Last week’s blog on figurative works was so well-received that we decided to return to the theme this week. Here we’re going to be taking a closer look at five more of RSG’s artists, all of whom create works that are in some way figurative (that is, derived from real object sources).
All of the artists that we’re going to be focusing on this blog have responded to that artistic concept in widely-varied ways. Paula Bullwinkel’s images of heroines and animals feel dreamlike and surreal, Jennifer Gillia Cutshall’s work is the result of accessing her subconscious and Tara Murino-Brault’s prints are filled with rich symbolism.
To see more of the works of this theme, either come into the gallery for a visit and see the works first-hand, or visit our website and search our Catalogue. Click the link and go to Style and search for “Figurative” in the drop-down menu. This will include all of the artists covered in this blog and more.
The works that Paula creates are filled with heroines and animal-hero figures, “who”, she says “balance feelings of mystery or foreboding with a sense of celebration”. When working as a photographer in New York City and London, she wanted to capture the female figure and attitude in the form of a narrative, usually fantastical and sometimes absurdist. This is a theme that she has continued to explore when she began painting and etching. Paula is a relative new artist to RSG and her pieces have very quickly attracted the attention of our buyers and renters, with their bold and striking images and feelings of rich narrative.
Annie’s artwork focuses on the human figure and abstract landscapes, both of which are showcased here at RSG. She has drawn the figure since high school, and works directly from a live model. She continues to do this weekly, as it is something particularly important to her as an artist: “The figurative work was my gateway to being an artist.” Her figurative pieces are mostly monotypes, like these examples here, although she does sometimes create paintings or works on tile.
A painter, printmaker and ceramic tile artist, George Johanson studied at the Museum Art School in Portland with further study in New York as well as London. He taught at the Museum Art School (now the Pacific Northwest College of Art) for 25 years until his retirement in 1980 and has had more than 60 one man shows. He is the longest-serving member artist of RSG, having been a charter member in its opening year of 1959. Now in his 90s, George continues to work and his recent, vibrant paintings are filled with color and life. We are honored that he has been and continues to be part of our gallery.
Jennifer Gillia Cutshall
Jennifer is an artist whose paintings, drawings and public art can be widely seen. Creating figurative work is at the heart of her fascination with art. “I am drawn to the struggle that image making presents”, she says, “and I always return to that process. As I paint, I sometimes weave bits of memories and/or mementos (from past paintings, sketches, pages from old magazines, and of letters) throughout the painting. The work then holds a sense of story – each piece revealing a part of my life, my unconscious, or my dreams.” From this, the resulting images often emerge as an abstraction or a dream-like scape, filled with rich and complex detail.
Born and raised in Chicago, Tara now resides in the Portland area, where she works as an artist and educator. Printmaking is her main medium, focusing mostly on the practices of relief, screen and intaglio printmaking. Symbolism has been a prominent theme in her work since the beginning, with images such as bones, trees, animals, hands, and religious icons communicating ideas about cultural power and powerlessness, spiritualism, mortality, and rebirth. She says, “I enjoy playing with opposing elements such as light and dark, reason and folly, or good and evil, and the interdependence of each to define the other.”