Painting

Painting

Vignette: Laurie Fader

“Vestal Virgin and the Truckrat” by Laurie Fader, Oil on canvas, 64x56in, 2018

“Vestal Virgin and the Truckrat” by Laurie Fader, Oil on canvas, 64x56in, 2018

For centuries, artists have looked to ancient forms and motifs to develop their skills, and more than a few have brought such iconography into their own contemporary work, with all of the associations of the past tagging along for the ride. So what Laurie Fader has been up to may not be surprising on an academic level, yet her choice of motif and the relationships she builds to current events feels unique.

While a Visiting Scholar at The American Academy in Rome, (funded by Great Meadows Foundation) Fader connected to the history of the pre-Christian Vestal Virgins, six priestesses, representing the daughters of the royal house, who tended the state cult of Vesta, the goddess of the hearth. Their lives as living symbols of the state were extraordinarily privileged, circumscribed, and brutally shortened in the event of impropriety. 

“Vestal Virgin and the Hurricane” by Laurie Fader, Oil on canvas, 64x56in, 2018

“Vestal Virgin and the Hurricane” by Laurie Fader, Oil on canvas, 64x56in, 2018

Fader writes, "My Vestal Virgin... evolved on large canvases as a kind of heroic figure embarking on odysseys relating to loss of freedom, uncontrollable climate change, and fear. Current events resonate and subliminally determine epic journeys, such as traveling with immigrants across a desert in a ‘rat truck’, or racing through a hurricane. A previously lighter, slightly humorous and self-effacing painting of a crying child turned darker when it was reported that children were being irreparably separated from their parents at the Mexican/US border.”

As the crisis on the United States/Mexico border escalates, and the American character struggles with its own inherent sense of privilege, Fader’s use of the Vestal Virgins casts the dialogue in an oblique framework that allows a more removed perspective. Is such privilege earned or assumed? 

Laurie Fader has been the recipient of many honors and awards, including a Pollock-Krasner Award, an Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Emergency Assistance Grant, and the Helen W. Winternitz Award for excellence in painting from Yale University. She has attended residencies in Italy, France, Haiti, Hungary, and Italy. Fader lived in New York City for 25 years where she taught at Pratt Institute, then lived in Baltimore where she taught at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She came to Louisville in 2011 to launch The Kentucky School of Art (now KyCAD), where she was Chair of Academic Affairs and Associate Professor. She is now a full-time practicing artist.

Garner Narrative welcomes Laurie Fader for her first solo show with the gallery, Odysseys. It runs December 7 through January 11, 2019 with an opening reception Friday December 7, 6 - 9 pm, and a closing reception Friday January 4, 6 - 9 pm.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BS, Honors, New York University, NYC; MFA, Painting, Yale School of Art.
Website: https://www.lauriefader.com/

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“Cry Baby” by Laurie Fader, Oil on canvas, 48x52in, 2018

“Cry Baby” by Laurie Fader, Oil on canvas, 48x52in, 2018

“Vestal Virgin” by Laurie Fader, Mixed media on inkjet, 9x7in, 2018

“Vestal Virgin” by Laurie Fader, Mixed media on inkjet, 9x7in, 2018

“Handmaid’s Story” by Laurie Fader, Mixed media on inkjet, 12x13in, 2018

“Handmaid’s Story” by Laurie Fader, Mixed media on inkjet, 12x13in, 2018

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.

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Painting

Vignette: Patricia Standard

“Explosive Volcano” by Patricia Standard, Acrylic on canvas, 11x14in, $45.00

“Explosive Volcano” by Patricia Standard, Acrylic on canvas, 11x14in, $45.00

“Rolling River” by Patricia Standard, Acrylic on canvas, 11x14in, $45.00

“Rolling River” by Patricia Standard, Acrylic on canvas, 11x14in, $45.00

How an artist applies medium to a given substrate has grown over time to a state of freedom that allows virtually any approach – anything goes. Action Painting is, in fact, a rather old-fashioned method, “…a technique and style of abstract painting in which paint is randomly splashed, thrown, or poured on the canvas. It was made famous by Jackson Pollock, and formed part of the more general movement of abstract expressionism.”

