The Pacific Northwest artists chosen for Cole Gallery's virtual exhibit, "Triple Feature," shown Dec. 3, 2020-Jan. 4, 2021, draw on their own magic viewfinders to depict soul-stirring landscapes, still life interrupted, and animals in the wild, providing much-needed mental escape during these troubling times: Andy Eccleshall’s illuminating shelter from the storm, Michelle Waldele’s man-made introspective, ripe for interpretation, a husband-and-wife team whose bronze animal sculptures attracted National Geographic attention.
Stafford, England-born, Edmonds artist Eccleshall painted the popular, north-facing “Changing Times” mural off 111 4th Ave. N. back in the summer of 2013, considered a time machine of historic downtown Edmonds proper. His “Head In The Clouds” exhibit (Dec. 3-6) focuses on the “beauty right outside the window,” in a celebration of light amidst our shadows, slanting down on homes, trees, snow-capped mountains, and windswept meadows.
“Silver and Gold” captures a silvery monsoon cloud at sunset, lighting up a line of pine trees bending toward a forever-gold horizon, and sparing a backward glance on the side of an abandoned maroon-slatted barn — a living picture of the calm after a storm, perfectly-precisioned for maximum impact, inviting you to stay a while longer.
There’s more going on in Waldele’s still life than a Snow White montage, featuring cute little hummingbirds, rabbits, and butterflies frolicking in the Garden of Eden, while Adam and Eve are away. The Portland, OR-born artist’s “A Vivid Imagination” exhibit — Dec. 3-Jan. 4 — cleverly arranges shots, nature amongst the man-made, through a whimsical tableau of seemingly random objects interacting with living things.
Her charming tableaus — comfort food for the soul — make you wonder about the people who live in her world. They make you want to know these people. Be a bug in their front pocket and follow them around in their daily excursions.
In “Flutter of Petals and Wings,” small birds regard butterflies on display against a backdrop of books — T.S. Eliot’s collected poems, flowers and natural history, “The New Garden Encyclopedia" — a humble brown vase holding an affluence of bright, orange flowers, with pops of overhanging dark lavender, and a spool of twine and scissors mid-cut…as if the owner just left to tend to a boiling kettle for tea.
Troutdale, OR-based artists Rip and Alison Caswell, official National Geographic sculptors and conservationists, immerse themselves in the wild for a greater understanding of its natural creatures, then go back home to craft them from imagination, care, and appreciation. They capture sea turtle hatchlings’ heroic birth on a journey for survival — as if it were happening right there and then. A clever, three-part crocodile slinks in and out of the floor, giving you the illusion that it’s real and about to pounce.
“We are excited to share with you our passion for life, nature, and the beauty that surrounds us. We are a husband-and-wife team celebrating our experiences and telling stories through our artwork.”
All of the pieces, and more, are available for virtual viewing. Please inquire about available pieces directly. The Cole Gallery & Cole Art Studio is located on 107 5th Ave. S. Phone: 425-697-2787.
Photo Andy Eccleshall’s "Weather Watcher."