INTRODUCING THE BACKSTREET GALS — AN EVERYTHING BAGEL, WITH ART!

an article from Navigator Editor, Janine Rusnak

An award-winning, colorful square quilt hides twenty gems; a collection of four watercolor dream horses takes you to exotic places; a delicate, yet heavy handwoven copper piece boasts the title “Asian Study #6.”

 

These spectacular art pieces are now on display at Backstreet Bagel Company in Montrose and capture true, local talent in mixed
visual arts.

With a grand reception Friday, September 29, the Backstreet Gals exhibition features three local artists.  Each artist comes to this exhibition with a background in fiber art.  Though the artists create in diverse media, this common influence of fiber art is referenced in the collected works on display: including strong underlying composition and design, the ability to bring harmony to bright color schemes, and the use of geometry within a pictorial subject.

All That Glitters

Prior to her weaving career, Lynn Vogel made doll cloth- es as a child. She discover- ed the world of hand weav- ing in her early 20’s.  “The hand weaving process was natural for me.  It was like a puzzle— intricate, complex, beautiful —one that would take me a complete,” Vogel said.  She received a large, handmade loom as a birthday gift one year which  led to her and her sister making and selling clothing for several years in small boutiques and galleries throughout Denver.  A decade later, she found herself sitting on the library floor in the art section and became drawn to a new medium—copper. She said someone once told her it couldn’t be woven on a loom. She proved them wrong, and for the last 20 years has been weaving copper as her primary medium. The end result? Beautiful, one-of-a-kind works of art consisting of embossed copper and semi-precious stones. Vogel will have one of her looms present at the open house with the intention of offering a brief, yet in- formative, demonstration of how she creates her masterpieces.

One Stitch At A Time

Debbie Watkins has been designing her own quilts since 2014 after joining a small group of local quilters. Their encouragement and feedback helped her to achieve her goals of creating unique quilt designs as well as incorporating unfamiliar techniques and non-traditional media in each quilted piece.

Watkins began quilting in 1980 and since she moved to Montrose she has been a member of two of the Montrose quilt guilds and is also heavily involved with the annual Black Canyon Quilt Show.  Labels displayed with her work indicate what prize those pieces have won, including this year’s first place winner in the Mixed Media category at the Black Canyon Quilt Show titled, “Dragon Fly By.” This is a vertical piece that came to fruition by way of another piece Watkins ended up not liking.  “Mistakes are creative opportunities!” Watkins exclaimed.

In this show, Watkins’ quilts combine crystals, fabric paints and dyes, photos, painted and heat-stressed Tyvek, as well as buttons, beads, organza and more, all resulting in dynamic, one- of-a-kind pieces.  Also displayed at the Backstreet Gals exhibition are an assortment of “quilted” greeting cards, handmade by Watkins, and a 79” x 92” quilt.

Living In A Colorful World

Artist and painter Cheri Isgreen is fascinated by the relationship between light and shadow on natural forms.  “If you get the values and shapes correct, any beautiful color will look compelling, even a purple horse,” she said.  NobleIsgreen seeks fresh, unexpected color mixtures through the spontaneity of wet paint mixing on the paper. She strives for a sense of mystery and narration in each painting. As a former art educator, she taught the gamut of media, styles, and subjects, giving her the strong range she draws upon today when creating her watercolor compositions. Currently Isgreen’s work reflects her passion for horses, flowers, and travel, with each piece conveying personal meaning.

Isgreen maintains an active studio schedule, winning awards in juried exhibitions, showing in four Colo- rado galleries, accepting commissions through her galleries and website, and teaching art workshops through regional art centers and Western State Colorado University. Isgreen’s work has been showcased in museums, galleries, and publications both in the United States and abroad.

Isgreen’s colorful, contemporary watercolor paintings complement Vogel’s Bouquetcopper compositions and Watson’s art quilts. And with Isgreen’s elements of mystery and narrative, viewers will discover personal meaning in each painting for themselves.

All three artists will be available for questions and discussion at the public open house. Special exhibition pieces will be on display only during Friday’s open house. These women will transform the entire restaurant into a colorful gallery that embraces different media in a comfortable space.

The works displayed in Backstreet Gals is modern but not abstract. “It fits in all décor styles,” Vogel said.  There will be over 30 pieces displayed and are all for purchase.

Backstreet Bagel Company is owned by Scott and Debbie Cassidy. They offer an array of breakfast and lunch items as well as gourmet coffee drinks. Backstreet Bagel is located at 127 North Townsend Avenue in Montrose.

The public is invited to the Backstreet Gals Open House Friday, September 29, from 5-7 p.m. There will be music, complimentary wine, and gourmet appetizers available.

