Saturday, July 7, 2018

Colorado's Best Awards

The Lakewood Arts Gallery's Colorado's Best Exhibit brought out truly some of Colorado's best!  Represented artists were in attendance along with friends, family and First Friday Artwalkers out visiting the galleries along the 40West corridor.  They found laughter, lots of munchies, acoustic guitar by Charles Closen, an acrylic demo by Joel Wittliff and of course a beautiful and diverse selection of art to peruse.

Juror Jan Archuleta was in attendance and so enthusiastic and animated while handing out awards.  She gave very helpful information as to why she chose each piece.  Checks were received by grinning recipients and hopefully they spent them on gallery purchases!  Just another fun evening at the Lakewood Arts Gallery!

Juror Jan Archuleta hands out awards.                     

Artist Joel Wittlif demos Frida in acrylic.

Artist John Evans with his First Place award for his charcoal portrait, "Mata".  Here are the juror's comments as to why she chose his piece for first place, "The minute I saw this detailed drawing I wanted to look closer. I noticed that the full range of values were expertly used to capture the glow of the face, the delicate hands and soft texture of the clothing.  The values of greys in the background has a balance of unique shapes and nice lines.  I also like the glow of light grey behind and reflected on the woman's dark hat.  The face is wonderfully rendered!"

Artist Donna Sorensen with her pastel, "Afternoon Garden Party" which garnered a Second Place award. The juror said, "This small painting is exquisite.  It has strong design and use of light and shadow.  The bits of color are perfectly placed, and the highlights of white give the painting contrast and drama.  The painting is so lovely."

Artist Carol Broere with her raku dish titled, "Which Way".  Jurors comments: "Although I do not know exactly how this piece was made, it is full of creative design and beautiful color.  I appreciate the wavy edge of the dish and the surprising shapes and texture on the back.  Very impressive!"

Artist Karen Mahnken with her colored pencil piece, "Great Horned Owl".  Jan said of Karen's piece, "Not only is this colored pencil painting well drawn, the confident strokes of the feathers feel soft and alive.  The owl's golden eye holds the viewer's attention as though it is looking at you.  Very nice!"

Congratulations to all the award winners and artists in the Colorado's Best Show!  I should also mention that wandering into the 40West Gallery for their Transitions glass show, I discovered one of the LAC's member's with another award -- Congratulations to Leslie Bitgood for her piece, "Passages".

And just a silly tip for next time -- be sure to wear your white shirt if you want an award!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Paco-vicunas Highlight of the LAC Garden Tour

Who needs flowers when you've got these funny fuzzy creatures to ogle?  Garden #4 on the Lakewood Arts Council's Annual Garden Tour featured an alpaca farm.  First of all, who knew there was an alpaca farm tucked back behind Hampden Ave near Foothills Golf Course?  Jean and Arthur Levene bought this 1859 homestead 25 years ago, built a "mail-order" house and other buildings on the property and have raised alpacas, llamas and vicunas for their fleece, which they sell to fiber artists and crafters. 
Jean obviously loves her animals, knowing many of the 150 camelids by name.  Some are more friendly than others, but if they let you pet them, you find how fine and soft their fur is, and can understand why it's in such demand for clothing and other goods. 
Tour guests were allowed to wander in the pens while Jean answered questions and provided info about the care and needs of these special animals. 
As the volunteer garden-sitter, I not only got to enjoy talking with the visitors, but also got to spend time with the paco-vicunas, or PV's as she calls them.
 Many guests said this was the highlight of the tour, but the other 6 locations also provided delight for the senses.

Three train gardens this year inspired wonder in young and old alike.  These are definitely a labor of love!  Surprises lurk at every bend: a chain gang here, dinosaurs there.  
An addition to last year's train garden (Garden #7 which was added later) was a hand-built city, buildings being named after family members. 
Even a funeral home had its place -- we all wondered who that might have been named after though! A garden with a labyrinth,

a chicken coop, a community garden flanked by public artworks (along the 40West Greenline)
and of course lots of gorgeous blooms under a beautiful blue sky made this year's annual Garden Tour a successful and delightful fundraiser for the Lakewood Arts Gallery.  Can't wait to see what they come up with for next year's tour!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

New at the Gallery

Change out days at the gallery always bring in new art and new artists.  It's always fun to see the creative pieces our co-op artists have to display.  Come on in to see a selection of their works -- and in the meantime, meet our newest artists, Pam Milld with her mixed media,

 and Melinda Christenbury with her oils.


