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Raven Sawyer

Raven Sawyer

Friday, 10 July 2015 18:42

Starbucks | Jul 2015


This month’s newsletter reads like a Starbucks coffee. A Venti Iced 2 pump Mocha with quad espresso shots to be exact! (Jack’s favorite drink until he started having heart arrhythmias. Go figure!) Anyway, let’s just say the artists I’m presenting today are a powerful blend of talent, taste, and energy …and plenty of it. They are also extremely kind and enjoyable people….Bonus! (Whipped cream topping!)

To start this highly caffeinated chronicle, I should like to begin with an anatomy of a murder. A “Murder of Crows” to be exact. This is the title to the oil on canvas, executed by artist Dave Lebow. I cannot view this piece without thoroughly being drawn into it each time I pass. The woman descending down the stone stairway, eyes fluttered, hair aswoosh, and neck sensuously and vulnerably exposed, as a murder of crows is in flight about her. The rendering of the stone, the color and texture of the crows, the classic form of the woman and the movement of this piece, all take me back to fond memories of scenes like this of mystery and fantasy. And maybe a large bowl of popcorn! What are the crows signaling to her? A forewarning? Did they swoop through the window at the top of the stairs? Are they trying to apprehend her dissension, to protect her from what is below?

Welcome to the imagination of Dave Lebow!

Welcome to your own imagination! It’s okay…….let yourself go there! In Lebow’s oil painting, “Rat Princess”, the eyes are given an other-worldly sight. The dimension of the princess tells you that you are somewhere you haven’t been before. She confidently sits upon the rat’s back, as he seems to show a protective and prideful care for her in his stance. She holds a lighted torch which is a matchstick taken from the box of matches nearby. She is sultry and strong. What world she rules, I know not! Dave shows his talent well by the way he has painted the details of the wood, the rat, the fire and the burlesqueness of the woman. Not a lot of artist can do multiple subjects and do them as well as he does!

The third piece, “The Kiss”, depicts a woman blowing a kiss to a Dragon-like creature whose mouth is open and teeth bared with a force to cause her hair to be blown behind her. Yet, she has a calm and serene look on her face as she gently blows the kiss to him from off the palm of her hand. One detects no fear in the woman. Beautiful in motion and color.

Dave certainly has a way with Beauties and Beasts!

As H.P. Lovecraft said:

“Pleasure to me is wonder-the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.”

Dave was born and raised in Oklahoma, a native Tulsan. Today he lives in Southern California. Lebow combines pulp illustration, fantasy, drama, horror, classical style and realism in varied combinations in his artworks. He has a retro style that is “old school” and “new world”. Dave also does Illustrating and Animations for the entertainment industry.


A little factoid: While we are “appreciating” (understanding) art and art concepts, it’s only fair and fun to point out some elements at times. For instance, what about crows and a murder of crows? Crows are very social and caring creatures. They are considered to be among the smartest animals on the planet! They possess advanced reasoning and tool making skills and live everywhere but the Antarctica. They are susceptible to West Nile Virus and their deaths are used as early indicators of potential human disease in an area. The term “murder of crows” dates back to the 15th century. It is a collective noun, reflecting a time when groups of animals were named more colorfully and poetically; an “ostentation of peacocks”, a parliament of owls”, a ”skulk of foxes”, a “pride of lions” and etc.. Other reasons for the term “murder of crows” may just lie in folklore and superstition; such as crows will gather and decide the capital fate of another crow or the appearances of crows as an omen of death, because crows and ravens are scavengers.

I’m probably going to “be eating a little crow” for being late with the newsletter again! CAW, CAW, CAW!

With my own cup of coffee in hand, (helps wash down the crow!) a k-cup of Dark Magic to be exact (higher caffeine content); I will continue to keep up with the energy and boldness of the artists of which I speak!

Serving you today as a Barista of art, I am honored to talk about Santa Clara Potter, Susan Folwell. She is enriching to Lovetts Gallery and her collectors.

To get a taste and feel of Susan’s work is to know she produces classic, time-honored, from the ground up, premier pottery. With a twist! Her process is traditional, as are her clay and firing techniques. Even her use of Santa Clara soil.

