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'Colors, Colors, Colors' at Third Friday art walk

Medford artist Millie Clarke's new collection of acrylic paintings, titled "Colors, Colors, Colors," steals the show this Friday, Sept. 18, during Medford's Third Friday art walk.

Clarke created five images — "Triumphant Refrain," "Enchantment Beckons," "Eternal Theme," "Song to the Past" and "Clarity of Colors" — on 1-by-4-foot canvases. The new works, along with a 30-by-30-inch piece called "Rondo in Color," will be displayed through Sept. 30 at Art du Jour Gallery, 213 E. Main St. The gallery is directly across the street from Vogel Plaza. Call 541-770-3190.

Clarke intersperses random bars of color across the five paintings, creating "windows" into the images. The new works can be hung vertically or horizontally. 

Clarke starts her paintings with a heavy layer of modeling paste, creating texture with a putty knife. When she goes back to the work with her brushes, she can add more emphasis, shadow or light to the texture. She'll begin by mixing various colors from ultramarine violet, cadmium red, manganese blue and other vibrant colors and adding them to the canvases. Sometimes she'll remove color with moist paper cloth to discover new shapes and colors underneath.

"I've been called a colorist," Clarke says. "I'm not sure what that means. Someone who dropped by the gallery described my work as 'having wild spontaneity but with controlled aesthetics.' I couldn't say it any better."

When Clarke really wants to warm or liven up her colors, she'll finish a piece with a transparent layer of Quinacridone/Nickel Azo Gold to achieve a warm yellow-gold quality in the undertone as well as a tight tint.

"It adds another depth to the colors," she says. She uses a fusion of paint-handling techniques — scraping, scratching and wiping — on "Rondo in Color" to create the large painted plane of contrasting blocks of color. See www.millieclarke.com.

Also at Art du Jour, 10 large-scale acrylic and mixed-media paintings by abstract expressionist Alyx Fox will be featured through September. 

At the Rogue Gallery & Art Center, 40 S. Bartlett St., Portland artist Carole Murphy's "Embedded Meaning," an exhibit of sculpture and three-dimensional wall hangings, will be displayed through Sept. 18 in the main gallery.

Murphy chisels, shapes and molds wood, stone and concrete into organic abstract forms that range from fluid shapes to strong, rough textures.

"Acting as a conduit, sculpting enables me to move into uncharted territory," she says in a press release. "Many times I am not aware of the totality of the sculpture, nor where I am traveling, until I arrive."

"The Many Media of Wendy Daniel" also will continue through Friday in the Rogue Gallery's community gallery. Daniel's playful approach to art includes drawing, collage, fiber art, wood sculpture and paper mache.

Call the Rogue Gallery at 541-772-8118 for information.

Art du Jour Gallery will host a reception for Clarke from 5 to 8 p.m. Sept. 18, and 30 North, a gallery at 30 N. Central Ave., will host a reception from 5 to 9 p.m. for pen-and-ink and watercolor artist Whitney Rolfe. Wine tasting will be offered at 30 North. Call 541-500-1230.

Merchants and artisans will gather from 5 to 9 p.m. for a Third Friday block party along Middleford Alley. Look for a henna artist from Lotus Salon, an art demonstration by Allen Smith and live inspirational music by the Shelley Kristen Band. Downtown Market Company, which faces the alley, will serve pulled-pork sliders and offer wine tastings.

Just around the corner, visitors will find Jym Duane Photography on North Bartlett Street showing a range of work by regional photographers. See www.jymduanephotography.com.

LIFE Art Studio will feature art by young artists in its after-school program at 312 Middleford Alley. See www.facebook.com/lifeartprogram.

'Rondo in Color,' a large-scale acrylic painting by Medford artist Millie Clarke, demonstrates the artist's use of various painting techniques.
'Clarity of Colors' is one of five paintings in Medford artist Millie Clarke's new series of acrylic abstracts.