paper

Mixed Media

Vignette: Ann Stewart Anderson

"Callie" by Ann Stewart Anderson, 16x12in, cut paper mosaic (2017)

"Callie" by Ann Stewart Anderson, 16x12in, cut paper mosaic (2017)

The Answer Is Sisterhood

It was recently announced that Anderson is one of the recipients of the 2017 Al Smith Fellowship. The prestigious award, named in honor of former arts council chair and Kentucky journalist Al Smith, recognizes professional artists who have reached a high level of achievement in their careers. Since its beginning in 1983, the program has provided more than $2.5 million in funding to artists in the visual arts, literary arts, media arts, composing and choreography. In this round of funding, the fellowships were awarded to artists in the choreography and literary arts disciplines.

Ann Stewart Anderson has been working with assemblage techniques through the use of various media for several years, but most recently she has been using paper, specifically images and textures pulled from art magazines. Now she utilizes the approach in a new series that seems consistent with the style and themes of the Wonderful Old Women (W.O.W.) series, yet there is a new political commentary that has come into play.

“It has been almost a year since I got the idea of creating Sisters,” explains Anderson. “Since then I have made seven TEFFUBUD sisters, three GAMTRA sisters, four NACIREMA sisters, three DEMARF sisters, and I am just now putting the final touches on the last group of as yet unnamed sisters.”

“This new concept pushes me to develop more complex images. The NACIREMA sisters, (Hint: read it backwards), inspired by a portrait of Donald Trump illustrated in  last November’s Art In America, is a visual statement about presidential politics. Each woman represents an American state: Minnie, Minnesota; Dela, Delaware; Flora, Florida and Callie, California. All are dressed in black and, hidden away in the composition there are upside down American flags. And, as you can see, all have some characteristics of the face of Trump which literally is under the transforming layers of paper glued over it to create these sisters. I will continue to make more siblings as long as I can find inspiration and material, which is pretty easy thanks to my local bookshop and friends for whom I am delighted to recycle their discarded art magazines.”  

"Dela" by Ann Stewart Anderson, 16x12in, cut paper mosaic (2017)

"Dela" by Ann Stewart Anderson, 16x12in, cut paper mosaic (2017)

The use of the inverted flag references the U.S. military protocol for flying the flag upside down as a warning to approaching troops. In the past, Anderson, has expressed social commentary through the use of Classical Mythology in her paintings, almost always with a vital feminist undercurrent, yet the political message in these images is expressed with even greater subtlety. Anderson’s use of collage has developed even more, with some of the textures and compositions in “Dela”, for example, recalling her previous work with mosaics. 

Anderson ‘s new series is making its public debut in Sisters: A Family Resemblance, a solo show concurrent with the Painting II show at Galerie Hertz, both running through September 2, 2017.

"Moira" by Ann Stewart Anderson, 16x12in, cut paper mosaic (2017)

"Moira" by Ann Stewart Anderson, 16x12in, cut paper mosaic (2017)

 Anderson’s work can be found in several corporate collections including:

Drake Hotel, Chicago
Turtle Wax Company, Chicago
Hyatt Regency Hotel, Louisville
Brown Foreman Distillers
Atlantic Richfield Corporation
Evansville Museum of Arts and Science
Alabama Power Company
Central Bank, Lexington
Hilliard Lyons, Louisville
Cleveland Clinic
Makers Mark Distillery

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 82
Education: BA, Wellesley College, MA, American University
Gallery Representative: Galerie Hertz (Louisville)
Website: http://www.annstewartanderson.com

"Enid" by Ann Stewart Anderson, 16x12in, cut paper mosaic (2017)

"Enid" by Ann Stewart Anderson, 16x12in, cut paper mosaic (2017)

"Minnie" by Ann Stewart Anderson, 16x12in, cut paper mosaic (2017)

"Minnie" by Ann Stewart Anderson, 16x12in, cut paper mosaic (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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Photography

Vignette: Mitch Eckert


Art ,“born out of frustration,” — Mitch Eckert


Like many artists, Mitch Eckert works in several different veins. Here we examine some examples from his Translations series. Eckert explains that he has been exploring the genre of still life for 25 years, and in these images we see him emulating the lighting in Flemish paintings. At one point Eckert had sought to discard the project and placed the work prints in a recycle bin – a purging action more common than the lay person might assume, but familiar enough to working artists. Eckert explains the process in his own words:

“Still Life with Cherries and Blue Bowl” by Mitch Eckert, 30x49in, Archival Pigment Print (2006), $1200 |  BUY NOW

“Still Life with Cherries and Blue Bowl” by Mitch Eckert, 30x49in, Archival Pigment Print (2006), $1200 | BUY NOW

“Still Life with Two Nectarines” by Mitch Eckert, 38x26in, Archival Pigment Print (2006), $850 |  BUY NOW

“Still Life with Two Nectarines” by Mitch Eckert, 38x26in, Archival Pigment Print (2006), $850 | BUY NOW

“The Translations series was born out of frustration. I wanted to participate in a dialogue with the rich tradition of the Dutch masters of still life painting so I set out to learn compositional strategies of creating still lifes in that manner. I set up the floral arrangements (my wife made the bouquets from our garden flowers) and using natural light made probably 300 photographs of different still life. After printing them all on an inexpensive inkjet printer to pin them on my wall and contemplate, I came to the realization that perhaps they were too commercial, too pretty. As a student in the heyday of Postmodernism (1980's) I became anxious and nervous about making work that was too pretty. I didn't know how to talk about them. I didn't want to make commercial work.”

