Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Soup's On!

There was more than a soupcon of soup at the Lakewood Arts soup tasting event last night --in fact, there were 11 different soups to taste, which made judging the best a difficult task!  From vegetarian lentil, to creamy ham and potato, spicy chili and even a sweet dessert soup,
the crowd enjoyed sitting down to a bowlful of deliciousness and going back for more.
Crockpots made space for the feisty Instapot newcomers, and lots of powerstrips kept it all hot.  The cooks and visitors sampled as many as possible, mopped it up with cheesy bread and when all were sitting back in their chairs fully satiated, the judge and jury counted votes and declared it a ham and potato win by an overwhelming majority!

 Congratulations to Sheila McFather!  With the prize basket placed in her outstretched arms she had to laugh and say her kids will be amazed since she really doesn't like to cook.
 Coulda fooled us, Sheila!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Artist in the Spotlight: Joel Witliff

How did you get started in creating art?

I started drawing in grade school to keep myself entertained, doodling in the margins of notebooks and homework papers. Later I attended Rocky Mountain School of Art and Design and took all the art classes I could but I didn't graduate because I had no care to enroll in the core classes like English and Math.
What is your favorite medium and why? 

Currently, I am enjoying mediums that allow me to work on canvas. In the past, I was mostly a digital artist creating illustrations for game companies and publishers. However, much of what I do starts out in my sketchbooks with a sharpie, over a cup of coffee. That is the intimate side of art for me, where anything goes, and no one needs to know what I am up to.

What are your favorite subjects?
While you don't see it much in the paintings I display people and figures are my favorite subjects, both real and imagined.

Do you have a vision for your work?  For a body of work that you would like to create?

In the future, I would like to move towards painting ideas. The crazy thoughts in my head would like to have an outlet. It's difficult though because I have a hard time breaking self-imposed stigmas of what fine art painting "should" be. My influences early on were the illustrations on fantasy and sci-fi book covers. I would like to go back towards relying more on my imagination and less on reality but in a more conceptual way. As far as what’s next on the horizon we will see. It will be as much of a surprise to me as anyone else.
How did you find out about the Lakewood Arts Council and Co-op?  What do you find most
enjoyable or beneficial about being a member?
I met Viv, a member of LAC, through a chance encounter and found out about the gallery. It took a while for me to come around and have a look see, but I was very attracted to the idea of meeting other creatives and being an active part of the local art community, as opposed to what I was doing, which was being holed up in the studio watching paint dry

What’s next on the horizon?

My art is constantly in a state of change. Most changes are brought about by just getting bored and wanting to try something new. I have the attention span of a squirrel and in addition to that, I am insatiably curious.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

A New Year, A Few New Members

The first co-op meeting of the year started out with an artwork change-out.  Co-op members came in early Saturday morning to not only switch out their artwork, but to switch places in the gallery to allow for the inclusion of new members, and to give a fresh new look to the walls. 

Everyone brought in a pot-luck dish to share for breakfast (do cookies count as breakfast food?) We all enjoyed our tasty treats and got started on the first meeting of the year.  
It was agreed that committees are working smoothly, with a large percentage of members helping out with duties.  Kudos to a group that can work so well together, with the inspired leadership of Ann Quinn as Gallery Manager.

We welcomed new members Ron Cable, photographer, 
Joel Witliff with his stunning landscape paintings and sometimes whimsical subject matter.
Jane Dorsey has come back to us with her always enjoyable paintings and sculptures. 
And Jean Alles has graced our front wall with her eye-catching florals and landscape paintings.  We look forward to seeing more of what they have to offer!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Ho Ho Ho, A Merry Christmas Reception

Lots of Christmas shopping was done at last night's First Friday reception and Holiday Art and Crafts show at the Lakewood Arts Gallery.  There was a festive atmosphere, J in a Santa Hat, music by Song Salad, wreath-making demos by Marcie Emily and Sue Lewis, delicious punch and snacks by our refreshment maven, Linda Harris and lots of gallery-goers enjoying the 40West Art Walk.  If you missed the reception, come on by the gallery during regular hours: 11-4 Wednesday through Sunday.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Artist in the Spotlight: Sue Lewis

How did you get started in creating art?  I trace my artistic journey back to a paint by number kit I received for Christmas when I was 8 years old.  I had paint left over, so I created my own picture.

