years after knowing him, that we went to the same Junior High School.

MVG: The best recent meal you had in Charleston …

LM: It had to be a pizza from Indaco.  Or the kale salad from The Daily.  Or the cheeseburger from Husk, or anything from Ken.

MVG: Tell us about your studio.

LM: My studio is a very sunny space, which was designed for my love of teaching.  I have a half circle of 10 easels set up for my fabulous students.  I take up a small corner of the room with my large easel, taboret, and table of junk.  I also have an old architect’s blueprint cabinet in the opposite corner.  The funny story is that the studio was built around the cabinet during our framing phase.  It never would have fit through the doors, so I think it is a permanent fixture.  Paint is everywhere — the light switches, the floor, the window sashes.  I have music and a tv and a bookshelf full of art books.

MVG: Any studio rituals before you get started for the day?

LM: I try to workout before I go to the studio and then drink plenty of coffee. The smell of the studio is all I need to set the tone for a good painting day.

MVG: Summer plans?

LM: This is the first summer in 12 years that I won’t be participating the Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Festival. After a fabulous run there, I decided to take a break.  We just returned from a trip to Amsterdam, Brussels, and Portugal, so I am looking forward to staying home — except that I’m going to Florida on Sunday for a painting retreat with Marissa and Shannon (Smith Hughes) and Jennifer (Smith Rogers). We have a family reunion in July, and I hope to get to Maine in September to meet and hike with one of my best friends who will be completing the Appalachian Trail. I guess I have the wrong idea of a summer at home!

Photos by Charlotte Elizabeth

Meyer Vogl Roadtrip: Lake City, SC

Regarded as one of the Southeast’s most exceptional visual arts competitions, ArtFields takes place in Lake City, SC. For nine days, the small southern town is infused with music, tours, and visual art. More than 400 works of art are displayed throughout town — in renovated warehouses, local boutiques and restaurants, and art galleries. We made the two-hour drive a couple of weeks ago to check it out.

Here, some ArtFields favorites:

 

  

 

Read more about ArtFields — and how it’s revitalizing Lake City — in this ArtMag write-up.

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We Love Sandy Ostrau, and You Will, Too

On Thursday, April 19, Meyer Vogl Gallery will release several new works by Sandy Ostrau. In anticipation of the new paintings, we talked studio rituals, favorite artists, and perfect days off with the California artist.

Meyer Vogl Gallery: Tell us about your studio space!

Sandy Ostrau: My studio is in Mountain View, California. I share a space in a light industrial area with another artist. It’s about a 6.5 mile bike ride from my house, and I can take a bike route and path through my city of Palo Alto almost the entire way. It’s a lovely ride, and I try to ride as often as possible.

I work on several paintings at a time, which are in different stages of completion and rotated around the room, onto and off of my two large working easels. When they are not being worked on, they line the wall, hanging on nails so I can easily pull them down.  My son and husband made a nice palette cart that wheels around my studio conveniently. It’s big enough to keep big mounds of paint handy. I have a stock of brushes and palette knives to choose from. My favorites are the very worn out brushes that create great texture.

MVG: Any studio rituals? 

SO: I usually arrive at my studio mid-morning and start my day by mixing paint. It’s a great way to warm up and start thinking about the work ahead.  It’s a physical exercise as well, and it helps spur my creative thinking. I mix all of my colors; I don’t use paint straight from the tube. I always listen to music that has a good beat and energy.

 

MVG: Your perfect day off from painting: 

SO: A day spent at Sea Ranch on the Sonoma Coast or in Yosemite are pretty perfect! I enjoy hiking and running with my family and friends. I love the beach and have spent time on both the West and East Coasts. I also love a day spent visiting museums or galleries. I try to take a day each week for gallery or museum visits, usually in the San Francisco Bay area, but also on trips to New York or Washington, DC.  I also enjoy touring around Italy and try to visit every couple of years.

MVG: Fill us in on upcoming and recent exhibitions.

SO: I will be exhibiting all new work in Laguna Beach at Sue Greenwood Gallery this July. I’ll also be showing new work at Thomas Reynolds Gallery in San Francisco.

MVG: Beside Meyer Vogl Gallery, in what other galleries/spaces can we find your work?

