SPARE ROOM and SPARE ROOM SATELLITE: Concurrent shows, December 2021, Sacramento, CA

Spare Room:  new paintings by Adele Shaw
December 10, 2021 - January 4, 2022
Arthouse, 1021 R St. Sacramento, California.

I think of the “Spare Room” as the place where an idea and the materials agree to meet. In that room, a dance begins between my curiosity and the translucent, bright colors of the paint.

The dynamics in this expansive space are spontaneous and high energy. Combining water-based paint and mixed media, these paintings on canvas have softer, more fluid edges than my previous work.

The resulting series is about everything and nothing at the same time – they have both a gravity and a weightlessness.  I am at once the witness and the doer, refusing to sit quietly as I establish a new language that acknowledges the limitations of images, so contradictions abound, and I try to welcome that paradox. By calling the eye toward harmony and chaos of color, line, and form, I’m attempting to liberate myself from expectations in the way that all of us had to do in the past year.

2020 presented a tectonic shift in my thinking that led me to abstraction; I found a language to interpret intangible things: the smell of lavender, or the warmth of sunlight streaming through trees. I painted the feeling of listening to the wind with eyes closed.

Like so much of our experience at present, planning is still somewhat helpful. Drawn lines, painted patches, and forms provide parameters, as well as interpretive mark-making and soak-and-stain techniques. But ultimately, I allow the paint to behave naturally to overlap and and interact. And it always surprises me.

Spare Room,  new paintings by Adele Shaw
Arthouse, 1021 R St. Sacramento, California.
The exhibition runs December 8, 2021-January 4, 2022

Opening Reception at Arthouse Saturday, December 11, 5-8 pm

A concurrent satellite exhibition of Adele’s sketch books and artist books in the same series will be at Amatoria Fine Art Books, 1831 F Street, Sacramento, California.


Spare Room Satellite: Artist Books by Adele Shaw
at Amatoria Fine Art Books
1831 F Street, Sacramento, California.

The artist books for Spare Room: Satellite are meant to be beautiful, daring and sightly provocative. They include smaller paintings and studies made while developing work for the exhibit of larger paintings titled: Spare Room. Similar to the paintings, these books are from a place where ideas and materials agree to meet.

Some of my artist books are hand-bound using traditional methods and materials and some are made with repurposed, up-cycled materials. Not much is off limits, my books and known to be made from cowboy boots or alternative materials like security envelopes. I find the strange, mysterious offers and requests that arrive daily out weigh the ephemeral importance of financial information and bills. This inspires me to make something real out of these unusually beautiful resources.

Perhaps more experimental than the paintings, these artist books speak their own language.  Being visual in nature does not mean they’re without a narrative. I meticulously piece together the sequence into a visual story. Sometimes they bleed through the page to the next, sometimes the compositions are cropped and juxtaposed to a facing page. I find by tapping into the visual rhythm of turning the pages these books become visceral and full of mystery and drama. Maybe a little hope, too, as books often do.

Join Adele for a book talk at Amatoria Saturday, December 11, from 1-3pm.

Adele’s artist books will be on display and available at Amatoria throughout December.

A concurrent exhibition of Adele’s paintings can be seen at Arthouse, 1021 R St. Sacramento, California. The exhibit, titled “SPARE ROOM New Paintings by Adele Shaw” runs December 10, 2021-January 4, 2022 with an Opening Reception at Arthouse Saturday, December 11, 5-8 pm.