Natural Divergence: A Magical 2-D Menagerie opens March 7 at Workantile

Artists Marilynn Thomas, Laurie Wechter and Dennis Gordon all work within a 2-D framework, but take one look at the show they’ve mounted and you will see the kind of potential that a flat surface can offer!

“I have been combining a background painting,” says Dennis Gordon, “with a laser-etched woodcut to create a combination of the softness of the painting with the bold and strong lines of an ink rolled woodcut.” “Lately,” says Laurie Wechter, “much of what I commit to paint comes from developing penciled doodles and searching them for faces and figures.”

She adds that her photographs “often act in groups to create a narrative.” Marilynn Thomas, who lived on a sailboat for 12 winters in Florida, says the experience gave her “ample opportunity to further develop my photography skills, which has resulted in much material for my watercolors.”

Natural Divergence: a Magical 2-D Menagerie

What: Opening Reception for Natural Divergence

Where: At Workantile, a 3,200- square-foot co-working space, 118 S. Main St., Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104.

When: Saturday, March 7, 2020 from 2 to 7 p.m. Refreshments.

Contact: 734-665-4404

Copper Pond

Laurie Wechter:     

I began drawing as a toddler and was known to take a crayon to the wall. Despite the consequences, I learned I had a super power that would carry me through everything! I did not go to art school, but always made art.

Until my late 30s, I worked menial jobs and was a political activist. Eventually my partner and I published the alternative newspaper, AGENDA for over 12 years. During that time I got my Masters in Social Work and began my career working with Senior Citizens, homeless people and the incarcerated.

Over the years, I have spent significant time drawing, painting with acrylics, pastels and water colors, crafting papier-mâché pieces, fashioning hand-painted silk scarves, creating potato-print clothing, printing lino-cuts and designing t-shirts. Currently, I make ceramics, linoleum prints and acrylic paintings.

Much of what I commit to paint or glaze comes from penciled doodles in which shapes suggest figures which I develop. At other times, I draw from life or whatever comes out on the substrate I am using.

Making art has always taken me to a quiet, focused place. What flows out of me tends to be bright and colorful with an edge of darkness. My identity is very attached to my art and if a piece is well-done, it truly speaks the emotions invested in the work.

Dennis Gordon’s piece “Venice.”

Dennis Gordon

I see art as a way to express a feeling, versus just represent something and feel that art should evoke some sort of emotion in the viewer. I am fascinated by even ordinary things like looking up at trees, or seeing shadows playing across the ground. My artwork includes watercolor, pastel, pen and ink, and more recently, printmaking.

I have been combining a background painting with a laser etched woodcut to create a combination of the softness of the painting with the bold and strong lines of an ink rolled woodcut. These woodcut images are mostly landscape or cityscape type images, but also include figurative and abstract compositions.

Nut Hatch in Wind

Marilynn Thomas

Ms. Thomas has been drawing and painting since early childhood. This interest continued throughout her college life where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Art Education and Fine Arts. Her interests extended into ceramics, weaving, sculpture, jewelry, and especially batik, which she exhibited in the Ann Arbor Art Fair in the early 70’s.  In more recent years her focus has changed to photography and watercolor.

For 12 years, Marilynn and her husband lived on their sailboat in Florida during the winters, occasionally cruising the Intracoastal Waterway and to the Bahamas.  This gave her ample opportunity to further develop her photography skills and has resulted in much material for her watercolors. Besides painting, her main activities now are birding and teaching watercolor.

Marilynn began exhibiting her watercolors at local and regional art fairs in 2000, receiving recognition for her work in both Michigan and Florida. She has work in personal and corporate collections in the US, Europe and Australia.

She has been teaching watercolor in Michigan and Florida since 2003.

MAIN PHOTO: Cardinal’s Rest, by Marilynn Thomas