But, it’s Susan’s forms, designs and imagery that makes her work so unique. She has a rich and bold heritage; her mother, Jody Folwell is considered the Matriarch of the Avant Garde Native Pottery Movement. Susan is motivated by challenges and this played an important part in her finding her own voice in her work. She speaks through the imagery on her pottery by utilizing past experiences, present circumstances and future thoughts; concepts developed and expressed in relation to her life. She is not timid to implement social issues and political ideas into her designs, and she drives you there with the vehicle of humor!

A new and unusual piece in the Gallery of Susan’s is

“Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk”!

There are varied sizes of three cartons of milk, two with straws and a fourth piece representing the “spilt milk”. Detailing “missing persons”, these Yellow Brick Dairy Cartons of Pueblo pottery are quite expressive. Due to the 3Dimensional qualities of her work, nothing is as satisfying as seeing them up close and personal in the Gallery. Folwell injects a higher conscience and purpose to her creations and takes delight in finding the right home and the right person for them. She works her heart and spirit into her pieces along with the clay. That’s how Susan continues to find her voice and that’s how we continue to hear it!

Oh, to talk about this next artist is to follow a high octane and eclectic Scott French! With several art disciplines under his creative belt, and a fascination for human emotions and relationships, Scott paints with oils on panel, or as in his piece “28 Words”, he painted oil on a skateboard deck. Or his piece, “The Wicked One” which was painted on an old book of The Wizard of Oz. Recently sold were two images of a nude and semi nude witch. Green witches! I had never contemplated a witch out of her traditional garb, much less her nakedness. Her green nakedness! Here is where Scott humanized her and created a relational bridge. It challenges ones pre-conceived ideas of things. (It’s kind of like when you were a kid and one day you learned that teachers were real people that actually left the school and had to get groceries like everyone else.) Or was that just me?

French is playful with the elements he injects with his subjects. Hat wear, head dressings and even antlers in his figurative pieces. Scott explores a wide range of emotion by the facial expressions, attitudes and body posturing in his paintings as he expresses their individuality. He also paints landscapes with a flair for the Renaissance or you may encounter a girl riding “bear” back with a ship atop the crown of her head. That last one is oil on canvas, named “Nighttime Stories”. According to Scott, this is a fairytale of dreams. To protect the magic and mystery of the painting, French will only say, “The bear represents the wild, the girl is passion, and the ship is adventure. The rest of the story is up to you!”

A few of the new oil paintings to see of Scott‘s in the gallery is “The Strange Engagement”, “No Apologies” and “The Inaudible Utterance”!

As a last shot of art espresso to our coffee monologue, I want to talk about the oil paintings of artist Gwen Wong. High-spirited, she shares her passion for animals in her work. As most artists have people in a starring role and animals as supporting actors, Gwen’s compositions have the animals in the main role and people as her substructure. I have taken literary license with that last statement, as it is my own observation. Actually, her career began with painting her beloved Weimaraner, Bella. This was Wong’s bellwether for exploring the canine, and to follow with other animals as well, as a surrogate human form. I believe any animal lover can certainly relate! In painting people and animals, Gwen has a way of capturing your attention with their eyes. Both opened and closed. She loves to use allegory, applying with her paintbrush, a story that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning. Wong uses her creative intelligence, which is a combination of creative thinking, logical thinking and imagination! A few examples, “Bedlam” or “Call to Mind” or say, “the Language of Possibilities” represents these elements. Even “The Chook”. Uh! Oh! You have got to love the look on his face! Also striking are her crow pieces and her Magpie, “The Keeper”. The Magpie (in the crow family), is very clever. They are the only non-mammal species to pass the mirror test. This is when the bird can see itself in a mirror and understand that it is a reflection!

Gwen says, “By contrasting the characteristics that man and creatures share, creating an illusory world, where reality is optional, I begin to push the boundaries of what we know to be real and propose an alternate spectacular possibility!”

Thank you Susan, Scott and Gwen for continuing to be a part of the Imagination!

As I bring this metaphorical java journal to a close, we all hope you will come and see the hard work of the artists we represent in the Gallery. We thank you on their behalf. We thank you for all you do to make the imagination a reality here at Lovetts.


Energy for this publication was funded by lots of C8H10N402 !!!!!

(The molecular formula for caffeine)

Thank you for your support, for reading this newsletter, and for loving and appreciating art!!!

Raven Sawyer, the Beak Speak of Lovett’s, reminding you that life is more colorful when you have a good Artitude!

