A Short Visit to Kinkaku-ji

There is good reason that most visitors to Kyoto have Kinkaku-ji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion) high on their must-see list. In any season, the exquisite and serene beauty of the small 3-story temple surrounded by graceful, dark-green pines, standing above an calm pond, its reflection shimmering brilliantly, is not to be missed. This means of course that the serenity projected by this gorgeous structure and grounds, must be matched by the calmness within oneself, as you will be confronted with bus and sight-seeing crowds. They are for the most part very well-behaved (this is Japan after all!) and if the patient photographer waits, he or she will be rewarded with people-free images.

Google this temple and you will see countless images similar to the first photograph presented here. This is the more or less standard Golden Pavilion shot ... and for good reason! The setting was seemingly designed for camera on tripod, canvas on easel. But just as when you photograph Delicate Arch at sunset and Mesa Arch at sunrise, you should work to achieve your own vision and interpretation of those iconic images.

What about expressing that very colourful scene in infrared light, converted to black and white? Or perhaps a side glance teasingly hinting at its overall beauty? 

Finally a view as if one just happened upon the temple, peeking through pine boughs, with only its blinding, watery reflection clearly discerned. Any which way you look at the Golden Pavilion, it is a marvel of composition and setting. 

The building looks quite old, and indeed the original temple dates back to the late 1300's. But mimicking the Zen Buddhist precept of life as illusion, what we see before us in only 60 years old. In 1950 a monk named Hayashi Yoken burned down the 550 year-old edifice. Was he merely insane -- as the court that tried him found -- or was he besotted by the beauty of the temple and compelled to destroy that which he so loved? If that sounds the stuff of a novel -- vivid, poetic, melodramatic, tragic -- it is. Yukio Mishima -- one the giants of 20th century Japanese literature and still considered a vivid, poetic, melodramatic and tragic figure -- wrote a fictionalized account of the Golden Temple and its effect on the obsessed monk. 

Whatever the truth of the temple's burning, as the phoenix atop the building seems to imply, from the ashes of its destruction, it stands again. And, we are thankful for that.

 

 

 

Travel, Architecture and Landscape are the palettes upon which Jeff Clay, the principal of Clayhaus Photographyphotographs. Travel to the East and view his Japan galleriesHe lives in Salt Lake City, UT with his wife, Bonnie, and their three wild and crazy retrievers.

 

 


Caravanserai | Journey to Elsewhere Featured Artist Show

Local Colors of Utah Fine Art Gallery is pleased to announce our April featured artist show, "Caravanserai | Journey to Elsewhere."

Discover the vivid travel photography of Jeff Clay and the exotic jewelry of Debbie Valline begoinning this Friday, April 18th. 

Time Well Spent

As long as I can remember I have been a collector of things. Wherever I am — walking in a field, on a street, by a river, by the ocean, traveling here and there, visiting dumps or working as a gatekeeper at my own private “landfill” — I have found objects that were discarded by others but have a genuine beauty or value to me.  This is “time well spent."

Although these materials are very diverse, they share in common a beautiful patina, soft edges, and worn surfaces. Some of the wood and metal which I incorporate into my artwork reveals layers of paint worn through by generations of use.

I am intrigued by the challenge of creating an entirely unique piece of art from a random collection of discarded and often commonplace objects. Giving these old, ordinary items a new and extraordinary life as one sculpture is an artistically demanding, yet gratifying, process.

Some of my work is also designed to be highly interactive and prompt viewers to question the reality of what they see. Audience reactions fuel my motivation and help bring my visions to life.

I particularly enjoyed working on this commissioned sculpture “Time Well Spent": a Father’s Day present from a daughter who understands how valuable fishing is to her father.  This sculpture is designed to be kinetic as the fishing reel actually works moving the small wire representing a fishing line back and forth. Many of the found objects that make up this sculpture reached this father’s heart and the memories flowed about spending time with my children and with my own father. What an amazing experience and definitely “time well spent."

Lawrence Wayne Adkinson enjoys bringing new life to discarded objects, depicting man’s relationships with the earth and nature from his home in West Valley City, UT. He incorporates a key as symbol of usefulness and life to each sculpture.  He believes that “art is a key to opening minds."  Several of his sculptures are currently displayed in the Boxcar Gallery in Helper, Utah. He is honored to be a member of Local Colors of Utah Art Gallery.  He supports various educational arts programs. Teaching his method of art is very rewarding. He has taught students of all ages to use their creativity to express their feelings, hoping to help them understand “art is one of a kind creation of self-expression."  


Rock Solid & Upcycled Featured Artist Show

Local Colors of Utah Fine Art Gallery is pleased to announce our featured artist show, "Rock Solid & Upcycled." Discover the striking rock paintings of Felix Saez and the unique and creative sculptures of Lawrence Adkinson on Friday, March 17th, during Salt Lake Gallery Stroll (6-9pm).

