Realizing a need that wasnt being met, Allied Arts gallery director Lucie Ryan selected two featured artists who do abstracts.
Many who know Judy Schuster as a fabric and beading artist were surprised at her recent focus on acrylic abstracts.
I wish I could tell you that I knew why that happened, she said. The fact that it involves layering appealed to her in part.
A friend told her she was reverting to childhood, saying, Youre going back to finger painting.
Yet Schusters work in no way resembles that kindergarten technique.
Compared to all of the planning and detail involved with fabric art, she enjoys the freedom that painting allows. Im finding it much more intuitive, she said.
Shes been creating the abstracts while continuing her fiber work for five years, after taking an acrylic abstract workshop with Bob Burridge. Through him, she learned the techniques she uses, but I guess the color is pretty much my own thing, she said, having developed an eye for it over the years. She works on a small scale, and paints each frame a color to complement the art. Her exhibit is in the right wing of the gallery.
Schuster moved to Cambria from Manhattan Beach in 1997. She earned a masters degree in fine art at Cal State Long Beach, and a bachelors degree in textiles from Cornell University.
Shes created tapestries and artists books, produced work in weaving, embroidery, collage, silk screening, and printing, and, for her fabric portraits, digital manipulation and image transfer.
The left wing of the Cultural Arts Centers gallery is devoted to work by Creston artist Joan Scott.
Unlike Schuster, who explores various techniques, Scott found a way of expressing herself through her art 30 years ago and has stayed with it.
She works on large canvasses, adding big blobs of paint, corrugated cardboard, doilies, lace, twine, ribbon or old picture postcards for her work.
Ive just always liked that textured material, said Scott. Shes taken with the recycled materials becoming something other than their intended use, along with whatever historical connection they may have.
When her biologist husband was stationed in Albuquerque, Scott, whod previously taken art in high school and a few classes now and then, had time to attend art school. She earned her BSA in art at the University of New Mexico.
There was a lot of expressionism then, which grabbed her interest more than traditional art.
In Pink Waves, the subjects are recognizable: a cluster of pointy-beaked pink birds. Another acrylic painting is on the quiet side, with moving water, a large area of white with a blend of pastels against a deep blue-black background.
After 20 years in Albuquerque the couple moved to Cambria for two years until their home in Creston was built in 1995. Scott believes there is little experimental art in this area, and misses the edgier art found in Albuquerque. She manages to visit every year more frequently now that her daughter has moved back there.
Reach freelance writer Lee Sutter at email@example.com.