Editorial by: Raven Sawyer

Congratulations goes to Julie Bender for being “Best of Show” recipient

for The Lollipop Guild Exhibition for her piece “Horse of a Different Color”.

Thursday, 15 October 2015 18:38

Delicious Ambiguity | Oct 2015


A feast for the eyes and a delight to the senses. The birds.

The Birds exhibition is tastefully and ambiguously connected to the Hitchcock classic story,

The Birds”.

The artists were presented with this story to create from; The diving board to their pool of many ideas. They have worked hard on their pieces for this show and it is truly exciting to see the ambiguity (two or more meanings or interpretations) of the collection. As for the movie, “The Birds”, there has been a lot of analysis on the intent and/or meaning of the film. All compelling and plausible. Hitchcock knew how to create mystery. But what if the point of the story is simply “delicious ambiguity”. Gilda Radner defined that term this way:” I always wanted a happy ending…now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it without knowing what’s going to happen next”. Hmmm…. uncertainty.  Delicious ambiguity! Maybe this is the message Hitchcock had in mind.


The artists in this exhibit took flight with their imaginations and talent and have produced works that reflects the important element of individual perspective. We may all view the same thing but not “see” the same thing! Delicious ambiguity!

The Birds Exhibition will be open to the public Saturday, October 24, from 10:00a.m.-5:00p.m.

The Collectors Circle preview evening will be Friday, October 23, from 5:00-8:00p.m. This is an invitation only event.


A deep and heartfelt appreciation goes to the very talented and equally generous, Anthony Waichulis, for his creation of “The Birds” video! A special thank you to Anthony and the Ani Art Academies for providing us the opportunity to work with such young and talented artists and instructors from around the world and for being a big help and inspiration to Lovetts Gallery!


Welcome to the imagination


A very special welcome to all the artists presenting in the birds show

Daud Akhriev

Timur Akhriev

Marla Allison

Carol Amos

Julie Bender

Rick and Tracy Bewley

Jason Brady

Robert L. Caldwell

Todd M. Casey

Mary Chiaramonte

Sheri DeBow

Terry Donahue

Melanie Florio

Todd Ford

Britt Freda

Scott French

Josh George

Geoffrey Gorman

Anthony Gonzales

Grant Hacking

Whitney M. Hall

Jeff Ham

Ken Hager

K. Henderson

Carrianne Hendrickson

Kelly Hensing

Chelsea Herron

Guy Hobbs

David Hochbaum

Terry Isaac

Timothy Jahn

James W. Johnson

Kirsten Kainz

Lindsey Kustusch

Karen Latham

Rebecca Latham

Dave Lebow

Lacey Lewis

Jane Liang

Jody Lyle

Alexandra Manukyan

Kevin Moore

Jody Naranjo

Vince Natale

Michael John Nolan

Claudia Patrick

Erika Pochybova

Sharon Pomales

Paul Rhymer

Victor Roman

Deb Schmit

David Shingler

Brian Slawson

Victoria Steel

Scot Storm

David Stoupakis

Janice Sugg

Leah Waichulis

Gwen Wong

Pete Zaluzec

And an inviting welcome to you, to attend “the birds Exhibition”!!


Thank you for your support, for reading this newsletter, and for loving and appreciating art!!!

Raven Sawyer, the Beak Speak of Lovett’s, reminding you that life is more colorful when you have a good Artitude!

Friday, 25 September 2015 18:35

Just art appreciation

Good Morning……all day long!!!

This week I am excited to talk about what art appreciation is. But first, I’d like to define what “appreciation” means. When we recognize and enjoy the good qualities of someone (like you!) or something, we experience appreciation. It is fully understanding a situation; the nature or meaning of something. Appreciation is all about understanding! I loathe brussel sprouts! But, I can appreciate that others feel culinary delight to have a plate of them, as well as receiving the nutrition they provide. Phil, our logistics manager, loves camping. I love NOT camping. I do appreciate the elements of camping and that it provides pleasure and adventure for Phil and his family. We can appreciate the different elements of people, places and things. I’ll have more to say about elements in a moment, in regards to art.

Art is a tangible entity as in a painting, sculpture, photograph, and etc. Art is uniquely human and tied directly to culture. It is an expressive medium that allows us to experience joy, sorrow, confusion and clarity. It gives a visual voice to ideas and feelings, connects us to the past, reflects the present, and anticipates the future.