Conversation with a Visitor

I was working one of my shifts at the gallery today and had a wonderful gentleman come in.  First thing he said as he walked through the door was "I would love to look around; however, I do not have money to buy anything."  I assured him that a gallery is as much for "looking" as selling.  He stated that he had walked by several times but did not come in as he felt he did not have the time or the money to make a purchase.   Today he decided to take the time.  We had a very enjoyable conversation.  He told me of his art ventures and how he does not use conventional mediums for his art.  I found myself telling him about some of my unconventional mediums, such as tree bark, which I used in one of my jewelry pieces.  We swapped stories and by the end of our conversation we both had come up with new ideas for our own art.

After he left I got to wondering about how many people walk past the gallery, but will not come in because they feel they need to purchase something.  Granted, every artist in the gallery wants to sell their art; however in reality we are in the gallery because we love art.  We love being around other artists and we love those that will take the time to truly look, see, and experience art.  We especially love those that will take time to converse with us about our art.   FYI – All artists love to talk about art almost as much as creating art.

Since the gallery is in the business of selling, I am hopeful that our patrons will keep our gallery in mind when they have the opportunity to buy a gift for that special someone or even as a gift for themselves.   However, the time someone spends looking, talking about, and experiencing art is the greatest compliment an artist can receive.  Hopefully, I will talk to you soon at Local Colors.

 

Debbie is a jewelry artist specializing in mixed metals, enhanced with precious and semi-precious stones and often uses unconventional mediums.  She lives in Riverton, Utah with, Jim, her wonderfully supportive husband.  Debbie is proud to be an active member of Local Colors Fine Art Gallery.


Of Mediaeval Murders Most Eerie

A long way from anywhere, following serpentine roads through forests of twisted and turned trees, we pass the ramshackle out-buildings of a lonely sheep farm and arrive at the wild remains of Château de l'Herm. Atop a hill and surrounded by partially naked trees (spring is only just beginning), the shattered and blown ruins of the four story castle both beckon and warn. The open doorway, surrounded by gorgeous stone tracery work, calls us forward to enter and explore. The lack of roof and crumbling walls open to the brooding sky, threaten to come down, this year or perhaps next century. Empty windows act as cyclopean sockets and didn't we see a shadow move in there? 

I love castles and chateaux, intact or otherwise, but most especially those that have survived the ravages of time, the depredations of man; that have been lost to the jungle or woods or sands and only now are just re-emerging. Château de l'Herm definitely falls into that category. Built some 500 years ago, it's best days were not far behind it when a series of intra-family murders began within its walls. All told reportedly eleven people were killed which included the acts of infanticide and matricide. Not surprising the family died out, literally. For centuries ownership was contested and the towering, isolated structure fell into a state of tattered ruin. The forest encroached and the hulk's unsavory reputation cast a pall.

Well off the beaten path it is well worth the journey. Inside one may climb to the top tower, or what is left of it, via an amazing and fortunately very solid stone spiral staircase. The floors have long rotted away and from above you can look down upon four stories of walls and windows with large, ornate fireplaces set into the chimney wall at every floor. Further down are the dungeons which were used to imprison the unwary and perhaps even the deserving. Gazing out, you can take in the rolling tree-sprouted countryside stretching unbroken for miles. All the adjectives fit: lonely, wind-swept, moody, and even spooky. A perfect place to create Art.

A place fit for literature, heavy and brooding. Or perhaps, cinema. And, in fact two French films have used the location. I could easily envision a painter setting up an easel under the weathered tree boughs. Music? They actually have small concerts inside the stone shell. And photography, you may well ask ... is it a place to take a picture or two? What do you think?

East of Bordeaux and west of Provence, in the north of the ancient region known as Aquitaine, is the old French province of Périgord. Now called Dordogne, it is a region of craggy castles, honey-colored stone villages, deep walnut forests, and the painted caves of long-gone Cro-Magnon man. Dordogne Dreams is an exploration of this region using infrared-sensitive cameras. Though the Dordogne is a colorful region, infrared techniques permit the presentation of this land in a different light. As in a dream, the images can transport one back to another time, in a different land. Sweet slumbers.

As the principal of Clayhaus Photography, Jeff Clay specializes in fine-art landscape, architecture, and travel images. He lives in Salt Lake City, UT with his wife, Bonnie, and their three wild and crazy retrievers.


When Stone Speaks...Many Spirits, a Journey

There are times we enter a journey of thought and of wonderment.
 
For me, the journey is directed by the recall of “When stone speaks,” through the natural passages in each mineral stain, schist, and countless cracks that allow me to render their presence.
 
Many Spirits opened a spiritual search for the collaboration and conclusions I justify as an artist. It becomes an innate challenge to concert the many spirits and provide a window for the viewer to pass through. These elements remain a permanent recording for the viewers discernment.
 
