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Nature's Voice: Seasonal Changes
Captured through Botanical Art

Part I: Fall-Winter

November 15, 2015 – February 15, 2016

Nature's voice is heard as the seasons change before our eyes. Susan Frei Nathan presents these nuances in botanical art, showcasing artists' works capturing this evolving story. Portraits of fruits, leaves, and trees of the season show their beauty and fragility, embracing all stages of life.

In Part I: Fall-Winter, we feature artwork from the current inventory of dry brush watercolors on paper and vellum, pen and ink on paper, and limestone sculpture. All items are available for purchase; a price list is located at the end of your gallery tour.

Included are: Beverly Duncan, Lara Call Gastinger, Elizabeth Enders, Charles A. Johnson, Esther Klahne, Denise Walser-Kolar, Kelly Leahy Radding, Lizzie Sanders, and Carol Woodin. All are master botanical artists with distinctive stylistic interpretations. I encourage you to read these artists' brief bios located on each artist's page.

Lara Call Gastinger

b. 1976, Columbus, OH

  • End of Fall Sunflowers, 2014
  • Watercolor on paper
  • 15 x 22 inches

This painting is an incredible accomplishment of technical skill and mastery of subject. Gastinger consistently captures nature through it's dormant stage. A period of time often overlooked, but through her mesmerizing eyes and exquisitely painted dry brush sepia-tone watercolor work, she is forcing us to keep looking throughout this colorless season at the fleeting shades and moments, a direct comparison to human frailty.

Lara Call Gastinger

b. 1976, Columbus, OH

  • Dried Flower, 2014
  • Watercolor on vellum
  • 8 x 6 inches

Through this portrait Gastinger asks us to pay attention to the details in this flower's late stage of life. Its posture is one of great fragility as she dignifies it by marking the fleeting color it once held and with an elegant stance.

Charles A. Johnson

b. 1962, Forth Worth, TX

  • Cypress Cone
  • Reconstituted limestone and mineral stain. Hollow.
  • 15 inches tall, 15 inches deep, 15 inches wide. 50 pounds.
  • Johnson's sculpture seems vintage and heavy, holding the weight of history in its detailed body. However, as a surprisingly lightweight, contemporary work, we marvel in its ability to accurately portray nature today with a nod to the past.

Beverly Duncan

b. 1947, Puunene, Maui

  • Ashfield Composition
  • Autumn Golds
  • Watercolor on paper
  • 5 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches

No other work epitomizes the season's change like Autumn Gold and Winter Browns and Grays (on next page). Duncan purposefully walks through her environment collecting specimens to showcase in her Ashfield Compositions. These works masterfully describe the native plant-life in her rural landscape. They are personal expressions of her passion for nature, and through her expert brushstrokes we peek into her selection of curiosities.

Beverly Duncan

b. 1947, Puunene, Maui

  • Ashfield Composition
  • Winter Browns and Grays
  • Watercolor on paper
  • 5 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches

Carol Woodin

b.1956, Salamanca, NY

  • Volunteer Squash, 2015
  • Watercolor on vellum, linen string
  • 11 1/4 x 27 1/2 inches

This squash was discovered in a rose bed to Woodin's great surprise. She carefully extricated it from its foreign land and began exploring its parched tendrils, the heavy, fleshy patterned body and undulations in the leaves. It called her to paint it.

Using a piece of rustic calf-skin vellum trimmed to feature the subject's elongation and uncontrollable nature, Woodin found a new home for the squash. Punching holes in the vellum's perimeter, the artist stitched the painting to a backing board with linen thread to further bridge both the plant and vellum's animalistic qualities.

Denise Walser-Kolar

b. 1960, Grand Forks, ND

  • Crabapples x 5, 2013
  • Watercolor on vellum
  • 9 x 4.5 inches

Magnified five times to emphasize the detail in the fruit, Walser-Kolar paints with intention to carry our eye from the top of the stem to the tip of the leaf. It is here we fall upon the crabapples with their imperfections for all to see. It's a romantic story of entwined fruit shielded by the leaf, finding each other in its late stage of life.

Elizabeth Enders

b. 1939, New London, CT

  • Untitled - Tree, 2011
  • Pen and ink on paper
  • 14 x 11 inches

The use of pen and ink to convey the tree's starkness speaks to the Exhibition's title entirely. Branches showing a few leaves suggest the season's past and renewal. The symbols within this work discuss our most intimate feelings about life. This is not only about nature but human reaction to it.

Kelly Leahy Radding

b. 1961, Hartford, CT

  • Pyrus communis
  • Watercolor on vellum
  • 8 x 6 7/8 inches

Both the Pear and the following Heirloom Granniwinkle Apple invite us to enjoy their voluptuousness within the softness of light cast from above them. It is as if the artist picked the fruits from a pre-20th century Florentine garden in Fall. Here she has escalated the fruit to a regal stature. They are front and center, beckoning our attention.

Kelly Leahy Radding

b. 1961, Hartford, CT

  • Heirloom Granniwinkle Apple
  • Watercolor on vellum
  • 6 x 7 inches

Esther Klahne

b. 1960, Ridgewood, NJ

  • Horse Chestnut in November, 2015
  • Watercolor on calfskin vellum
  • 11 x 14 inches

The artist invites us into her studio through this painting. We witness her careful positioning of plant-life to reveal a winter's tale through its shadows. It is here we recognize winter's light.

Lizzie Sanders

  • Myrtle (Tree Bark)
  • Watercolor on paper
  • 10 x 8 inches

Although this is the bark of a Myrtle tree, what we experience is an abstract contemporary painting of colors and forms rather than the actual specimen. As the seasons notably point out, changes and imperfections in nature's skin are transfixing. Sanders transformed this dialogue from nature to art.

Price List

  • Beverly Duncan
    Autumn Golds
    $1,798 framed
  • Beverly Duncan
    Winter Browns and Grays
    $1,600 unframed
  • Elizabeth Enders
    Untitled Tree
    — Sold —
  • Lara Call Gastinger
    End of Fall Sunflowers
    $4,550 framed
  • Lara Call Gastinger
    Dried Flower
    $1,600 framed
  • Charles A. Johnson
    Cypress Cone
    $3,450, pedestal available (not required for display)
  • Esther Klahne
    Horse Chestnut in November
    $2,800
  • Kelly Leahy Radding
    Heirloom Granniwinkle
    $1,325 unframed
  • Kelly Leahy Radding
    Pear
    $1,625 unframed
  • Lizzie Sanders
    Myrtle
    $8,500 framed
  • Denise Walser-Kolar
    Crabapples
    — Sold —
  • Carol Woodin
    Volunteer Squash
    $5,800 framed

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