But art…….requires an artist. Societies call on artists… to create.

So obviously, an artist is the first element of art. The other elements, the building blocks, include line, shape, form, space, texture, value and color. Art also requires content, which is idea based. These are intended and /or actual messages and our reactions as individuals to them. Content also includes ways in which a piece of work was influenced; society, politics, religion, personal experiences, history, education and emotions. All these factors, together, make up the content side of art.

By referencing appreciation, am I getting ready to tell you that you should like all art?

Absolutely not!

Do you like every piece of music you hear, every book you read or every food you’ve tasted?

Of course not!

But you can learn to appreciate (to understand) art outside your comfort zone. The benefits are twofold. (1) Understanding the elements an artist implements in order to create is helpful in understanding what their piece of work is about. And (2) Familiarity can bring with it a particular level of relaxation. Learning can certainly have these after-effects!

Often, an appreciation for something only comes with repeated and prolonged exposure.

For almost six decades I have been involved in art in some shape or fashion. Some of my personal tastes in art have changed a few times, but due to learning to “appreciate” art; I’ve since become more eclectic in admiring and collecting!

It really is an enjoyable exercise. As Dee, our Social Media Director, likes to quote her father…..”Have an open mind, but not so wide your brains fall out!”.

Now let’s work out!!!

Get your art pants on and come to Lovett’s Gallery and do some stretching in Art Appreciation!


Sunday, 27 September 2015 18:34

Being distressed is a good thing!

Artist Romona Youngquist takes you to a place of serenity and peace by way of a whirlwind canvas ride of oils. You have heard the saying, “the calm before the storm”…….but with Romona’s unique approach to painting……”the storm before the calm” more aptly defines her creative technique.

A completed work of art from Romona isn’t just about application. It is also about removal. Addition and subtraction. Herein lays her passion, as she “storms” the canvas with a myriad of tools to do her bidding, in the act of distressing. After applying oils from her muted and limited palette, softly building from a soft shower, she gathers strength and intensity like a thunderhead cloud billowing above. Powerful lightning bolts of sand paper, brushes uprooted and used on their pointy ends, to rags, or anything else blowing in her way are snatched at will for her to strike the canvas with. The aftermath of this textural effects storm, in its unconventional applications, leaves the finished painting shining in the dewy light of comforting scenes of traditional form. The calm. The relatable. The recognizable and the wishful.

At a very early age, she was fascinated with values as she observed them in nature. Value is the relative lightness and darkness of a color. It defines form and creates spatial illusion. Contrast and gradation. Mass and contour. Mood and drama. Whether living in Oklahoma as a youth or an adult in the wine country of Oregon today, Romona’s subject matter is close to home. She has nurtured appreciation and observancy in regards to her surroundings and allowed nature to be her teacher. Inspired in this way, she encourages you to escape the stresses of daily life and indulge in an impressionistic walk through her work where one experiences peace and inspiration. Rejuvenation.

We are happy to welcome Romona Youngquist to our group of artist’s here at Lovetts Gallery!


“The Clouds—-the only birds that never sleep”……..Victor Hugo

Saturday, 17 October 2015 18:32

Trick or Treat?

At Lovetts Gallery, you don’t have to choose one or the other. With Artist Jay Davenport… get both!

As a Master of Trompe L’Oeil, Jay goes about his work as a Grand Illusionist. One with a sense of humor, I must add! His very detailed and realistic paintings are done in oil. Trick no.1: Looks like a photograph…but it’s not! Trick no.2: Appears that the image is 3Dimensional…but it is not! Along with his paints, Davenport uses the tool of linear perspective to fool us!

Jay continues to have a lifelong interest and pursuit in Fine Art and favors animals and wildlife as his subject matter, although not exclusively. Through his paintings, he tells secrets, on us as humans; by the way we interact and perceive things in life. Maybe Jay is laughing at us, laughing at ourselves! Did we get tricked again?

The Treat: Davenport’s “Mail Order Bride” and “There’s No Place Like Home” are presently in the Gallery with additional pieces scheduled for arrival. Treat yourself to the talent and creativity of artist Jay Davenport!

Representationalism is the bedrock to this artist. His dedication is clearly evident in his attention to detail. He has been awarded, medaled, and published and we are glad to welcome him to the Gallery and to you!


