All Posts by thefineartnews

Carolyn Emole and the Spiritual In Abstraction

Image (4) Image 1 (1) Image 1 (3)Growing up in a suburb just outside of Chicago, Carolyn Emole gained experiences and lessons seen in her art today, with multiple layers highlighting aspects of her unique experience. Carolyn describes her work as ethereal, mystical and emotional. In her paintings, whether on wood, paper or canvas, she uses layers of translucent oil paint to create what some refer to as atmospheric environments, playing with color and gesture. The black and white charcoal flowers in her paintings are reminiscent of the black and white winters in the city, juxtaposed along with the warm rich tones of summer and autumn.

In Los Angeles, Carolyn attended the Santa Monica College of Design, Art & Architecture. There she studied with such nationally recognized artist’s as Peter Alexander, Laddie John Dill, George Herms, Debra Sussman and more.  She then set off to explore the European lands of the masters, which expanded her voice and enriched her abstract forms.  Carolyn now lives in Austin, TX where she continues to gain inspiration from her surroundings and her life.

Growing up as the youngest of six, Carolyn found solace in coloring and painting alone in her room, and listening to jazz music.  Her father was a professional saxophone player and jazz music continues to be a great consolation for her when she works. In addition to music, Carolyn gives full credit to some of her influences from other artists, mainly Georgia O’Keeffe and Mark Rothko, which her work is reminiscent of, yet lighter and unique to her.


Carolyn will attest that as an abstract artist there are some misconceptions about her work.  Some people assume it symbolizes the female & male body parts, and that abstract work is either shallow or easy – and Carolyn couldn’t disagree more. The one thing she would like her collectors to know about her art is that there’s much more to each piece than meets the eye and that her work comes from her emotions and not the human figure.


The highlight of her work is highly personal as she states, “My work is first and foremost about emotions.  Emotions that are reflective of a time, a place, and/or a person.  Of things gained and things lost.  Color is the spark of the progression.  Dreams filled with movement and visions of layers and forms.  They all play themselves out to me.  And when I embrace the canvas – these things are alive in me.  The journey begins, into the future, into the past, yet they all breathe in the now.” 



When asked about her advice that she would give to young artists just starting out now, she says, “You should learn everything you possibly can; to study, to read, to listen and ask questions.  Then go lock yourself in a room and forget everything you’ve learned and just create and find your voice.” I think that is good advice. The debate over whether to get an MFA degree is one that won’t be solved anytime soon, and you’ll probably hear many different opinions on that question, but Carolyn does not believe it is necessary if what you really want to do is to sell your work and exhibit.


If there is one thing she wishes she had known in art school that she knows now, is not to listen to the skeptics and to continue to work, to create and surround herself with other artists. Carolyn’s goal as an artist is not much different from thousands of other artists, which is to be able to support her-self creating her work and to have at least one piece in a museum.


Carolyn’s work can be seen in hotels, corporations and private residences here in the US and abroad.

New Paintings by Portland Based Artist Tracy Leagjeld

Painting Portland In a New Light  

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In the new series of urban landscapes by Portland based artist Tracy Leagjeld, her ability to capture the essence of a place is evident after the initial painterly style and colors draw the viewer in for a closer look. Leagjeld prefers to work in series, whether that be the outdoor landscapes of central Oregon, or the downtown streets of a large urban center. Tracy’s collectors are well aware of her beautiful outdoor nature-based landscapes, however I think this new series of urban landscapes will broaden her audience to a much more sophisticated understanding of her work. What most people don’t realize is that Tracy paints locations wherever she may be, including locations such as Mexico, Italy, and Napa Valley among others.  After recently relocating to Portland from Bend Oregon, Tracy’s attraction to the contrast of light and dark and how it affects color is focused currently on the urban landscapes of the city, resulting in the new series.

Tracy comes from an artistic family with her mother and sister both painters, her son a professional photographer and her daughter an accomplished painter with an MFA.  Like most artists, knowing when the painting is finished is not an easy task, but Tracy has learned to stop and sit back and return to the pieces later. She adds that they are usually done before she thinks they are, and if she keeps working on them, they would tend to be overworked and lose the looseness that is associated with her distinct style.


Fueling her passion for creativity is a compulsion to try to figure things out, to have to get it right, and that continues to motivate her to continue pursuing her art. “The beauty is,” she says, “I’ll never figure it out, so I expect I’ll be painting until I am very old.”  When asked about her definition of success as an artist, she responds by saying that the true definition of success is when you don’t need the approval of anyone else and you have total faith in your own direction and vision.


If she was not an artist, the other career she could see herself doing she says would be a botanist or zoologist or some kind of scientist. As a native Oregonian, Tracy grew up with the ducks and geese and abundant nature all around us in the Pacific northwest. She had charts on her bedroom walls that she would use to track the survival rate of ducklings by different mothers and spent hours studying them. Her observations and interest in nature have undoubtedly enhanced her ability to really see her surroundings and have contributed to the richness of her work.  One of my mentor teachers in college was the famous photorealist Robert Bechtle and he stressed over and over the importance of seeing and observing your surroundings and he had his students spend countless hours outside and inside drawing and painting, simply observing what we see.  It was not until many years later that I came to understand his methods.

