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October at Blue Heron Gallery

Two long-time Island artists explore vie intérieure (inner life) in VAA’s October’s Gallery exhibition. Pascale Judet, acrylics and Joanne Hammer, oils bring their work together in a first time public collaboration. Hammer’s work, naïve and colorful with an affinity toward raw spirit forces, emotes themes of mortality, life’s fragility, layers of memory and depictions of meadows, ponds and animals. Deeply sensory and experiential, Hammer’s work (half drawing and half painting) offers expressions of transience and what it means to live close to the land. "Having the consciousness to really observe changes in the natural world and ourselves--being a part of balance with nature—that comes from living here."

She says each painting begins with a vision. "I see it in my mind first and instinctively let it find its own way. Dreams often inform my work." Using gesso and many layers of paint on thin, archival paper, she builds panels from Baltic birch and then laminates work to panels. A clear wax varnish provides a smooth protective finish.

Hammer, a working professional in the arts for nearly 40 years, has been a teacher, textile designer and copper artist. She recently won a national competition to work with world famous mosaic fabrication craftsman, Stephen Miotto and 4Culture to create a prestigious public art project. One of 9 columns installed in SeaTac’s new south terminal, the glass mosaic rises 9 feet toward the terminal’s ceiling. Participating in this project lead Hammer to fabricating her own mosaic piece, Common Ground, a permanent installation in the new Seattle Justice Center. "I would love to do another public art project," she adds.

Pascale Judet’s daily rhythm begins early in her light-filled Maury studio as she makes entries in her visual journal, a rigorous practice she began in 1994. Resulting in a four ft. stack of creative personal history on acid-free large format paper, Judet says these drawings and ‘scribblings’ convey her ‘vie intérieure.’ Ink drawings of boats, towers, trees, ladders and other repeating motifs such as trees, birds, fish and snakes, awash in vibrant acrylics (often in her signature shades of blue) characterize Judet’s work. "Trees are such a force in my work…the fact that they grow from nothing." Many images, simple yet precise, are modeled from illustrations from her favorite resource, an old broken and tattered French dictionary. Words and phrases, snippets of thought, philosophy and poetry, sometimes camouflaged and sometimes prominent, hint at the highly symbolic nature of Judet’s dream-like artscapes. "It’s emotional release; these paintings are about what’s going on inside." she says.

Not surprisingly, Judet studied philosophy before immersing herself in art during her mid-twenties. The drawings/paintings are glued to varying sizes of barrier-treated Masonite or plywood panels (made by Island artists Matthew Olds) then brushed with multiple coats of glossy acrylic finish.

Known for her hand-painted clocks with miniature figures, which have been shown and sold all over the country, Judet showed her paintings at the Blue Heron Gallery in the early 1990s. She is originally from France.

Gallery Opening
Friday, Oct. 7
6 to 9 pm
Live jazz by Richard Person and Jim Hobson