Patricia Standard pours acrylic paint onto her canvas surfaces, and the control comes from color choice and a careful, tenuous manipulation of the canvas. It is a particularly intuitive process, and we can imagine no small amount of risk in the unexpected nature of this approach. Perhaps more importantly for Standard, there is a sense of discovery: “I never go into the studio with a plan, but respond to the spontaneous interaction with the colors.” 

“As I use acrylic paint on canvas, wood, or glass, I can create unplanned and fascinating colors on different material.” The naïve aspect of her practice can be received as a cross between a folk art aesthetic and a reconnection to the pure joy of making art as a child, before all of the roadblocks to creativity collectively known as adulthood get in the way.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: Associate in Fashion Design from Academy of Arts University working towards BFA
Instagram: standardpatricia

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“Roaring River” by Patricia Standard, Acrylic on canvas, 14x18in, $55.00

“Roaring River” by Patricia Standard, Acrylic on canvas, 14x18in, $55.00

“Creeping Willow” by Patricia Standard, Acrylic on canvas, 8x10in, $35.00

“Creeping Willow” by Patricia Standard, Acrylic on canvas, 8x10in, $35.00


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.

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Painting

Vignette: Debra Guess

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“I am continually fascinated with the way that memories and impressions often rise -- sometime without any intention at all -- to the surface of the painting process.” - Debra Guess

“Daybreak Sifnos” by Debra Kay Guess, Acrylic on canvas, 40x30in, 2018, $1200

“Daybreak Sifnos” by Debra Kay Guess, Acrylic on canvas, 40x30in, 2018, $1200

The abstract is open to interpretation. Although the concentration on surface, texture, and movement at the expense of the representational is executed with deliberate intention, the viewer’s ability to forge emotional relationships is always the final ingredient in the recipe.

Debra Guess has BA in Communications, so perhaps we should not be at all surprised that she places such importance on that dynamic in her paintings. But what exactly they will communicate is sometimes a mystery until she has completed the painting. The academic issues of composition lead her to a point of discovery in each new piece:

“St.Nicholas Beach” by Debra Kay Guess, Acrylic on canvas, 36x36in, 2018, $1300

“St.Nicholas Beach” by Debra Kay Guess, Acrylic on canvas, 36x36in, 2018, $1300

“I use acrylic paint on canvas to explore unplanned harmonies of color and form – much like those in nature that lie just under the surface of our awareness. Pigments and markings and spontaneity dictate, evolving into a combination of the organic and the imaginary, where shapes, strokes, and color come together to reveal a sense of time and place both familiar and open to interpretation. I paint with a deep appreciation for the value of spontaneity in abstract art and in individual paint strokes themselves -- of how intuition and accidents alike can embody the true and important qualities of beauty.” 

Guess made a career for more than 30 years in marketing, sales and desk-bound jobs. Painting was originally a creative calling outside the confines of the 8-to-5 routine that called upon her Minor in Art, but her return was a self directed experience, although she found particular inspiration in, “… the intuitive, expressionist work” of Krista Harris, Rick Stevens and Jonas Gerard.

Now retired, she paints full-time in her home studio in rural Shelby County, Kentucky, where she is, ”… surrounded by one of my primary inspirations: the random beauty of the countryside. Equally inspiring are travel experiences in the US and abroad. I am continually fascinated with the way that memories and impressions often rise -- sometime without any intention at all -- to the surface of the painting process.”

Most recently Guess exhibited at Periwinkle Studio & Gallery in Frankfort, Kentucky, in the juried SALI National Abstract Art Exhibition XIV in Indianapolis, Indiana, and in a corporate installment at CTM Financial Services in Frankfort, Kentucky. She is also a gallery artist at Greenwich House Gallery in Cincinnati, Oh.

