About the artists:
Linda Stilley is an award winning artist who taught for over thirty years in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Japan. Linda's artistic style has been deeply influenced by her extensive travels throughout the exotic locals of Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe, South Africa, and the Americas. Stilley states, “ My
usual response regarding the meaning of my artwork is awkward silence. I have never been able to explain or find the precise words for the things I have been incubating for years. The theme of my work can reside solely in the mind of the viewer. I maintain that the most important meanings are left unsaid, and if said, narrow the interpretation and weaken the intention.” Linda fervently agrees with artist Antoni Tapies who denotes, “The truth we seek will never appear in a painting but will only appear behind the last door that the observer learns to open with his own strength.” In her work images of the cross, exes, and crossings of opposing lines and planes represent the fundamental symbols of the world, the harmony between
man and woman and the equilibrium between the yin and yang found in many cultures. Hovering between the illusionary and the real, Stilley's art is a form of magical mysterious truths represented through the repetition of passageways, colors and symbols. While the artist considers Tulsa, Oklahoma her home she still continues to travel abroad on a frequent basis. Stilley recently began using her already finely honed skills in working with an endless array of media, materials and chemical finishes by collaborating with internationally acclaimed wood artist Ron Fleming.
Ron Fleming is a native Oklahoman and master artisan woodworker. His woodwork can be found in many collections, including the White House Collection of American Craft, the Mint Museum of Craft and Design, the Renwick Gallery in the Smithsonian Institution, the Racine Art Museum, the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, and in Oklahoma City at Paseo Originals Art Gallery where he was featured in collaboration with Linda Stilley in May 2012 for the exhibit “Frame and Facade, A Collaboration”, and at the M. A. Doran Gallery in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in June of this year.
Beginning his artistic career as one of the top airbrush illustrators for companies such as Budweiser, Coors, Telex, ZEBCO, and RJ Reynolds, he later turned to woodwork, which provided him more freedom in his creativity. His college education as a civil engineer provided him the necessary skills to devise the custom tools he uses to accommodate his visions. Through observation, learning, thinking and searching Ron found ways to express his passion for nature, it's beauty and passages. Woodworking seemed a natural way to combine his talents as an artist and craftsman. Fleming says, “Whether it be the falling leaves swirling into a frozen form or a single flower bud unfolding in spring, each piece gives me the opportunity to make a statement about the never ending rituals of nature.”
Fleming had been privileged to have seen Stilley's mixed media artworks in multiple exhibits throughout the region quickly finding himself a fan of her works. Fleming adds, “I have always been intrigued by Linda's painting style and thought there should be a way for us to collaborate on a project. I turned and carved many forms which would provide her with three dimensional canvases.” When asked how he was able to let anyone paint on or embellish his wood work Ron responded, “It was easy; I just released it to her.” Stilley, articulating her further thoughts, says, “The forms he created, along with the wood he selected for his shapes, really spoke to me. Unlike Ron, I do not do sketches when I paint or embellish. The wood and
its movement tell me what to do. I have always collected interesting stones and other small items, along with carrying a total love affair with gold and copper leaf, and the chemicals that produce patinas. The great thing about using all these media on wood is that if they didn’t work out I could always just have Ron sand them and - voila - I could start fresh! The only time I found a true commitment was when I wanted to inlay a stone or pierce the form to add metal. There were no do-overs on those decisions.”
For more information on Stilley and Fleming, please see their websites below.