Posts Tagged ‘acrylic painting’

 This past week Zoom Group and StudioWorks received a visit from Commissioner Stephan Hall who leads the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  For Commissioner Hall, ( the gentleman on the left), this was his second look at our art program, but the first in our new space!  Leading the way for Zoom Group is the company’s president Annie Rosenberg Sattich, accompanied by Judy Erwin and Keith Ringer.  The Commissioner was impressed by our new space and the fresh direction that Zoom Group is undertaking.  Among the projects Commissioner Hall would have seen are two works in progress that our collaborative in nature.

Dorcas Kempf-Fluhr has been working on her acrylic on mat board paintings for several months now.  Her abstract works are characterized by deep, intense colors applied with an automatic technique.  Now that a fair amount of paintings have built up around Dorcas…we all hatched up the idea that it might be fun to make one giant painting from them!  Dorcas loved the idea.

So far, the paintings have been arranged onto a cardboard backing that has been reinforced with wood strips.  The paintings have been attached with hook fasteners to the cardboard.  We have reinforced the back with duct tape.  There are a few more kinks to work out including where will we hang Dorcas’ magnum opus when it’s complete and ready to go?  Looking around our large space…there are still just a few places where it looks like it could naturally hang.  I will show you where we hung it in our next post.

The second project Commissioner Hall would have seen is a plaster sculpture in progress.  StudioWorks staff member Josh Juett poured wet plaster into a reinforced cardboard box and let the mixture set.  When it was ready to work on anybody that was interested in learning something about subtractive sculpture could lend a hand.  Eric, Craig, David, and Marie got into this project the most.

The plaster was removed using rasps and files and because the plaster was still damp, there was no dust to contend with.  Before long the idea to pierce the sculpture by making a hole through it engaged several shifts of artists.  This work is still unfinished, but here is another image of it with Katie our valued volunteer pulled into the picture.

It’s hard to believe the month of June has flown by so quickly.  There’s still more to show of the great things we did over the last few weeks.  June was also Julie’s birthday month and she celebrated it over several lunches.  On one trip to Lynn’s Paradise Cafe, she was gifted with these star-shaped glasses which she couldn’t wait to wear to the studio  See you next time.


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Today is the first Saturday in May which means it’s time for the Kentucky Derby to be run in Louisville!  For this post, I thought it would be fun to show a few of the images that were created by the StudioWorks artists to celebrate this big occasion for our community.

This is Eric Huggins’ acrylic painting on mat board at full view.  In Eric’s vision the race comes down to a stretch run by two worthy horses!  His painting includes a partial view of the famous twin spires of Churchill Downs which are the track’s signature image.

In Dorothy Elois Hawkins’ version which is also made with acrylic paint on mat board…she features three horses.  The ever popular gray-colored horse wins this contest by a head while number 4 takes second place.

Natalie Lanier pictures the race as a run away where one great horse and jockey finishes far a head of the pack.  In her acrylic on canvas painting she also includes the twin spires of our race track, but there is a greater degree of abstraction happening.  The heads of the people in attendance are represented by dots and dashes of paint.

The actual Kentucky Derby race only lasts about two minutes.  In Louisville, however, we also have a two-week long Kentucky Derby Festival that features many fun events and culminates with the actual horse race.  Kicking things off is what is typically billed as the largest fireworks displays in North America.  It’s called Thunder Over Louisville and it’s the subject of a wonderful oil pastel on paper by Julie Baldyga.  In her image she shows our 2nd Street Bridge all ablaze in a tremendous waterfall of color.  Julie has added silver glitter to give her work added sparkle and realism.  The whole festival idea has inspired Julie of late.  This series is being done on sheets of rag  paper measuring 22″ x 30″.

Another Derby Festival event eagerly anticipated is the Great Steamboat Race.  Our Belle of Louisville is the oldest authentic steamboat still plying our country’s major rivers.  Because the Ohio River has been at flood stage during the festival…this year’s race has been postponed until June.  Julie can’t wait that long and so she made up her own boat race.