To see more of Tracy Leagjeld’s work, please visit:

Portland Fine Print Fair

pfpf-2015-600x900-1Original prints have been one of the best ways for collectors to start and build a world class art collection by some of the best artists in the world.  The Portland Fine Print Fair is open to the public and admission is free.

The Benefit Preview on January 29 from 6 – 9pm will be a festive and fun night with hors d’oeuvres, wine, and priority purchasing as a benefit for the Portland Art Museum Prints Collection. This is a great opportunity to meet with some of the best dealers of Fine Prints, other print collectors and artists, ask questions and see up close the details of each individual piece of art and learn more about the intricacies of original prints.

Fine prints are very much considered original works of art and are very different from commercial reproductions.  Each piece is usually signed and numbered by the artist and hand inked and printed with each impression being an original one of a kind piece within a limited edition.


Portland Fine Print Fair 2016
January 29-31
The Northwest’s only Fine Print Fair

The Portland Art Museum is pleased to be hosting the Portland Fine Print Fair for a third year. The fair boasts 18 of the premier print dealers and galleries from North America and Ireland.  These highly knowledgeable dealers will bring important works from virtually all periods and methods of printmaking. The Fair is a rare opportunity for the Pacific Northwest public to have access to such a diverse range of fine original prints and expert dealers.

First-time collectors and seasoned connoisseurs alike will have the opportunity to peruse and purchase museum-quality prints in a welcoming atmosphere. New this year are thematic talks and tours by collectors and Portland Art Museum curators.

Friday, January 29, 6-9 P.M.

An exclusive preview and priority purchase opportunity before the fair opens to the general public. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit the activities and acquisitions of the Department of Prints and Drawings.
Advance tickets: $30 Museum members/$40 General public. $50 at the door. Tickets at


Saturday, Jan 30, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday, Jan 31, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Collecting as Stewardship and Sharing: My Japanese Hanga
January 27, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Introduction to Print Collecting
January 30, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Asian Prints with Maribeth Graybill, Ph.D.
January 30, 1:30 p.m. & 3:30 p.m.

Curator’s Choice
January 31, 1:30 p.m.


Portland Art Museum – Laura Bartroff 503-276-4207 or
Davidson Galleries
– Rebecca McDonald 206-624-7684 or
Information about participating Galleries at:

The 20 Most Powerless People in the Art World: 2011 Edition

iStock_000004499008XSmallClick to read this very funny list:
The 20 Most Powerless People in the Art World: 2011 Edition.

This is a hilarious and very timely list in response to the recent Art Review  “Top 100 Most Powerful People in the Art World”

I am still trying to figure out what a “Pre-post-studio Mono-medium Artist” is.

I would add one more Most Powerless to this list:

21.  Emerging artists who donate their art to local charities for “great exposure”

Yes, we have all done it, but it is time to stop.  I stopped after I was asked to donate a painting of mine to a very expensive private school in town (my kids are in public school) for their annual auction.  “It’s great exposure” the parent informed me, adding “these parents have a lot of money.  Last year we made over $165,000 in one night!”

So if these people have so much money, why are they getting an unfairly low price for a great work of art, while we essentially support their private school?  I might even call this one number one on the list.








Helen Frankenthaler, American Legend (1928 – 2011)


I wonder if my pictures are more “lyrical” [that loaded word!] because I’m a woman. Looking at my paintings as if they were painted by a woman is superficial, a side issue, like looking at Klines and saying they are bohemian. The making of serious painting is difficult and complicated for all serious painters. One must be oneself, whatever.
* Helen Frankenthaler, source of her woman artist quotes on modern art & paintings: ‘Interview with Helen Frankenthaler’, Henry Geldzahler; ’Artforum’ 4. no. 2, October 1965, p. 39

1993 FreefallHelen Frankenthaler died yesterday at the age of 83, and the art world is taking notice of her contribution to the history of art.  She was a legend in her own time and an inspiration to thousands of young artists including myself. She began painting and seriously studying art as a young teenager and worked up until the very end of her life. The legacy that she left behind was more than just about her art; she influenced thousands of young women artists during that time when women were not as prominent as their male contemporaries in the world of art. She has been a favorite artist of mine as long as I can remember, and her techniques of staining the paint directly onto the canvas, along with her lyrical painterly style, will be remembered as one of the major innovations in modern art history and color field painting. Helen Frankenthaler has been quoted as saying, “I do not judge a painting as being good, I ask myself did I create something of beauty?”

Critics, collectors, and curators will undoubtedly agree that she created something of beauty. For that reason alone, she left the world better than she found it. Namaste, Ms. Frankenthaler.