Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sandy Pembleton

Sandy Pembleton is from the Indiana area and has been working in stain glass going on 25 years.  She has retired from IUP where she worked for 23 and a half years and also received her BA degree.  She started in glass work when she took classes at Mr. Croup's shop back in 1991.  She started out doing small pieces to hang in windows (sun catchers); then she was asked to do a leaded window.  Now she does whatever someone would like to commission.  She has made pieces that have gone into kitchen cabinets, window inserts for a bathroom and den windows, and a piece to be put in a gun cabinet. 

Bubbles #1
Stained Glass

Sandy's piece "Bubbles" make you believe that you are under the Ocean.  This stained glass piece would be a great addition to anyone's home, nautical or not. The use of glass and wood versus color and texture make this item dynamic and gives the illusion of movement.  Her use of all things round intrigue the viewer into thinking that this is more than just a hanging art piece; it's a limitless piece, sure to get your imagination flowing.

Be sure to come into the Artists Hand to grab a cup of coffee and look at all the wonderful works we have in the Gallery!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Why Buy Art?

    Why buy art when there are so many other things we need? And who says we don't need art? I have collected a few stories about buying art over the the years, and today I'd like to share my favorite one to date. 

I recently opened an e-mail titled "One More Cord- Worthington, PA" by Harold Miller .  It read, "I would like to purchase the above named painting, I believe the price is $450 framed. Could you please advise me on how to best do so, I'm currently in Medicine Lake, Montana." I responded with the typical answer telling the gentleman how to reach me and the methods of payment available. He called that afternoon, and in the course of our conversation I learned his remarkable story. First I learned that he wasn't sure where the Gallery is located and that he hadn't been in Indiana in about a year and a half. Well, that made me a little curious as to how he knew about this particular painting, which is currently part of a solo show by Harold K. Miller at the Artists Hand.  So I asked. And with his permission I'll let him tell his story in his own words. . . .

Dear Mr. Miller,

My family has been in that general area of Armstrong County since the 1790"s, and I just moved to Montana, the whole process from applying to the school for an English teaching post, to being interviewed, hired, and leaving took less than a week.  I arrived at Medicine Lake with only two days to ready myself for my students. In the process I was going to use a power point lecture with a section for us to introduce ourselves to one another. I went to Google to do an image search for Worthington, Pennsylvania when a lovely painting of my great and grandparents farm popped up. My heart stopped and I broke down. I've lived in western Pennsylvania for all of my life and had never possessed a desire to leave, but teaching jobs are nigh on impossible to find, so for the good of my family I headed west. So here I am on the great plains, thirty minutes from Canada and three days from hearth and home. I called my wife and begged her if I could select my Christmas present now, and have just concluded the purchase, after teaching today, with the gallery.

Your painting will be a treasured heirloom for us, and a warm (or should I say cold) reminder of my life now behind . . .

The house and barn were both built by my great grandfather and replaced the older structures.  And the little church in the distant background is Franklin Union Baptist, which my g-g-g-g-great grandfather, John Claypoole, helped found in 1846, so every stroke of your work has deep meaning for me. The farm now belongs to a cousin, Ray Claypoole, and happily he still farms it with care and due diligence.

My heartfelt thanks, God Bless,

Eric Cook

Time and time again I have learned that we buy art because it causes something in us to be touched. Something deep down that moves us at the core of our being. Whether it's a touch of home or something equally archetypal it completes something within. Mr. Cook was not just moved by the familiarity of the image, but by the fact that another person saw and treasured what he sees and treasures in that place. And that person's hand, in this case Harold Miller, is part of the story. I asked Eric Cook if I could share his story because everyone who has heard it has been moved by it, maybe because we've all been homesick at one time or another.

To buy an artwork is to make an investment in yourself. To own something unique that brings you joy. I have many more stories of finding the perfect image or object. And a few about missed opportunities. Each one has a very human element, a very human emotion. Thank you Eric Cook for sharing your story and thank you Harold Miller for sharing your love of our local landscape.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Daria Varner

Daria T. Varner graduated from IUP in 1957 with a Bachelor of Science in Art Education. She then became an elementary art teacher in the Quaker Valley School District. After the first of her four children was born, she retired from her teaching profession. Daria has successfully displayed her oils, acrylics, and watercolors in many of the shows presented by the Indiana Art Association. Her travels to Europe, the Middle East, and the Caribbean have influenced her original pieces of art. She is also a gifted calligrapher, having been the window designer for Luxenberg's Jewelry store for more than 30 years, and taught calligraphy to several classes of adult students.
Spring Morning
Watercolor Collage
Daria's watercolor collage pieces will add contemporary flair to your home or collection. The artist has a clear connection to her material of choice, gracefully placing and manipulating fibers in a natural way. The piece above, Spring Morning, is a starburst of information, from the colors and patterns of the paper, to the textures and delicate fibers. Her collages will certainly capture your interest, making you ask questions and wonder - a quintessential aspect of contemporary art. Daria's work is not the type to be glanced over.

Come and see Daria Varner's work, along with the work of over 60 other local artists...and why not try a new flavor of Italian soda from our espresso bar while you're here? Enjoy your last couple of weeks in August by visiting us here at the Artists Hand!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Linda Strawcutter

Linda Strawcutter has been making jewelry for five years. She enjoys using all different kinds of media for her creations: beads, wire, clay, and old vintage beads and jewelry. She has taught beading at a local store and in her home and has given private lessons. She also enjoys making photo mosaics, oil painting, and watercolors and loves trying new art media when she gets the opportunity.

"Sea Drop" necklace and earrings
"Golden Sea" bracelet and earrings
Linda's pieces call to mind the exquisite beauty of nature. From the unique shell-like beads to the coordinated color schemes, she is clearly in tune with the earth around her. Her work should remind you of at least one of the places you've been in your life. She has several jewelry pieces and sets for sale here in the gallery, in a variety of colors and materials. We are also offering a mix and match deal for her smaller beaded bracelets ($8 per bracelet of $21 for a set of 3 bracelets).
Be sure to stop into the gallery to see (and try on?) her work in person!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Harold K. Miller

Harold K. Miller, born in 1950, grew up in southern New Jersey. He attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania, earning a B.A. in Art in 1972 and a Masters in Printmaking and Education in 1975.
After surviving 32 years in the Pennsylvania public school system, Harold retired in 2006 and began painting full time. Beginning with small plein-air studies, he gradually moved on to larger studio paintings. Of particular interest is a series depicting the farm structures on the Gettysburg battlefield.
Harold resides in Indiana, Pennsylvania with his wife Susan and has been influenced by the work of Edward Hopper, Winslow Homer, N.C. and Andrew Wyeth, and Sidney Laurence.
Corn Stubble - Penn Runn, PA
Oil on linen

Reflections and Planes II
Stone Lithograph
Harold K. Miller's show, The Eastern Farm: Simple Shapes and Functional Beauty, is currently on display in the gallery. Contained within is a collection of oil paintings shedding light on farm landscapes across various locations in Pennsylvania and Virginia. Also displayed are stone lithographs, which add a unique commentary next to the more traditional subject matter, reinforcing the common thread of simple shapes. Miller's graphic design background echoes throughout his paintings. Geometric shapes are bluntly placed to comprise barns, houses, fields and architecture. Lines and outlines are cut into the thick layers of paint to add more definition. Another impressive feat is the diversity of subject matter within a narrow scope. Cloudy days, dreary evenings, and all seasons are well represented.

Please stop in and see Harold's show, now hanging until August 31! An opening reception will be held on Friday, August 9, from 6-8pm.