This amiable couple rendered with oil pastel is Julie’s version of the Balloon Glow derby festival event.  Again, weather permitting, an actual hot air balloon race is conducted.  Because this event has been scratched so many times over the years because of less than ideal conditions, a new event was added to the roster.  The Balloon Glow is a family event that takes place at night.  The balloons don’t actually lift off but their bags are inflated and the night is filled with color and the public can see the great variety in hot air balloons that come to our city.  Julie is also hard at work on another oil pastel of the Bed Race and perhaps the other festival events will follow? In closing, here’s a detail of Julie’s steamboat race art work.  This detail is of the musician who plays the Belle of Louisville’s steam calliope.  May all your horses finish in the money!

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It’s an official snow day.  The Jefferson County Public School system is out for the day and that means StudioWorks is too.  We are expecting visitors from the SCL Coalition tomorrow and I’m here doing a little cleaning and catching up on a few items.  The artists have been productive after Christmas and its looking like 2011 is off to a great start!  One of our artists, Chimel Ford, had a landmark moment this past week when he sold his first painting in our gallery!  Here’s a picture of the proud moment.

The gentleman on the right had spotted Chimel’s Fritos painting in our front window and came back to purchase it. Luckily, Chimel was present when he came in and he was clearly pleased and had to call his mom with the good news.  We have the feeling that Chimel will have this experience again because he’s a hard worker and talented.  You just don’t see art like his everyday…unless you are watching our blog!  I included a few other recent paintings from Chimel that he has recently completed.  As you can see, Chimel is attracted to the bright colors and bold designs he finds in snack food packaging.  Now that the Fritos painting is out the door…here is a better picture of it.  All Chimel’s paintings are acrylic on stretched canvases.

Chimel also does portraits and I believe we featured the one he did of Michael Jackson earlier.  Here’s a piece he did on Will Smith which is interpreted from an illustration advertising the movie, “Men in Black”.

As much as we can, we will try to help Chimel develop his art.  For now, we are still getting used to one another.  It takes time to develop a trusting relationship where the artist will accept criticism and recommendations.  I can’t wait to see what he makes next!  In my next post, I will show you a few other works that the StudioWorks artists have been busy with.  Happy New Year to all!

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Although it’s true we have been concentrating on the medium of glass last month…we also have been working on other pieces back at StudioWorks.  We have had some new ceramic creations emerge from the kiln and a few of these works have already flown out of our gallery.  Julie Baldyga had a nice grouping of birds she made.  Some are even perched upon electrical fuses!  Julie watches the sparrows that visit the sidewalk in front of our space.  I think she does a great job of capturing the gesture in bird poses.  Carol Thorp accepted and completed a recent commission for a ceramic squirrel.  We do have in progress pictures of that and several other smaller sculptures that were fun to watch being made.  Here is the squirrel newly formed from moist terracotta clay. 

This work was commissioned by Ed (the Taxi Driver) Price who is assembling an enviable collection of StudioWorks pieces.  When the Antiques Roadshow of the Future comes to town…they may remember that once upon a time there was a community of artists in Louisville called StudioWorks that made outstanding and very collectible art!  But why wait for the future when the opportunity exists now?  Carol’s squirrel is slowly drying before it can move to the bisque phase in our kiln.  Here’s another image of clay drying.  Carol also did the cat and Nancy Anderson made the dog.  The bug (I forget who made that?) is along for the ride.

After the work is bisqued, then glazes are applied that will turn glassy in the kiln’s heat.  Care must be taken to keep these glazes clean and pure.  Fortunately, our artists have Vickey to advise and help them on the many technical aspects of working with hand-built ceramic sculpture.

The squirrel on the right has just been glazed and awaits firing.  The smaller piece was made as a preliminary study.  The larger squirrel is about seven or eight inches high.

Here are the finished pieces!  The little dog with the button eyes is by Nancy and the cat and squirrel are Carol’s work.  The bigger squirrel was eventually given the name of “Nutty” because it’s holding an acorn.  Ed was pleased with the final result and there was one other compliment!

“Good work Carol!”, said a squirrel from the peanut gallery!  I threw that in for Carol because I know she loves animals.  Nancy Anderson has been hitting a good stride with a series of geometric drawings and paintings.  Here she is working on an acrylic painting featuring a repeated diamond pattern and very nice coloring.  Kevin introduced this color theory book to Nancy and it has helped in the variety and selection of colors she used.

And here’s a look at the final painting.  Nancy decided that the painting made more sense to her as a vertical and so we will hang it this way.  I believe it still needs a title to be truly finished, but we love the bold colors.  This painting will look great in a contemporary space.

