Thistle, Oakland Gold Green 79 © 2013 by Lorrie Fink
I went to see the exhibit Flora and Form at the Gray Loft Gallery in Oakland on April 11.
Wow! Was I ever surprised to see such a great show. I went to see and support an artist friend, Lorrie Fink. She does these fantastic botanicals that are thickly done in her oil on canvas paintings. Though I normally don’t like themes of plants and flowers in art work, I admire her work. Her colors are delicate but her brush strokes are wild and done with deliberate intention. The two Thistle paintings above are from her Wild Things series.
The gallery is non traditional in a former studio on the third floor of a live-work building in an area of Oakland called Jingletown. I know Jingletown because before I found my current housing, I went to see a live-work space there. I took note of the great creative vibe.
Third floor walk up but easy. Not many steps to the second floor and then you walk all the way to the back of the building to the stairway leading to the third floor. When I arrived I knew it was the right place as Lorrie’s large painting which I estimate it to be 40″ x 40″ was hanging just outside the entrance. It was the best “Welcome to our Gallery” sign.
The gallery was a lot larger than I was expecting. Two rooms with great wall space. The first room had four complete walls for our viewing enjoyment. The work was of exceptional quality. All the flowers and plants had breathing room. So many flower paintings are so tightly done that it makes me feel like holding my breath. So I was able to breathe freely and observe the art.
I liked Ellen Little’s work which I interpreted as Hollyhocks though they may be some other flower. I also liked Carrie Lederer’s work, particularly the painted rocks–they reminded me of aboriginal art which focuses on the curved lines and patterns in nature.
My favorite wall was in the second room where all the exhibiting artists had work. They were of different shapes and sizes and appeared to be from seeds thrown against the wall, given light from the adjacent window and then sprouted into these exquisite pieces of art. Now that is my type of garden.