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Open House 9/29/17

If you look on my Exhibition tab, you will see that it has been a busy summer.  Along with painting for the shows and commissioned work, I am quite busy designing courses for Montrose and Gunnison.  The Workshop Tab will be updated soon to announce the many course offerings.  I have also been asked to offer a tab for purchase of card sets and prints from my sketch books.  Stay tuned for that.

Because of all the new endeavors, I have not had time to keep the website as current as I would like.  Today I was asked to write a newsletter article for the Montrose Visual Arts Guild.  As I was putting the finishing touches on it, I realized this would make a good blog post.  The article gives a background of my beginnings in the art world and features my latest projects.  Hope many of the local readers can come to my Open House.

Cheri Isgreen works in watercolor, mixed media, and pastel.  Throughout her life, Cheri has created art.  Her first installation, at age three, was a self portrait with her twin sister scratched into the headboard of her bed.  For many years, Cheri worked as a master weaver with work featured in collections and publications in the US and abroad.  As an art teacher for 25 years, she taught the gamut of media, styles, and subjects.  She served as an Art Fellow with US Dept of Ed and consulted with Colorad Dept Ed, universities, and private companies.  Retiring from public education in 2010, Cheri began painting professionally.  She draws inspiration from her passions: horses, gardens, and travels.  She and her husband look forward to spending two months as visiting artists capturing the beautiful Baroque city of Guanajuato, Mexico this winter.

“I am fascinated by the relationship between light and shadow on natural forms.  Compositions for paintings develop as I respond to the interplay of light and dark shapes.  I seek fresh, unexpected color with spontaneous wet brushwork.  I strive for a sense of mystery and narrative in each painting.”

FullSizeRender

Cheri shows widely in galleries and exhibitions.  Recent awards include First Place, “Scent” Western Colorado Watercolor Society, (Sept 2017) .  Colorado Watercolor Society, (August 2017) Second Place “Orchid’s Glow” & Honorable Mention “No Hoof No Horse.”  

 

Collaborating with Scott Cassidy, they transformed Backstreet Bagels into an accessible gallery where Cheri regularly rotates new work.  On September 29, 2017 Backstreet will host an Open House for Cheri, Lynn Vogel, and Debbie Watkins.  Each artist comes from a background of fiber.  Their current work in painting, woven & embossed copper, and art quilts complements as a unified showing of creative exploration.  Please plan to attend 5-7 PM, 9/29/17, Backstreet Bagels & Gallery, 127 N Townsend Ave, Montrose.

Flight Behavior
“Flight Behavior” I have always been fascinated by the pattern of birds in flight, called murmuration. I pondered for years how to capture this phenomenon. Techniques: background poured watercolor. Birds & foreground: fast loose saturated brushwork with the color changing at every dip of the brush- no black pigment used.

 

Sketch Journaling at Backstreet 2017

Sketch classes will resume at Backstreet Bagel on the Second Saturday, beginning May 13th, 2017.  Classes are held 2-4 PM in the courtyard weather permitting.  After an inspiring trip this winter to Mexico, more emphasis will be placed on travel journals.

Please use this link to preregister.  WORKSHOP REGISTRATION     Classes are $25, due at the beginning of class.  Bring your sketch materials:

  • sketchbook
  • pencils/erasers
  • fine line ink pens
  • small watercolor & brush sets
  • colored pencils
  • any water-soluble paint sticks or pencils

“Three Passions” Travels in Montrose; Opening Reception Nov. 18th 5-7 PM at Backstreet

Please join us Friday evening, 11/18 from 5-7 PM  at Backstreet Bagel Company for a celebration of new works including

  • “Three Passions: Horses, Flowers, Travel” new artwork by Cheri Isgreen.
  • “Upside Down” Karen Mercer’s new CD ; she will be performing selections from her album.
  • Backstreet’s brand new gallery%22Cosmos%22

Horses highlights my deep connection with horses, especially my special relationship with Monarch, who I have raised and trained from a green colt to a seasoned show, clinic, trail, and    special events horse.

Flowers, like Horses focuses on my interest of how light defines living forms.  Unlike Horses, (which I paint in a narrative style), Flowers are painted in a looser style that explores pure design and composition.

Travel samples a collection from my travel/sketch journals.  These sketches were made in a variety of media, including pencil, ink, watercolor, and collage.  Works are presented as 5″ x 7″ framed prints from Colorado, Utah, Texas, and Mexico trips.

Mark your calendars.  New art, live music, appetizers, & beverages.  Register for the drawing of artwork.