SO: I am fortunate to show my work in several galleries around the country. I currently have work at Anne Neilson Fine Art in Charlotte, NC; Bryant Street Gallery in Palo Alto, CA; Peterson Roth Gallery in Bend, OR; Anne Loucks Gallery in Glencoe, Il; and Gallery North in Carmel, CA, to name a few.  I also have work in private collections in more than 12 different countries.

MVG: Have you recently discovered any artists whose work really excites you?

SO: Danny McCaw. I have seen his work over the years but have become reacquainted with it recently and really love how he abstracts the figure. The identity of the figure is unimportant and, to me, the energy is exciting.

MVG: Provide us with some background on one of your new paintings.

SO: I was particularly happy with Clear Sky with a Touch of Pink as it came together. The energy and dynamic relationship between the figures is highlighted very nicely, with the running fence along the edge of meadow; the serenity and calm of the sky creates a nice resting place for the eye as it moves away from the figures. I think the relationship between the figures is interesting too. Just enough ambiguity so the viewer can fill in the blanks and make it their own story. After several weeks of adding different layers of paint, the colors just suddenly came together.


Clear Sky with a Touch of Pink by Sandy Ostrau
40×40 oil on canvas

Save the date: An email with Sandy’s new paintings, including Clear Sky with a Touch of Pink, will be sent out on Thursday, April 19. To see a preview of the work, email katie@meyervogl.com.

The Art of Arranging 

In celebration of Bloom Boom Boom!, we hosted a flower-arranging workshop at the gallery on Sunday, March 4. Thanks to the lovely Alex Lindstrom for teaching us how to arrange the heck out of some Spring blooms.


 
  

Painting the Presidents

The art world has been electrified by Kehinde Wiley’s presidential portrait of Barack Obama for the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, which was unveiled last month. Presidential yet contemporary, it portrays an engaged Obama, in front of symbolic greenery.

So we thought we’d share some presidential portrait history. Did you know this is not the first portrait of a president to be considered outside-of-the-Presidential-portrait-box? In the past century, other presidents have been painted in contemporary fashions.

Barack Obama by Kehinde Wiley
oil on canvas, 2018
Kehinde Wiley is known for his vibrant, large-scale paintings of African Americans. The flowers in the background have a significant meaning: the chrysanthemums are the official flower of Chicago, the jasmine represents Obama’s home state of Hawaii, and the African blue lilies pay homage to his late Kenyan father.

John F. Kennedy by Elaine de Kooning
oil on canvas, 1963
Elaine de Kooning, known for her gestural portraits, first created this painting of JFK for the Truman Library. On figurative portraiture, Kooning said, “when I painted my seated men, I saw them as gyroscopes. Portraiture always fascinated me because I love the particular gesture of a particular expression or stance…Working on the figure, I wanted paint to sweep through as feelings sweep through.”

Bill Clinton by Chuck Close
Oil on canvas, 2006
Chuck Close begins all of his paintings by taking a photograph of his subject; in this case, an image of President Clinton from a photo session in August 2005 for a New York magazine cover. He then created grids on both the canvas and the photograph to replicate the information contained in the photograph with a series of abstract geometric shapes. Close suffers from prosopagnosia (face blindness), in which he is unable to recognize faces. By painting portraits, he is better able to recognize and remember faces.

Richard Nixon by Norman Rockwell
Oil on canvas, 1968
Norman Rockwell admitted that he had intentionally flattered Nixon in this portrait. The reason he did, Rockwell said, was that Nixon’s appearance was “troublesomely elusive,” and if he was going to err in his portrayal, he wanted it to be at least in a direction that would please him. Many of his works appear tend toward idealistic or sentimentalized portrayals of American life.

Not Presidential, But our Portraits…

Meyer Vogl Gallery represents several figurative artists whose work is fit for a President (in our opinion!).


Blue by Paul Ferrari
24 x 30 oil on canvas


Summer Breeze by Diane Eugster
30 x 20 oil on canvas


Luke by Paul Farrari
26 x 20 oil on canvas


Les Sœurs II by Carrie Beth Waghorn
44 x 30 Japanese ink on linen

 

Artist Spotlight: Carrie Beth Waghorn

Carrie Beth Wahorn is a contemporary artist specializing in monochromatic renderings of the female form. Both raw and expressive, her work invokes an unadulterated sense of feminine beauty and vulnerabilty. She currently paints from her sunny studio in Charleston and will be in our upcoming group exhibition, Bloom Boom Boom! 


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Ervin

MVG: What is it about females — their faces and their forms — that draws you in? 

