The Long Beach Creative Group’s first show of 2020 is a standout. Artists include Moira Hahn, Sandy Winkler, Lawrence Yun, Dorte Christjansen, Michiel Daniel and Carolyn Sabol. The show was curated by Michiel Daniel.
Daniel, a long-time Long Beach City College art teacher, has selected works from his three-year (1998-2001) series, “ Stilled Life.”
Per Daniel, “The upcoming millennium was an influence in this work. The concepts of youth and aging were also important. A number of the objects in the paintings are toys from my childhood. Other objects symbolically relate to aging and death. I consider this work Narrative Realism with a Surrealist heart. It is most important that the viewer interpret the work personally.”
Daniel takes a risk with large negative space, as Marka Burns, LBCG coordinator put it, “allowing the viewer to speculate on the ambiguity of the objects and to concentrate on the beauty and the technique.”
Dorte Christjansen’s “Sunrise Reflections,” painted on Yupo synthetic paper, was inspired by Long Beach’s Colorado Lagoon. Its reflections, ripples and many moods are captured as calligraphic reflections of the tree branches.
According to the artist, a second piece, “‘Mountain Journeys’ evolved from sketches I made on road trips through the Grapevine and Highway 395 paralleling the High Sierras. I used the small scale of the original studies because they seemed to express the enormity of these mountains. Rather than using local colors I went the expressive route for the illusion of atmospheric effects.”
Yupo is a synthetic paper with a plastic-like surface allowing for interesting watercolor effects. The surface is non-absorbent, a surface that paint can be lifted off for a distinctive effect. It requires a different approach than traditional paper since layering a wash over another lifts off the underlying color. Christjansen uses her selected medium to amazing effect.
Carolyn Sabol, one of Daniel’s students, has several anthropomorphic frog paintings in the show. According to Sabol, the frogs began as Prismacolor pencil drawings.
“Ornamentation of the frog evolved from my imagination as I painted,” Sabol said. “Much thought goes into my color selection for both background and frogs. It becomes a meditative experience, undulating from pattern to pattern. Frogs are the conduit to explore color and decoration.”
Lawrence Yun, a tenured Professor of Art at Cal State Fullerton specializing in watercolor, pencil rendering, two-dimensional design and illustration, is showing a modern interpretation of Euro-American floral paintings. The technique and the depth of fine art work take your breath away. These images represent Yun’s observation of universal technological and evolutionary living patterns are a “miracle grow” sensation.
Transparency is on display through Feb. 8 at the Long Beach Creative Group gallery, 2221 E. Broadway, near Kennebec Avenue. Hours are 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Call 562-438-7933 or go to https://www.facebook.com/LongBeachCreativeGroup/ for information.