JGallery Exhibit Features Artists Inspired by Nature’s Beauty
Nature has always provided a vast wealth of inspiration for artists. The artistic exploration of nature through art can take endless forms, opening our eyes to the intricacy and beauty of the natural world. In the exhibition “Beauty Surrounds in Nature” four Austin artists — Katie Dunkle, Claire Gaston, Priscilla Wicker and Rae Andrews — capture the life force of our natural environment with a variety of styles, techniques and palettes.
The exhibition is on view in JGallery from July 23 to August 20 with an artists’ reception on Sunday, August 5 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Join the Visual Arts League August 5 for light refreshments and artists’ remarks.
Dunkle is an avid traveler and explorer of the natural environment. She recently returned from a journey in a mobile tiny house that allowed her to take her studio on the road and out into nature. The cross-country trip was a source of endless inspiration as she focused on a new body of work, “Wildflowers,” that captures the beauty and variety of our state flowers. The works of art are rendered with crisp lines and vibrant colors creating a floral world of delicate beauty.
Dunkle graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and has also studied abroad in Lacoste, France, a flourishing community for art students. Current representation includes Wythaus Gallery and Austin Art Garage.
A lifelong painter, art instructor and native Texan, Gaston has been painting and teaching for 20 years in Central Texas. She holds a BFA and an MFA in painting and drawing. Her interests focus on natural subject matter, oil painting and botanical illustration. Influences on her work include Dutch still life paintings, abstract expressionism, early American landscape painting and gardening.
Gaston’s paintings and drawings focus on our relationship with nature and with ourselves. She is interested in how we connect and disconnect, every day, with our surroundings and with each other. Gaston views the natural forms and ordinary objects in her art as metaphors for human emotions and actions.
Wicker enjoys finding the serenity of nature in her work. She looks for beauty and inspiration in the natural forms around her. Flowers, shells, plants, fossils and other objects from nature inspire her. She strives to create art that celebrates beauty, color, life and tranquility while sharing a genuine, insightful and life-affirming message.
For Wicker, watercolor is a medium of self-expression. The clarity, transparency and subtlety of watercolor and its capacity to capture light give a fresh and organic portrayalof the subject at hand. She studied art, drawing, composition and photography at the University of Dallas and at Allgemeine Gewerbeschule in Basel, Switzerland. After working as a graphic designer, Priscilla taught at Austin Community College in the Visual Communications Department where she served as chair and professor.
Andrews is an Australian expat, having lived for 12 years on the island of Maui, Hawaii, before coming to Austin. She earned her art degrees in Sydney, Australia, and owned an art school and two art galleries.
Calling herself a colorist, Andrews’ art is not only highly influenced by color but movement and tonal drama are important attributes in her compositions. Andrews enjoys working in a variety of mediums using oils, watercolors, pastels and acrylics for her reflections of the natural world. Her floral themes, landscapes and seascapes often move between realism, semi - abstraction and impressionistic approaches rather than a pure photo-realistic rendition.
Andrews continues to teach art conducting workshops in the United States, Europe and Australia. ■