Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Artful Home: Art by Sheila Metcalf Tobin

Colorful, kaleidoscopic, and unabashedly sensual, Sheila Metcalf Tobin's botanical art seems to burst off the canvas. Her fruit and floral subjects -- "the bounty of the earth" is an ongoing theme -- are at once instantly recognizable and intriguingly abstract, startlingly intricate and strikingly bold.

Rendered on sheets of birch and maple plywood, Tobin's works "interact with the material's surface and create a sensation reminiscent of the sensual experience of moving through a garden," says the Berkeley artist, an Art Institute of Chicago MFA who spent chunks of her childhood on her great grandparents' farm in rural Alabama.

Limited-edition, 22-by-28-inch screen prints (including "Primera Impresión," above, and "Falling in the Garden," below) cost $300, or $600 in hand-built maple frames. Tobin originals run $300 to $2,800.

A joint exhibition with Oakland painter Margaret Chavigny opens at Oakland's Mercury 20 Gallery on Friday, July 6 (in conjunction with the monthly Oakland Art Murmur First Fridays) and runs through July 29. (Among the new works shown will be "Emergent," left, $900.)

To see more of Tobin's work, visit her website.

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