Susan Parish at Autobody Fine Art Reception for Susan Parish, Saturday January 28th, 4 – 7:00pm

Please join us for the Reception for the Artist, Susan Parish, as we kick off the 2012 season of Exhibitions at Autobody Fine Art. Susan’s one woman show is a wonderful mix of highly refined, formal sculpture, and bright and exuberant digital prints. The prints will knock your socks off with
their vibrant color and the sculpture is a thoughtful meditation on the figurative. Still, Susan says it way better than I do, so I’m copying her statement below to give you an idea of where she is coming from:

The Digital drawings are a result of two issues. One, is that as I am working on the sculpture, I get “stuck” because my process is slow either because of technical difficulties or because of the piece working itself through my brain. So, I alternate between drawing, which is easy, and working with wood, which is really hard. The second issue is that of color, my personal need for color in contrast to the muted tones of wood.
Last August I decided I would do a drawing every day first thing in the morning so the drawings are sort of a diary of my internal states. In both the sculpture and the drawings I am interested in the shape of experience. Yet I don’t preplan anything and only at the end of the struggle to make something do I realize what I am doing. By working this way the work remains fresh and unselfconscious. When I relinquished pre-concepts entirely, I found my way. Much to my surprise the drawings reflected the sculpture.
I use Photoshop only. I like bumping up against its technical edges and using these edges to step further into its use. I don’t care about pixilated or non pixilated. The limitations are what make it interesting for me, so I am working with what are considered the defaults of technology. As I work I approach the images as if I were doing a painting: putting in, taking out etc. I have been asked how I start a drawing, I do it much as one would a painting, i.e. starting with a ground and building from there. In the end, I really couldn’t say how I did any of these drawings because they are the end product of multiple gestures within the Photoshop experience.
The Sculpture evolves from single pieces of wood, this and that that I have laying around. For the past year or so I have been struggling to figure out how to effectively use wine barrel staves. These are problematic because they have so many angles and I really want to use them whole. More than 10 years ago I purchased Ebony pieces ultimately intended for piano keys but rejected as not having the right aspects for such. I use Ebony and Oak and other hard woods, Doug Fir, Plywood etc. I want the pieces to appear as if they accidentally found themselves together. All in all I have no interest in perfection because Nature itself is chaotic and messy but has an order for which scientists, philosophers and mediums search.
This attraction to primitive is about the succinctness of form and expression. Primitive art says what it says and nothing else. It is made of emotion and instinct.
Both my digital drawings and sculpture have to do with animal spirit, not in the sense of cat dog or tiger but rather all animals. We are at the root animals. We share longings, fears, love, and a drive towards sexual expression with other sentient beings.
In my work I try to express sensations of fear, pain, and the human need to comprehend the future, trying hard to look ahead through chaos (uncertainty) which greets us every day. Or the need to believe in the illusion of order and certainty.

Susan Parish is a long time resident of Jingletown (that’s the area just across the Park Street Bridge which has long been a hot bed of creative talent). Parish is a master woodworker, her intimate understanding of surface, structure and stain show through her sculptural works that frequently reflect her past as a Fine Art furniture maker. These works have a Noguchi-like complexity, confusing your expectations with every deliberate turn and aesthetic consideration. In addition to these three dimensional pieces, Parish offers us wonderfully colorful giclee prints whose expressive, yet controlled quality seems a meditation on Lichtenstein’s brushstrokes and pop cluture pzazz. When I first saw these works I was completely unprepared for how beautiful they are. If you have known Susan’s work in the past, please come expecting big changes, – if you are new to the work of this ever-evolving artist come and be impressed with a life’s dedication to the visual arts.

For more images and information, please contact Jacqueline Cooper at Jacqueline@autobodyfineart, or give me a buzz at 510.881.6974. I look forward to talking with you as we begin a dialogue that will define 2012.
Thanks so very much for reading this e-mail and remember to look in your e-mail inbox for more news as it develops over the next month. Autobody Fine Art Gallery is your space and I look forward to hearing from you as we enter an exciting New Year.

Autobody Fine Art Gallery  |  510-881-6974  |  1517 Park Street, Alameda, CA 94501


The Love Show Gray Loft Gallery Jingletown Oakland

The Love Show

Gray Loft Gallery

2889 Ford Street, Jingletown, Oakland

Show dates: February 10 – 25, 2012

Reception: Friday, February 10, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

Saturday, Feb. 11 and Sunday, Feb. 12, noon to 5:00 pm

Remaining Saturdays noon to 5:00 and by appointment


Announcing Oakland’s newest alternative art venue located in one of the oldest artist warehouse lofts in the area which now houses the Gray Loft Gallery.  The space was conceived by Jan Alderton, who saw potential in the beautiful 3rd floor space when the studio became available recently.

The gallery will be an alternative to traditional gallery spaces and will show work by emerging as well as established artists who want to show their work in a more unconventional venue.

The inaugural show will feature work by more than 25 artists. On display will be photographs, paintings, monoprints and sculptures which reflect love, passion, lust, hope, romance, imagination, true love, self love. This is not a Hallmark Valentine show, but rather a visual dialogue about love in its many incarnations and interpretations.  The gallery will also have handmade purses, hats, jewelry, cards and textiles that reflect the theme of love.

Opening reception: Friday, February 10, 6:00 to 9:00 pm

As part of the Estuary Art Attack gallery walk in Alameda and Oakland

Saturday and Sunday, February 11 & 12, noon to 5:00

On Saturday, February 11, Tessier Winery will be having a tasting of their incredible wine from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Bring your sweetheart for a delightful afternoon in Jingletown.

Contact Jan Alderton


Grant R Marcoux – Artist Blacksmith – Tool Repairs

Garden Tool Sharpening & Repair

At the Pilgrim Soul Forge, Alameda, CA
101 West Tower Avenue
Alameda, CA 94501
(On the old Navy Base)

I can sharpen and repair the following tools:

Shears, hatchets, axes, machetes shovels, garden
forks, knives (and many more)

Times are tough….Don’t throw that fine old tool away – FIX IT!

Grant R Marcoux – Artist Blacksmith
Custom metalwork also available!

Plastic Camera Show at Rayko Photo

Our own Jan Watten will be exhibiting in the Plastic Camera Show
RayKo Photo Center
428 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And here’s a bit that the SFWEEKLY wrote about the show to entice you to get a cheap plastic camera and work some magic:
Most of our smartphones contain digital cameras that rival the best that money could buy less than a decade ago. We often pay hundreds of dollars for these devices. And what do we do with them? Filter our 8-megapixel masterpieces through apps such as Hipstamatic and Instagram, to lend that elusive “shitty camera” sheen of yesteryear’s cheap point-and-click models. It makes a persuasive case for Devo’s grand theory of devolution — as a race, we’re going backward. But whether the trend toward faux-distressed photos with blown-out colors is mindless fun or the worst kind of kitsch, the results definitely lack the authentic charm of photos taken with a real, bottom-shelf, analog camera. Said cameras are becoming harder to find, but RayKo gallery director Ann Jastrab must have a secret stash, which she dispatched for “the International Juried Plastic Camera Show,” an exhibition of “the best images from the worst cameras.” From a slew of entries, RayKo curated 100 photos taken by professionals such as Robert Holmgren, proving that a talented photographer can capture an indelible image using any lens, and that no sophisticated image-processing algorithm can match the warm, serendipitous imperfection of analog.