Swapp, Crider get into ‘Details’ at Gallery North

Jun 07, 2017
Artwork by: Susan Swapp “Sue Casey’s Glory,” Susan Swapp.

Gallery North announces its June featured exhibit, "It’s in the Details!,” with painter Susan Swapp and potter Bernadette Crider.

The public is invited to meet the artists during a reception 5-8 p.m. June 15 during Art Walk Edmonds.

The exhibit runs through June 30.

Award-winning painter Swapp started in illustrative art but quickly changed to fine art when she realized her goal was to depict nature and wildlife in a realistic format. She grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and says she has a deep appreciation of nature and the animal life of the area.

In her paintings, Swapp emphasizes a focal point to give the viewer more time to experience the details of a place. With wildlife, she offers the viewer a moment's glimpse into the life of an animal.

“My personal challenge,” she said, “is to incorporate a great deal of detail in my work to let the viewer feel as if they can reach out and stroke the fur on an animal or the feathers on a bird, see the ripples on water, or see the grasses or trees sway in the breeze.”

Swapp's art education began at the Art Instruction School of Minneapolis. Swapp has taught pastel painting. She is a juried member of Gallery North, and she’s taught pastel painting. Her work is published in the second edition of the book, Artists of the West.

Swapp is continually honing her skills through workshops and classes. Her work has been juried into many shows and has won awards, but her true reward comes from being able to convey her feelings and experiences to others. Swapp, who works in oil, acrylic, pastel and watercolor, said she bases her choice of medium on her subject.

“I often choose oil or acrylic paint for the details of birds and animals,” Swapp said. “And I like the transparency of acrylic or watercolor to capture the glow in floral paintings. For landscapes, pastel is my favorite medium.”

Crider’s adventure in clay began 42 years ago. Working with master potter Leroy Kitzman, she gained technical advice, learned the art of Raku firing, and became aware of the spiritual component of working with clay.

“I learned that to center the clay, I must first center myself,” Crider said.

Traveling and studying in Europe filled Crider with inspiration. When she returned home, she apprenticed with master potter Jay Widmer, who taught her the rhythm of the studio, the tricks of the trade and the Japanese sensibility that the elements of a pot reflect the potter and their journey.

Crider took a break from clay to teach full-time and focus on her children. After an extended hiatus of 21 years, she reopened her Yakima, Washington, studio in 2014.

She has gravitated to carving into the leather-hard clay before it is fired. The process is slow, requiring more than 10 hours of carving for a large bowl or platter. She draws her design onto clay with a variety of tools. Gingko leaves, a symbol of peace and calmness, are a favorite theme, as are maple leaves and magnolia flowers. She also creates abstract textural pieces reminiscent of undulating landscapes or abstract waves.

Gallery North patrons may remember Crider – she won first place in the Gallery North 2016 Small Works Show.

Gallery North is at 401 Main St., Edmonds. More information: www.gallerynorthedmonds.com, 425-774-0946.

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