Miller and Warfel at Spring Street Gallery

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 7:00pm

The Spring Street Gallery will host an opening reception, “Raku & Expressionism: Ceramics & Oil Paintings” by John Warfel and Eileen Miller, on Saturday, Aug. 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. The show will run from Aug. 10 to Monday, Aug. 21. 

Eileen Miller’s abstract expressionistic paintings are influenced by the beauty and elements of the island, finding inspiration from nature such as the mingling of colors and textures of seaweed on a west side beach or translating the many seasons of wind and ocean onto her canvas. She uses gestural brushstroke and layers of vibrant paint applied with a palette knife creating movement and depth in her work.  

“Painting in this way is intuitive and emotional and allows more room for imagination, although all my paintings express the vibrancy of nature and its underlying strength,” Miller said. “Abstraction allows me to focus on color relationships with varied contrasts and rhythms that form an unrestrained and harmonious whole. It is a great pleasure to show my new work with the ceramic art of friend and fellow west-sider, John Warfel.”

Warfel produces raku, pit-fired, and terra-cotta pottery in his studio on Dunn Town Road on the west side of the island. Raku, terra-cotta, and pit-fired are three very different types of lower-temperature-fired pottery that require different approaches and skills. Warfel finds these differences both challenging and engaging at the same time. For Warfel, the process can be divided into four stages: throwing or building, trimming, glazing or finishing, and firing. Each stage requires an engagement and the ability to assess the piece as it stands at that moment which may or may not jibe with the original vision. Each step is a make-or-break situation. When throwing, Warfel is looking for a connection with the clay, and he identifies most with the piece as it comes fresh off the wheel. 

“It’s all about form, color, and texture. I think Eileen Miller’s work and mine respond well to each other.”