Thursday, June 4, 2015

The end of Small Works and Jewelry at 3 West Main Street

We are so grateful for the support of our community, near and far. We have the most wonderful artists, neighbors and customers in the world.

Left Bank Gallery West Main Street

At 4am Tuesday morning we had a call from the Wellfleet fire department. When we arrived, the roof had collapsed and all was lost. 

Since then, the outpouring of love and support has been unbelievable. We've heard from friends near and far and are overwhelmed with how attached people are to these galleries. Thank you for your stories, your memories, and your many offers of support. We appreciate every one!

Honestly, we are still reeling. But new things are arriving as we write, so there is much to keep us busy. For the short term, we're reconfiguring part of the Commercial Street gallery to accommodate the jewelry. When possible, the Orleansgallery will also take on Main Street's jewelry artists. 

The artists whose work was in the gallery when it burned were equally devastated, and yet have been generous beyond imagination. Many are sending new work while we reorganize. Obviously everything in the galleries is precious to us, but the jewelry, crafts and art we have this summer is especially meaningful. This is what handmade is all about.

While we figure it all out, please keep visiting us on Commercial Street in Wellfleet and Cove Road in Orleans. 

And again, thank you. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Joyce Zavorskas

"The activity of erosion presents images of natural disorder. Similar to our contemporary culture and circumstances, under siege from wars, recession, and political discontent, the forces of nature disrupt the stoic harmony of familiar landmarks. Wind, rain, gravity and rising seas pound against the sand and clay cliffs, creating intriguing rhythms and patterns, but hastening their imminent demise." - Joyce Zavorskas

(see more work by Joyce Zavorskas here)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Gregory Kammerer and the book that became a landscape

When Gregory Kammerer goes to large retrospectives of painters like Turner and Homer, he's drawn to the little glass cases, full of pens and sketchbooks. “I think what comes through is an honesty, or lack of self consciousness about what they're doing,” he says of the sketchbooks. “They're suggestive and beautiful in their simplicity.”

It's not surprising, then, that Gregory (who has long blurred the line between painting and sculpture) has created a series of paintings using books as the canvas.

When he first started doing the books, he called them sketchbooks and did not intend for them to be fully developed paintings. Now, some books are used like a panel, while others have hints of text – either visible through the landscape, or left unpainted within the composition.

“I do a lot of sanding, and sometimes I'll go through layers of pages,” Gregory explains. “I have this one painting, titled The Book That Tried to Become a Landscape. When it went from a book to a landscape, it stalled midway. It's half landscape, half words.”

Gregory likes mixing representational landscape with what comes out being more of an abstraction. “I love to show the text, which reminds you it's a book,” he says. “But I can't sacrifice a painting just to have the text show through.”

He finds the books at yard sales and in used book stores, and even when the text isn't visible, he lets the words guide him in the composition.

Gregory was a literature major, so there has always been something about books - the words on the page, the stories, the way it feels to hold them. He's found he's not alone. People who are drawn to books, like the idea of having a book that's been transformed into something else.

Like books, these paintings are meant to be picked up. “They have a tactile quality to them, as opposed to a painting that goes on the wall and stays there,” he says. “They are completely protected. You could spill a cup of coffee on them.”

He won't give away what his process is, but he does say he used to restore wooden boats and learned about materials through that work. When he started exploring using books as a surface for paintings, he tried beeswax as a stiffener, but they didn't hold up. Since then he's found a method that stands up to light, heat and moisture.

“I like doing them so much,” he says. “If I could work that small all the time, I probably would. In some ways, painting small is harder than painting large. My intention is to give the sense of infinite space. When you have a large panel, that's already there. When you have a tiny book, depth is a harder thing to achieve.”

See more of Gregory Kammerer's paintings HERE

Monday, April 7, 2014

Kaleidoscope Pottery - nature on your table

"We hope you will use it daily and remember that it was made by human hands in hopes of bringing a reminder of nature’s beauty into your world." - Evelyn Snyder/Kaleidoscope Pottery

Kaleidoscope Pottery takes handmade, nature-inspired pottery to a whole new level. It is made by hand in Massachusetts, with locally gathered leaves. If it's a piece of Massachusetts you're looking for, this is it.

