Kate Nessler’s spare lines distill the artist’s relationship to the subject, her mindset when producing the artwork, and muscle memory strengthened by years of drawing and scrutinizing plants. After almost thirty years working as a botanical artist, carefully rendering plants with scientific accuracy using opaque and transparent watercolor on calfskin vellum, in 2010 Nessler began a series of more immediate drawings in charcoal and pastel on paper. Working quickly with unfamiliar media, these pieces strive to capture the essence of her experience with the botanical specimen au premier coup, at first stroke.
Acorns and turtle shells, a bird’s nest, dirt daubers’ cylindrical burrows, and other discarded bits of the natural world serve as muse for clay artist Barbara Satterfield. She is inspired by the rich ceramic tradition of coil-built earthenware vessels, made by cultures around the world since prehistory. Barbara responds to the modern environment by producing biomorphic forms adorned with casts of items she collects on walks and hikes near her home in Conway. In her new work Satterfield applies thin layers of oil paint and encaustic, which reveal the inherent beauty and subtle imperfections of the clay surface—pushing the boundaries of the vessel while maintaining a balanced form.