Mary and Joseph Siedman – Dance Palace Artists for February
February 1 – February 28 PST
This month in the Lobby Art Gallery we welcome mother and son artists, Mary and Joseph Siedman.
Mary Siedman has lived on the Bolinas mesa for over forty years and has enjoyed painting the surrounding scenery from the ocean and Mt. Tamalpais to the small flowers and tiny aspects of her garden. The school she attended had an extensive art department where she was encouraged as early as Kindergarten to pursue her interest in painting. Her mother bought her a set of oil paints when she was just nine-years old. When she was in her early teens, she had the opportunity to study painting outdoors with Western New York watercolorist Robert Blair. Mary continued to study art at the American University in Washington, D.C., under the direction and influence of professor and sculptor William Calfee. She graduated in 1977. Mary moved to Bolinas in 1979 and met her future husband Jack Siedman. When their children were young, she would carve out several hours of uninterrupted time by painting plein air. There she experienced the harsher elements of West Marin particularly the wind, so that keeping a brush, paint box and canvas from blowing off the cliff was a regular exercise. She painted throughout the years, including working on Bolinas musicals and productions; the Lounge Club posters and sets; and the Bolinas Children’s Center projects to name a few. She also had a working darkroom. In recent years Mary has spent more time in her home studio producing oils on canvas and panels. Check out her website for more images of her work.
Joseph Siedman: Watercolor painting is unique in that the artist must be fully committed and intentional with each brush stroke. Once the paper is wet the timer has begun and it requires focus and confidence to get the results you want. There isn’t time to take a break, or talk to a passerby. Joe finds the process to be both calming and exhilarating! Most of his paintings require 3-4 washes, or layers of paint. His favorite stages are the initial underlying wash when he uses lots of water and let colors mix and flow, and the final touches, when he uses heavy pigment, hoping to add just the right amount of detail. The surroundings in West Marin provide countless subjects and inspiration. At times Joe will intentionally seek out a subject, but his favorites are the ones he stumbles upon when taking a walk on the beach or driving along Highway 1. As an artist, the two elements he focuses on are DEPTH and ATMOSPHERE. It’s a magical moment when a flat piece of paper suddenly appears 3-dimensional with a single brushstroke. Using value, overlapping shapes, and composition Joe tries his best to guide the viewer throughout the painting. Once that perspective has been established, he also wants the viewer to feel the essence of the painting’s atmosphere. To feel the crisp air of an overcast morning, hear the crash of a wave, or sense the stillness of calm water are feelings we are familiar with in this area. If he can capture that moment, and allow you to feel it every time you see the painting, then he has achieved his goal. See more of his work on Instagram.
Mary and Joseph Siedman’s opening reception is on Saturday, February 4th from 3-5pm, in the gallery.