observation

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.

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Painting, Drawing

Vignette: Jenny Shircliff

"Creekside" by Jenny Shircliff, 24x36in, oil on canvas (2017), $1500 |  BUY NOW

"Creekside" by Jenny Shircliff, 24x36in, oil on canvas (2017), $1500 | BUY NOW

Artists turn that introspective gaze towards themselves; it’s not at all unusual - most art reveals something of the person who creates it. Jenny Shircliff makes herself the subject as a way of investigating age and, by implication, mortality.

"Cavea" by Jenny Shircliff, 18x15in, pastels on paper (2016), $650 |    BUY NOW

"Cavea" by Jenny Shircliff, 18x15in, pastels on paper (2016), $650 | BUY NOW

Her earlier paintings were naturalistic renderings of the figure, but her new work is a departure, in which she dramatically abstracts human form nearly beyond recognition, and equates it with landscape forms.

“Our culture's idea of figurative beauty is predicated on youth, smooth skin, and rosy complexions,” observes Shircliff, “I am inverting that tenet and looking at my own aging flesh as a recording of my life, much in the same way that time is visually marked on the landscape. Thus, I have turned to viewing various parts of my own body as elements of land formations and use them as a derivation for abstract landscape. And I draw my color from nature itself. In a way, this new body of work could be described as ‘flesh-scapes’.”

What results from this focus are images of startling graphic impact. They appear to be abstract but are, in reality, intense, close-up views of the human form that embrace and reveal their humanity. The discovery of organic pattern and shape is so universal that we mistake them for images of other animals or natural rock formations. Through this highly candid, nearly forensic self-portrait series, Shircliff reminds us that we are a part of a larger natural world.

"Outcrop" by Jenny Shircliff, 20x24in, pastels on paper (2016), $950 |  BUY NOW

"Outcrop" by Jenny Shircliff, 20x24in, pastels on paper (2016), $950 | BUY NOW

Shircliff has returned to painting after a long period devoting herself to the studying and teaching art history. “One of the most important things I learned from that experience is that assumptions should be challenged, inverted, and viewed in a different light.”

Shircliff has taught previously at Kentucky College of Art + Design at Spalding University, KSAH, Bellarmine University, University of Louisville, IUS, JCTC, and Midway College.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 62
Education: PhD in Art History, May 2014 University of Louisville, Louisville, KY; MA in Painting, 1994 University of Louisville, Louisville, KY; BFA in Drawing, 1976 Murray State University, Murray, K

"Cavern" by Jenny Shircliff, 31x36in, oil on canvas (2016), $3000 |  BUY NOW

"Cavern" by Jenny Shircliff, 31x36in, oil on canvas (2016), $3000 | BUY NOW

"Gorge" by Jenny Shircliff, 48x48in, oil on canvas (2016), $1500 |  BUY NOW

"Gorge" by Jenny Shircliff, 48x48in, oil on canvas (2016), $1500 | BUY NOW

"Cliffside" by Jenny Shircliff, 24x36in, oil on canvas (2016), $750|  BUY NOW

"Cliffside" by Jenny Shircliff, 24x36in, oil on canvas (2016), $750| BUY NOW

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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

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Painting, Public Art

Vignette: Sabra Crockett

"Mural at Le Moo" by  Sabra Crockett , 14x12ft, acrylic on brick, NFS

"Mural at Le Moo" by Sabra Crockett, 14x12ft, acrylic on brick, NFS

Sabra Crockett has worked extensively on public art of one kind or another: as a scenic artist, a muralist, sign design, and in her more personal art she turns to the natural world, motivated by memory and childhood nostalgia: “My focus in my art is to bring the viewer a heightened awareness and connection to nature, because I believe it is disappearing. Since I was a little girl, I have always found refuge being outside with the birds and trees. Growing up was really tough. Family life was tumultuous, and I had no true friends. I would spend hours in my back yard, or exploring the then empty lots of undeveloped fields surrounding my suburban neighborhood - observing the birds, trees, insects, and amphibians. It all fascinates me. I learn life lessons by observing the plants and animals.”

There is a discovery of recurring pattern that has perhaps informed Crockett’s work, whatever the field. She has developed her technique for decorative painting from this observation, bringing a feeling for organic rhythms of our environment into interior spaces. 

"I Stand Alone" by Sabra Crockett, 18x24in, acrylic on canvas, $490  |  BUY NOW

"I Stand Alone" by Sabra Crockett, 18x24in, acrylic on canvas, $490 | BUY NOW

Not surprisingly, we also find an undercurrent of sensitivity to the threat to that natural world that has preoccupied us for the last few generations: “I find it all beautiful, even when it is cruel and terrible. However, there is a definite threat to the magic and lessons nature provides. I am aware of the over development of the land, the oil spills, the pesticides, the bee and bird populations plummeting. It terrifies me. For now, I have a desire to capture the essence of how I view nature through my paintings, and hope it inspires the viewer to remember the intrinsic value nature provides us all.”   

Hometown: Rochester, New York
Age: 42
Education: BFA, Rochester Institute of Technology
Website: http://www.sabralynne.com

"Raven on Gold" by Sabra Crockett, 8x10in, acrylic and gold leaf on canvas, $460 |  BUY NOW

"Raven on Gold" by Sabra Crockett, 8x10in, acrylic and gold leaf on canvas, $460 | BUY NOW

"Arms Wide Open" by Sabra Crockett, 43.5x73in, acrylic and gold lead on wood, $1650 |  BUY NOW


"Arms Wide Open" by Sabra Crockett, 43.5x73in, acrylic and gold lead on wood, $1650 | BUY NOW

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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

Please contact    josh@louisvillevisualart.org    for further information on advertising through Artebella.

Please contact josh@louisvillevisualart.org for further information on advertising through Artebella.