Nancy Toomey Fine Art is featuring works by Claire Burbridge, Michael Russell, and Carole Silverstein this week around the theme of pattern and mark-making, from the Beauty in Lockdown catalogue. Pattern in art is an underlying structure that organizes surfaces or structures in a consistent, regular manner. It generally can be described as a repeating unit of shape or form, and can also be thought of as the “skeleton” that organizes the parts of a composition. Pure mark-making, on the other hand, can be carried on in a linear fashion that leaves behind its own idiosyncratic trail. The processes of all three of these artists contribute to an ongoing sense of absence and presence, with fluctuations in negative space, surface and scale. The process can be repetitive, obsessional, even devotional. This mark-making can deconstruct the idea of space and time, emphasizing duration as a subject matter. Viewing these works invites a meditative slowness, designed to evoke dreaming and reflection.


View Catalogue



CLAIRE BURBRIDGE, Pollination, 2018
Pen and Ink on Arches Paper, 10 x 10 Inches Framed

This small pen and ink study is at the root of British artist Claire Burbridge’s latest exhibition Pathways to the Invisible at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in Oregon. For Burbridge, there is alway a “seed artwork” that leads to a show, and this was it. She made this drawing late last spring, sitting in nature, listening to the intense hum of bees and insects pollinating the oak tree flowers and wildflowers. A sensory piece that takes the perceived view of an insect drawn to the symbol of a flower, it also functions as a mandala more than a study of nature… More »


MICHAEL RUSSELL, Untitled 48, 2019
Ink and Graphite on Paper, 9.625 x 11.625 Inches Framed

Seeking to comprehend the passage of time remains a prevalent aspect of Los Angeles based Michael Russell’s work. Through drawing, he aims to expand the capacity for his own introspection, as well as for those viewing his drawings. Russell views the trace of his hand less as proof of labor, and more as the intimacy of process being laid bare. Rhythm is explicit and builds up to exude stillness. Sweeping gestures are either absent, or mimed with smaller repetitive marks. Although the compositions are carefully engineered, the evolving techniques used to color them in are rudimentary… More »


CAROLE SILVERSTEIN, these languages of reverence, 2018
Acrylic Ink on Mylar, 48 x 36 Inches

In this painting by Los Angeles based Carole Silverstein, a multiplicity of cultural ornamentations coalesce and collide to weave shifting perspectives and ambiguous spatial perceptions. Star interlaces and diamond labyrinth patterns derive from such sources as Leonardo Da Vinci, Islam, Morocco, Persia, and then within the Japanese isometric perspective known as blown-away roof style, taken from a 12th century handscroll of The Tale of Genji. While exploring the symbolism of the ornamentation and the spatial play, she seeks to elevate the feminine and a connection to the divine… More »


The Beauty in Lockdown catalogue works are available with special price considerations. For more information please contact:
Nancy Toomey
(415) 307-9038



Watch the catalogue video here: