No. 22 From the Other Side of the Wall

Martha Ressler at Quilt National

Martha Ressler was honored to have her art quilt “From the Other Side of the Wall” juried into Quilt National 2019 at The Dairy Barn in Athens, Ohio. Here are a few pictures of her work and her showing it off. She explained the piece began to develop in her mind during a visit to remnants of the Berlin Wall in 2018 where she heard a first-hand account of the outpouring of Berliners to tear it down. Shortly after that experience, she had the opportunity to visit the U.S. border wall on the Mexican side with a Tiajuna native. Unlike the American side, which is gray and highly militarized, the Mexican side of the wall is colorfully decorated with the artwork of popular rebellion.

Jay M. Ressler

Jay Ressler Composite Photography and Encaustic Art He is an outstanding location photographer, with an eye that can capture the soul of a Havana back street as beautifully as the sip of a hungry hummingbird, often with compelling black and white images. But Jay Ressler is best known for artistic expression that lives in layers between opposites. “I like to explore boundaries,” he explains. “Boundaries between consciousness and the unconscious, between reality and imagination, between certainty and skepticism.” He does this by compositing his own photography in multiple layers to produce stunningly original, interleaved images. Using Photoshop, other image manipulation software and a variety of digital effects, he paints one photographic layer on top of another. He takes advantage of textures he's captured along with an array of processes for manipulating light, contrast, and color to tell the story. “Distorting and reinterpreting the literal 'machine moments' captured by the camera is as old as the art of photography,” he insists. Jay occasionally extends his multi-layered approach to encaustic mixed media creations. Based on ancient techniques, the process begins with cooking his own recipes of beeswax and damar resin and applying this medium between the layers of photographic images, along with various pigmented compounds and materials to add color, texture and expression. Either way, the results are riveting. The viewer is drawn into an unfolding, dreamlike scene that might be heart-warming, haunting, gritty, poignant or magical. Sometimes, within the various layers, all of the above. The award-winning photographer/artist has many dimensions himself. He studied advanced digital photography at Pittsburgh Filmmakers and advanced encaustic techniques with leading instructors in the field. He worked as an underground coal miner, steelworker, machinist, labor and civil rights activist, copywriter and commercial printer. He has a BS in Psychology from Albright College.

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