MARY FASSBINDER and DAVIS PERKINS
January 31, 7-9 pm, In the Gallery
Admission $12 Non-members, $10 Members
About Mary Fassbinder:
Join Mary Fassbinder as she tells the story behind her National Parks Project. This project, which she started in August 2014 and completed in June 2018, was ambitious and challenging, and there were times when she wasn’t sure she could or would complete it. Ultimately, however, she pushed through all obstacles, and in the process, discovered a way to inspire others to persevere by her example. “Not only was I aware of my burning desire to finish this project because of what it meant to me,” Mary adds, “but I also found people who are just as passionate about preserving this land.”
“As a painter, my main source of inspiration has always come from our earth,” says artist Mary Fassbinder. “Its landscapes, rolling hills and oceans are what have and continue to inspire and teach me.”
With an alluring motivation behind her, Fassbinder sets out through every season, paints and easel in tow, challenging herself to capture even a glimpse of nature’s raw reflection and of those who inhabit it. This practice known as “plein air” painting never fails to challenge and intrigue the artist as she notes, “Painting en plein air continues to ground me and humble me in my shortcomings as a human and an artist, yet it also awakens a yearning to connect with what I feel we have lost.”
When she’s not traveling to paint, the artist works out of her studio gallery, Fassbinder Gallery, in Petaluma California. In the studio, she produces commissioned portraits, as well as narrative paintings. Luckily, Fassbinder lives in the luscious landscape of Northern California, so when not on the road, she is frequently invited to go out to clients’ property to paint commissioned landscapes.
Teaching en plein air and in the studio is another passion of the artist who believes that “there is no greater gift than to be able to share one’s knowledge.”
Fassbinder donates her talents in a variety of ways, including collaborating with students to create artwork that is auctioned off to raise funds for the school system, donating her own artwork to a number of local charities’ fundraisers, and building and repairing trails for Sonoma and Marin County Open Space. Fassbinder sums up her practice by concluding, ”I am forever grateful to the land and all it has given me, so it’s only natural to want to give back.
About Davis Perkins:
The experience of nature in its rawest form first inspired my paintings. As a smokejumper it was critical for me to pay careful attention to the terrain, weather and all the elements of nature. As an artist I try to use that observation in my painting to capture the look and feel of movement in the clouds and to convey the mood and atmosphere.
I start a painting by blocking the essential values from dark to light, while keeping the source of light consistent. I try to capture the basic essence of the subject matter so that it reads as a realistic image. I work in plein air and in the studio. I like to paint rather loosely. I often start by brushing on a wash of color, and then use a palette knife to add texture and detail. The palette knife helps me to work quickly, to stay loose and spontaneous so that I don’t overwork
Many artists have inspired me, including the legendary painters Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Frank Wooten and Robert Henri. I have also been influenced by contemporary artists
Richard Schmid, Russell Chatham, and Lynn Boggess.
About the speaker:
Davis Perkins is a California landscape painter with an unusual background.
He has had a long career as a smokejumper, firefighter, paramedic, and professional artist. After serving as a paratroop sergeant (first with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, and later with the 12th Special Forces Group of the Army Reserve), Davis worked 13 summers as a smokejumper, parachuting into forest fires with the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. During the winter he attended art school, graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in fine arts. His early work was featured in solo exhibitions at the Alaskan State Museum and the Smithsonian Institution Air & Space Museum. Both museums selected his work for their permanent collections. In addition, one of his paintings hangs in the Pentagon with the United States Air Force Art Collection. In 2015 Davis was selected as a Signature Member of the Oil Painters of America.
Davis exhibits his work in galleries and other art venues in Northern California, while continuing his life of travel and public service. In 2007 he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, and created paintings from his view at the summit. He remains active as a paramedic, and as a member of the Disaster Medical Assistance Team of the Department of Health and Human Services. Since 2010 Davis has served on medical relief missions to Haiti, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Liberia (Ebola outbreak), Vanuatu, Nepal, and Lesvos, Greece to aid with the recent refugee crisis. Davis is currently returning regularly to Mosul, Iraq, working with trauma patients in the current conflict.