Tuesday, March 1, 2016

New Works by Rex Peters and Bernie Lopez

Bernie Lopez, Rex Peters: New Works
Both Bernie Lopez and Rex Peters are master craftsmen. Many people are drawn to the warmth and charm of the natural, local wood-turned works of Rex Peters, while Bernie Lopez’s fine acrylic paintings are startling when one realizes that these meticulous artworks on canvas are not photographs!
 “As an artist, I enjoy rendering Nature in a way that introduces the viewer to a different perspective of my subject.” –Bernie Lopez 
While growing up in Escondido, California, Lopez was drawn to the natural world around him.   At an early age he started sketching his observations of Nature and discovered his passion for art. In his 20’s, Lopez traveled the western United States absorbing the beautiful scenery he witnessed. Inspired by his journeys, Lopez began painting realistic landscapes modeled after the photographs he had captured during his travels. As his painting explorations continued, Lopez began to include abstract elements in his work. Ultimately, he invented a unique painting style that merges his interest in both abstract and realistic elements. In “New Works,” Lopez dazzles viewers with his precise depictions of natural forms.
 “I design my work with simple lines, often inspired by classic shapes, to display the natural beauty of each piece of wood.” –Rex Peters
Peters began his journey with fine woodworking in 1988. After much practice, he taught himself to turn a bowl. Now, he frequently chooses local woods, often earmarked for the burn pile, as his medium. In them, he sees potential as works of fine art.
Peters’ first step in turning a block of wood into a bowl or box is to cut, using a chain saw and then a band saw, a chunk of wood the approximate size of his envisioned project. Peters then gradually changes the block of wood into a pleasing, refined shape. During each step Peters follows his intuition in response to the wood’s natural beauty. Besides being functional, his turned bowls and boxes are meant to give both visual and tactile pleasure to the viewer. His works highlight the natural grain, the color, and the textures inherent within each rough- cut piece of wood. Some of Peters’ works receive a decorative edge of inlaid turquoise; others display turquoise inlaid symbols; yet others are embellished with hand-twisted inlaid copper wire. All pieces receive a fine sanding and light rub of food safe walnut oil to further enhance and finish the piece.
Perhaps both of these fine craftsmen are motivated by the desire to share their unique artistic visions. “New Works” runs March 4-April 27, with an Art Walk reception for the artists on March 5 from 5-8pm. Refreshments will be served.
Jerome Artists’ Cooperative Gallery            502 Main St.        928-639-4276