Thursday, December 8, 2011

Artists Statement

Who has taken the time to write a really super artist statement? Let's see the hands...anyone? Anyone? I was asked to write one in less than a day for the Randy Higbee Fall 6" Squared Exhibit in Costa Mesa. What I submitted was a concoction on the fly of a past interview and how I was feeling that day.

Here is what I sheepishly submitted:
Artist Statement: In my approach the work comes first then the concepts. I don't wait for inspiration, my inspiration comes from just painting. Working mostly in still life I start by arranging objects, classically lighting them (from the left), and moving them about until the lighting creates an abstract structure. It's not about the objects for me, it's about how the light reveals the form, separating the scene into light and dark structures. It's the drama of the scene I crave, not so much to render an apple (or any object) correctly.

I've been sleepless at night since then thinking about artists statements...and have been reading artists statements. I'm not talking about a bio, or a CV (resume), or testimonials....just a good old solid, true and real artist statement.

Here are a couple of really good articles I found on the internet and will be tackling a new artist statement in the next week. I'll share some of my thoughts and work as I go along. Hopefully this will inspire you to take a look at yours or even think about having one.

How to Write an Artist Statement by

How to Write and Use an Artist Statement by Molly Gordon

Sunday, December 4, 2011


...Oh the weather outside was frightful
But our party was still delightful
We decked the halls - ho! ho! ho!
Way to go! Way to go! Way to go!

Our end of the year party was great fun! Despite cold temperatures and snowflakes, a nice group of members and friends gathered on Saturday for our annual holiday party. Everyone was in a holiday mood and all dressed up for the season (loved Susan Gordon's beautiful holiday coat - and Melinda Fiscus found a perfect pair of earrings to match her outfit). We all enjoyed the yummy chili made by Jan Casper, Loraine Miller, Barbara Tobiska and Marje Walsh. Top that off with a glass of wine, some flavored coffee and lots of delicious cookies and you have a perfect holiday treat. The afternoon was filled with laughter, good conversation and some fun shopping.

Happy Holidays everyone! Be sure to stop by the LAC Art Center before we say goodbye to 2011.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Afternoon Critique by Ann Quinn

Once again, Kathy Berls led a fun critique session at the gallery, where twelve artists presented over 21 works of art for review. The comments by Kathy and the attendees were upbeat and well taken. Many of the art pieces were still works in progress. Comments about composition, color, framing, and “where does this line lead your eye? “were all clues about how to improve. Some artists were trying new approaches (Barb Tobiska and her intriguing abstract), while others had older works that they just wanted to make better.

The LAC provides a great place to learn in a supporting atmosphere. Critique comments are suggestions and meant to be taken in a positive light, so watch for the next critique session and bring in your work! Everyone is welcome!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Holidays Everyone!

The holidays have definitely arrived at the LAC Art Center & Gallery! From the glittering jewelry downstairs to the completely transformed upstairs, the place is colorful, fun and full of wonderful treasures ...judging by the early bird shoppers who were there on Monday, it's definitely not to soon to get started with your holiday shopping! Kay Alexander and Barbara Mantei got first pick at the popular gift baskets which are still priced at $15 each.  Susan Gordon and Lynnette Kupferer also stopped in, saying they like to "support the local artists".  It seemed busy through out the day, with people in a happy and festive mood - good to see all the familiar faces such as Barb Tobiska, Jean Barringer and Mary Elgandour. 
Of course all this is the result of almost five days of intense preparation - getting the old exhibit out, moving the display panels and bringing in tables and other props to get things ready.  Extra big thank you to all the helpers, including Gene Smith, Gail Firmin, Jan Casper, Beverly Zeromsky, Rosalie Metzker, Barb Benik and Marcia Nowak.
Tell your friends about us - we're looking forward to seeing all of you over the holidays.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Election Results for LAC Board

Congratulations to our new LAC Board for 2012!

Thank you to everyone who sent in their ballots - and to the volunteers who have agreed to serve.
(not pictured - Warner Reeser and Shizuko Barbara Hanson)

Member at Large, Marcia Brill (left)
New President, Barbara Benik

New Vice President, Ann Quinn
Founder, Barbara Tobiska
Member at Large, Marge Walsh

Member at Large, Cindy Haase
Member at Large, Charlie Casper
Treasurer, Loraine Miller

Member at Large, June Davis
Member at Large, J Bisant
Secretary, Karen Hoff
Planning Meeting for 2012

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

They're HERE!

Small works now in the LAC Member's Gallery

A special section of black and white work.
 Pictured are drawings by Barbara Benik and digital by Charlie Casper.

