The Bainbridge Public Library is dedicated to spreading the joy of reading and the discovery of ideas with not just our local community, but with visitors from near and afar. In addition, the library is fortunate to house beautiful local works of art both inside and outside the building. Each month the library celebrates a local artist (or artists) with an exhibit, which opens monthly on the Island’s First Friday Art Walk tour, and includes a reception hosted by the featured artist.
The Bainbridge Public Library is proud to present an exhibit by artists Elyse Cregar and Judy Guttormsen
Elyse and Judy will host a “meet and greet” from 5pm-7pm on Friday, July 1st to open their new exhibit, “Red, Blue, Green and Everything in Between” for First Friday Art Walk
Chicago native, Elyse Cregar began drawing at the age of five, using the stucco walls of her home as a canvas. Horses were her favorite subject matter, “I imagined each of my drawings gave birth to a new foal somewhere in the world. Such power a child can have!” She explained.
Later, while living in Salem, Massachusetts she concentrated on watercolor commissions which celebrated the diverse and captivating New England architecture. In 1995 she was juried in the Artist Member of the Marblehead Arts Association in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and more recently, she created professional murals in northern Idaho where she lived for 12 years.
Having experienced her share of ice and snow, she happily migrated to the Pacific Northwest, and is now a permanent resident of Kitsap County. Today she concentrates on large and small landscapes, as well as “tabletop” paintings. In June 2018 she exhibited her paintings at the “Spectrum Show” held at Bainbridge Performing Arts. Her piece, titled “The Hiker”, was accepted into the 2019 Annual Washington State Juried Art Competition and Show held in Bremerton, Washington. In addition, she is a member of the Plein Air Washington Artists. She also hones her skills through workshops at the Cole Gallery in Edmonds, Washington.
“Color is my love and my challenge,” Elyse explained, “there is so much to learn about color from the world around us and from the many types of paints and how to mix and apply them.” She enjoys studying other artists’ work to see how they shape the mood of a painting through limited palettes and application of colors. “There are myriad secrets to be discovered; unlocking each one is like opening a door into a room filled with surprises. Filled with wonder.”
When Judy Guttormsen was a kindergartner, she recalls being asked to draw an apple, which she colored green, while her classmates colored theirs red. “The ridicule I felt lasted a long time, but I knew apples could be any color I wanted, or as many colors as I wanted,” she said.
Judy utilizes that experience to inspire her art, but she’s also inspired by words and phrases, “I have found many times a turn of words, a saying, or a cliché’ becomes a reason to dip the brush. For me, many times the words come before the painting. Sometimes a phrase of words will start ringing in my ears and it is an ‘aha’ moment,” she explained. “That would make a fun painting I think, then the words start becoming an image. And the words start to run off the page flowing from my palette into an image.” However, if the words don’t inspire, Judy takes herself outside to be stimulated by nature.
Judy enjoys using watercolors due to its flexible nature—it can be transparent, opaque, light and bright or dark and moody. She alternates between traditional paper and a synthetic paper called YUPO.
Judy was born in Wyoming and raised in the Rocky Mountain states. She studied landscape architecture at Colorado State before moving to Poulsbo, where she’s lived for more than 30 years. As an avid lover of nature and art, she feels the Pacific Northwest is the perfect backdrop and never leaves home without her sketch book. If she’s not in her garden, you can find her in her studio drawing or painting.
I was intrigued by the exhibit’s title and asked the ladies about the inspiration surrounding it, “Judy and I enjoy the myriad uses of color in our paintings and feel no color or subject should be left out or left behind. Sometimes restraint is forgotten,” Elyse explained.
You won’t find their work on any website or social media site (of their own). Both ladies prefer in-person interaction without the demands of modern technology. “If our guests enjoy our work at the Bainbridge Public Library, we are satisfied, at least for now. Whether being outside in our magnificent world or in our studios, seeing, painting, imagining, playing is what we love,” Elyse said. Judy noted, “I do often sketch using Procreate on my tablet, but I prefer the chaos when real paint meets real paper!”
Judy and Elyse’s exhibit is available for viewing and sale at the Bainbridge Public Library throughout the month of June in the meeting room during regular library hours and on the library website, www.bainbridgepubliclibrary.org.
As always, thank you for supporting your Bainbridge Public Library and local artists. If you have interest in exhibiting your work, feel free to contact Linda Meier, art coordinator, at email@example.com
***Content and images provided by Linda Meier, Bainbridge Public Library and Elyse Cregar and Judy Guttormsen
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