Trompe L’Oeil – to trick the eye! An art technique that uses the rendering of objects and spaces with eye-fooling exactitude. Both playful and intellectually serious, Trompe Artists toy with spectators “seeing” to raise questions about the nature of art and perception.

A funny story about the famous Florentine painter, Giotto (1267-1337), as an illustration: One day, Giotto decided to play a trick on the older artist Cimabue (1240-1302), to whom he was apprenticed. So when the latter’s back was turned, Giotto painted a tiny fly onto the mural which his master was painting. Cimabue then went berserk trying to brush away the fly, before he realized it was an illusion!

Lovett’s is honored to continue to represent two other outstanding Trompe Artists at the Gallery. Come and be delightfully and deliciously deceived by K. Henderson and Natalie Featherston!

So come and bag some eye-candy from the Trick and Treat art of Trompe L’oeil artists at Lovetts Gallery!

Raven Sawyer

Tuesday, 01 December 2015 18:29

Plaid goes in many Directions

“What is more cheerful now, in the Fall of the year, than an open wood fire? Do you hear those little chirps and twitters coming out of that piece of apple-wood? Those are the ghosts of the Robins and Bluebirds that sang upon the bough when it was in blossom last Spring.”

“In Summer, whole flocks of them come fluttering about the fruit-trees under the window: so I have singing birds all year round!”                   

Thomas Bailey Aldrich


So do many of the collectors who purchased works from The Birds Exhibition!

Just like birds, art is all varieties…… all seasons……… all year……always!

All of us at Lovetts, thank you for spreading your wings with enthusiasm and support in honoring exceptional artists and exceptional works for The Hitchcock inspired show, The Birds.

 “The birds fly south for the winter, not because it’s cold, but because they have wings. Similarly, love has the ultimate flight pattern, and that pattern is plaid”.

Jarod Kintz

Naturally, plaid goes in many directions. As does art, as do artist, as does Lovetts Gallery and as do you! That’s why our next show will be taking a love of all those things on a flight pattern, one that is vertical, one defined by height. Altitude. High altitude!


 The altitude project. exhibition is coming in February 2016. This show will feature five high performing artists, who will all be present at the exhibition along with all new heartwork. They define for you and themselves why they are artists. They take on challenges with determination, expertise, adrenaline, self-exploration and vulnerability. As proverbial tight-rope walkers, balance is not something they find. It’s something they create.


Although analogies of tight-rope walkers may generally infer danger, fear and risk, this is not our intent or definition. Allow me artistic license with words to explain. These artists create because there is no choice not to.  It is void of reverse direction. It’s their voice. Their footsteps made in brushstrokes.

 The altitude project. unifies the artist and the collector in dual exploration. There is adventure at great heights. Uncertainty is an element of living an adventurous life. Let uncertainty beckon you instead of scare you away. Attitude determines altitude.

Be elevated with the presence and performance of high altitude artists Roseta Santiago, Lindsey Kustusch, Steven Walker, Natalie Featherston and Josh George.


 These artists were invited to develop their own threads or themes for their pieces, if they so chose to. And they did!  We will share those colorful details in our next newsletter. Don’t forget to watch the tight-rope walker move on the timeline for this event on our Exhibitions page and on Lovetts Gallery Facebook. Thanks to Phil for designing it.

 Speaking of tabs…..the new web site is finally up! This has been a lengthy, learning experience and we are still working out some kinks as we go along, but we are rolling with it and apologize for the annoyances and thank you for your patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day and obviously neither are websites! Tee-hee!



Thank you for your support, for reading this newsletter, and for loving and appreciating art!!!

Raven Sawyer, the Beak Speak of Lovett’s, reminding you that life is more colorful when you have a good Artitude!

Tuesday, 08 December 2015 18:25

Time to reflect and refract.

That’s what glass artist Pavel Novak does, and he does it stunningly!

From the Czech Republic, where he was born and raised, a country where he also gained knowledge and training, has a long tradition of beautiful glass with impeccable craftsmanship.

Pavel not only contemplates his creations, which is only the beginning, he prepares for them as he embarks on the long, skillful and labor intensive journey his art requires. Every piece is one of a kind and created from the highest grades of optical glass. Novak achieves kaleidoscopic results by cold working processes, grinding, polishing, laminating, coloring and sand blasting.

Immigrated in 2000 to the United States, he has continued creating beautiful glass sculptures and investing in the lives of students, with his talent and expertise, as a premier instructor.

