horses

Painting

2019 art[squared] Featured Artist: Richard Sullivan

“Untitled” by Richard Sullivan, Acrylic on panel, 24x24in, 2019, $1500. Available for purchase through silent auction at the 2019 Art[squared] Fundraiser

“Untitled” by Richard Sullivan, Acrylic on panel, 24x24in, 2019, $1500. Available for purchase through silent auction at the 2019 Art[squared] Fundraiser

The 2019 art[squared] Fundraiser will feature the work of three local artists sold through silent auction.

Richard Sullivan was a ballplayer before he was an artist - or was he an artist before he was a ballplayer? Both talents are accepted as inherent abilities; that to excel in either requires hard work, but to be really good requires you to be born with some ephemeral spark of ability.

“Folty 25” by Richard Sullivan, Acrylic on canvas, 24x36in, 2019, POR

“Folty 25” by Richard Sullivan, Acrylic on canvas, 24x36in, 2019, POR

Sullivan combines the two worlds in his subject matter: “My sports watercolors are directly linked to my past as a professional athlete. My goal is to convey the intense focus and concentration of athletes at the highest level of competition. I draw from my past experiences as a former professional pitcher to harness the emotion of each moment that I portray.”

Which might beg the question of how far does personal experience take you as an artist instead of observation. I’m sure Sullivan does not shirk on the latter, but he also knows the feeling of the pull and balance when the left leg ascends to its peak just before the pitcher unfurls that fastball, or the very specific cock of the shoulder before the batter swings.

But Sullivan, as most Kentucky painters inevitably will, has recently turned his attention to horses, so we can more accurately weigh the kineticism of his approach, the spontaneity of his marks, all of which make his work look deceptively easy.  

“I convey action, movement, and emotion through loose brush strokes and expressionist watercolor style. I have learned that watercolor is really about letting go. Each painting that I create requires the same amount of concentration that it took for me to pitch in a game, but after every successful painting I receive the same burst of energy and awareness. My hope with every painting is for the viewer to feel the same connection between art and sports that I do.”

“I have found parallels between painting and pitching that I would not have known existed until I was introduced to watercolor. When on the mound, once the ball would leave my hand, I would have little control over what would happen next. The same is true for watercolor. Every time I place a brushstroke, I have little control once it is on the paper. Just like facing a new opponent, each painting has new challenges.”

His work has been accepted into the permanent collection of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Yogi Berra Museum and exhibited by the Louisville Slugger Museum and the Kentucky Derby Museum. Over a dozen Major League Baseball players, including Tom Glavine have started collecting his work. Coca Cola recently commissioned him to create a special 75th Anniversary painting for USO.

“Hank Aaron” by Richard Sullivan, Acrylic on panel, 24x36in, 2019, Private collection

“Hank Aaron” by Richard Sullivan, Acrylic on panel, 24x36in, 2019, Private collection

In 2017 the Atlanta Braves commissioned Sullivan to create 18 original watercolor paintings and 20 prints for their new stadium SunTrust Park. The paintings line the corridors of the Champions suite and the Executive Offices. The Atlanta Falcons commissioned Sullivan to create a portrait of their owner, Arthur Blank, that hangs in the owner’s suite of the new Mercedes Benz Stadium.

Sullivan is a member of the 2019 Hadley Creatives Class, an initiative from the Community Foundation of Louisville.

In April Sullivan will be showing at Craft(s) Gallery. Horsepower: The Latest Works of Jeaneen Barnhart, Jaime Corum, Tyler Robertson and Richard Sullivan will run April 5th through May 31st, with an Opening Reception with the artists scheduled for Friday, April 5th from 6-10pm.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BFA, Illustration, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)
Website: Richardsullivanillustration.com

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“Shohei Ohtani” by Richard Sullivan, Acrylic on board, 36x48in, 2019 , POR

“Shohei Ohtani” by Richard Sullivan, Acrylic on board, 36x48in, 2019 , POR

“Charismatic and Field” by Richard Sullivan, Watercolor, 36x48in, 2019, Kentucky Derby Musuem

“Charismatic and Field” by Richard Sullivan, Watercolor, 36x48in, 2019, Kentucky Derby Musuem


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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Photography

Vignette: Dolly Miller-Brennan

“It is the journey, not the destination.” Dolly Miller-Brennan

"Christmas With Ava At Arabian Acres" by Dolly Miller-Brennan, photography, 20x24in, 2017, $600

"Christmas With Ava At Arabian Acres" by Dolly Miller-Brennan, photography, 20x24in, 2017, $600

Photographer Dolly Miller-Brennan embraces that well-used maxim without irony; it aptly fits her experience. Born in southern Illinois of Kentucky parentage and ancestry, she was raised in southern Indiana and western Kentucky.

