Arts and Entertainment

Blue Heron's bursting with color and texture

Heidi Klippert Lindberg, an Orcas Island artist, used colored pencils to create “Centerfold,” above. She says she’s largely self-taught. - Courtesy photo
Heidi Klippert Lindberg, an Orcas Island artist, used colored pencils to create “Centerfold,” above. She says she’s largely self-taught.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Blue Heron Gallery will feature three women artists during February: Crista Matteson, mixed media sculpture; Megan Frazer, gouache on wood panel, and Heidi Klippert Lindberg, colored pencil.

All three artists will be at the gallery opening from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6. Richard Person on horns and Jim Hobson on piano will play jazz music.

Crista Matteson’s whimsical, shrine-like mixed media art (encaustic, metal, clay, cloth and forged steel) conveys her “green” philosophy and her attempt to live symbiotically with nature, a challenge in urban settings.

She begins with charcoal drawings, sketches and collage and then uses recycled material, from fabric to old paperback books. Disassembling the books, she waxes, paints and then reassembles pages to include in her pieces.

Imaginative figures emerge from clay, chicken bones, wire, sticks and other materials. She forges her own steel to create houses and cages. Clay eggs containing recycled plastic bottles are often found in her work.

“To me they represent nature,” she said.

Matteson earned a degree in textiles, worked as a costume designer, made jewelry and designed home accessories before landing upon her current mixed media art style. Her work may currently be seen in an environmental exhibit at Tacoma Community College.

A Seattle artist and mother of two young children, Megan Frazer said her work is inspired by the constant demands of motherhood — which is also the title of her new series. Children, household items and hands combined in a surrealistic landscape are common themes in Frazer’s work.

Each painting starts with a quick pencil sketch. That’s where she says the freedom and creativity happens. She then prepares hardwood board with several layers of gesso followed by seven to 10 layers (sanding between each layer) of a silicon-based product that creates a paper-like surface. She does a graphite transfer of the image and then begins painting thin layers with the delicate water-based color, gouache, while creating texture with line and pattern. Finally, she seals the piece with an archival varnish and ultraviolet light protectant.

A signature member of the Colored Pencil Society of America, Heidi Klippert Lindberg from Orcas Island started working with colored pencils in earnest when she inherited her father’s Prismacolor set 25 years ago.

Mostly self-taught, Lindberg has developed her own successful way to achieve the depth and essence of her diverse subjects through articulate and realistic colored pencil renderings, she said.

Inspired by everything from flowers to people, she said her biggest challenge is mixing color.

“I call it scrubbing; I mix color very heavily, almost feeling the object as I draw it,” Lindberg said. “It’s a tactile thing.”

Any given piece may take Lindberg up to 60 hours to complete. Her pieces are 8 by 10 inches or larger.

Lindberg works from light to dark and immediately lays in color. She is frequently commissioned for her lifelike portraits and said she always starts with eyes.

“If you can’t get the eyes, then you can’t capture the person’s spirit,” she said.

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