I should like to add a note of importance about optical glass; Some have said it is worth more than gold. I agree. I wear glasses, of which I cannot see without. That means the world to me for I couldn’t see the world without them. Optical glass has rather magical qualities and takes great craftsmanship to make it in to the useful and thing of beauty it is. Just think next time when you view intense images taken by a high quality camera or breathtaking projections seen from a high performance telescope. Just a few other examples of how optical glass impacts and inspires our lives!

Optical glass is the perfect blend of nature, mathematics, science, beauty and the imagination!

Come view Pavel Novak’s sculptures and reflect, refract and revel. Rejoicing is allowed as well!

Raven Sawyer

Tuesday, 19 January 2016 17:55

A Cold Descent

I knew then what I had done. I had killed a man. I had killed a man to get a woman. I had put myself in her power, so there was one person in the world that could point a finger at me, and I would have to die. I had done all that for her, and I never want to see her again as long as I lived. That’s all it takes, one drop of fear, to curdle love into hate.

Wow! Did I just go back to the 40’s…? James M. Cain…Double Indemnity? I couldn’t help myself! I was looking at the first oil painting of Joseph Crones and was swept away into thriller mode!

Sitting down with a cup of Joe, with my mitts on the mill, I’m on the tail of an artist of excellent quality, a real crackerjack!

Crone’s debut oil on panel, “A Cold Descent” is a nostalgic adventure into Classic Film Noir. Noir, a French word for black, is representative of a classic, dramatic, literary and cinematic style. Noir aesthetics are deeply influenced with a low-key black and white visual style that has roots in German Expressionism, an artistic movement of the 1910’s and 1920’s. By its nature, the movement was interested in the relationship between art and society, politics and popular culture.

Joseph Crone is known, greatly so, for his hypnotic and tension filled imagery and techniques with colored pencil on Dura-Lar Film. His renderings are hyper- realistic, dramatic and cinematic. Joseph artistically performs for his audience in rich psychological narratives. His work will have you singing like a canary.

At present, Crone has chosen to mesmerize us with his skillful talent in oil, while at the same time staying unified to his genre and black and white color palette. Between black and white is a wide range of shadow and Crone is a director of the 50 shades of the color gray. Fingered for his new oil work, “A Cold Descent”, he has portrayed a real dish. Or Femme Fatale. A real looker doing a clean sneak via the stairway. Innocent or guilty? She is certainly sultry and pensive.

She is in the line-up at the gallery and she can be all yours for some cabbage. It’s time for me to blow, so make time to come check out this great piece of work by Joseph Crone.

I need to get out of these rags and grab Jack and head to the hash house for dinner!


Raven Sawyer

Tuesday, 12 January 2016 17:53

Defining our humanity

Donato Giancola-Defining our humanity.

Through his love of story and work with the human figure, Donato makes conscious efforts to find and preserve those forms of expression which best defines our humanity.

What meaning do the words engineer, designer, draftsman, illustrator, architect, historian and visionary have in relation to art? Everything if you are New York artist Donato Giancola! Inspired by the best contemporary Figurative Realists through to the greatest of the Old Master, Donato combines Classical, Abstract, and Realism, as well as working with Science Fiction and Fantasy. As an artistic bridge builder, Giancola oil paints in Narrative Realism, drawing upon historical, mythological and literary materials providing an elaborate connection of the traditional and contemporary. With this strong foundation, he is an expansive and dramatic story teller with his brushes.

In his epic and original rendering, Vesuvius, you are compelled just like the elements in the painting. The boundaries of this piece with the billowing smoke, raging fires, the propulsion of the woman and breaking pillars, can barely contain the motion, action and emotion presented. The intensity of contrast and the power and richness of his color and subjects will have you experiencing this piece in a cinematic fashion. This image graces the front cover of “Air and Darkness”, the fourth and last book in the series “Books of the Elements”, a newly released David Drake novel. Donato has done the cover artwork on all four books.

“Mermaid: Search Study”, caused me to pause and question my beliefs of mermaids. Donato has portrayed this mythological creature in such a realistic way that for a moment……a long, long moment…I felt they must certainly be real. A fantasy come true? Perhaps! He so deftly painted her, washed ashore, and expired. A mermaid’s death or the death of a dream. One thing is vividly alive… and that is Giancolas imagination. Death makes most people want to look away, but you can’t with her, as you are drawn to her beauty and otherworldliness; yet also drawn to her in a relatable and recognizable way as to her human identity. Giancola has masterfully painted this piece, depicting the iridescence of her skin, the motion of her hair and the seaweed and the luminosity of the conch shell at her side. The ray of sun reflecting on the rocks and her face, whispers grace and mystery! A Search Study indeed!

