Blurred Lines at Alberta Street Gallery
April’s Last Thursday opening sets the stage for a month-long view of two very different artists at Alberta Street Gallery. One of them, Maquette Reeverts, has been with the gallery for more than a decade and works primarily in acrylic and oil. The other, Ray Andresson, is a recent addition to the group of 30 artists and has been with the gallery for only nine months. He showcases his abstract and mixed-media drawings.
For Maquette, Blurry is Beautiful
Maquette draws inspiration from photographic mistakes that people make, whether that is cutting off the heads of their subjects or taking blurry photographs. The latter is what she has been focusing on for the last few years. “It’s all based on light and how light goes through the lens of an SLR. I started as a photography teacher in high school and saw a lot of photographs with obvious ‘mistakes,’ but that made them also interesting. Not necessarily wrong, just different and something new,” she explains. “I am fascinated by how light works from going through a lens.”
Maquette has an art history background and finds inspiration from a wide variety of styles and the work of many artists. It’s that breadth that influences her, more so than any one artist or group in particular.
When asked about what is the most fun for her when creating art, she explains that “I really enjoy seeing the difference between the photograph that inspired me and the finished piece of art. It’s kind of a private pleasure since I never exhibit the two side-by-side.”
Inspired by Nature, Microscopic Organisms and Landscapes
While Ray’s earlier work was more pattern-centric, he now gravitates towards nature and organic subjects. Talking about his process, Ray explains: “Sometimes it takes me two or three months to finish a piece. I’ll stop when I run out of steam, then I pick it up later, and let it rest again. It takes me a good month on average before I feel that a piece is finished.”
For inspiration, he often looks at images in books and online and the work of other artists. While he took a lot of art history and studio art courses that also influenced his work, Ray points to the Russian painter and art theorist Wassily Kandinsky as his strongest influence. ”You cannot look at linear perspectives without the person that invented it. One of the assignments in a painting class was to pick a song and paint it. Kandinsky was a pioneer who tried to visualize music in his art.” He adds that the best part of creating a work is “not knowing how it will look like when it is finished.”
The Role of Art in Their Lives
Both were drawn to being creative since they were children and never stopped. As Ray points out, “Paraphrasing Picasso, every child is an artist and the trick is to stay one as one becomes an adult.” He worked in a variety of media over the years. “I really like ceramics. I did mixed-media sculptures with found objects. I also tried a little bit of jewelry.” But for now, “at a very basic level, the kind of art I am doing now is in part driven by affordability and accessibility of the material.” He adds that even during the darkest times in his life, he has always had an urge to create art.
For Maquette, the importance of art also cannot be overstated. “It is at the very center of my life. I try to live a creative life, also in other things that I do and get involved with. It’s noticeable in my home, sometimes in what I wear.”
Advice to Budding Artists
“Keep practicing! Don’t let anyone pigeon-hole your work and where do you want to go with it,” says Maquette. Ray adds, “Most importantly, don’t take rejection or failures too personally.” Both stress how important it is to do what you love and look for inspiration everywhere, in life, other artists, books, and online.
Why Alberta Street Gallery?
“One of the main advantages of a co-op gallery is that your art is continuously up,” explains Maquette. “You change it out, but it is not rotating off the floor as in a traditional gallery.”
“Most galleries are businesses that profit off an artist’s work and provide space only,” says Ray. “The co-op model is very different because everyone contributes to the success of the gallery, the operation, and the direction it takes.”