New artworks from
Joan Stuart Ross
& Rachel Maxi
Sunday October 21
The FoodArt Collection is proud to present a show all about oysters with new encaustics from Joan Stuart Ross and oil paintings from Rachel Maxi.
About the Artists
Joan Stuart Ross is an artist that splits her time between Seattle and Nahcotta on Washington's Long Beach Peninsula. Joan has been creating and showing art in the Seattle area for nearly five decades and makes artworks in painting, printing, and encaustics. Her work can be found in numerous public and private collections as well as in museums nationwide. More of Joan's work is currently on exhibition at Kirkland's Ryan James Fine Arts during the month of October.
These Oyster Shell paintings are infused with my long-time interests: spatial depth,
a composition that fills the space, and a layered, colorful, painterly brush-laden
The individual beauty of the oyster shell’s texture, luminosity, and its iconic
essence spurred me to begin a series of Oyster Shell paintings in 2006 when I was
an artist-in-residence at the Espy Foundation in Oysterville, Washington. Stories-high oyster shell stacks proliferate nearby, in Nahcotta, where I was inspired to build a studio after experiencing the light over Willapa Bay during my artist’s residency.
I continue to use single oyster shells as models, and to observe that both sides of
each shell have a fascinating, inscrutable personality--metaphors for nature’s
clarity and complexity.
Rachel Maxi is a Seattle based painter known
throughout the Northwest for her
representational oil paintings of Seattle scenes, old trucks, dumpsters, oysters, and more
recently for abstract paintings. A very prolific painter; her work can be found in numerous private and public collections including the City of Seattle and Swedish Hospital.
Oysters were part of my falling in love and coming of age in the Pacific Northwest. Having grown up in Ohio, it was not something I ever experienced or had any desire to try. But here it was part of the romance of being here. Acquiring a taste for them was easy because they tasted to me the way the sea smells and all the happy feelings I get from being close to it - Eating oysters on a date, learning how to shuck them, putting them on the grill and drizzling butter over them.
When I decided I wanted to paint oysters
several years back, I was originally inspired by
17th century Dutch Masters’ renderings of oysters; I was impressed with the technical skills and the delicate treatment of the sacred oyster - a gourmet food since antiquity, often considered a symbol of eroticism, a delicacy, an aphrodisiac and a medical remedy. I wanted my paintings to reflect the still life atmosphere of my home, on my kitchen table with natural light pouring over them and the lemon slices. Since that first series of oyster paintings, I have shifted my focus to abstraction and am committed to continuing that exploration. But for this show I decided to explore the subject again, hence, my title Reconsidering the Oyster. I am happy to have tried some new techniques with thicker and looser paint here.