painting

Painting

Vignette: Cathy Shepherd

"Veronica" by Cathy Shepherd, Acrylic, 11x14in, 2017. POR 

"Veronica" by Cathy Shepherd, Acrylic, 11x14in, 2017. POR 

The human subject never fails to fascinate. Capable of kinetic action and infinite expression, it also is compelling in repose. We love to examine each other, or perhaps it is narcissistic self-obsession as a species. Painter Cathy Shepherd understands that stillness does not necessarily equal an inert state for human beings.

“People have been my main focus through the years. I like to capture the moment of decisions. To some people, this just looks like sitting around, but to me it's the time when things are churning and clicking; the moment before someone says, "That's it! That's what I'm going to do," and jumps up and runs toward that thing.  As a result, my compositions are becoming less surrounding, more close-up.”

“But I still have to paint, even when a subject can't pose, and to my surprise and delight, I've found that still life subjects have personality and big skies are pretty heady characters themselves. Even then, I'm looking for something in the human experience we all share, whether it's animal, vegetable, or mineral.“

"Peonies in Green Glass Vase" by Cathy Shepherd, Oil, 10x8in, 2017. POR

"Peonies in Green Glass Vase" by Cathy Shepherd, Oil, 10x8in, 2017. POR

Shepherd may study her subjects closely, but the paintings are fresh and spontaneous, built with assured marks and a careful control of the medium. Her images never feel overworked or fretted over, and that ease may indeed come from a foundation.

“Underneath all of these is drawing. I’ve had wonderful mentors but I don’t exactly follow in their footsteps. Two of my teachers, Philip Pearlstein and Mary Ann Currier, were exacting realists, but Lennart Anderson and Sidney Goodman were tonalists - one classical and one dramatic.  The underlying thread connecting all of them, and me, is drawing as the foundation on which the painting is built. My best drawings are under paintings. And light. I always love light.”

Shepherd is a past recipient of the Al Smith Fellowship and is currently showing as a part of Five Exceptional Painters at Galerie Hertz. The exhibit runs through March 24.

 

Hometown: Paris, Kentucky
Education: BFA, Louisville School of Art/University of Louisville; Four-year certificate in painting, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; MFA, CUNY, Brooklyn College Center for Book Arts, NYC, non-degree
Website: www.cathyshepherd.com
Gallery Representation: Galerie Hertz (Louisville)

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"Cape in Snow" by Cathy Shepherd, Oil, 8x8in, 2017. POR

"Cape in Snow" by Cathy Shepherd, Oil, 8x8in, 2017. POR

"Reverie" by Cathy Shepherd, Monotype, 9x12in, 2017. POR

"Reverie" by Cathy Shepherd, Monotype, 9x12in, 2017. POR

"Derrick" by Cathy Shepherd, Water color, 12x14in, 2017. POR

"Derrick" by Cathy Shepherd, Water color, 12x14in, 2017. POR

"Blue Slip" by Cathy Shepherd, Acrylic, 11x14in, 2017. POR

"Blue Slip" by Cathy Shepherd, Acrylic, 11x14in, 2017. POR

"Summer Sky Over VFW" by Cathy Shepherd, Oil, 32x40in, 2017. POR

"Summer Sky Over VFW" by Cathy Shepherd, Oil, 32x40in, 2017. POR


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Painting

Vignette: Claudia Hammer - Open Studio Weekend Artist

Beauty In Everyday Objects

"General Electric" by Claudia Hammer, 20x20in, 2017

"General Electric" by Claudia Hammer, 20x20in, 2017

The Greeks saw the divine in themselves and depicted the gods in human form, and for thousands of years it was deemed that art should only celebrate the extraordinary. Eventually artists found grace and beauty in the common people in society, and Modern Art found worthwhile subjects in the mundane and ubiquitous. Think of Pop Art’s fascination with media and advertising.