A quote of Francis Bacon reads, “There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.”

“Genghis Khan”, the 13th century warrior who founded the MongolEmpire, both loved and hated, is another painting of Donato’s that shows strength and power, in the subject matter of the piece and the artists’ adeptness in rendering. Genghis facial expression, his eyes, uniform and the way the artist has used lighting, is compelling and commanding.

“Kushiel’s Dart” is stunning and elegant! Again, with light, color and form, Giancola is persuasive with the viewer. From a loose tendril trickled down her tilted neck, a thorned rose tattoo going down her back, to the sway of her hips and scarf, leaves one wanting to know her secret thoughts. There certainly is a narrative here.

As well with “The Mechanic-Thresholds”, Donato has executed softness and steel in a complimentary contrast.

He creates potent characters, recalls legendary and imaginative events and renders action….to tell a story. Actually, he is involved and acclaimed in so many ways with his artistic talent that I would have to write about him in many segments to cover his past and current works; so suffice it to say that we are excited to have Donato showing at Lovetts Gallery.


Raven Sawyer

Friday, 01 January 2016 17:49

True Confessions | Jan 2016


Raven here with hard-boiled reporting and a whodunit list of Lovetts Gallery upcoming show artists in February’s altitude project. exhibition! I promised you the juicy details in our last newsletter and now I’m here to deliver the goods. The identity of these artists have been previously divulged, but with a little extra sleuthing, I was able to shine a light on what these five artist are perpetrating for this event.

True confessions of an altitude project. artist!

California artist Lindsey Kustusch teasingly tells us her theme for this show: Focused, but still leaving plenty of room for interpretation.

In an attempt to glean more information on this California girl, Lovetts Gallery was able to intercept an e-mail that had the low-down on this artist true intentions in more detail!

Lindsey said, “To gain altitude is not the ability to focus on the clouds or even the stars. It’s not the ability to focus on what lies ahead on your horizon or what you can still see in the distance behind. It’s the ability to focus on what’s directly in front of you. To be present in this single moment. To slow down and dissect each and every one of these moments in your life. To step outside and smell the rain, to feel the warmth of the sunshine on your skin, and to watch the wings of a butterfly catch the wind. To see life for what it truly is.

Altitude is to understand and respect the time you’ve been given on this planet. To respect life and every single microscopic cell that supports that life. It’s acknowledging the complexity of any single thing and then appreciating it in its most basic form.

Altitude comes when all of the little things in life become as important as the whole.”

Juicier details coming from her studio reveals a collective split of works in two parts. One: living organisms (bugs/butterflies/small winged creatures). Two: landscape/urban/day to day life. Only she knows how she will connect the still life world and the landscape world in a cohesive way. Rumor has it Kustusch is pushy. With abstraction that is, as an underlying thread that holds them all together.

Doing something new, something she hasn’t done before, Lindsey finds this exhibit to be the perfect platform to “stretch her wings”!

Sweet metamorphosis!

Crime of deception with her hands!

Sly and creative, wielding her brushes as weapons of art and mastery in hoodwinking, artist Natalie Featherston, stands rightfully accused of executing wonderful Trompe l’ oeil!

However, after a little more investigation into this story…. we found there is a body involved!

A large body.

Featherston is bringing from Providence, Rhode Island, to the altitude project. exhibition, a body of works! Over a dozen pieces with a diversity of subject matter. Natalie looks at the centuries old genre of Trompe l’ oeil with a fresh perspective: How to elevate the high-minded trick of Trompe l’ oeil and raise the expectations of this time honored tradition that fools the eye.

After further probing into her case, Natalie has revealed that her paintings rise above the square picture plane and right angles that capture the viewer’s eye. Here, something unexpected gains altitude with a series of meticulously shaped panels where the surface extends beyond mere trickery; the shaped panel itself becomes an accomplice in the deception.

Gaining altitude, going to the next level with Featherston……is no hoax!

Two artists caught in collaboration scheme in Santa Fe!