A wonderful pastel rendering by Lynnette Kupferer.

A very special collection of small works created by the members of the LAC Co-Op Gallery are now on display at the LAC Art Center. Priced from $15-$125, it's the perfect time to purchase an original work by one of your favorite artists. Included in the collection are works by Cindy Ahrenkiel, Kay Alexander, Barbara Benik, Charlie Casper, Jane Dorsey, Gail Firmin, Katy Haas, Lynnette Kupferer, Anita Lamprell, Loraine Miller, Ann Quinn, Gene Smith and Barbara Tobiska.
The Red Hat Cats by Jane McFadden Dorsey
A lovely pastel by Gene Smith

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fun events at the LAC Art Center today!

Loraine works with student Jan Kitchell
Saturday watercolor class hard at work
It was a lively day at the gallery today with a couple of different activities going on.  Loraine Miller's watercolor class was having a great time painting florals and landscapes.  She is a patient teacher who emphasizes the fun of working in watercolor.  Each of her students gets special attention as she helps them find their own style of painting.

As soon as the class ended, the classroom was reorganized to get ready for a calligraphy demonstration presented by Wendy Wham Mills.  Wendy is a co-owner of pARTiculars co-op gallery in Old Town Lafayette where she teaches and exhibits her calligraphy, oil painting and jewelry.  She had lots of interesting and helpful information to pass on to the group about the art of creative lettering and manuscript illumination. She is a warm and friendly person who speaks with enthusiasm and knowledge.  The group enjoyed the afternoon which included refreshments of pumpkin muffins and cinnamon flavored coffee. Yum! Visit Wendy's website at

Wendy Wham Mills visits with LAC member Lynnette Kupferer following the program.

Throughout the day, several visitors came in to see what is new at the gallery as well as view the "Spotlight on Colorado Artists" show upstairs.  This is the last week for this exhibit so be sure to stop by before it closes.  There is also a lot of new work in the Co-Op gallery on the main floor. A new exhibit of small works arrives in the LAC Member's Gallery on Monday - just in time for the big Holiday Arts and Crafts Show coming on November 8th.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Interview with Juror Joanne Burney

 “Plane Tree II”, oil, 30x20”
Joanne Burney
  1. When you jury an exhibit what is the first thing about a painting that jumps out and says "I deserve an award"?
Paintings have presence. They say, “Look at me!” Once a painting gets your attention, you check to see if it is worth an award. (See my criteria below.)

  1. Knowing you teach at the Denver Art Students League, what do you find the most rewarding as a teacher?
Being able to share what I know about art. I was very fortunate to have an exceptionally good art education. I went to good schools and studied with great artists and teachers. I feel I owe it to them to pass it on.

  1. Your work with trees is amazing. What are the things you have learned about your subject and about yourself with this intimate focus?
Trees have something to say. They are not just fillers in a broad landscape, but are individually worthy of study. They may represent strength, or reaching for the sky (symbolically as well as physically), or silent suffering or abundant beauty – anything. I’m not interested in painting vistas, but as a portrait painter I am interested in character, and trees have plenty of that. At first I was intimidated by their complicated branch structure, foliage and unfamiliar attributes. But I learned that if I stayed with it, I could paint them.

  1. What does a day in the life of Joanne Burney look like?
I get up, have coffee and make my husband’s lunch. I exercise, walk the dog, do chores and go to work (paint/art business/teaching). Then I make dinner. After dinner I relax a little and do more “stuff”. Then I walk the dog. Some days I teach all day and into the night. My day looks pretty much like anybody else’s, unless anybody else has kids, servants or no dog.

  1. Do you spend time marketing? What activities have you found useful in marketing your art.
Artists have to spend a lot of time marketing. I enter shows, send out newsletters, advertise my classes and workshops, read trade journals and check out galleries.

     6.   Do you set goals for your artwork? What are two of your goals for next year?

I do set goals. Currently I am looking for another gallery and am doing more portraits.

     7.  Any comments you have about the LAC exhibit in general would be most interesting to our readers.
The LAC show looked good right from the start. I wish I’d had more awards to give. While subject matter per se and medium per se are not considerations when I choose a work for award, I was impressed with the range of subject matter and the range in mediums, and the quality throughout, that serendipitously provided me with such variety in the award winners.

