Mathilda LaZelle is a San Francisco based fine artist whose work includes painting, ceramic sculpture, and installation art. A Mills College Graduate with a BA in Fine Art, Mathilda also studied in Chicago at SAIC. She portrays the world around her, condensing each moment into a few important details. Drawn to food, foliage, and portraiture, Mathilda’s skill and expression are evident in her vivid depictions of everyday beauty.
My current collection of artworks, entitled What I Bring, is as much an exploration of home as it is a product of the nomadic lifestyle I lead. I am a professional live in your house and care for your pet, boat or emu sitter and over the past two years my boyfriend and I have moved on average once a month to befriend twenty-seven animals. Sometimes we only move a block, other times we cross the Bay Bridge. In November we moved ten times and each time I carefully reevaluated what I had brought with me. Was the blender essential?
As a frequent traveler one of my most cherished possessions has always been luggage, not for the style or the label but for what it can hold. Each unpacked article feels much like a discovery, a rebirth of an item, a new possibility. As a transient artist mobility is a regular consideration in both the form and scale of my works and I enjoy playing with the idea of unexpected containers or vehicles for my work.
I have often been accused of wandering and now it seems it is a prerequisite for my lifestyle. With this heightened awareness of the certainty of change, of fluctuating physical spaces, I am constantly being challenged to reevaluate how I define home and what I must carry with me.
I find myself opting to carry metal roller skates and a stack of my mother’s handmade soaps in lieu of ample clothing. I do not skate but I have never seen orange wheels quite like these and the soap’s scent reminds me of another home. In most houses I sleep on the bedside farthest from the door, I conceal the bedroom mirrors with a sheet to discourage nightmares and search for the spot where I will create my assemblages. I introduce myself to the current residents, the cats and dogs who are the only witnesses of our presence in the home. I am a house sitter but at the root of it I am an artist trying to make art and find a home within myself.
Renee McKenna, MA, lives and works in the Sunset District of San Francisco with her husband, 2 children and their dog. Renee divides her time between her private hypnotherapy practice, teaching art to children, working with Art in Every Classroom, Inc, the non-profit that she helped found and doing her own artwork nights and weekends.
Renee's love of the sky, the sea and the city of San Francisco is reflected in her work. She has worked in acrylic for many years, and recently began experimenting with alcohol ink.
Though Renee is an accomplished painter and sculptor, her first love is public art. Renee has many painted murals and mosaics in the Sunset District, including the 400 square foot tile mosaic at the South Sunset Playground title "Nature Stream.".
The themes of my paintings are memory, quiet places, impermanence, movement, energy, despair and hope. My influences are Buddhism, Minimalism, Isamu Noguchi, Alexander Calder, Richard Diebenkorn, Agnes Martin, and Paul Klee.
Painting is my meditation. It keeps me grounded in the present moment where reality is happening. My paintings do not reflect reality. They often depict imaginary places or memories I've conjured up while brushing, scrubbing, scrapping, dripping, or dropping paint on surfaces receptive to my inner world. I am searching for a way out of the darkness and for a place to belong, a place to call home. Meanwhile, I create quiet places to rest on my journey home.
In this series of eight large allegorical paintings entitled: Once Upon A Time,” the first painting in the series is related to myself as a three year old dreaming atop puffy clouds high above the bleakness of the depression. A large Old Mother Goose book is open to a picture and rhyme: “Ride a cock horseto Banbury Cross.” The book itself, published in 1926, was given to me in Bellevue, Nebraska at age three. The book and its rhymes have nailed down the eight epochs of my life, allegorically alluding tosocial and political commentaries as I recall them.
I am a mixed media artist based in Northern California. My work blends conventional and unconventional materials, paints, colored pencil, book pages, inks, paper and found objects, into two and three dimensional works. Various techniques, painting, cutting, gluing, sanding and assembling found objects create my layered textures on wood panels and sculptural forms.
I love challenges, experimenting with disparate media and developing new techniques and skills. I believe in recycling and upcycling and adore texture, paints of any kind and flea market supplies. Through each step that leads to a finished surface, I try to bring out the relationship between differing objects, colors and textures; with each mistake being an irreplaceable component of my process. Figurative forms, letters and numbers are often incorporated into my work, as a graphic element or to convey a thought or theme. I am inspired by found objects, fragments of antique treasures, and everyday manufactured materials that were never intended to be art.