Selected Exhibitions:

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3 Square Art "New Horizons: Landscapes" Juried Exhibit, 2018
Greenwich House Gallery "Vistas", 2018
Grand Gallery at The Grand Theatre, Solo Exhibit, 2018
Dogwood Art & Gifts II at Wakefield-Scearce Gallery, 2018

Hometown: Frankfort, Kentucky
Education: BA in Communications (emphasis in Public Relations), Minor in Art, University of Kentucky
Website: www.debrakayguess.com
Facebook: @debrakayguessartist
Gallery Representation: Greenwich House Gallery (Cincinnati), Periwinkle Studio & Gallery (Frankfort). 

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“Road Trip, Summer” by Debra Kay Guess, Acrylic on canvas. 36x36in, 2018, $1300

“Road Trip, Summer” by Debra Kay Guess, Acrylic on canvas. 36x36in, 2018, $1300

“Wake Me When We Get There” by Debra Kay Guess, Acrylic on canvas, 48x24in, 2018,  $1150

“Wake Me When We Get There” by Debra Kay Guess, Acrylic on canvas, 48x24in, 2018,
$1150

“Wherever the Wind Blows: by Debra Kay Guess, Acrylic on canvas, 40x30in, 2018,  $1200

“Wherever the Wind Blows: by Debra Kay Guess, Acrylic on canvas, 40x30in, 2018,
$1200


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.

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Painting

Open Studio Spotlight: Page Penna

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“Esa” by Page Penna, Oil, 24x30in, POR

“Esa” by Page Penna, Oil, 24x30in, POR

Portraiture walks a fine line in that it attempts to satisfy our own impression of ourselves. We may not be the artists, but it is often a commission, and so the demand is to be flattering in order to satisfy the client, yet the artist also must satisfy their own need for capturing the truth of the subject.

In her artist’s statement, Page Penna describes it this way: “Portraiture is an interpretive art which serves to capture the essence of the human spirit, a moment in time and a genuine likeness, to be enjoyed by family and friends for years to come.”

“Portraiture is a way of holding onto a place in time - a way to document a moment, an element or the persona of a subject. The art of creating portraits requires the ability to relate to and capture the subject in a way that conveys the features of their character.” 

Penna doesn’t only paint portraits, but it is clearly a passion, and one can see past the gloss of a flattering image to find sensitivity in the observation of details and facility for rendering emotion in a more understated fashion than might be expected. That there are so many children depicted in her commissioned work doesn’t detract from this quality. They are captured in a informal posture drawn from natural behavior (“Veith Children”) or in a deliberate fashion that harkens to an older, more traditional attitude once reserved for the privileged (“Kate Wittpenn”).   

“Kate Wittpenn” by Page Penna, Oil on linen, Private collection

“Kate Wittpenn” by Page Penna, Oil on linen, Private collection

“From the age of five, I was directly influenced by my great-grandfather’s stained glass studio. Louisville Art Glass Studio created a variety of figurative glass works portraying significant stories for religious organizations. From those experiences, I learned that art conveys a rich portrayal of life, of moments to hold on to, or stories that can be shared with all.”

“After living and painting in Naples, Florida for eighteen years, I have recently relocated to my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. I have opened a studio in a pre-Civil War building in Old Louisville, which provides a large space with natural light — an ideal place to paint my subjects. I continue to work with clients in Florida, especially when families visit grandparents during the spring — capturing children on the beach. In Florida, the sunsets, light, and beaches are infinitely more conducive to painterly expression, yet I tend to thrive in this beautiful part of the world, Kentucky, and love to have a change of seasons.”

“Wiggins Pass” by Page Penna, Pastel, 32x40in, $2500

“Wiggins Pass” by Page Penna, Pastel, 32x40in, $2500

Page Penna is participating in the 2018 Open Studio Weekend, sponsored by Louisville Visual Art and University of Louisville’s Hite Art Institute. His studio, located in the Germantown neighborhood, will be open the weekend of November 3 and 4. Tickets for Open Studio Weekend will go on sale October 16. Click here for more information.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: Ringling School of Art, Florida
Website: pagepennaart.com

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“Burleigh & Johnny” by Page Penna, Oil on linen, 16x20in, 2017, Private collection.