The characters in this piece represent the life of a mountain man, noting his encounters and associations. One begins to imagine his life’s journey, and can somehow feel his surroundings begin to unfold. 
 
A history of one person, which will take you for a dance in your own thoughts and resolutions.
 
My work is a window which will open your minds eye to discern your own conclusions.
 
What do you see?
 
Enjoy the journey.
 

Felix Saez, a self taught artist, was born in Bingham Canyon, UT. He currently resides in Park City, UT. As an artist creates a spiritual existence upon nature's canvas, Felix brings to life his subject matter from within the artistic realm and paints and carves upon natural stone. Using the many attributes that each stone provides, he creates his one-of-a-kind pieces. Each painting represents a presence of a sculpture-like feature of its own natural origin, allowing each image to have complete authenticity. See more of Felix's work on his website and enjoy his video interview.


A New Season

I don’t have enough time... there I said it. I have been shooting myself in the foot with that statement for about 3 years now. The reality is that I have just as much time as anybody else. Yep, 24 hours of it per day. That is quite a generous allotment of minutes; minutes just waiting to be put to use. I am thinking about time because in the next month I will have a lot of free time suddenly at my disposal. I have been tending my little grand-daughter for nearly 3 years and now she is moving out of state with her mama. With her birth I went from being a full time artist to full time ‘Nama’. It’s been an absolute joy to take care of my Lily Rain, and although I have had to juggle my art around her, it’s been worth every minute spent. However, having had the luxury of painting full time and then having to share that time with the kidlet was when I started saying “I don’t have enough time” (bang, bang, ouch, ouch – just shot myself in the foot.)

Austin Kleon said that people would often ask him, “How do you find the time?” He would answer, “I look for it." He went on to say that you might have to miss an episode of your favorite TV show, you might have to miss an hour of sleep, but you can find the time if you look for it.

I have to agree. Rather than saying “I don’t have enough time,” I should have just said to myself something like the old Jell-O Gelatin commercial used to say... “There’s always room for Jell-O." 

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I still painted during these past few years, but if I hadn’t saddled myself with “I don’t have enough time” and said instead “There’s always room for art” I think I would have been more at peace with myself about accomplishing the things I wanted to do. Truth is, now that I think about it, I realize that I really don’t have any regrets as my precious Lily Rain season draws to an end. I will miss seeing her chubby little cheeks daily much more than the time I would have spent on art.

And with that realization I will make an effort to cherish time as I begin to draw another season (quite literally). 

Catherine Darling Hostetter is an artist, mother of 5 and grandmother of 3. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. 


Thank You! Group Artist Show

Any way you write it, we would like to say Thank You! for two years of successful business in Sugar House. But, more than just saying it, we'd like to offer you a 10% discount off of any artwork with the presentation of this month's card (pictured here). How do you get one of these invaluable cards? Easy ... just stop into the gallery, grab a card off of one of our shelves, pick out your artwork, and say "discount please!" In return, we will say "Thank You!" Pretty simple, huh?

Chateau Monbazillac...in black & white and color

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A last stop in the Dordogne -- before arriving in Bordeaux, dropping off our rental car and catching a train for Paris -- was at the 16th century chateau-cum-castle called Monbazillac. Known for its rich, sumptuous, velvety, and quite sweet dessert wine, the chateau looks part medieval bastion and part Renaissance mansion. Inside are grand rooms with furniture and furnishings from the 1600s and other accouterments of centuries past. However, we never got a chance to see any of that as the staff was out to lunch. Literally. 

You may have heard, the French are serious about their food. They are also quite adamant that lunch time be occupied with ... lunch. So when we arrived, there was no one there to greet us. There was no one there at all. It was empty. On the door of the caveau -- where one would taste and buy wine, if one could -- was a sign in French: out to lunch ... or something to that effect.

But straight ahead was a long carriageway leading to the chateau, in brilliant sunshine and billowy white clouds piling up behind it. And there was no gate, no fence and no keep out we are eating sign. No tourists milling about, no photographers jockeying for position, no distractions. By my reasoning, the gods were shouting "carpe diem!" Seize the moment. Indeed.

With but an hour before needing to hit the road again, I bent to the joyful task of photographing the exterior of the grand chateau. In black & white and color.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

East of Bordeaux and west of Provence, in the north of the ancient region known as Aquitaine, is the old French province of Périgord. Now called Dordogne, it is a region of craggy castles, honey-colored stone villages, deep walnut forests, and the painted caves of long-gone Cro-Magnon man. Dordogne Dreams is an exploration of this region using infrared-sensitive cameras. Though the Dordogne is a colorful region, infrared techniques permit the presentation of this land in a different light. As in a dream, the images can transport one back to another time, in a different land. Sweet slumbers.

As the principal of Clayhaus Photography, Jeff Clay specializes in fine-art landscape, architecture, and travel images. He lives in Salt Lake City, UT with his wife, Bonnie, and their three wild and crazy retrievers.


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