“My love of photography began at age 3 sitting for what seemed like hours for my photographer/truck driver/horse trainer father”. Being allowed into the dark room with Daddy and seeing the awesome finished results made me want to be behind the camera and not in front of it.”

When Miller-Brennan photographs horses, she captures them in unique moments that stand apart from the abundance of other equine images that one encounters in Kentucky. That’s an accomplishment in The Bluegrass State, where photographs and paintings of thoroughbreds are ubiquitous. Perhaps that individual point-of-view emanates from the fact that some of these horses were photographed outside of Kentucky.

"Westward Ho" by Dolly Miller-Brennan, photography, 24x20in, 2016, $350

"Westward Ho" by Dolly Miller-Brennan, photography, 24x20in, 2016, $350

“Returning to my roots where I grew up on a truck, with horses and a camera re-created in me the desire to impart the feelings of the animals, the aura of the area and the spirit of the people involved, to those who view my images. This established an emotional and spiritual perspective to see the world around me as one spiritual all engulfing abstraction; becoming so involved when out in the field that I sometimes can not feel my surroundings but lost in the soul of what I am shooting. I want the viewer to be able to step into that picture and become part of it. I want to bring my world and my art to real people, that makes us feel integrated with each other. There should be no separation from art and the real world for the world is a glorious masterpiece of art, created by God for us to love and enjoy.”

That a camera captures a moment in time, arresting motion, goes without saying, but Miller-Brennan’s horses almost occupy the place of close friends, since her images communicate not only the beauty and power of the movement, but also a relationship to the viewer. “Eye in the Sand” is notable for the intimate, unorthodox take on a horse at play, an unguarded joy evident in the creature’s eye that easily engages us.

"Eye In The Sand" by Dolly Miller-Brennan, photography, 24x20in, 2015, $350

"Eye In The Sand" by Dolly Miller-Brennan, photography, 24x20in, 2015, $350

Miller-Brennan is a member of the El Paso Art Association, Southwestern Indiana Arts Council, (Evansville Indiana); The Tri State Art Guild, (Angel Mounds Indiana), including Southern Indiana, North Western Kentucky and South Eastern Illinois; the Richmond Area Arts Council, (Richmond, Kentucky); Louisville Visual Arts, (Louisville, Kentucky).

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Hometown: Robinson, Southern Illinois
Education: BA’s in Political Science and Studies in Photography, University of Wisconsin
Website: http://www.brennanartography.com/
Gallery Representative: The Village Framery (Palestine, Illinois); The Red Lantern Gallery (Poseyville, Indiana)

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"Door To Knowledge" by Dolly Miller-Brennan, photography, 20x24in, 2017, $350

"Door To Knowledge" by Dolly Miller-Brennan, photography, 20x24in, 2017, $350

"Run With The Wind Kentucky" by Dolly Miller-Brennan, photography, 20x24in, 2015, $350

"Run With The Wind Kentucky" by Dolly Miller-Brennan, photography, 20x24in, 2015, $350


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Painting

Vignette: Macel Hamilton

"Butterfly" by Macel Hamiton, Acrylic on wood, 6x12in, 2017, SOLD 

"Butterfly" by Macel Hamiton, Acrylic on wood, 6x12in, 2017, SOLD 

When someone picks up a brush and begins painting with no formal training or experience, are they hobbyist, amateur? In a time when art intelligentsia is either busy manufacturing new nomenclature to capture new trends, or rejecting all formal classifications (inter or multi disciplinary?) how do we describe the new artist who enters the fray motivated by curiosity or edification?