“Burleigh & Johnny” by Page Penna, Oil on linen, 16x20in, 2017, Private collection.

“Veith Children” by Page Penna, Oil on linen, Private collection.

“Veith Children” by Page Penna, Oil on linen, Private collection.

“Veith Children (detail)” by Page Penna, Oil on linen, Private collection.

“Veith Children (detail)” by Page Penna, Oil on linen, Private collection.


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.

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Painting

Open Studio Spotlight: James Russell May

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"Woman with Fox" by James Russell May, Oil on aluminum, 36x24in,2018, $4500.

"Woman with Fox" by James Russell May, Oil on aluminum, 36x24in,2018, $4500.

James Russell May doesn’t only paint nude figures, and he doesn’t only paint nude female figures, but it is perhaps the imagery he is best known for. The women we see have a physicality projecting strength in form and in character. Sturdy, full-bodied, they are unapologetic in exposing their flesh, very often-staring straight at the viewer. In fact, that confrontational aspect might, as often as not, turn the tables, forcing us to reexamine our own biases about the unclothed figures. Are we puritanical, prurient, or neutral in how we receive them?

“I am intrigued by how the subject matter and themes of traditional Western art can seem at once familiar and alien to the eyes of the contemporary viewer,” states May. “This has become a primary element of my paintings. In my work I attempt to form a bridge between the present and the past, as well as the material and ethereal. I paint my figures in a heavily detailed, mannered, and realistic style requiring layers of painstaking work. This style is based upon both an observation of life and a studied awareness of how the human form has been portrayed in the art of the past. Those figures are then placed in an environment of abstracted and textural material, such as resin or metal. The intended result is balance between two competing personal aesthetics.”

We sometimes have to search for contemporary artists who use the concept of nudity so boldly without becoming vulgar or overtly political. May’s balanced blending of tradition with a point-of-view that is modern yet thoroughly rejects the Male Gaze is startling.

However, May is far from neutral in his themes. “Omphale and Hercules” revisits a story from Classical Mythology with humor and a sharp recognition of our moment. May not reverse the gender roles; Hercules was in servitude to Omphale, so her sitting on his head mat be extreme but it is not inconsistent, but all previous depictions have historically placed the man’s name in front of the woman’s, and there is a note of brutality in this Omphale’s satisfied expression, even while we detect a note of bemusement in Hercule’s countenance.

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James Russell May is participating in the 2018 Open Studio Weekend, sponsored by Louisville Visual Art and University of Louisville’s Hite Art Institute. His studio, located in the Germantown neighborhood, will be open the weekend of November 3 and 4. Tickets for Open Studio Weekend will go on sale October 16. Click here for more information. 

Hometown: Savannah, Georgia
Education: BFA, Savannah College of Art & Design
Website: Jamesrussellmay.com
Facebook: James Russell May Art
Instagram: jamesrussellmay

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“Omphale and Hercules” by James Russell May, ", Oil and alkyd resin on wood, 48x48in, 2013, $6000.

“Omphale and Hercules” by James Russell May, ", Oil and alkyd resin on wood, 48x48in, 2013, $6000.

"Bear II" by James Russell May, Oil on aluminum, 48x24in, $5500

"Bear II" by James Russell May, Oil on aluminum, 48x24in, $5500

"In the Garden" by James Russell May, Oil and alkyd resin on wood, 48x48in, 2007, $5000

"In the Garden" by James Russell May, Oil and alkyd resin on wood, 48x48in, 2007, $5000

“Banana Tree” by James Russell May, Oil on aluminum, 40x25in, 2017, $3000.

“Banana Tree” by James Russell May, Oil on aluminum, 40x25in, 2017, $3000.


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.

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