What is your favorite medium and why?  I love working with textiles because of the texture, color and variety.  I enjoy manipulating it to create something tangible that did not exist before.
What are your favorite subjects?  You will see a lot of leaves and trees in my work.  I am inspired by nature and appreciate the Japanese concept of "wabi sabi" or the imperfection of nature.  

Do you have a vision for your work?  For a body of work that you would like to create?  I like to create an image or a mood that connects with the viewer.  I want to develop my own style that people will recognize.  I like to evoke an emotion or a memory for the viewer.  I have a series of wall hangings representing moss, water and lichen.  I love pursuing texture, using color and portraying the organic.
  Defying Gravity was exhibited at the "Lines into Shapes" exhibit at the Estes Park art center and Ripples on the Rio Grande has been selected to travel to several venues in 2018.  It is going to be part of an exhibit called "Life Along the Rio Grande" to be shown in New Mexico. 

How did you find out about the Lakewood Arts Council and Co-op?  My fellow fiber artist, Marcie Emily, suggested I investigate becoming a Co-op member.

What do you find most enjoyable or beneficial about being a member?  I enjoy meeting the other artists who have been so helpful and welcoming.  They are also very willing to share their own artistic journey.

What’s next on the horizon?  I am progressing into 3 dimensional work by making bowls, candle surrounds and functional items in an effort to branch out from 2-D work.

Has your work changed over the years?  In what way? I started out by making traditional bed quilts and quickly moved on to art quilts or wall hangings.  I have taken classes on fabric dyeing, painting, silk screening and have added unusual fibers and embellishments to my work.

Which artists from the past or living do you admire most? I admire Monet and Van Gogh for their use of color and brushstrokes.  I also love Dale Chihuly's glass sculptures.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Cuteness abounds at the LAC Holiday Craft Show

Stop by the Lakewood Arts Gallery for the annual Holiday Arts and Crafts show.  From ornaments to fine art, jewelry and handcrafted cards, there's something for everyone (including yourself!)  Join us for a festive First Friday on December 1st 5-8pm or stop in during regular business hours. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Colorado's Best -- Juror Comments on Award Winners

Oil and pastel artist Tracy Wilson juried this year's Colorado's Best exhibit.  Here are photos of the award winners along with her comments. 

1st place Jim Rothrock
The strong design and color/value contrast of this painting make for a successful composition that reaches out and grabs the viewer and pulls us in. Placement of the leaves creates a lovely circuitous path for the eye to move through the paintings and up to the well placed focal area. The background provides dull dark colors and soft edges that beautifully support and “pop” the bright, light, hard edge leaf shapes.

 2nd Place Lynnette Kupferer
This successful abstract provides the viewer with plenty of interest. It almost functions as two paintings at two different viewing distances. From a far viewing distance the piece reads as one large abstract shape that is both bold and graceful and forms a well placed, well balanced positive shape against the
negative space of the background. From a distance it reads as two shapes: one positive and one negative. Close up, the viewer explores the intricacies of alternating straight and curved edges, within a variety of shapes and colors.

 Merit Award Gail Firmin
This is a nice example of a “stylized” painting. Several elements are working together to support a cheerful and light hearted feeling in this painting. The primary color palette corresponds well to the whimsy of the image: the design of the embroidered pattern creates a playful path for the eye to travel around the image and back again.

 Merit Award Linda Harris
The artist has made some good choices with this painting. The width of the painting allows the viewer to appreciate the landscape and sets up the placement of the large tree in front to be a well placed focal
area. The main horizontal divisions of the piece are close to, but not exactly, 1/3rds. This creates unity in the piece while still maintaining variety. The use of light bright color under the large tree was a goodchoice in supporting and emphasizing the focal area.

Merit Award Sue Lewis
Lovely analogous color palette combined with organic curved fluid shapes makes for a pleasing and calming viewing experience. Another interesting characteristic of this duo is that the juxtaposition of how they hang together on a wall can be changed and they will still balance together.