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!

Happy Birthday Barbara!

Last night's First Friday at the Gallery was cause for celebration!  Lakewood Arts Council founder, Barb Tobiska celebrated her birthday in style with the attendance of many friends, family, former students and art associates.  The gallery was packed -- over 200 visitors enjoyed the festivities and Expressions in Abstract show.  Juror Patricia Rucker spoke about the award winners and her jurying method and awards were handed out.  The Bad Astronauts with their luminous jellyfish entertained everyone.  Munchies were plentiful and of course there was cake! Happy Birthday Barb!

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.