Claudia Hammer has a considerable reputation for painting portraits, and the human figure, but more recently she has turned her attention to static objects.
“Drawing or painting the figure has always been a pleasurable challenge,” says Hammer. “However, in the last few years I have really have been loving the still life. I seek the beauty in everyday objects like coffee cups, scissors, marbles, crossword puzzles, bottles, and appliances. In focusing on these items I hope to show gratitude for the overlooked but useful things that engage us in life.”

There is a thick layer of nostalgia over the objects Hammer chooses to paint. How many of the current population has ever seen an old-style, black rotary telephone? We have fancier electric mixers in today’s kitchens, but the sleek, mid-20th century design of the one we see here is classic. It might give us a warm feeling to remember our grandmother’s kitchen or grandpa’s workbench, but could it be possible that the utilitarian tools of their day were actually this beautiful? Hammer renders the objects with a sufficient degree of realism to impress us with her technique, but there is also an atmosphere, crafted from evocative background textures and a sophisticated sense of light, that places these things in the realm of misty memory.

"Old School Communication" by Claudia Hammer, oil on wood, 20x20in, 2017

"Old School Communication" by Claudia Hammer, oil on wood, 20x20in, 2017

Hammer will be showing at PYRO Gallery, where she is a member, with Mary Dennis Kannapell. The exhibit, called Modern Muse is scheduled for April 12 - May 26, 2018.

Claudia Hammer will be participating in the 2017 Open Studio Weekend, sponsored by Louisville Visual Art and University of Louisville’s Hite Art Institute. Her studio, located in the NuLu neighborhood, will be open the weekend of November 4 and 5. Tickets for Open Studio Weekend will go on sale October 16. Click here for more information.


 

Hometown: New Albany Indiana
Age: 67
Website: http://www.claudiahammer.com/
Instagram: Claudia Hammer
 

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"Singer Sewing No2" by Claudia Hammer, oil on panel, 20x20in, 2017

"Singer Sewing No2" by Claudia Hammer, oil on panel, 20x20in, 2017

"Tools and Orbs working together" by Claudia Hammer, oil on panel, 24x30in, 2017

"Tools and Orbs working together" by Claudia Hammer, oil on panel, 24x30in, 2017

"Old School Communication" by Claudia Hammer, oil on panel, 20x20in, 2017

"Old School Communication" by Claudia Hammer, oil on panel, 20x20in, 2017

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

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Painting

Feature: Bill Fischer

"Marketplace" by Bill Fischer, oil on board, 1954. Courtesy of the Hite Art Institute.

"Marketplace" by Bill Fischer, oil on board, 1954. Courtesy of the Hite Art Institute.

Louisville Visual Art (LVA) and the Community Foundation of Louisville (CFL) have announced the Bill Fischer Award for Visual Artists from the Artist Bill Fischer Foundation for Working Artists at CFL. The Fischer Prize is designed to make a meaningful impact on the career of a visual artist residing in the Louisville Metro Area by providing support in the form of grants for the execution and exhibition of artwork and other efforts to foster a professional career as a visual artist. Submissions are now being accepted here. Deadline is October 9, 2017.

"Cookie Scheckles" by Bill Fischer, lacquer on board, circa 1970. Courtesy of the Hite Art Institute.

"Cookie Scheckles" by Bill Fischer, lacquer on board, circa 1970. Courtesy of the Hite Art Institute.

Bill Fischer is 98 years old, and was an artist and collector his entire life, exerting no small influence on other artists through direct example and by endowing programs and scholarships through the University of Louisville’s Allen R. Hite Institute.

Fischer began painting at a young age, and displayed early work from when he was 14 years old in his home more than 70 years later. His professional gig was as an illustrator for the Courier-Journal in 1936, but left the job over a pay dispute. Although he was a successful business owner throughout his life, Fischer never stopped making art, never stopped pursuing opportunities to grow as an artist. One particular story places Fischer at an historic moment in Mexican Art History.

