The Mesquite Fine Art Gallery is featuring Sandy Cooper and Patricia Nay as Artists of the Month for October. Their art will be displayed at the gallery Sep. 28 through Oct. 31. The Gallery, 15 West Mesquite Blvd., is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and is free to the public.
Over the years Cooper has taken advantage of whatever classes and workshops that time and money allowed her to pursue including a full semester of art at Sierra Nevada College in Lake Tahoe. Classes included pencil drawing, pottery, stained glass, acrylics, mosaics, beading, oil painting, design, scrapbooking, interior decorating and landscaping.
She has an extensive library of arts and crafts books for inspiration and “How To” books in every media. If something catches her attention she buys a book. She has binders and binders filled with photos and ideas.
“There is a consistency in all of the artistic disciplines when it comes to composition, color, design, balance, etc.,” Cooper said. The lessons learned in a stained glass class over 40 years ago serve her well still today. Painting in acrylics started with decorative painting in her home. She graduated to canvas and other substrates. She continues to pursue her desire to paint in acrylics through classes taught by the VVAA artists.
Friends had asked her to paint “Woody Woodpecker” on a metal hose holder made of pipe, auto parts, shovels and a plow head. This has led to more metal sculptures and eventually a couple of mural commissions. A beading class led to Eyeglass Holders. A mosaic class led to mosaics and a gift of stained glass remnants led to stained glass mosaics on glass. Her stained glass mosaics are meant to hang in a window and catch the sun to show off the brilliance of the stained glass. She is really drawn to “3-D” Art and her present emphasis is on mosaics in general and stained glass mosaics in particular.
Cooper said “This journey I have undertaken is a constant learning curve. We are so lucky in this community to have the artists, facilities, classes and the Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery to show our art. I believe that everyone has a creative spark and should follow wherever it leads. I try not to be intimidated by the talent that surrounds me in the Gallery or get frustrated by what I have yet to learn. I just enjoy the creative process.”
Nay has been drawing since she learned to use a pencil and has been painting, sculpting or creating in some manner ever since.
Four children and a need for gainful employment did not allow Nay much time to pursue art. However, she always found the time for a class here and there, lots of reading and a passionate appreciation of art in all its seemingly infinite forms.
Through the years Nay has painted in oil, acrylic and water color and sold her work through various sources, developing her current skills along the way. Since retiring at age 70 she has had the time to experiment with new ideas and has focused completely on creating with polymer clay in a new concept – doing pictures or as it is being called these days, “Wall Art in Polymer Clay.”
Nay said “I use colored polymer clay, mixing the colors of clay together to create my own palette determined by each new picture. There is no paint involved. I use palette knives and other small tools to apply the clay to the substrate I have chosen to work on. After the picture is complete it is baked.”
Any surface that can withstand the baking process (normally 265 degrees) can be used. After curing in this manner her art is suitable for display either inside or outside.
She said “I have found working in this medium to be the most exciting, delightful exploration of possibilities I have experienced in any medium. It has truly taught me the meaning of really having fun. It is a never ending surprise as I learn and develop new techniques and applications with each new piece.”
Cooper and Nay are active members of the Virgin Valley Artist Association. A reception to honor Sandy and Patricia and the winners of the October exhibition “Flight of Fancy“ will be held at Mesquite Fine Art Gallery Oct. 22, from 4 – 6 p.m.
The Mesquite Fine Art Gallery is administered by the Virgin Valley Artist Association (VVAA) a non-profit volunteer organization whose purpose is to advance and promote the arts in the community, provide a place for local artists to display their talents and help with funding, planning and operating the Mesquite Fine Art Gallery.