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Archive for July, 2010

Julie Baldyga has been working another nice pastel series.  While we wait for more state fair projects to be completed, I thought visitors might enjoy her latest pieces.  Her newest works continue the use of the star field, nocturns viewed through open windows.  The night is a magical time for Julie.  These pastels feature old friends Debbie and Forrest as they lay in bed and admire the plastic model airplanes that are hung on the ceiling above them.  Julie likes to work on studies before she launches full into the final piece, although most of the time the finished pastel doesn’t differ much from the study.  Here is another airplane study of a World War II bomber.

When I was a kid I too liked making these plastic model airplane kits.  My dad stretched two wires across my ceiling and I hung my model airplanes on them.  Like Julie’s figures, it was contemplative to look at them flying off the ground.  I’m sure I fantasized many times about flying into a dogfight as the pilot of one of these historic planes.  Perhaps that’s what Julie’s figures are doing.  There is a sense of reverie that I get from looking at this series.

The newest pastel in this grouping introduces another aircraft in the form of a helicopter.  Debbie is watching it intently over her head.  With this work we advised Julie that maybe she should create a little more contrast between the helicopter and its background.  She accepted this suggestion and lightened it a bit.  I think she was running out of white pastel.  Sounds like we need to visit the art supply store this week.

While our clients have been enjoying some recent successes.  Much has been happening in the background.  Zoom Group hopes to make an important announcement about the StudioWorks program in the very near future.  As many of you may know, we are seriously cramped for space, but have been looking for new quarters.  Well, we have found such a space and have come to terms with the new landlord.  The lease hasn’t been signed yet, but it’s looking very good for our program.  I’ll close for now with a detail view of Julie’s helicopter.  The oil pastels have been applied very thickly and in areas, the surface is rich with impasto.

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We have other StudioWorks artist that are entering the Kentucky State Fair.  David Mahoney is preparing a nice pastel on a birchwood panel that he calls “Cattle Country”.  He came up with the idea after looking through a book on Edward Hicks’ paintings.  There was one painting that caught David’s eye that featured a proud farmer/land owner with his herd of cattle.  In the past, David has been attracted to rural subjects that he remembers from his childhood.  David is in his early seventies.

Most of our artists are encouraged to make a few drawings to act as studies before launching into a more finished piece.  These are a few of David’s drawings of cattle that he did in preparation for his pastel.  If you look closely you can see that David started many of these cows by first drawing a rectangle that he elaborated on.  I remember seeing works by the famous folk art master Bill Traylor who did the exact same thing!

David took his time working on “Cattle Country” and was proud of the result.  The composition has been highly abstracted and flattened out.  I love how the cattle cling to the bottom edge of this work and are held in place by the fence that keeps them in the pasture.  Here is a detail of a cow!

We have another artist entering an artwork made upon a wooden support into the state fair.  We purchased a few of these birchwood panels from the local art supply store and they have proven popular because they are a nice change from canvas and paper and I think the additional firmness is reassuring.  Nancy Anderson has a nice abstract work she made using watercolors and watercolor pencils and it is entitled, “Three Circles”.  Perhaps this is her working title, but regardless there is much happening here and the colors are bright and happy.

First, here’s a detail of how the piece started out.  Nancy used templates to help her gain control of the shapes.  After drawing the circles and triangles she used the watercolor pencils first to decide her color preferences.

Here’s another stage of this piece after considerable work has been put into it.  Nancy is clearly enjoying this painting and has switched to using a brush to dissolve the watercolor pencils onto the wood surface.  And now a first look at the completed painting.  The title comes from the three circles that dominate the composition.  Nancy seems to have a penchant for geometric abstraction and has produced and sold a few of these works.  The final stages of “Three Circles” was finished using tube watercolors and brush which helped increase the intensity of her colors.  I think Kandinsky would appreciate many of Nancy’s artworks.

Natalie Lanier changed her mind as to which acrylic painting she wanted to enter since our previous post.  That’s okay, we still have time although we did have to register and pay an entry fee in advance.  As long as we have one acrylic painting to enter by the deadline…she can change her mind as often as she likes especially if the art keeps getting better!  In this case, I think her new painting entitled “Born Free” is compelling and has already attracted admirers.

Jeremy Smith is a multi-talented artist and it was hard for him to decide as well what he wanted to enter.  In the end, Jeremy was true to himself and decided that a well-designed necklace and earring set he made recently was what he wanted to submit for jurying.  The beads are made of glass.  It take concentration, patience, and a steady hand to assemble this jewelry.

We have other artists who are finishing up on their entries and I hope to show you those in our next post.  Under represented in our blog are the many photographs that our clients take and I hope to change that soon.  Two of our artists will be submitting in the photography category.  For now, I will end with a detail of Jeremy’s lovely beaded necklace.

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