-Gallery hopping last Tuesday was a pleasure. Not only did the weather cooperate, but some of my favorite Utah artists were showing off their most recent works.
-David Dornan didn't limit his one-man show to the interior of the Gayle Weyher Gallery at 167 South Main. He set up his makeshift studio on the sidewalk and painted two large quart jars. He titled one "1/2 Full," and the other "1/2 Empty." It appears that optimists are attracted to the former.Inside the gallery, Dornan filled the walls with paintings and monotypes. And they focus on objects and materials the artist uses in making pictures: paint jars, brushes, tables, rags and palette knives.
Gallery owner Gayle Weyher said that although these objects are everywhere in Dornan's studio, he no longer looks at them when he paints.
"He just does them out of his head," she said.
Somehow he ends up with a consistent light source, reflected light and believable shadows.
Dornan's style has changed dramatically over the past 13 years. Weyher said that the artist never painted in high school. But when he enrolled in art courses at the University of Utah, "he was good from day one."
His early representational paintings were technically sound. His illusionistic paintings were definitely influenced by his instructor, Tony Smith. Later, his rooftop imagery was probably a result of art direction at Arizona State University, where he received a master of fine arts degree.
Dornan and other regulars at Weyher's gallery are free to create any way they wish. Weyher refuses to restrict and/or redirect their creativity.
"I believe in art with a capital A," she said. "I believe in what's inside an artist. And in order for him to really compete in the art market, his work must be genuine and sincere."
Weyher, who makes sure Dornan is scheduled for a one-man show in her gallery every other year, has no idea what the artist's style will be two years from now.
"I wish I could predict the future," she said. But part of the fascination of the business is for Weyher to be surprised with the unexpected direction of her gallery regulars.
Dornan's paintings and prints continue at the Gayle Weyher Gallery through November 17. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and by appointment. Call 534-1630.
-You'll walk into spring when you enter the Courtyard Gallery. Jenni Christensen has filled the room with her floral etchings. There are colorful spring poppies, magnolias, moonflowers, hibiscus, lilies and sunflowers.
The artist seldom begins a print with a preconceived result in mind. "I start by drawing and then roll with the punches. Printmaking is unique in that it is a dialogue between the the printer and the process rather than a method of reproducing an existing drawing and painting."
Although she usually makes an edition of 30, each print is distinctive, since colors are added to the metal plate before each print is made.
Christensen's method of combining intaglio and relief printing techniques complements the floral imagery, as does her sensitivity to colors.
Her exhibit continues through Nov. 22 at the Courtyard Gallery, 153 Pierpont Ave. (363-5151).
-Upstairs in the Pierpont Gallery, works by a number of talented Utah artists are now on display. If you're with the styles of these gallery regulars, you won't have to walk up to each work to discover who did it. But you might be interested enough in it to find out the title - and the price.
After quickly moving through the gallery, I returned to spend time admiring some of the works that really impressed me: Robert Granger's charcoal drawing "After the Eclipse #8"; Mark Biddle's explosive color abstract "Sept. 1988, Ogden, Utah"; Denis Phillips' large oil "Heaps Canyon"; Richard Van Wagoner's watercolor "Almost Quitting Time"; Silvia Davis' wood sculpture "The Meter"; and Nickolas Bonner's four-piece ceramic sculpture "Deep Sleep."
This group show of Utah artists remains through Nov. 22 at the Pierpont Gallery, 159 Pierpont Ave. (363-4141). Gallery hours at both the Courtyard and Pierpont Galleries are 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; and 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
-Phillips Gallery is proud of its two-man show - ceramics and sculpture by Larry Elsner and acrylics by Robert Froese.
Both artists have been popular regulars at Phillips Gallery for several years now. In fact, Elsner has had two one-man shows there - one in 1982 and another in 1986. Froese participated in the group show "Small Packages" in 1988.
Although Elsner is on the art faculty at Utah State University, he finds time to produce animal and human forms in clay and wood. He moves effortlessly from realism to abstraction. One moment he is working on a bas-relief of realistic horses; the next moment, he is sculpting a highly stylized, abstract horse. And this new show reveals the entire spectrum.
Froese looks around his own studio for imagery to use in his paintings. Many are filled with predominantly cool colors. Accents of warm color add the needed variety.
Squares and rectangles comprise much of his composition. But Froese introduces bits and pieces of diagonal lines, thus creating enough depth to prevent the works from appearing two-dimensional.
The artist has also included six of his black-and-white collages. Two of his most cohesive are "Studio with Trees" and "Woman in Studio."
This two-person show continues at the Phillips Gallery through Nov. 22. Gallery hours 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, call 364-8284.