'Queen,' oil by Ashland artist Doug Wallace, at Art du Jour Gallery.

Third Fridays bring new art exhibits to Medford

Dots will be under the art lamps during February and March at Art du Jour Gallery in downtown Medford.

Ashland artist Doug Wallace will show his paintings of Byzantine queens and mythical maidens at the gallery, 213 E. Main St. Wallace works with oil to create the images he calls "eclectic Romanticism" or "theatrical Gothic.”

"It's the luster, the sort of glow that comes out of oils, that I love," he says. "I add dots of gold, silver and other colors to give the paintings a jeweled effect. The images lend themselves to the effect because they are so glamorous. It's more of an accent than pointillism. I call it the 'jewel box' technique. It makes the paintings pop and sparkle a little more. It's become part of my style."

Wallace spent about 20 years as an actor and screenwriter in Hollywood, California, but he's been an artist since he was a young child.

"I always find a bit of the fantastic in all that I do," he says. "Nothing is ever completely realistic. The inspirational references for my paintings include Gothic, Pre-Raphaelite, Byzantine, religious icons, mythology, fairy tales, book illustrations and dreams. Surrealism also plays a part in my creative thinking.

“One element I try incorporate into all my work is a sense of beauty, be it classical, surreal, or even grotesque. It’s the human form that fuels my passion the most. It is the most challenging and the most exciting image to render.”

Wallace studied at the Art Institute of Atlanta, then Georgia State University, before working briefly as a psychotherapist. A compelling call of art led him to Hollywood, and he studied filmmaking at the University of California at Los Angeles and L.A. City College. There, he began to paint a bit more. After moving to Ashland, he painted professionally.

“I didn’t leave my writing completely behind,” he says. “I have written two published novels since arriving in Ashland five years ago: Shakespearean fantasy adventure 'A Force of Will' and futuristic thriller 'Phase Out.' But painting remains one of the great loves of my life."

Also at Art du Jour, find fanciful "polka-dot art." It's the playful theme for gallery members who've contributed whimsical paintings. Look for art by Millie Clarke, Connie Friband, Ruth Heath, Dick Woods, Ginny Matheson, Carol Sharp and Mary Jo Heath.

A reception for the artists will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, at Art du Jour Gallery. See artdujourgallery.com or call 541-770-3190.

"Men at (Art) Work," an exhibit of differing interpretations of abstraction by David Masters, Miles Frode and Allen Smith, continues through Friday, Feb. 17, at Rogue Gallery & Art Center, 40 S. Bartlett St. The pieces range from cubist-inspired abstract paintings to innovative pieces that combine sculpture, painting and drawing.

Masters offers intriguing sculptures with half-hidden interiors; Frode takes a traditional approach, with abstract paintings inspired by Pablo Picasso, Willem de Kooning and Arshile Gorky; and Smith focuses on abstract paintings with horizontal lines.

Calligraphy masters Cynthia Mish and Diane Amarotico will show "Art in the Letter" in the art center's community gallery — also through Feb. 17. Mish and Amarotico often use calligraphy to bring quotes, ranging from funny to profound, to life.

In one piece using a wisecrack from author Dorothy Parker, Mish pens, "A lot of good behavior is due to poor health."

Rogue Gallery will host a reception for the artists from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17. See www.roguegallery.org or call 541-772-8118.


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