 

 

 

Three Upcoming Workshops

To register for Montrose workshops, please use this link  MONTROSE REGISTRATION

To register for Gunnison workshops, please use this link  GUNNISON REGISTRATION

  • NOV. 12, 2-4 PM, Montrose: Backstreet Journals     SKETCH JOURNALING: supportive class with techniques, inspiration, and motivational exercises to successfully integrate text & image artfully.  Bring sketch book that accepts watermedia, watercolor kit, pencils, fineline marker, eraser.  This month we will focus on the decorative side of interior environments.  $25

snowy-hillside

  • NOV. 13, 10-3 PM, Gunnison: Gunnison Arts Center     GETTING LOOSE: watercolor workshop, techniques & tips to create expressive watercolor compositions.  Instruction include a wide variety of watercolor techniques & effects, as well as design principles to ensure successful compositions.  All materials provided; bring a brown bag lunch.  $70
  • DEC. 3, 2-6 PM, Montrose: Cimarron Creek Clubhouse       GETTING LOOSE: watercolor workshop;   a benefit for the Montrose Center for the Arts;  with  techniques & tips to create expressive watercolor compositions.  Instruction include a wide variety of watercolor techniques & effects, as well as design principles to ensure successful compositions.  Bring  watercolor kit, one full sheet (30″x22″ ) 140# cold press paper cut 1/2, (recommend Arches), 2-3 water containers, mask liquid and/or mask pen, liquid detergent, and extra small round cheap brush $50

 

Sneak Peak at New Artwork for New Gallery at Backstreet

Scott is working hard remodeling the bagel shop, including a new gallery space!  Please excuse the mess during the construction phase.  The artwork has been de-installed until the new gallery is completed.  In September artwork will be rehung, with an opening party to celebrate new work in the new space slated for later this fall.  Please stay tuned for more details……………

 

July 9th Sketch Journal Workshop

Do you enjoy journaling?  Do you think visually?  Would you like to improve your skills to express yourself creatively in the language of art?  Join us on the second Saturday of the month,  at Backstreet Bagels for the sketch journaling workshop series.  These classes will improve skills of observation and expression using a variety of art media for recording daily life experiences, travel experiences, and experiences in the wild.  With each class addressing separate skills, classes need not be taken sequentially, in a strict order.  Choose, (like a menu), the classes you wish to take.   Each class will conclude with suggested exercises to hone your skills and keep you motivated.

SESSION THREE:  “How Many Ways?”

This session will give you strategies to nurture your creative expression through discovering multiple approaches to express one subject.  (In this class, we will address all the Elements of Art- line, shape, color, value, form, texture, & space)

  • WHEN                                     July 9, 2016  1:00 – 2:00 PM instruction, 2:00 – 3:00 exploration
  • WHERE                                   Backstreet Bagels, (in the garden weather permitting), 127 North Townsend Avenue, Montrose
  • COST                                         $25
  • WHAT TO BRING                sketchbook, pencils, kneaded eraser, fine tip marker, a variety of colored media, an interesting object that you would enjoy exploring  a variety ways to portray
  • OPTIONAL TO BRING        suggested colored media: watercolors and brushes, colored pencils, pastel pencils, water based markers in a variety of colors with a brush to move color, watercolor pencils, water-soluble graphite pencil, nontraditional media- (old make up such as eyeshadows and blushes, colored soils, etc.)
  • HOW TO REGISTER            registration link- click here

NOW SHOWING AT BACKSTREET BAGELS COMPANY……..

In collaboration with Scott and Debbie Cassidy, I am pleased to announce the installation of my artwork at Backstreet Bagels Co.  Paintings in a variety of subjects, including my signature watercolor horses, adorn the walls.

"Hot Shoe" copyright C Isgreen 2015 $500
“For a Good Time Call Ed” award winning watercolor painting $500 copyright Cheri Isgreen

Also hanging are note cards and a small collection of mixed media prototype collages, designed from my original paintings.  The artwork is specially priced for this debut showing.  Take an additional 20% off the purchase of all artwork through the end of this month, by presenting the completed certificate.

j[g.backstreet certificate

 

Backstreet Bagels Co is locally owned and run by Scott and Debbie Cassidy.  Backstreet is a deli and coffee house serving their signature bagels made fresh daily.  Backstreet offers  a varied breakfast and lunch menu served all day, a full barista bar, baked specialties including my personal favorite- Scottie’s biscotti, friendly service, a cozy atmosphere, and a summer patio garden.  Located at 127 N Townsend, in Montrose, CO, Backstreet is open seven days per week: 6:00 AM – 2:30 PM weekdays & 7:00 AM – 2:30 PM weekends.

Coming in 2016, I will be offering classes and workshops, including a Lunch & Learn series focused on sketch journaling, urban sketching, and pleine aire painting.  Please comment at the end of this post if you are interested in joining the art workshops.

"Contours of my Morning"  copyright C Isgreen, pen on paper, 6" x 6"
“Contours of my Morning” copyright C Isgreen, pen on paper, 6″ x 6″