Stirling Dickinson (from Chicago) founded Escuela de Bellas Artes, which would become one of the most significant cultural centers in Mexico, in or about 1936. It was located in an old convent in San Miguel de Allende. After World War II, the school qualified for students on the G.I. Bill and therefore attracted a good many U.S. veterans interested in studying art. In 1948, Dickinson hired renowned Mexican social realist painter David Alfaro Sigueiros to teach. It was at this time that Bill Fischer and his wife moved to San Miguel and rented a furnished house. 

Unfinished 1940s mural painted by David Alfaro Siqueiros, in Escuela de Bellas Artes, a cultural center in San Miguel de Allende, Gto.

Unfinished 1940s mural painted by David Alfaro Siqueiros, in Escuela de Bellas Artes, a cultural center in San Miguel de Allende, Gto.

Fischer, on the G.I. Bill, enrolled in Bellas Artes, working, along with a half a dozen other students, for almost a year with Sigueiros on an ambitious mural, doing mostly outline design. During 1949, the U.S. became convinced that, under Siqueiros, the art school had become infested with communists, (this was the height of the “Red Scare” and McCarthyism in the U.S.) and so the G.I. Bill accreditation was rescinded, and most of the students left. Dickinson and Siqueiros had an altercation, resulting in Siqueiros being knocked down a staircase and resigning, leaving the mural uncompleted. Fisher stayed on for a while longer, but then returned with his wife to Louisville, where he started his own business.

He continued to work as an artist, participating in the “Magnificent Mile” art exhibit in Chicago in the late 1950s and the “Interior Valley” exhibit at the Art Museum of Cincinnati. As his career developed he never restricted himself to any one style or medium. If you collected Fischer’s work, you are as likely to have a landscape as you are a cityscape, as likely to own a sculpture as a painting.

Fischer also completed public work including several murals for churches and synagogues. Most notably, he created the stained glass windows for the Keneseth Israel Synagogue on Taylorsville Road.

 
 

2011 photo of Bill Fischer by John Nation for Louisville Magazine

2011 photo of Bill Fischer by John Nation for Louisville Magazine

"Fiesta in the Rain N.D." by Bill Fischer, Lacquer on board. Courtesy of the Hite Art Institute

"Fiesta in the Rain N.D." by Bill Fischer, Lacquer on board. Courtesy of the Hite Art Institute

This Feature article was written by Keith Waits.
In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, www.Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.

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Painting

Vignette: B.G. Lewis

“Painting is a journey where I can explore color and textures, play with brush strokes and create my ‘perfect’ version of the world." - B.G. Lewis

"Twigs and Twine" by B.G. Lewis, acrylic, 11x14in, 2017, $175

"Twigs and Twine" by B.G. Lewis, acrylic, 11x14in, 2017, $175

B.G. (Bobbie Gayle) Lewis is a self-taught Kentucky artist finding her passion in painting after a professional career in the medical field. The Garrard Community resident enjoys teaching painting classes to children and adults at the Community Arts Center located in Lancaster, Kentucky. 

Although she didn’t formally study art, Folk Artist, Janice Miller, was an early mentor for Lewis, as were painters Jerry Yarnelle and Pat Banks. Currently she is studying portraiture with Chantel Barber.

“It started with just one painting. From the beginning an empty canvas stirred my creative juices. Once begun, the painting takes on a life of its own, leading me from hobby to art. Painting fills me with a sense of accomplishment and integrity, and has proven a most amenable vehicle for translating inner vision into outer reality.”

“Although I work quite deliberately, consciously employing both traditional and innovative techniques, my unconscious is the undisputed project manager.
The creative nature of painting frees my imagination and provides many opportunities for happy accidents and grace to influence the finished product.”

“The world around me inspires and invigorates a renewed sense of creativity. Awed by the mystery of how creation occurs, I strive to produce art that represents the world in a ‘perfect’ state.”

"Cardinal Knowledge" by BG Lewis, acrylic, 8x10in, 2017, $150

"Cardinal Knowledge" by BG Lewis, acrylic, 8x10in, 2017, $150

Even as she develops, Lewis’ work still display her roots in the primitive aspects of Folk Art. In “Cardinal Knowledge” her use of vintage newspapers from 1930's in her background is an individual connection to an aged and nostalgic sensibility, one that connotes pre-World War II America and the Great Depression.

