Saturday, February 27, 2010

Art in Kaiser Vallejo

Artist, Eileen Downes in front of two of her pieces
I am pleased to have my five piece series, Our Farmers' Treasures, newly installed on the first floor of the Kaiser Vallejo Hospital. I was honored to be able to attend the opening ceremony for the artists, and enjoyed talking with many of them. I'm impressed with the commitment Kaiser Permanente has for visual arts in the healing process.

All five of the pieces from Our Farmers' Treasures...see how the "blue ribbon" which is symbolic of water, flows through each piece and even out onto the mattes.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Stories Behind The Art

Harmony, installed in a collectors' home

Elaine came to me with a request and an idea for a custom collage painting made in her late husband’s memory. In her lovely home, I sat with Elaine, and over a cup of tea, as she shared charming details about Roy’s life as a musician, entertainer, teacher, and world traveler. Multi-talented, he mastered the piano, balalaika, guitar, and accordion, all of which are depicted in the collage painting. I learned that one of his favorite instruments was the balalaika, a beautiful traditional Russian stringed instrument which I had never even of heard of before. He was an artist himself, and I was a privileged viewer of his home hallway art gallery. Roy even had a special saying for which he was known in his circle of friends…a saying that just MUST be incorporated into the collage.

Inspired by a life well lived, I returned to my studio to create sketches and to begin developing the piece. As I often do, I hid words of special meaning, including Roy’s special saying, in the artwork to encourage a deeper observation by the viewer.

The piece was made specially to hang on the brick wall over the fireplace mantle. The colors were chosen to harmonize with the room. Roy’s collection of instruments are displayed on the wall and on the hearth near the artwork.

It is my hope that you enjoy learning the “Stories Behind the Art” – a new column appearing each month in my art newsletter. Collectors’ photos and stories are shared only with their permission.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

New Work from the Stepping-Up Series

Artist: Eileen Downes
Title: Nattie's Red Shoes
(Stepping-Up Series)
Medium: Collage
Size: 24" x 18"

The shoes are coming soon to
20th Street Art Gallery
911 20th Street
Sacramento CA