August 2017 Art Exhibit

August 2017 Art Exhibit

Throckmorton Theatre’s August Art Exhibit features artists Ellen Blonder and Melinda May in the Main Theatre Gallery and artist Cynthia Jensen in the Crescendo Gallery.


Ellen Blonder, Artist Statement 

Chickens escaped from their enclosures all over Kauai during Hurricane Iniki in 1992. Because they have no major predators, they multiplied rapidly, and you now see them everywhere. I’m fascinated by the beauty and variety in their feather patterns. The other birds are both wild and domesticated. The goats are domesticated, too, but I moved them to a lusher landscape than the pastures where I photographed them.

I rarely worked with acrylic paints during my freelance career, but I love using them to mix rich, tropical colors. These paintings are done on stretched canvas, canvas board and Masonite. Painting catch-as-catch-can, the larger canvases take months to finish.

Melinda May, Artist Statement

The landscape of our kitchen table and beyond is the setting for this series of paintings. This table is a central crossroads in our lives. The ever changing combination of light, color, texture and pattern, across this landscape, is the subject. The elements of my work are south windows, flowers, mail, fruit – screw drivers and paint brushes – cats and dogs.

The spontaneity of the painting reflects the quick life of the scene, as it expresses the cheer I feel at this visual/emotional mix of sunlight, bold colors and patterns – an animal I love. These scenes, caught in passing, give me a momentary touch of pleasure.  My goal is to have my paintings give the viewer that small spark of cheer.

I paint in the moment, working directly from the subject . My paintings are populated with whatever is in the environment at the time. Light from the windows moves fast; my goal is to capture the essence of the scene as fast as I can.

Drawing with a medium soft pencil I sketch the composition, working from the subject, then paint with watercolor. Occasionally I use gouache and pastel to change or highlight areas. If I want to change a major element of the painting, I collage a new piece of watercolor paper over the area I want to redo. I stop as soon as I feel that I have caught the essence of moment. I trying not to refine; I want to preserve the painting’s energy and immediacy.

I work on a variety of surfaces: Bristol paper; Yupo paper; d’Arches cold press watercolor paper, both 140lb and 300lb.


“Driven to Extinction” Art Exhibition with works by Cynthia Jensen

Cynthia Jensen is a San Francisco Bay Area sculptor whose work documents the impact of our industrial society on the environment. Inspired by specimens and artifacts in museums of natural history and anthropology, Jensen creates contemporary masks and sculptures of people and animals showing the effects of human actions on our fragile ecosystems.

Jensen’s sculptures are surprisingly whimsical and eclectic. She combines organic materials (clay, wood, bone) with industrial materials (recycled steel, plastic, rubber wire). Found objects are incorporated, including domestic items used in everyday life such as a pudding mold, bicycle seat, shoe stretcher, and a bathtub leg. These materials, manufactured products of our civilization, are turned upside down and inside out in a chaotic version of their original purpose.

Jensen brings an artist’s sensibility to a deadly serious issue. Through dark humor and odd juxtapositions, she makes us see and feel what is happening to humans and animals. Her sculptures show the effects of greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, overdevelopment, and climate change.



Tuesday, August 1, 2017 | 5:00–7:00pm | Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley CA