Lewis’ art is on exhibit at Maple Tree Gallery, Boyle County Arts Council in Danville Kentucky as well as the Grand Theater and Garrard Community Arts Center, in Lancaster Kentucky. She has exhibited in multiple shows in Kentucky and has sold her artwork to collectors across the country. 

Hometown: Lancaster, Kentucky
Education: Self-taught
Website: garrardarts.com

 

"Morning Melody" by BG Lewis, acrylic, 11x14in, $175

"Morning Melody" by BG Lewis, acrylic, 11x14in, $175

"Showers of Blessings" by BG Lewis, acrylic, acrylic, 10x24in, $175

"Showers of Blessings" by BG Lewis, acrylic, acrylic, 10x24in, $175

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

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Painting

Vignette: Teri Dryden

“I move between intuition and logic; chaos and order.” – Teri Dryden

"Arroyo Seco" by Teri Dryden, collage on panel, 18x24in, 2017

"Arroyo Seco" by Teri Dryden, collage on panel, 18x24in, 2017

 Teri Dryden has worked in several mediums, and her most recent transition was from a concentration on collage to Abstract Expressionist painting. In these examples, we see how her collage technique conveys a sense of memory, in that that materials peel back to reveal layers of history in the way that an aging wall might. Dryden is inspired by European architecture and has been known to use forgotten posters papered over multiple times culled from those very walls.      

Yet the work is never dusty or antiquated. Although it knowingly references the past, it is entirely fresh and new in its impact; created for the moment. Dryden invigorates her surface through a kinetic process: “I plunge into each piece of work as if it were an adventure into the unknown. With no specific outcome in mind, I respond to the changes in the picture as I explore and interact with materials by layering paint and paper, scratching, sanding, and marking, creating open spaces, altering and adjusting. I move between intuition and logic; chaos and order. Being aware and open, taking risks with the materials, as well as the struggle itself allows me to be in the moment to reflect and interpret a history that evolves on the canvas before my eyes.”

"Line Study," by Teri Dryden, acrylic on paper, 48x30in, 2017, $450

"Line Study," by Teri Dryden, acrylic on paper, 48x30in, 2017, $450

In her paintings, the energetic mark making nearly explodes off of the surface. “Line Study” gives us a glimpse of the artist’s unchecked enthusiasm, a vital, almost assaultive lay down of, bold and vigorous graphics. In “Gypsy Tango,” the energy is only tempered slightly by the layers of vivid acrylic color built up on the mounted paper surface. In both instances, it is not difficult to imagine the artist in action, sweeping gestures of the hand meeting the substrate, leaving a palpable presence in the finished work.

Dryden just returned from showing her work at the Objects of Art Santa Fe 2017 in New Mexico. Presently, she has work in a group landscape show at New Editions Gallery in Lexington. In addition, for the month of October, she will have work at the Robert-Brandt Gallery in Columbus, Ohio for a juried invitational featuring abstract art.

Hometown: Annapolis, MD
Education: Towson University
Website: http://www.teridryden.com
Gallery Representative: View Gallery (Jackson, MS); New Editions, (Lexington, KY); B. Deemer (Louisville, KY); Contemporain Gallery, (Baton Rouge, LA)

"Gypsy Tango," by Teri Dryden, acrylic on paper, mounted on panel and framed, 47x36in, 2017

"Gypsy Tango," by Teri Dryden, acrylic on paper, mounted on panel and framed, 47x36in, 2017

"Buena Vista", by Teri Dryden, collage on panel, 18x24in, 2017

"Buena Vista", by Teri Dryden, collage on panel, 18x24in, 2017

"Shift," by Teri Dryden, acrylic on canvas, 20x20in, 2017

"Shift," by Teri Dryden, acrylic on canvas, 20x20in, 2017

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

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