Mary Runkels is another new co-op artist with a collection of 3D art. 
And just for fun, I've included here a new piece of jewelry from Carol Broere, made with lace -- how beautiful!
 Just perfect to adorn the neckline with a flowy summer dress!  Always something new at the Lakewood Arts Gallery!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Artists Choice -- Juror's Comments

The opening reception for the Lakewood Arts Artists Choice Exhibit was attended by the juror for the show, Pat Fostvedt.  She told us all a little about herself, then explained her reasons for choosing all the award winners. 
The pieces were all very creative, all unique, she said.  Each piece was an abstraction of sorts, meaning the artists' own interpretation of their subject. 
Only merit award winner Carolyn Tegeder's collage, "Taking Shape" was non-representational.  She chose this piece because of it's unique shape, and neutralized colors.  Never use colors that viewers can identify and name, Pat told the audience.  It's important to neutralize and modify your colors. 

However, Ray Harrison's "Coyboy's Dream" was full of vivid color, and she loved his unique interpretation of a horse.  She wasn't the only one who appreciated this piece, as it sold the first day of the show (and even got more than one offer!)  Congratulations to Ray on his merit award and sale!

The third merit award winner, "Top Knot Man", a photograph by Andi Sahlen, was a photo-shopped creation of a character she met while visiting Easter Island.  Again, Pat appreciated the creativity of this photo.

A third place ribbon went to me, Gail Firmin for my watercolor, "Girasole".  Pat loves flowers and paints them often herself, but doesn't like to choose too many to win awards. However, she appreciated my creative take on a pot of sunflowers.  The treatment was different, and noted how some of the edges were lost into the background, and added that the lettering also lent itself to a successful composition.

Camilla Williams' watercolor/collage entitled, "Canyon Roads" made an impression on the juror, enough for a second place ribbon.  She loved the coloring, the subtlety of the warm hues pushing certain areas forward while cooler blues made other areas recede.  Pat surmised that Camilla must have had a "dialogue" with the painting, letting it speak to her in order to complete it, not knowing exactly how it would turn out.

First place went to Carolyn Belfor for her watercolor/collage, "No Fly Zone".  Pat again loved the creativity and noted that this was such a unique piece.  One topic she discussed regarding the use of collage was the choice to use materials created by the artist vs. preprinted materials, which could cause copyright issues.

The last piece of advice Pat offered to artists is to paint adjectives, don't paint nouns.  I thought this was quite a unique, creative bit of instructional food for thought, and one I plan to integrate into my art and teaching.  Thank you for your thoughtful jurying, Pat!  And your helpful insight and inspiration!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Encaustic Workshop with Carolyn Berry

Carolyn  Berry was a textile and jewelry major in college and became a fiber artist before she found her calling with encaustics.  Taking workshops and classes from teachers such as Danielle Wolf and Linda Robertson made her realize she could combine her love for so many artistic elements such as texture, textiles, drawing and painting in one medium -- wax.

Encaustic art is not a new phenomenon; there are examples of detailed portraits rendered in wax from the ancient Greeks and Romans.  Examples of Egyptian Fayum portraits from 200 AD still exist today.  Google Fayum portraits and be amazed at these lifelike renderings -- each a portrait associated with a mummified body, painted on wooden boards and laid to rest with the deceased.
Painting with encaustics and pigment required the use of fire to melt the wax which could be dangerous.  So when oil paints were invented, they essentially replaced encaustic painting.  However, this expressive medium has been making a comeback in recent years.  Diego Rivera was known for his use of encaustics in the 1920's, as was Jasper Johns in the 50's.  There is even an Encaustic Institute in Santa Fe.

Carolyn started out her workshop by giving her students an overview of encaustic's history, and explained the techniques and procedures prior to us getting started.  And of course told us what not to do if you spill hot wax on your skin (don't peel it off, or it will take your skin off with it!)

Pans of hot wax--beeswax and damar resin, were liquified on a hot plate and ready for us to start creating.

The 5 hour workshop introduced us to fusing the hot wax to our gessoed boards, how to use overlay, collage, transfer and painting with pigmented wax.  Time went quickly in our creative states and everyone had fun putting together 4 pieces of encaustic art.
 Carolyn had provided all the material and tools to make this workshop fun and educational.  Take her class if you get a chance!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Juror's Abstract Thoughts

Juror Patricia Rucker had a difficult job of culling from over 100 entries, the Expressions in Abstract call for entry.  She chose a nice selection of abstracts for the Lakewood Arts Gallery's Expressions in Abstract show which now hangs through the end of March.  At last night's opening reception, she spoke about her process for choosing award winners.  A good abstract must adhere to the same rules of design elements and principles as any other work.  Good composition, value structure, line, texture etc must be evident in an abstract just like in a non-abstract work she says.  She also looks for what dominates in a painting.  Referring to the award winners, she pointed out that Carolyn Tegeder's two merit award winners emphasize shape.  Carolyn is a shape painter, Patricia noted.  Russ Ahren's piece, the second place award winner,  is essentially non-objective (not a requirement for an abstract), but shows such good presentation.  Even the framing of his piece complements the textures evident in his work.  And she found Jane Dorsey's first place winner such a striking painting.  It is a representational rendering of a mountain scene, but the colors and textures were what qualified it for a first place winner. Thank you Patricia for all your hard work!