CBW: My inherent fascination with the female form began in college via my art history classes. We studied the ideal female form throughout history, and it was fascinating to see how the ideals of beauty differed according to different time periods. One of the most primitive carvings of a woman is a full figured bust — I believe its titled “VENUS of Willendorf,” one that symbolized fertility and strength. When I look at females, I primarily am attracted to bodies that don’t follow the status quo of what is considered to be ‘normal’ beauty. Instead, I love women with contrasting or striking features, like a plethora of freckles or hips like Beyonce. I love all shapes, sizes, and lines. All women are works of art.

MVG: Why ink as your medium of choice? 

CBW: If there is one thing you should know about me it is that I am obsessed with contrast. Also I am terrible at decision making. India ink has such a rich feeling to it, each line feels like a triumph. Being an expressionist AND a minimalist, it’s important for me to have a medium that reflects both; as a fluid, it absorbs quickly and it is permanent. I find that when working with this medium, I am forced to be confident in my brushwork and bold with each stroke — this is a stark contrast to my sometimes timid, overanalyzing, indecisive self. With ink, there is no erasing, no re-working, or changing. What’s done is done. In this way, I can be fearless with my paintings.

MVG: Any in-studio rituals that get you in the mood to create? 

CBW: Some of my rituals are private, though I can say whenever I can properly align my energy it feels as though I am coming home to myself. The deepest most intimate part of my existence occurs when I paint. There is a bit of music and writing, a bit of pacing back and forth, and some odd gestures that release anxiety. My body finds the natural urge to move freely and fall into yoga poses based on my thought process(es). It is all very much a free flow which I hope emanates through the fluidity in my work.

MVG: Artist(s) you idolize, living:

CBW: Oh man … I like a LOT of people… I admire artists for different reasons, some for their work and some for their fearless approach or genuine presence — I can say that I’ve always been a fan of Dorothy Shain for her creative tenacity. I recently discovered Laura Deems and am smitten; her work reminds me of Tim Hussey, who is another contemporary favorite. I can honestly say that we are so lucky to live in a city with artists that I genuinely like — Chambers Austelle and Sara Pitmann. Another recent favorite are the art deco faces, and especially the pottery, of Paige Follmann.

MVG: Artist(s) you idolize, dead: 

CBW: Matisse, Picasso, and ultimately Toulouse Lautrec. There is something about seeing Renoir in person that makes me just want to stare in awe for hours, though I am partial to the more whimsical colors of Toulouse and the unfinished lines of Egon Shiele.

MVG: Perfect Charleston day: 

CBW: A perfect day for me includes waking up well rested, interpreting the previous night’s dream, sipping coffee whilst naked in the sun with my cat, a bike ride (NOT during the month of August), painting with the sunlight in my studio, coffee with friends, and a home-cooked meal (followed by a sweet treat from Saffron Bakery).

MVG: Anything exciting on the horizon you want to let us know about?

CBW: WORLD INK PROJECT. Who wants a romper??!!! I am SO excited to be pairing up with local creatives to transcribe my artistic ideals onto clothing. I just hope I can be ready…

   

Look for new work from Carrie Beth in March, as part of Bloom Boom Boom!, a group floral exhibition.

10 Favorites from 2017

2017 was a wonderful year for art! Here are 10 of my favorite pieces of artwork from the gallery in 2017. Some are available; some found happy homes; all excite me incredibly. — Katie Geer, gallery director

Afternoon Light by Laurie Meyer
36×48 oil on linen
SOLD

You Be Me and I’ll Be Me by Marissa Vogl
48×48 oil on linen
SOLD


Summer Breeze by Diane Eugster
30×20 (38×28 incl. frame, handmade by the artist’s husband) oil on canvas
AVAILABLE 

Blooms in Blue by Nancy Hoerter
18×24 oil on board
AVAILABLE


Along the Harbor by Sandy Ostrau
30×30 oil on canvas
SOLD


Sherbet and a Touch of Cayenne by Susan Altman
30×20 oil and oil stick on canvas
SOLD

Sisters by James Richards
24×30 oil on linen
SOLD


Quiet Night by Anne Blair Brown
24×24 (29×29 incl. frame) oil on linen
AVAILABLE


Apron and a Kiss by Jay Miriam
(Part of the Bicoastal group show, curated by Lara Björk)
54×48 oil on canvas


Pansies by Quang Ho
18×18 oil on canvas
SOLD