August Featured Artists
Leo Brew’s oil paintings of wildlife and Jane Vanderzanden’s Western-themed scratchboards are on display in the gallery this month.
Sequoia Gallery artist Jane Vanderzanden’s focus for her August show is on her scratchboard drawings. Starting with a sheet of black scratchboard, she uses various instruments to scratch out fine details of light from beneath the black surface. Jane says this medium lends itself well to creating the form and textures of wildlife and nature.
Jane combines her two interests of nature and art into wildlife and Western themed acrylic paintings and scratchboard drawings. The details of her work present many transparent layers of color, small brush strokes or fine scratchboard lines. Her inspiration comes from her first-hand observations while hiking and trail riding through the wilderness. Jane shows her artwork at various venues throughout the Northwest.
Leo’s devotion to capturing the grandeur of wildlife in her paintings was first nurtured with trips to the zoo as a child with her father. She continues to visit zoos and wildlife sanctuaries regularly, where she observes, gains reference materials, bonds with precious wildlife families, and joins in the solace of these sanctuaries. Many new works presented in her featured artist exhibition, Majesty of the Cat, are a result of a full year of study and concentrated effort.
“In my communion with wild animals, I have long felt their equality with humans, and abhor the notion that humans are inherently superior to these grand living beings. They feel every emotion that humans do: pleasure and pain, hardship and joy, parenting and family bonds, stress and repose,” Leo states.
“I try to capture the personality and dignity of these creatures, much as a portrait painter attempts to capture not just a likeness, but the essence of the individual. Once I achieve a distinctive gleam in their eyes I feel a rush of accomplishment and I know I’ve turned another corner in my painting process,” she adds. Leo is committed to supporting conservation and preservation of wild animals in their native habitats.