• By Ruth Wolf

Tactile and Detectible

The operative word for this month’s selections of the Cerulean Arts Collective artists is TACTILE. Each art object asks me, in its own unique way - “how was I made?” All the paintings in the Cerulean exhibit show a mastery of technique, a pleasing sense of color and the hand of the artist.


Kitty Caparella.  "Brave deeds".  encaustic on wood.  16 in x 12 in.

I have always been intrigued by the encaustic surface. Its waxiness adds internal luster and lush surface to the picture plane.

In “Brave Deeds” Kitty has applied layers of wax, removed layers of wax and then applied layers of wax repeatedly to achieve an abstracted pattern. From a distance it appears to be chasms. Sometimes I even can imagine this as bodies, figures really, appearing and disappearing, floating across an abyss. But as you approach, the painting transforms into feathers. She has achieved both the hard and soft qualities that echo the nature of wax - hard and brittle when cooled, soft and malleable when heated.

Kitty said the title “Brave Deeds” refers to feathers earned for brave deeds in American Indian culture. I see her brave deeds as her fearless approach to changing the surface by both the addition and removal of the waxy material.


Tilda Mann presents artworks that are, for the most part, mixed media. They are made from

Tilda Mann.  "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", mixed-media collage, 5" x 7"

a combination of paper remnants and other materials common to any artist or any person who wants to jot down an impression. And her impressions are light-filled, colorful and joyous! They mix an Impressionist palette with the exuberant mark-making of children's drawings and a storyteller’s eye for observation. And these observations can be of set-ups seen or passing thoughts. Additionally, some marks are painted over or blotted out-- the mark of an editor. This leads to a kind of informal quality to the work which, due to its compositional sophistication, makes me think that I am seeing glimpses of Tilda. The story of an artist who loves to mark her experience with whatever methods she can use to create a sensation. There is so much to see in every painting from how the marks are made to the story that they relate.

Amanda Mosely, "S", watercolor, 8" x 6"


Amanda Mosely says, “Color, form and light are integral components of my work. I seek to create art (of) the parts we remember and can almost feel and touch even years after any given day.”

For us she serves up a room full of butterflies, all presented at the same moment in flight. These decorative watercolors are all formatted the same -- 8” x 6”, in white frame, under glass, and situated in the upper half, center of the picture plane. The subject is simplified to a its essential shape on a color field. This emphasizes the color relationships. Specific details add interesting qualities to the surface and distinguish each butterfly as an individual. But unlike Damien Hirst's "Butterflies" which are made using actual dead butterflies, these are hand drawn and painted moving them from corporeal "dead" to metaphysical "living". These are the idea of "butterfly" wobbling on the page.


Metal and rock, the stuff of the earth. Rob Sigafoos makes these subtle, sensuous and fragile.

Rob Sigafoos.  "Little Flower", forged steel and stone, 63" x 48" x 52"

Rob’s sculptures speak about his observation of natures power in struggle with herself. A story told through the forming of steel rods, through pounding on super heated metal.

Rob’s work is about process through emotion. He explains how he takes steel pipe, splits it, heats it up and pounds out the shapes from

Rob Sigafoos, "'94 Dodge Re-envisioned", forged steel from a 1994 Dodge truck, 72" x 13" x 13"

the hot metal, forming the metal into the sensations he receives from the environment around him. A lot of physical interaction and exertion go into making these pieces. They are large and heavy.

“On my early morning walks through the woods, I am always fascinated by the timeless life-or-death struggle between the invasive and the indigenous species that populate the woodland.” This struggle of the native and the invader, of the domestic and the wild, of man against the elements all come through in the his sculptures. My favorite is of a leafy plant-- by size a bush. Here he has drawn out metal rods to become a whimsical, animated flowering plant attached to a rock base like a giant chasmophyte. In still others Rob has forged his metal to take on texture and used its natural ability under heat to create effects like leather or tassels, or broken glass. And many of his best works like "'94 Dodge Re-envisioned" take the parts of a machine (like a '94 Dodge truck) and remold them to suggest a beautiful woman.


Carol Taylor-Kearney’s children greet you as you enter her exhibition, going passed flags and banners. Then you are faced with a divider - a counter across the middle of the space. On it are situated 5 multi-layered glass windows. It forms a glass fence. The windows are adorned with images of childlike cut out dolls and American Flags, and chards of glass, beads and stones. These cut out images are pasted to the glass so that they overlap and obscure the view through them. On the walls are portraits of 30 children, being children, happy in their innocence. But things are not as innocent as they appear. This is the theme in Carol’s work.

Carol Taylor-Kearney.  "American Prayer Flags:  Boxes-- Blue, White, Red, Green, Yellow" on "American Flag", folk -art table.  Pictured on the left, "American Prayer Flags:  Portraits"; pictured on right, "American Prayer Flags:  Construction" series.

She presents a wall separating children - be it decorative and festive - it is still a wall.

Carol also includes in her exhibition 2 large paintings on American flags with children layered into the pattern of stars and stripes. It makes you wonder about appearance of the story - what is shown and what is underneath. Also shown are 2, 5 panel groupings based on Tibetan Prayer Flags.All the flags speak of the human condition in the world.

Cerulean Arts is hosting this exhibition until July 14th. More about the exhibition including additional artwork, prices, and information about each artist can be found at www.CeruleanArts.com, as well as hours and the

#RuthWolf #kittyCaparela #Amandamosely #TildaMann #RobSigafoos #CaroltaylorKearney #Encaustics #mixedmedia #sculpture #forgedsculpture #ironandstone #watercolor #butterflies #NativeAmerican #markmaking #ephemera #childhood #forgedsteel #AmericanprayerFlags #CeruleanArts

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