It brings me great joy to introduce the three artists featured in our Fall 2017 journal: Rachel Austin, Ellen Julia Brown, and Arielle Zamora. I was taken with their well-crafted objects and the ability of all three to re-envision familiar forms to impart a moment of wonder.
You may have seen the collages and paintings of Portland artist Rachel Austin in local shops and art spaces (and if not, now that you know her name, you probably will). The watercolor vessels featured in this season’s journal, however, are a new subject for the artist. As a viewer, I am enamored by the meeting of the vessels’ symmetrical structure and the organic chaos of wet-into-wet watercolor inside. I think of jars filled with fireflies, homemade jam, terrariums—nostalgia and magic contained.
Quilts are just one of the many surprising forms that the photographs of Ellen Julia Brown may take. On her travels and walks, the Portland designer uses her camera to snap interesting patterns in source material ranging from fields of flowers to graffitied walls. She then reproduces this imagery on fabric, which gets sewn into handbags, clothing, and, as featured here, quilts. Her work is a reminder that there is beauty—and fashion—in the everyday.
There is something of the sublime in the compositions of Arielle Zamora. The painter draws, or perhaps more appropriately, carves, geometric systems of lines and curves into thick layers of paint and joint compound. I meditate not only on the colors and forms of the final pieces, but on the presence of the human hand which brings slight and glorious aberrations to these marks.