‘Inner Landscapes’ and more

Posted 2/5/12

“Here are landscapes, both exterior scenes that align with visual reality and views of inner topography that reflect a personal state…” Harriet …

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‘Inner Landscapes’ and more


“Here are landscapes, both exterior scenes that align with visual reality and views of inner topography that reflect a personal state…”

Harriet Stratton’s statement about her work talks about the meaning of a place and the artist’s desire to “possess the beauty, the allegory, the value of that place” and to express its essence visually to share with others.

A collection of her artwork called “The Alphabet of Longing Series” will be displayed in Stanton Gallery at Town Hall Arts Center, 2450 W. Main St. in downtown Littleton from Feb. 15 through April 15.

She plans an artist’s reception from 4 to 7 p.m. Feb. 22. The public is invited. The event will be made especially festive by the inclusion of her daughter Juliana’s band, the Mile Markers, who play roots music: Folk, blue grass, old-time music.

Stratton writes that her first home was in the prairie landscape of northern Colorado, and she enrolled at Colorado State University, where she found a love for art and art history. The University of Montana expanded her interests to literature and ceramics, followed by teaching courses at UNC and printmaking and painting at Rhode Island School of Design.

Museums such as the Ufizzi, the Tate, the Prado and Chicago Art Institute fed classic and contemporary images into her expanding intellectual inventory and she eventually had a longer stay in Switzerland, where she apprenticed to a local potter.

Next she married and returned to the United States.

”My main travel became a commute from Littleton, where I raised a daughter to Cherry Creek Schools, where I settled down to work.”

She taught art at Sunrise and Cimarron elementary schools, then moved to Eaglecrest High School, where she added AP Art History, a favorite.

She discovered Mayan archaeology in Mexico and Guatemala and built a solar house on Tulum Beach. She retired in 2008 and discovered that landscapes are great birding habitats.

“I have been privileged to pursue all my passions: learning, traveling, birding and art and place them in my daily landscape,” she said.

In addition to oil landscapes, she will exhibit an unusual technique in a series.

Her past experience with ceramics has led into a technique called clay monoprint (examples illustrated) which involves a leather-hard slab of clay as a printing plate. For inks, she mixes pigments into slip, a mix of clay and water, which she layers onto the plate I various colors. She then lays a sheet of material similar to the Pellon interfacing used in sewing and hand presses the print.

“It forms a chemical bond,” she said.

Colors are rich and deep. Images include alphabet, pre-language, mathematical, inner landscape. Some suggest the powerful images found in ancient cave paintings.

“For me, the process of creating is a contemplative act, a spiritual act in the service of understanding in this case, the landscape.”

Stanton Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and during performances. (Next onstage will be the Scottish fantasy “Brigadoon.”)


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