Feature Friday in Emeryville hosted by Tom Franco

Friday, November 30, 6-8 pm at the Public Market in Emeryville
Art exhibit opening for Carol Jenkins and Ellen Zucker 

Curated and hosted by Tom Franco.

Meet: Ellen Zucker
Ellen Zucker's artist statement:  I arrived at painting late in life, through a mysterious process more like grace received than like a decision made. But of course there were also many decisions, seeking teachers, workshops, painting groups and finally a studio space to foster my painting practice.
I spend hour after hour lost in blue, wondering whether it's Prussian blue I'm after or is it really Payne's gray I want, or will a bit of white be just the thing that makes me say ah, it's finished. I wonder if the quinacridone burnt orange is way too thick in that corner? I must answer only to a visceral aesthetic, no other "reasons" make sense. I'm in the world of seeing not thinking, of silence not words. I love the painting one afternoon and hate it the next morning, and sometimes, happily, the other way around.
I am drawn, endlessly, to paint the human figure, sometimes seemingly against my will when I'm imagining I really want to paint abstractly. Lately I've been inspired by several of Michelangelo's famous statements:
"Carving is easy, you just go down to the skin and stop."
"The sculptor's hand can only break the spell to free the figures slumbering in the stone."
Since I've been thinking about Michelangelo, piles of stones have begun to appear at the base of my figures. At rare moments, with paintbrush instead of chisel, I find the figure rather than create it. And then the hours and hours of false starts and blind alleys vanish and I am at peace.
(Caveat: the next morning might produce an utterly different response)
I am drawn to mystery, to the unknowable, to the place before words. Cause and effect don’t answer my questions. I cannot fathom birth, death, breathing, love, forever, sunshine, an ocean, an elm tree, a woman crying in pain, a child shrieking with glee.
Philip Guston says
“I don’t know what a painting is; who knows what sets off even the desire to paint?”
Without knowing what or why, I am engaged for hours on end. No reason why I paint, no reason why this mark and not that one, no reason why the human form today or the feel of the sea tomorrow. Just the mysterious pull to have brush, rag, stick, knife dipped in color, to say no to one mark and yes to another. On a bad day I can’t tolerate not knowing what I’m doing; on a good day that mysterious uncertainty seems like life itself.
Since I'm not sure how I arrived at this wordless intersection of inner and outer experience, I can only hope that I get to stay for a long time to come.

Carol Jenkins: "Ellen and I have been work partners for 35 years, and now, as of March of this year, we are also studio partners at the Firehouse Art Studios on 1000 Gilman Street in Berkeley."

"We are planning to have materials available for an art project at the opening at Emeryville Public Market, November 30, 6-8 PM. Anyone ages 3 to 103 can make a collage. We will provide materials and examples of collages by Matisse for inspiration!"

Meet: Carol Jenkins
In my paintings I explore the awe and mystery embedded in our relationship with the spiritual as well as the natural world. Using acrylic paint, charcoal, pastels, ink and oil stick, I try to convey the way light breaks open along the horizon, glows quietly in dark spaces or shines from within. I am drawn to abstract painting because it so clearly reveals the visual language of contrast, texture, movement, color and form. It challenges me to live with uncertainty, to trust something within that exists before knowing: the risk of putting paint on canvas without knowing what will follow. 
In the rest of my life, I am a practicing psychotherapist, and my medium is largely words. I love finding words that open new perspectives to life’s experiences. But I also love expression without words. When painting, I am thrilled when words drop away and I find a visual depiction of the emotions, the longings and the sense of wonder that reside within the human heart.

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