By Ann Nichols
"Alchemy," an exhibition opening at Shuptrine Fine Art & Framing on Thursday, showcases the art of Donna Oehmig and Alan Shuptrine.
"When Donna and Alan decided to show their talents together and the common denominator was gold leaf, the 'spinning of the web' was started," said Bonny Shuptrine, vice-president of Shuptrine Fine Art & Framing. "Truly alchemists, both of these artists connect their interest in gold leaf, whether within their art or handcrafted framing with other mediums."
Ms. Oehmig will exhibit about 20 new works and Mr. Shuptrine will have six on display.
Ms. Oehmig's current body of work is composed of oil and gold-leaf panels on which drawings and watercolor paintings are mounted. All of these are square -- ranging from 10 inches by 10 inches to 5 feet by 5 feet. Within these "spaces," she embeds the principles of sacred geometry.
"I have an interest in the architecture of gothic cathedrals, temples around the world and ancient sacred spaces through which I have discovered the consistent implementation of the practice of sacred geometry," she says in her artist's statement. "Through this avenue of creativity I discover harmonies of color, line and form."
Her palette varies widely, from colorful to subdued, and her subject matter is nonobjective. After years of painting the landscape outside the window of her 17th-century farmhouse in Maine, she noticed a shift taking place in her life, as well as her art. Abstraction opened up a new world of possibilities.
"I'm an intuitive painter and much of my inspiration comes from my direct observation of the world and nature and how these observations resonate within me," she said.
For this body of work in "Alchemy," Ms. Oehmig drew upon her earlier career as a designer, typographer and sign maker in which she used gold leaf. She said that when she is combining the raw materials of paint, oils, pigment and gold leaf, she feels like an "alchemist in the laboratory spinning gold straw."
A reception for the show will be held on Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. with Ruth Oehmig providing hors d'oeurves.
"Alchemy" will continue through Jan. 28.
Shuptrine Fine Art & Framing, 2646 Broad St., is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and by appointment. Call 266-4453.