LeeAnn Brook Fine Art: Alchemy of the Abstract

Looking for the perfect way to end the day after touring Open Studios on October 19? Want to continue the discussion and inspiration of art? LeeAnn Brook Fine Art will be hosting an ArtTalk with innovative abstract artist Michael Shemchuk from 5-7 p.m., offering an opportunity to meet the artist, and discuss the story and process of his art. In the show running the month of October called “Surface Tension,” Shemchuk will showcase his paintings on large wood panels to smaller works on paper. LeeAnn Brook Fine Art is located at 231 Broad Street in downtown Nevada City, open 12-5 p.m. daily.

The alchemy that comprises the abstract paintings of Shemchuk has a way of revealing beauty through hidden layers of unsuspecting materials, including vintage wrapping papers, pages from old school books, utility bills–anything that creates another dimension of intrigue and depth. Layers and layers of papers, inks and paint fuse together with a solution in a pressured environment that sits and “cooks,” allowing the watercolor paper base to become saturated with an infusion of soft bleeding colors. When combined with fading scraps of text, patterns, and calligraphic charcoal lines, a fascinating abstract symphony appears. Slowly he peels away selected areas, revealing abstract forms and textures resembling patinas of old barn doors, aging rusted signs and colorful textiles, all with a color palette and design aesthetic reminiscent of mid-century influences.

Michael Shemchuk is an abstract artist living and working in Northern California. Largely self-taught, Shemchuk did not emerge on the art scene in a conventional fashion. Following his native skills and sensitivities as an artist, his career has criss-crossed the world of applied arts and visual expression. Influenced by studies at the Academy of Art College and California State University, SF, Shemchuk combined his love for photography, color, and abstraction. The result was an unusual amalgamation of interest and influences. Leveraging his practical skills, Shem supplemented his nascent career as a mixed media artist by practicing the craft of faux finish from the late eighties until 2000. His work from this period is evident in some of the most noteworthy homes and buildings in the Bay Area. With a keen eye for hue and value, Shem served as a color consultant to numerous architects and interior designers in and around Northern California.

LeeAnn Brook will also be featuring a new series of her contemporary landscape paintings, utilizing handmade collage materials and mixed media. From paintings of deep canyons, Aspen groves and coastal-inspired views, her work continues to evolve into a unique process that has garnered collectors worldwide. A recent acquisition of three of her paintings was made by the Orrick law firm in downtown Sacramento. She also completed a commissioned painting for the entry of Hunt Cancer Center at Torrance Memorial Medical Center in Southern California.

LeeAnn Brook Fine Art features Brook’s working studio as well as the art of over 20 different artists, plus monthly guest artist shows. Open daily from 12-5 p.m., and on Saturdays at 11a.m., the gallery is located at 231 Broad Street in downtown Nevada City. For more information about the gallery’s artists and events, visit www.leeannbrookfineart.com