Passion and a sharp eye for detail

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  • A trigger fish by pen and ink artist Gretchen Gurr

    A trigger fish by pen and ink artist Gretchen Gurr

There are artists who brag about having, big, bold and colourful work, but Gretchen Gurr is not one of them.

The joy for her is in tiny, intricate details.

An exhibit of her pen and ink work is now on at Rock Island Coffee. It includes 222 pieces that depict animals, fish, marine mammals and flowers all inked with interesting patterns.

“I do incredibly detailed pen and ink work,” said Ms Gurr. “I studied graphic arts in college and have done a lot of work for charity over the years. I went into photography in a big way. Then I came home two years ago and picked up pen and paper again.”

What initially started her working in pen and ink was a book about doodling. She didn’t think much of the doodles in the book.

“I didn’t like what they did, and I thought I could do it better and different,” she said. “I took patterns from around the world. I looked at Italy, Morocco and American folk art and incorporated them into my work. Everything is original. Nothing is done on the computer. It is all done very painstakingly. It takes hours and hours of work. Everything is pen and ink and I shade it slightly with pencil. Every once in awhile I put a bit of colour in it.”

Her creative process starts by choosing an animal. It has to be one with enough surface area for her patterns. Then she starts with a medallion or circular pattern.

“It starts to take its own shape and form,” she said. “I might decide to do tiny petals, but then I turn the petals into a rope pattern or a checker pattern. It just depends on how the work flows.”

Her work is sold in a range of sizes with prices between $300 and $550.

The show is on until January 31. For more information e-mail or telephone 236-3567.

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Published Nov 28, 2012 at 8:00 am (Updated Nov 27, 2012 at 5:50 pm)

Passion and a sharp eye for detail

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