    Any comments for the award winners?
When I give awards I judge for several things –
1. Form and function (does the piece communicate something and do it appropriately with the composition and materials chosen?),
2. Technique (does the piece show good technique, and do it in such a way that you don’t notice technique, i.e. does the artist make it look effortless and natural – not belabored?),
3. Use of formal elements (has the artist taken full advantage of the use of line, shape, proportion, value, color, texture, gestalt). Whether representational or abstract, the piece has to use them well.
4. The “surprise” (does the piece show something new or something old in a new way?) This does not mean that the piece always is pleasant or communicates a happy mood. It means it touches us in a meaningful way.

The Best of Show had all of those and what a surprise! You just don’t see a piece like that every day.

The 2nd place oil had a sense of lush technique and great shapes and color, showing wonder at the plays of light and beauty of the flowers.

The 3rd place had killer color and design, and the surprise that it was a photo of a wall.

The Marge Steinbach award – the patterned integration with the subject of butterflies and background was so perfect to both. The piece had great color and movement and was an inspiration, much as Marge herself must have been to inspire that award.

The Merit Awards
      - The Acrylic Landscape had an exceptional moodiness and a unique look that supported/created it.
      - The Abstract Acrylic also had mood and flow and space, integrating the black into the otherwise colorful    piece very successfully.
      - The Pastel had a lovely, contemplative mood and a beautiful handling of the pastels, especially used to create the various objects in the still-life.

“Ponderosa - Light on the Morraine”, Pastel, 20x16”
Joanne Burney

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Spotlight on Colorado Artists Installed

Juror Joanne Burney, instructor from the Art Students League, was happy to know she wouldn't have to reject any entries. She diligently set about selecting the award winners.

Article by Kathy Berls

Wow - what a show! I'm happy to say that the new exhibit is now up and ready for the opening on Thursday, Oct 6th. For awhile there, there was some doubt as to whether it would all fit. When all the registrations came in, we noticed that there were several three dimensional pieces. Since they don't take up wall space, Barbara Tobiska, exhibits co-chair and I decided we'd take a chance and accept all the entries. We knew it would be a big show, but seemed a great way to end our juried exhibits line-up for 2011. Little did we know that many, many of the works would be really, really, really big! Needless to say, once it was all up, I breathed a sigh of relief. The challenge is always how to group the works together so that each piece has a chance to shine. Grouping the pieces according to color harmony, taking into account sizes and dimensions, the artwork is first placed all around the room to see where it will fit. But, it's not until I actually start hammering in the nails that I can be sure. Now it's done and the results produced a wonderful, exciting and diverse show that is not to be missed. Thank you to all the artists who supported this exhibit and a special welcome to those of you who have entered for the first time.

The winners circle

Best of Show winner: Dragon Tails, a stunning wood piece by Arvada artist Jeff Herring.

 A Special memorial award was presented this year in honor of past member Margwyn Steinbach. The award went to "Flutterflies" by Andy McKelvy.

The walls are full of wonderful artwork, including many 3-d pieces.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Boy, could he make that violin sing!


Violinist Johnny Neil gave us an outstanding show on Friday night at our "Wine, Cheese, and Music" event. Trained as a classical violinist, Johnny is equally proficient in classical music and good ole cowboy foot-stompin tunes. He is incredibly knowledgeable about the violin and it's history. What was scheduled as a one hour performance turned into an hour and a half....and nobody was ready to go home even then. Johnny's fingers lightly danced along the strings as he created music that ranged from selections that made you dreamy to sad to full of joy. He has had an amazing career, from playing with symphonies, to western bands, to appearing in movies. If you missed this event, you really missed something special!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Supper Night at LAC

It was a great party!

Give us a good assortment of delicious soups and a glass of wine (or two or three) and we will definitely be in a party mood. Add in the incredible talents of magician Jim Wright and the evening is sure to be spectacular. Our wine and soup tasting event is quickly turning into an annual affair. Many of those attending had joined us last year and they said they could hardly wait for it this time. People arrived early and stayed late - there was lots of laughter, "tasting" of the goodies, and rousing conversation. One of the most fun things to watch was the expression on faces as Jim performed his magic - lots of "Oh my gosh" and "How did he do that??"

 Jan Casper
 Ann Marshall and Nancy White
 John and Mary Edgar
 Magician-Jim Wright
 Magician-Jim Wright
 Ann Quinn (left) and her Mother-In-Law (right)
Lynnette Kupferer and Cindy Ahrenkiel (back)
 Ted Kupferer, Jan Casper, Dick Berls, Charlie Casper
Walshes (front) Marge and Glen
Hi Ladies in the back!!!

Special thanks to all our board members who provided the soup and wine - boy do we have good cooks