Gallery celebrates December with felted works, oil paintings

Reception to be held 5 to 8 p.m. Friday

EASTON — The Green Phoenix Gallery this month is featuring felted works by Laura Rankin and palette knife oil paintings by Diane DuBois Mullaly.

Meet both artists at the gallery during a First Friday reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 7. Rankin will demonstrate her techniques, and Mullaly will be available to discuss her paintings.

Rankin, who also is a children’s picture book author/illustrator, has created miniature felted creations for the season, focusing on ornaments and brooches. You will find tiny Santas decked out in acorn cap berets, mice in holiday finery, seagulls, mallard ducks, elves with pointy hats, winter birds and jewel-toned felted acorns — plus a few holiday surprises.

Rankin taught herself needle felting about nine years ago. When she received her first batts of wool, it was love at first sight.

“I look at a soft, fluffy handful of gorgeous, dyed wool, and I see its sculptural possibilities as a whimsical character or object,” she said. “It’s a magical and unexpected way for me to create. I love the rich colors — the palette is endless, and the texture and smell of the wool soothes me.”

Mullaly will hang the unsold paintings from her recent Adkins Arboretum exhibit, “Light and Life,” a series of 32 small palette knife oil paintings created en plein air during the past year at Adkins Arboretum, as well as in the artist’s studio while working from field studies, memories and reference photos. These works were painted in the spirit of the Daily Painting movement, where each piece is 6 by 6 inches and quickly captures a moment unique to the arboretum.

“As I painted the creeks and marshes, the meadows and woodlands, I began to understand what makes Adkins so special to me is that I can participate in the spirit and wonder of it all,” Mullaly said. “At first, my paintings were pure landscapes, which included nothing manmade. Then, as the series developed, it came to include some of the magic-filled objects the arboretum director and staff have imaginatively incorporated to enhance our interaction with nature.”

The Green Phoenix Gallery is at 31 N. Harrison St. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 410-822-7554 or visit nixgallery.