Paint Artist Roseta Santiago in cahoots with Photographer Stephen Lang have created an installation that is puzzling.

Literally. It is a puzzle!

One piece or 26 “puzzle pieces”. A dreamscape alphabet. An interactive game of feelings and intellect. She gives us hinting and shady descriptives such as: heady, dark, slightly disturbing, dreamlike and stark. Some provocative/evocative. Some dark circus imagery.

Roseta, under more pressure for information, tells us….” In different sizes and attitudes, I have excavated many emotions and thoughts into visual imagery. I noticed in developing this body of work, that the models that did not inspire interest were those without discernable experience. I looked for layers and complexity for answers. I began investigating “damage” and went back as far as childhood imagery to find it.

The images that evoked emotion were there in the complexity and small rejections of the truth. Like the lingering aftertaste of a great wine……there remains an imprint, a memory or intangible. I find that art I desire to paint is attractive to those who want works that speak to them in some deeper way than “normal.”

This “kiss and tell” ……Santiago says, “Exposing my imagination has been a challenge but I believe you will find it a little strange and enchanting!

We squeezed her for a few last words and they were an enthusiastically, “what, but to paint, paint, paint!

Ohio artist has dark and shady reputation!

With eyes that are sensitive and disciplined to see the light, the dark and the shadows in between; Steven Walker paints the world around us that in our busy lives we may overlook or take for granted. Whether city or country, he causes one to pause and see the beauty in the air, the land, the water, and the nocturnal.

He is a master of design and contrast as he shows us the magic of reflection. Literally and metaphorically.

Steven is an artist of tenacity, intent and purpose. Definitely a person who can contribute his altitude of success to his attitude. A strong work ethic and a lifelong dream of being an artist, Walker doesn’t let challenges nor fears get in his way but considers such matters as nothing but catalysts to propel him to the next level of artistic achievement and personal satisfaction.

The explanation to Steven’s dark and wonderfully shady reputation is reflected in his body of work that he calls “Nocturnal”. For the altitude project. exhibition, his theme is of nocturnal interiors.  Active at night. Walker is a juggernaut of juxtaposition as he deftly uses light and dark contrasts to create mood and memories. He maintains a love for and a connection to the subject matter he paints in oil and so will you.

Man of mystery leaves no clues!

In an attempt to find out what artist Josh George has in mind for the altitude project. exhibition in the way of subject matter, Lovetts Gallery is left in clueless suspense! Obtaining insider information has proved to be illusive! George has spun a cliff-hanger for the show.

One thing is for certain, and that is Josh’s signature sense of humor he uses in the titles of his paintings!

Attitude is definitely one of the secret ingredients to this man’s artistic altitude. As a mixed media artist, Josh is a storyteller. Whether depicting architectural or figurative subjects, his narrative can be heard by way of layering. Culminating in a stratum, George applies layers of oil paint and inspiration along with layers of found material and imagination. Some soul and magic tucked in there too!

This cloak and dagger artist has been quoted as saying, “I want to create a sense of mystery”!

And he beautifully does!

As the French say………Fait Accompli!

Ladies and Gentleman……there you have it! The Famous Five line-up!  In my gumshoe wisdom, I can only say……it would be a crime to miss this exhibition!

Words are inadequate to thank everyone for their love and support in 2015, but we are going to try!

An art gallery isn’t a private endeavor; it is a partnership. A relationship between you, the artists, the community close and at large and us. Besides the obvious of sharing great works of art, we have also shared in the lives of our family of clients and artists.  These things money can’t buy!!!   For everything else there is credit and layaway.  LOL

We are seriously excited for this new year of 2016. The altitude project. exhibition in February, the Fahrenheit Exhibition in June and The Cauldron Exhibition in October. A very busy year planned and filled with Lovetts group of artists bringing in new works and new artists coming on board as well.

Thank you for being involved in art at Lovetts Gallery. Your participation has grown artistic value and significance for Oklahoma culturally and historically and continuing on a path for the future that rivals’ galleries all over the country. We have done this together! 

Thank you,

Jack, Phil, De and Raven



Thank you for your support, for reading this newsletter, and for loving and appreciating art!!!

Raven Sawyer, the Beak Speak of Lovett’s, reminding you that life is more colorful when you have a good Artitude!

Editorial by: Raven Sawyer

Raven Sawyer

Page 2 of 7

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