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Sherrie Lovler - Caught in Time at Sebastopol Center for the Arts


Sherrie Lovler - Caught in Time at Sebastopol Center for the Arts

By Jim Kelly

On March 14, 2017, 7-8:30, Sherrie will read her poems in a one-person presentation of art intersecting poetry at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts. Her work will remain at the center through March 26th. 

The search for visual art mixed with poetry has long been a quest of those blessed by a talent in both. Since each pulls inferences from the reader’s mind they are related somehow but the marriage of the two is rarely attempted and less frequently seen. A remarkable example of a successful melding of paintings and prose was achieved in the early Seventies when author, Robert Vavra teamed with Fleur Cowles to produce Tiger Flower and Lion and Blue.

Sherrie Lovler - Universal StormStill, the brilliance achieved in these children’s books was accomplished by two people, not one, and, in truth, most credible works of art are sound inspiration for any practiced poet. So the question remains, what comes first, the painting or the poem. Sherrie’s answer is, her poetry. “I write the poems and read them aloud while I’m painting and release my art to inspiration,” she told the Gazette during a recent interview.

On February 17, 2017, Sherrie will read her poems in a one-person presentation of art intersecting poetry at the Sebastopol Center of the Arts. Her work will remain at the center until the 26th for those who miss the show. The title of the show, Caught in Time, reflects how our lives are interwoven in the time and place in which we live. In her painting by the same name, waves of calligraphic lines hold circles and circumstances in the flow of time. It was inspired by Sherrie's poem about her friend's mother who survived the holocaust and recently passed away with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren by her side.

Another painting, "Lost At Sea," is in memory of the refugees and migrants who recently died crossing the Mediterranean in their quest for a better life. 

To balance the feeling of being “caught” there is “Time and Space," a painting using an underlying structure of overlapping circles to create spheres in space; and a large paper weaving called "Unraveling." Other paintings include “Love and Hope," "Into the Light” and "Universal Storm," responding to the current political environment. Sherrie’s poems accompany several of the paintings.

Sherrie will also be offering two workshops at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts during the time of her show. Info here: and

In addition, she will be teaching at the 36th International Lettering Arts Conference this summer: and

From her background in western calligraphy, Sherrie Lovler uses the marks, gestures and tools of calligraphy to make modern abstract paintings. Her work takes on a spiritual presence that crosses the borders between eastern and western art. Sherrie is well known in national and international calligraphy circles, has been widely published, and teaches calligraphic painting workshops throughout the United States.

Sherrie learned calligraphy in high school and has continued studying and advancing her art since then. Her two most important teachers have been Hermann Zapf, who taught her about precision and Dick Beasley, who taught her about freedom.  She has a BA in Studio Art and has been teaching for over 30 years, including accredited classes at Northern Arizona University, International Calligraphy Conferences, Ghost Ranch, La Romita School of Art in Italy, and Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. Her work has been published in The Art & Craft of Hand Lettering, Letter Arts Review Annual Juried issues, Bound and Lettered, and many other books and journals.

Sherrie Lovler, painting

Her abstract paintings have been shown in solo exhibitions and many juried and group shows. Her newest book, On Softer Ground: Paintings, Poems and Calligraphy, won a Gold Award for Most Outstanding Book Design of the Year for 2016 from Independent Publishers IPPY Awards. Her work can be seen at

My understanding of abstract art remains vague, perhaps because I have no talent for creating things unseen or maybe I’m still living spiritually in the Art Nouveau period and resent jagged edges abruptly piercing floating soup cans. But feelings fluttered inside when I saw her painting, Universal Storm, evoking rain-soaked memories of Vietnam. Perhaps I was deluding myself, I thought, until I read her poem, Beauty.

…Morning walks in the fog

a baby's smile

the first petals of spring


A glorious sunset…

Sherrie Lovler - The Wanderer I was sure I could see a baby’s unborn face in the accompanying artwork even before I read her words. Such a reaction made her creative gifts far less abstract and, well, real. Real always works in art and literature.

In John Gardner’s Art of Fiction he writes, “…art does not imitate reality (hold the mirror up to nature) but creates a new reality. This reality may be opposite to the reality we walk through every day—streets and houses, mailmen, trees—and may trigger thoughts and feelings in the same way a newly discovered thing of nature might do—a captured Big Foot or Loch Ness monster—but it is essentially itself, not the mirror reflection of something familiar.”

I’ve long believed poetry should question and art inspire. In Sherrie’s case, poetry inspires and her poetry also seems to act as a muse. The result is a blending of talents resulting in a suspension of time and place. Like a great novel, Sherrie Lovler’s art and poetry capture any fortunate viewer in her dreams.