Blue Moon Gallery features diverse exhibitions in July 24 event

Local, regional artists range from realistic still life to polymer clay mixed-media compositions

GRAYSLAKE – Blue Moon Gallery’s exhibitions this month feature the award-winning works of oil painter Kirk Kerndl of Lombard and encaustic artist Cindy Lesperance of Crystal Lake and the newest works of polymer clay artist Patricia Litewski of Zion.

Kerndl’s work draws inspiration from the tranquility found in the Midwest landscape. Focusing on light and stillness within the landscape, he finds that the understated calmness in his compositions helps counterbalance the chaos of everyday life. Kerndl is a realist painter who also specializes in still-life compositions. His exhibition features 19 paintings.

“I strive to capture the light and a moment in time in my paintings,” Kerndl said in a news release. “I want people to look at my work and have it captivate them so that they want to look at it even more – and then think about it. I want people to be able to relate to my paintings in some way. I create paintings of things I see every day.”

Lesperance’s encaustic work has a contemporary graphic sensibility to it. Her process incorporates a signature technique she developed in which she applies small droplets of encaustic (a combination of resin, beeswax and pigment) to the surface of a painting, one by one droplet at a time, and then she explores the relationship of these droplets to the spaces in between them. The resulting patterns have become her unmistakably grand, bold and unforgettable visual expression.

“I love spending time in nature, traveling and learning about other cultures,” Lesperance said. “Always aware of color, pattern and texture, these life experiences are inspiration for my work, which is reminiscent of the natural world, Oriental rugs and fabric. My method of applying droplets of encaustic to the surface of the painting creates a tactile quality that, when viewed in person, thoroughly engages those who encounter it.”

Litewski drew inspiration from her massive flower and vegetable garden to create her latest polymer clay and mixed media floral compositions for her “My Garden” series. In addition to polymer clay, Litewski’s works feature antique and contemporary beads, semiprecious stones, wire, mirrors and crystals on slate. Each piece is alive with vibrancy, multiple textures and an exacting detail evoking a truly different and elegant floral arrangement. Several pieces employ the pique-assiette style of mosaic.

“Polymer clay opened the world of mixed media for me, pulling together all the skills I had developed and all the materials and tools I had collected over the years. This medium feels limitless, which allows me to fully immerse myself in my artistic endeavors.” Litewski said.

New works from the gallery’s 2021 Collective Artists, including John Kirkpatrick Jr. (Libertyville), Michael Bellefeuille (Beach Park), Michael Litewski (Zion), Bob Nonnemacher (Gurnee) and Leisa Corbett (Waukegan), are on exhibit. Floral and landscape paintings, metal art, graphite works, constructions and explorations in geometry will be featured. These artists show year-round at the gallery and present evolving collections of works in impressionism, abstract expressionism and modern/contemporary genres.

Weather permitting, the gallery is hosting Waukegan photographer Mary Neely as a “pop-up” artist for one night only during the opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. July 24. Neely’s work is a must-see presentation of art.

The gallery will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. July 24 and 1 to 4 p.m. July 25. The gallery also will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. on July 31 and Aug. 1, 7, 8, 14 and 15.

The gallery ships artwork to buyers nationwide.

Blue Moon Gallery is at 18620 Belvidere Road in Grayslake.

For information, call Blue Moon Gallery director Kendra Kett at 224-388-7948 or visit the gallery’s website at