"Cow" by Macel Hamilton, Acrylic on wood, 10x12in, 2017, SOLD

"Cow" by Macel Hamilton, Acrylic on wood, 10x12in, 2017, SOLD

Consider Macel Hamilton. The designation Folk Artist connotes a lack of education and primitive technique, but Hamilton is an educated professional, and her skill after a very brief time painting is estimable, and "hobbyist" foreswears the dedication she has put to the task. Her subjects are simple: animals and insects, but she has also painted portraits of people. All of it indicates an innate skill of observation and the controlled manipulation of a brush and medium. That Hamilton often paints on unfinished wood introduces a rustic quality certainly, but compare the delicacy of her color in this butterfly and the rougher, more spontaneous marks in the image of a savage rooster improbably named “Cow”.

Clearly some of Hamilton’s work finds its roots in her rural upbringing: “I was raised in the hills of Eastern Kentucky and now live in the knobs of Casey County. I am mostly self-taught and have taken a few day classes at a local community art center. I have been painting for about a year and a half. I began doing art approximately two years ago, teaching my self to draw portraits.”

So if there must be a designation, perhaps Rural Artist would be apt in this case, a reflection of both Hamilton’s background and the sensibility expressed in her work.

 Age: 55
Hometown: Liberty, Kentucky
Education:  BS, Psychology, ADN Nursing
Facebook: Macel’s Art

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"Untiltled" by Macel Hamilton, Acrylic on canvas, 16x20in, 2017, $200

"Untiltled" by Macel Hamilton, Acrylic on canvas, 16x20in, 2017, $200

"Sarah's Love" by Macel Hamilton, pastels, 12x16in, 2017, NFS

"Sarah's Love" by Macel Hamilton, pastels, 12x16in, 2017, NFS

"Hummer" by Macel Hamilton, Acrylic on wood, 10x12in, 2017, SOLD

"Hummer" by Macel Hamilton, Acrylic on wood, 10x12in, 2017, SOLD

"Dogs" by Macel Hamilton, Acrylic on canvas, 16x20in, 2017, SOLD

"Dogs" by Macel Hamilton, Acrylic on canvas, 16x20in, 2017, SOLD

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Painting

Vignette: Carrie Johns

“I trust my instinct and try not to let expectations distract me." - Carrie Johns

"Wave" by Carrie Johns, oil, 24x24in, 2017, POR

"Wave" by Carrie Johns, oil, 24x24in, 2017, POR

Probably most laypersons – people who never draw, paint, or sculpt, can at least imagine making art in traditional forms; perhaps many such people at least doodle absentmindedly. But to create complex linear drawings with a toy we can all remember from our childhood seems most amazing. The Etch A Sketch, with its two analog knobs, one to control vertical movement and one for horizontal, would appear to be extremely limiting, but Carrie Johns proves that only the limits of our own patience  hold us back from realizing the full potential of the instrument.

"Reflecting Sphere (Escher)" by Carrie Johns, Full size Etch-a-Sketch, 2016

"Reflecting Sphere (Escher)" by Carrie Johns, Full size Etch-a-Sketch, 2016

Of course, Johns uses the more traditional tools: paint and a brush, as well as many others, in the making of her art. And she meaningfully explicates why she is an artist: “Art has always been a friend. It makes sense to me; it has helped me through hard times, and is there for me to escape into when I am feeling out of control.”

I create realistic art because I feel like I can take a take a subject and have control over it, bring out the beauty in it that no one else may be able to see. I want my art to elicit a feeling of wonder. Wonder is such a childlike emotion, one that can make us feel hope, cause us to dream, and to see the beauty in the mundane. I believe my duty as an artist is to create a spark in people who are feeling disillusioned or depressed. I want to give people that sense of wonder they had as a child.”

Carrie Johns with her 2015 Gallopalooza horse.

Carrie Johns with her 2015 Gallopalooza horse.

“So much beauty can be found all around us and I think an artist’s job is to bring that beauty to people who can no longer see it. One way I have been able to do that is through public art. Public art is a great way to reach people who may not have access to art or who may not actively be seeking it out. I try not to limit my art to a specific genre or medium. I enjoy making all types of art: painting, drawing, signage, calligraphy, or even drawing on an Etch-a-Sketch.”

“I trust my instinct and try not to let expectations distract me. Color, light, and detail, however, are essential in my artwork and always present. I draw influence from the simple things in life: my children, pets, a simple flower, a couple in love, or a great work of art. There is so much that is still beautiful and joyful in this world, and in my own humble way, I want to be able to share this beauty with those who can no longer see it.”

