Oct. 22-Dec. 2, 2022
A Pottery Discovery
by Estell Osten
Dark, Light, Soft, Bright
by Barbara Fisher & Libby Skamfer
by Hague Williams, Phil Garrett & Eleanor Baugnies
Originally from New York, Estell worked for the United Nations for 35 years. She spent nine of those years working for UN Headquarters in Vienna, Austria for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime as Program Manager and then Drug Control Officer. The exigencies of service demanded all her time and made it impossible for her to explore her creative side. In 2009 she retired to Tryon. It was only through fortunate happenstance that she met her first mentor, Mary Lou Diekmann who taught her the art of drawing, painting and started her off in pottery at the Tryon Arts and Crafts School. It was quite a surprise at this late stage to find that she had any ability in the arts.
I am honored and excited to be included in the creative vibe of Tryon and its surrounding communities by exhibiting my newest large works at the Upstairs Artspace. To be participating in this exhibition validates and affirms my commitment not only to my studio practice but also to the many collectors and friends that constitute the amazing network of supportive individuals who encourage my creativity from the inside out. I paint at the intersection of intuition and emotion. My paintings record my life’s journey in visual form representing who I am better than words can describe.
Transformation and the catalysts that precipitate change over time are primary sources of motivation for my work. The mechanisms of visual persuasion, such as flags, logos, and emblems: referencing anthems, rituals, and other social-bonding experiences, become the organizing principles for my work. As a printmaker and artist, I am predictably interested in such change methods: Process is an integral part of my work. I am
searching for the following translation, the next transformation. With a background in media and design, I weave complex and multi-layered compositions that address formal concerns. At the same time, I infuse meaning by using contemporary symbols of power, branding, advertising, and signifiers that blur the distinction between governments, religion, and corporations. These source images are re-contextualized into motifs and patterns that overlap and interact to present the viewer with something chaotic and intricate yet, at the same time, familiar.
Transforming interior states into a visual language is what drives me as an artist. Carl Jung said, “In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.” I am willing to embrace chaos in the hopes of finding/creating my own secret order. Each painting hints at a narrative based on the way I envision energy, ideas, matter, psychic states, memories and other elements interacting. A shape may be trying to reach or move through an area, encountering visual and/or psychic roadblocks; an image might disintegrate and be transformed into something new. In “The Dark” series, the mysterious muted palette creates an inner, daydream like space. Perhaps the layered structure and hovering shapes are a metaphor for the weblike processes of thought. The rich blacks and grays imply depth, but not darkness. Walking through the dark will eventually lead us to the light.
My work is informed by nature, a kind of mythical nature. The power of storms, the spiritual quality of the elements, the beauty, grace, and ferocity of plants and animals…. Something greater than myself, something I can’t comprehend. Painting and making monotypes is my search for the mystery within the subject, within myself.
This body of work is a form of printmaking, using a gel plate and acrylic paints and occasionally inks.
Once the paint is applied to the gel plate it is then manipulated with objects at hand, ie: forks, bottle tops, fingers, and spatulas, etc. (My kitchen utensils see more paint than food). Each piece is made with lots of love and always music blasting, and with the simple pleasure that I get creating a piece that hopefully provides the viewer with joy.