They start by rolling out clay and cutting it into what will become the final shape. Leaves are then arranged on the raw clay, and rolled in to transfer the texture and details. 

With the leaves still on the clay, the slab is pressed into a form to give it shape, and is sprayed with a layer of colored slip. The leaves are then removed, leaving the natural color of the clay behind. 

After the piece has been bisque-fired, it is dipped in clear glaze and fired again. Since the entire surface is covered with this glossy, lead-free glaze, food will not stick to the clay.

"We strive to make pottery that is inspired by the natural world," they say. "All of our pottery is handmade from stoneware, and holds up to everyday use."

It really is meant to be used. They sell their work to restaurants, where it is washed in industrial dishwashers - so yes, it's dishwasher safe!
See more work

Monday, March 17, 2014

Annie Doyle

Meet Annie Doyle, whose woodblock prints capture the connection of sand and sea here on Cape Cod, documenting a way of life on our shoreline.

Born in New Bedford, Annie was introduced to art at age four at Friends Academy, where she was taught by friends of her parents. When Annie and her family moved to the shores of Oyster pond in Chatham, those friends followed one summer to teach at the Ole Village School on School Street. Annie was one of the students.

Just down the street from her house lived husband and wife artists - a photographer and a painter. Dorothy, the painter, taught 10 year old Annie to paint in oils. She continued to pursue the arts in high school and college.

Soon after college Annie returned to Chatham, where she is now married to a fisherman.  

"Life around the shores became a normal activity of clamming, quahoging, scalloping, and offshore longlining," she says of her return to Chatham. She worked on an oyster buy-boat, meeting many watermen who made their living from the shores and the sea. (If you don't know what an oyster buy-boat is, neither did we. Thank goodness for Wikipedia.)

On the Cape, Annie met Lois Griffel, who taught at and owned the Cape Cod School of Art in Provincetown. It was the beginning of a great friendship and a return to art.

The wood prints are hand pressed on paper to preserve some of the memories of our precious shores and fishermen in the hope that everyone’s interests and efforts will keep the preservation of the seas and the shores alive.

See more of Annie's work on our website - or visit the gallery! Image Size is 7" x 5", matted to 12" x 9" and framed to 13.25" x 10". They are sold both framed and unframed.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Ellen Granter, pure and simple

Over the years, we've noticed Ellen Granter's birds taking on a distinctly Asian look.

"When I go to museums that's where I go," she says. "It's what I want to see. I keep feeding that inspiration with more things I want to look at. I'm not a scholar, I just let it wash over me. The spareness – how modern some of these things look even though they're 400 years old."

Its that quality that makes Ellen's paintings so easy to live with. They're simple, peaceful, and perfect.

She says this clean, timeless style is right for her attention span and her desire to complete the thought. "I love other styles, but there's no way I could attempt to work in that vein. That's the way my hand works and my eye works."

Ellen tries to get in the studio every day. Sometimes she paints, but other times she sketches or looks at "bird porn" (birding magazines). Many of her paintings are variations on a sketch. 

She's also inspired by color combinations she comes across in the course of a day and wants to try out.

"In my own home I want it to be a sanctuary. The colors in the paintings make you feel good. Not just because you need something red over the couch."

She is inspired by the world around her, especially the spring migration. She's currently working on a series of sandpipers, from photos she took in Maine. She also saw some gorgeous orioles at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and did a whole series of paintings from those.

But most of her inspiration comes from the awe of looking at something and thinking “that's the most beautiful thing.”

That's what people say when they see her paintings, too. There's often a connection far beyond what goes with a room's decor.

"I love it when someone falls in love with [a painting] and wants it. It seems like a magical thing, that they saw something that moved them so much. It came out of my mind and connected in something in their mind. It amazes me."

“I'm not about talking about my inner angst or my fears, I have no interest in painting about it," she says.

"I am interested in making the most beautiful thing possible and making it simple.”

Monday, March 3, 2014

a few things to brighten your day...

Where there's snow, there's spring (eventually)
brooches/sculptures and clocks by Abbott and Ellwood

 and more!