Third Thursday in July will be a night to remember at Proctor Art Gallery. The July Artist Showcase on July 18, 5-8 p.m., will feature watercolorist Bonnie Cargol, intuitive painter Michelle Osborne, and sculptor Lorelle Parker. Take a look at this month’s theme wall “Into the Night,” enjoy refreshments, and meet the local artists who have created all new work for July.
Proctor Art Gallery is located at 3811 N. 26th St., Tacoma. Visit www.ProctorArt.com to read more Proctor Art Gallery artists’ statements like the ones below, and like the gallery page on Facebook. Artwork shown here are examples – look for new works at the Showcase.
Bonnie Cargol is a lifelong resident of Washington State. She earned a bachelor of science and a master of science from the University of Washington. She has worked in biomedical research at the University and has taught biology and chemistry at community colleges.
She is now retired, and, after raising three children, devotes her time to art. She has been an artist since childhood and has explored many media, but now paints exclusively in watercolor. Her work has been exhibited and received awards in many shows throughout the Puget Sound area. She also has done professional commissions for real estate development.
She has been active in developing community art projects such as the Proctor Art Fest, the 6thAvenue Art on the Ave, and was responsible for the Proctor Art Walk 2007 and 2008.
Her favorite subjects are landscapes and waterscapes, as she finds beauty and emotional appeal in nature, and always finds a challenge in capturing its allure.
She occasionally enjoys taking on the same challenge with city architecture. Her techniques involve pouring, splattering, and conventional brushwork to achieve an inviting and aesthetic picture. All of her work is original, painted from imagination, on site, or from reference photos taken by her, her friends, or family.
Each piece is a journey. It begins when something catches my attention – an emotion, a color, or a vague idea. Brush strokes propel me forward and reveal unexpected terrain. Like a good hike, each work has difficult spots where I feel challenged and unsure. At these times it is tempting to stop, give up, turn back. However, persistence pays off as the rough spots lead to small surprises that culminate in the breathtaking experience that is creation. Inspiration comes from everywhere – nature, a conversation, a fleeting thought, color, or emotion. Each painting is an invitation for others to join the endless process of discovery that is intuitive creativity.
I graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a BA in art. My intention was an emphasis in painting, but I was required to take a ceramics class before I could graduate. I enjoyed throwing pots on the wheel, though I was never very good at it. But the last assignment of the semester was to make a sculpture, and I was hooked.
Clay is an amazing medium for me. I believe that art has a spirit to it, and my job is to create a sculpture to house that spirit. There is a quality of aliveness to so much art, and I often feel like I am working in conjunction with that spirit to create the sculpture it becomes.
My work is very informed by myth and folklore. I am an animal lover and I enjoy creating animals in clay. I love the image of shape shifters, and I often sculpt humans shape shifting into animals, or vise versa, and into or from trees. I call much of my work mytho-fantastical, because so much of what I do is inspired by myths and the magical, fantastic creatures in myths and folklore.
I like reaching back into that (perhaps not so) bygone era when humans recognized that nature was filled with spirits and magical beings that interacted with us, both in beneficial and malevolent ways.
I am very interested in and inspired by European Paleolithic cave paintings, and enjoy integrating those images into my work. I have always liked the look of “primitive” art, and Paleolithic carvings that have been buried and aged for thousands of years.
What is special about the materials or tools you use in your work?
Clay is a direct connection to the earth, and helps keep me grounded. It is pliable and forgiving, yet has its own quirks and personalities that must be respected.
What do you like most about Tacoma, Puget Sound, or the Pacific Northwest?
The Pacific Northwest is home. I cannot imagine living in a place without trees and mountains. Without our infamous rain we would not have our beautiful “Evergreen” State.