For the month of September, 2015
Alchemy 3: A Review
I have always been fascinated by colors. I almost became a chemist because I was fascinated by a solution of copper nitrate. The blue was hypnotizing. My first attempt at a dissertation in psychology was a study of the emotionally stimulating capacities of colors. I was first attracted to enameling by the deep, limpid quality of transparent enamels. If I have tried to make myself an artist, it was, in part, an attempt to capture and own these colors which have fascinated me for so long.
Thus, I was a bit disappointed by the last Enamelist Society exhibition, Alchemy 3. There was no doubt that the art work was superior and original, in some cases fiercely original. But where was the color? Certainly, there was color here and there. I found the color I so desired to look at in the bowls of Judy Stone and Fay Rooke, as well as the jewelry done jointly by Sharon Kree and Diane Buettner, and that of Toni Strassler. The wall art of Gabrielle Castonguay used color in an inventive way; Averill Shepps is doing interesting color experiments, and Cynthia Miller’s abstraction and Terry Gay Puckett’s portrait caught my color sensitive eye.
The color, however, was muted in so many other pieces. Herb Friedson, known for his carnival color extravaganzas, was represented by a muted piece. There was a lot of gray around. There was certainly not much celebration of the particular qualities of enamel colors. I have catalogs from recent , similar enamel exhibitions in Europe. They show a plethora of enamel pieces with the vibrant and pellucid colors which we expect from enamel art, so this dimming and graying of enamel art is not a world wide phenomena.
What’s going on?
Hal Nelson put this wonderful enamel on facebook. This is enamel color! This is what I like to see.