Intern Perspectives: A Thing or Two

Summer Internships are underway at WPG.  We will have three lovely young ladies joining us this year, the first of whom, Laura Devinsky currently studying at Guilford College, started yesterday.  Laura jumped right into her internship duties and provided us with today’s blog entry on Ellen Verdon Winkler’s current solo show.  Haven’t seen it yet?  You have until Sunday (yes, we’re open this holiday weekend). 

“Two Things” by Ellen Verdon Winkler

At the Washington Printmakers Gallery this month, Ellen V. Winkler’s recent collection – “A Thing or Two” – has many intaglio with chine collé works, as well as a splash of pencil, charcoal, and monotype works in the mix. When Winkler says “A Thing or Two,” she is literally talking about several of her pieces. While some are more clear cut – a person or a house – there are several pieces where you are unsure of what the artwork is depicting. Is it an apple? A seed? A flower? The uncertainty lies in the viewer’s imagination to decipher what Winkler is depicting.

“Three Things” by Ellen Verdon Winkler

My favorite works are in a five-some series: “Two Things” (in charcoal), “Three Things,” “Two Things State I,” “Two Things State II,” and “Two Things” (intaglio with chine collé). This series shows Winkler’s attention to detail and shadowing with different materials. But throughout the series, at first glance I was unsure what these “things” were – were they cherries? Or were they balls on string? But after a few moments of deeper looking at the attention to detail – the lines depicting the ridges – it came to my attention that more likely than anything – they were the spikey seeds from trees that often appear in the spring or fall; and are quite prickly if one steps on one in bare feet.

“Cocoa” by Ellen Verdon Winkler

But not the whole collection is of these prickly seeds; Winkler shows her range of technique and interest of subject. There is the “Alley” where one could walk into the picture and feel right as if that’s where they were standing. With dark shadows and detailed stair railings, it gives off the emotion of somewhere where one may not want to be late at night. And then there is “Cocoa” a dog laying down, looking absolutely fluffy. With pen and ink Winkler has been able to capture this tired dog with the upmost precision. Finally, Winkler shows off a more abstract side with two monotypes and a charcoal piece entitled “Boulders, Rock Creek, I,” “Boulders, Rock Creek, V,” and “Boulders” (respectively). Winkler shows in her collection her range and love of detail; and she most definitely captures the idea that everything in the collection is “A Thing or Two.”

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