Two artists will display their love of Pacific Northwest wildlife using very different styles in the latest show at Lincoln City’s Chessman Gallery, which opens this Friday, Nov. 10.
A public reception from 5 to 7 pm will give guests the chance to chat with Virginia Leonnig and Carol Pulvermacher while enjoying wine and light refreshments.
The show, entitled “Colorful Confluence,” is the result of a two-year collaboration between the two artists, who have synchronized the sizes of their work to create an interesting play between them when hung side by side.
“It is an exciting and surprising confluence of color, ideas and expression,” said gallery director Krista Eddy.
After years of creating wood-burned wildlife art, Carol Pulvermacher found a new passion for abstract expressionism influenced by Northwestern Native imagery. Using bold lines and colors enlivened by drip painting, her new style offers a look at life today, as calm meets chaos.
Pulvermacher has found great joy in the process of drip painting, walking around and around as paints and stains find their way on to the canvas. By allowing the spontaneity of the moment, she infuses emotion and passion in each layer.
Working mainly from a studio space in her West Linn home, Pulvermacher loves to work outside whenever the Northwest weather allows — a practice she describes as “like coming home.”
Virginia Leonnig is also a fan of the great outdoors and loves a good thunderstorm. When growing up in Maryland, she and her brother used to go out on the screened porch to feel the rain pelt on their faces, see the lightening knife across the sky and feel the thunder in their chests. Many of her painted landscapes still reflect these feelings. They are full of excitement, movement, strength and often mystery. They are meant to be emotional and to look beyond and below the surface of things — to show the power and motion of Mother Nature.
Leonnig’s first real job as an artist was painting duck decoys, which was big business in Maryland. By the age of 13, she was enrolled in Schuler School of Fine Arts in Baltimore, where she spent a great deal of time copying the works of the Great Masters. She found her stride when she took summer classes that involved plein air landscapes in watercolor. Later, she attended a high school that offered an intense program for artistically gifted kids.
She married soon after graduating from high school and quickly had three children to raise. She eventually moved to Oregon where she met her second husband who introduced her to sailing. In 1994, they quit their jobs and took off for a two-and-a-half-year sailing adventure which took them to Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Belize and many places in between. With her paints on board, she became totally smitten with the vibrant color found in the tropics. Even the shadows were rich with color. She also became fascinated with the movement, color and shape of the water as caused by the wind. This theme can still be seen in much of her current work.
Since there was a new landscape around each corner, Leonnig learned to look at the world with fresh eyes and a childlike sense of wonder. On return from her trip, she decided that if she could get up the courage to sail half way around the world she could most certainly give being a full-time artist a try.
Leonnig currently lives in Waldport, just a few miles down the road from Newport, where the sailboat remains moored and ready for the next adventure.
“Colorful Confluence” will run through Monday, Dec. 4, available to view from 10 am to 4 pm daily except Tuesday in the Lincoln City Cultural Center, 540 NE Hwy. 101.