In 2015 Johns won Best in Show Award for Gallopalooza, and just this year she was awarded First Place in the LVA Plein Art Paint Out at Botanica’s ReGeneration Fair.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BA, Art History, University of Louisville
Website: http://carriejohns.wixsite.com/painting
Instagram: @hotlines_art

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"Julie" by carrie Johns, acrylic, 12x12in, 2017

"Julie" by carrie Johns, acrylic, 12x12in, 2017

"Great Wave (Hokusai)" by Carrie Johns, Full Size Etch-a-Sketch, 2016

"Great Wave (Hokusai)" by Carrie Johns, Full Size Etch-a-Sketch, 2016

"Play Ball" by Carrie Johns, graphite, 16x20in, 2017, POR

"Play Ball" by Carrie Johns, graphite, 16x20in, 2017, POR

"Frosty Mug" by Carrie Johns, acrylic, 5ftx3in, 2017

"Frosty Mug" by Carrie Johns, acrylic, 5ftx3in, 2017

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Painting

Vignette: Sharon Matisoff

"For the Roses" by Sharon Matisoff, 19x36in, oil on canvas (2017)

"For the Roses" by Sharon Matisoff, 19x36in, oil on canvas (2017)


“Painting allows me to transform my perceptions of the world into portraits and figurative compositions.” — Sharon Matisoff


"Self-Portait" by Sharon Matisoff

"Self-Portait" by Sharon Matisoff

Sharon Matisoff likes to paint portraits, but as an artist in Kentucky, the temptation of thoroughbred horse racing as a subject is inevitable.  “Although I’ve always painted people, recently I discovered the joys of equine painting. Now I primarily divide my artistic attention between these two subjects. Horses are poetry in motion and I aim to capture their grace and power when I paint them. It is gratifying to me that my portraiture skills are also useful in portraying the myriad ways in which people interact with horses. I feel as though my life as an artist is just beginning.”

Matisoff has been painting for years, but being newly retirement affords her the time to double down on her studio practice. Her slightly heightened sense of color is grounded in naturalism, and her sensitive observation of detail, which has always been a key element of her portraiture, is put into good use in her behind the scenes images of the world of horses. Her perspective on the racing form of the horse and jockey are adept, but the fact that her sensibility is drawn to the more workaday aspects of the equine world is telling.

"Catching Up" by Sharon Matisoff, 19x36in, pastel on sanded paper (2017)

"Catching Up" by Sharon Matisoff, 19x36in, pastel on sanded paper (2017)

"Chillin'" by Sharon Matisoff, 27x19in, pastel on sanded paper (2017)

"Chillin'" by Sharon Matisoff, 27x19in, pastel on sanded paper (2017)

“I often work in pastel when I’m so inspired that I don’t want to stop and mix colors or stretch a canvas. The desire to paint is so strong that I must immerse myself in a painting all at once. Pastel painting allows me to be fearless with the elements of art in the most lyrical way. Oil painting is a language that I learned later in life, and so demands a more considered approach. With the elaborate preparation that oil painting requires, I work in this medium when I feel very deeply about a subject and pastel is too ephemeral to convey the depth or complexity of the subject. Armed with these media, I feel as though I can interpret the subjects that touch my soul.”

Matisoff will be one of the featured artists in the Fall Equine Show at the Brown Gallery in the Brown Hotel. The show will be on display from September 1, 2017 through January 1, 2018.

Hometown: Oak Park, Michigan
Education: BA in Psychology from California State University-Northridge; Studied art at the Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, California)
Gallery Representation: Jessie's Art Gallery and Custom Framing (Frankfort, KY)
Website: http://www.sharonmatisoff.com/

"Before the Race" by Sharon Matisoff, 19x36in, pastel on sanded paper (2017)

"Before the Race" by Sharon Matisoff, 19x36in, pastel on sanded paper (2017)

"Wild Blue" by Sharon Matisoff, 24x24in, oil on canvas (2017)

"Wild Blue" by Sharon Matisoff, 24x24in, oil on canvas (2017)

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

Are you interested in being on Artebella?  Click here  to learn more.

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