Our glass projects will be on display at the Council on Developmental Disabilities’ Weber Gallery and the reception is this Friday.  I will show you images from the opening.  We are all proud of our efforts with this new medium!  There are also several other paintings in progress and we will be introducing our new intern to you.  Her name is Ariana and she comes to us via Yale University’s Bulldogs in the Bluegrass program.  Ariana is an art major and will be spending the next ten weeks working with us.  To end, here’s a picture of Lonnie.  He celebrated a birthday this past month and Zoom Group’s Director of Support Employment, Dollie Johnson was nice enough to treat our crew to lunch.  Thanks again Dollie!

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Spring has arrived at StudioWorks with our artists rediscovering their love of color.  We have had some recent completed works that we would like to share with you.  Dorcas Kempf-Fluhr did a magnificent job with an oil pastel on wood panel!  This piece still awaits a title.  Here’s a look at the entire work.  The colors are vibrant and the surface is rich.

We have several artists that prefer their own brand of geometric abstraction.  Terry Bishop is one of those artists.  His recent piece is made of triangular designs embossed onto a small sheet of aluminum.  He then uses color markers to help embellish the triangles.  Terry seemed really pleased with the results of this experiment.

Nancy Anderson also enjoys using abstract shapes and possesses a real strong feel for color and pattern.  Since she started coming to the program for three days a week now, she has started to blossom as an artist.  We are really looking forward to seeing what she comes up with.  Here she is working on a drawing.  And the rainbow inspired acrylic painting that follows is also by Nancy.  The latter is about 11″ x 14″ inches.

An artist we only see once a week is Natalie Lanier.  Natalie loves animals, especially cats, and it’s fun to show you her latest painting!  It’s also done with acrylics  on a prepared canvas.  Her expressive cat is resting in front of a brick fireplace.  This work glows on the wall!

The last work in this post is by David Mahoney.  It’s a western scene with several riders and their horses traveling along the horizon line.  The bright yellow sun creates strong cast shadows.  This piece was made using oil pastels on a wood panel.  I have several in process shots of this piece starting out with David working on a preparatory drawing.

Here is an early stage of the oil pastel.  The wood of the panel is easily seen and I wonder of the artist didn’t take inspiration from its grain with its meandering pattern?

And now for the completed piece.  I think this one will be entered in a competitive juried show coming up on the theme of horses.

More pieces are on their way for future posts.  Julie Baldyga did another wonderful pastel drawing!  I can’t wait to show you that one in a few days.

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A recent commission gave us the opportunity to follow an artwork from conception to completion. Watching art being  created is a good way to demystify the process.  Our good friend, Ed (the Taxi Driver) Price commissioned StudioWorks to create an acrylic painting of his cab.  Ed knows many of our artists and the quality of the art they produce and has commissioned other paintings and sculptures from us.  We think he is building an enviable collection of StudioWorks’ art!  David Mahoney, Eric Huggins with help from Kevin, worked on this painting over the last month.  Following are images of how this painting progressed.

After a photograph of Ed’s yellow cab was taken, Eric researched on the computer, a suitable background to highlight the car.  A night-time skyline of our fair city (Louisville) was selected and Eric using his drawing skills, transferred the car and skyline design to the canvas.  David will do the painting with a little assistance with color mixing from Kevin.  Notice how masking tape is used to block off areas in the skyline.  This will help to keep our lines straight.

The buildings are in front of a dramatic sunset that helps to create a sense of atmosphere.  The underdrawing of the taxi is visible and David will paint that next.

Here’s an early stage of the painting with the taxi being worked on.  The hands on the left belong to Kevin and he is helping David and Eric with the course this painting will follow.  There is much discussion on how best to carry out this goal which goes to the heart of a collaboration.

Here’s David holding that day’s work.  The tires still need to be done and some lettering along the cab’s side will make it Ed’s taxi.  The painting progressed  a little bit each day between other projects.

David has finished his part of the commission and has signed off on it with his monogram in the lower right corner.  Now the painting will be given back to Eric to add a few fine details that will complete the work.

Eric has finished the lettering on the cab and he has put his name in the lower left.  We think Ed will like it!  Over the course of its making, Ed got to watch it in progress and add his responses.  One last image of the completed painting.  StudioWorks welcomes commissions and it’s easy to do.  To start, simply get in touch with us!!  Contact information is in our “About” section.  Thanks!

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