“Out of frustration I wadded up the prints and threw them into the recycle bin. After a couple weeks had gone by I was getting ready to set the crumpled photographs into the alley for the recycle to be picked up. I unraveled one of the balls of photographs and to my surprise there was an immediate visceral reaction of delight when my eyes looked at the creases, folds, and torn edges of the photographic paper. In an effort to preserve the image I scanned the crumpled still life with a flatbed scanner and then, using a large format printer, made enlargements on a wonderful printmaking paper that wonderfully complimented the aged wrinkles.”

“Still Life with June Bouquet, Cherries and Figs” by Mitch Eckert, 24x18in, Archival Pigment Print (2006), $450 |  BUY NOW

“Still Life with June Bouquet, Cherries and Figs” by Mitch Eckert, 24x18in, Archival Pigment Print (2006), $450 | BUY NOW

The results blur the lines of the medium by removing the slick surface and detail of photography and exchanging them for a distressed visual texture. Without intending to do it, Eckert brought his images even closer to the aged and brittle tactile reality of their inspiration.

Examples of this series can currently be seen in Altered Perceptions, an LVA Photo-Biennial Exhibit at Metro Hall, which runs through January 12, 2018. Some of the images we see here are featured in that show, which also includes work from C.J. Pressma and Jenny Zeller.

The artist currently lives in Louisville, Kentucky where he is an associate professor or art in the Hite Institute at the University of Louisville. His work can be found in permanent collections of 21c Museum, Butler Institute of American Art, Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Photographic Archives at the University of Louisville, and Swope Museum of Art.

Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
Education: BFA, Photography & Sculpture, Herron School of Art; MFA, Photography, Printmaking, Art History, Ohio University
Website: http://www.mitcheckert.com

“Still Life with Hydrangea (in blue)” by Mitch Eckert, 30x28in, Archival Pigment Print (2006), $750 |  BUY NOW

“Still Life with Hydrangea (in blue)” by Mitch Eckert, 30x28in, Archival Pigment Print (2006), $750 | BUY NOW

“Still Life with Lily and Figs” by Mitch Eckert, 24x18in, Archival Pigment Print (2006), $500 |  BUY NOW

“Still Life with Lily and Figs” by Mitch Eckert, 24x18in, Archival Pigment Print (2006), $500 | BUY NOW

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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Drawing

Vignette: Susan E. Brooks


“How do we respond to the stark contrasts and overwhelming misery that exist in our world?”
- Susan Brooks


"Burkina Boy and His Donkey" by Susan Brooks, 31x20in, pastel on mat board (2017)

"Burkina Boy and His Donkey" by Susan Brooks, 31x20in, pastel on mat board (2017)

Susan Brooks is a children’s book illustrator, drawing on her own life experience in Mozambique, Africa, and Turkish Cypress to create original stories. Her images are prosaic, with notes of affectionate sentimentalism. “As an artist I am fascinated with the human countenance,” explains Brooks. “I believe every person is created in the image of God, having an inner light that can sometimes be captured or at least hinted at in great art. The challenge of creating a painting that gives the viewer pause, that causes them to feel a connection with the divine through beauty, keeps me returning to my first artistic love, portrait drawing and painting.”   

On her website, Brooks talks about how some of her images are inspired by her encounters with poverty: “How do we respond to the stark contrasts and overwhelming misery that exist in our world? How can we help? Guilt and shame are not the answer. The answer is probably different for each one of us.”

Brooks taught art for many years, including her current position at Portland Christian School. She has worked in various mediums, but she uses primarily oil pastels now. “I have developed a style of painting with oil pastels that results in striking portraits that glow with dramatic light, various textures, and complementary color contrasts. I work with oil pastels on a textured surface of mat board or pastel paper, which allows me to build up many layers of color with a thick, buttery, texture in some areas, while leaving other areas thin, allowing the background colors and the texture of the surface to show. For me, working with oil pastels is the best of both worlds, allowing for painterly textures and colors combined with expressive mark making.”

"Tanzanian Children" by Susan Brooks, 17x20in, pastel on paper (2017)

"Tanzanian Children" by Susan Brooks, 17x20in, pastel on paper (2017)

Brooks is a member of the American Impressionist Society, Inc. & Louisville Visual Art, and has been included in Fine Art America’s Artist Listings.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts from Lipscomb University 1985; Master of Education from Indiana Wesleyan, 2007
Website: http://www.susanebrooks.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sebrooks81/

"Keeping Up with Big Sister" by Susan Brooks, 14x11in, pastel on paper (2017)

"Keeping Up with Big Sister" by Susan Brooks, 14x11in, pastel on paper (2017)

"Ollie at the Beach" by Susan Brooks, 19x25in, pastel on paper (2017)

"Ollie at the Beach" by Susan Brooks, 19x25in, pastel on paper (2017)

"Tanzanian Children (detail)" by Susan Brooks

"Tanzanian Children (detail)" by Susan Brooks

"Reading with Poppy" by Susan Brooks, 25x19in, pastel on paper (2016)

"Reading with Poppy" by Susan Brooks, 25x19in, pastel on paper (2016)

"Ollie at the Beach (detail)"  by Susan Brooks

"Ollie at the Beach (detail)"by Susan Brooks

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

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

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

Drawing

Vignette: Sarah Johnson


“Iconography has given me the opportunity to undergo a reflection and transformation…”
— Sarah Johnson


"The Holy Trinity" by Sarah Johnson, 14x22in, graphite on paper (2017)

"The Holy Trinity" by Sarah Johnson, 14x22in, graphite on paper (2017)

At this point, it is fair to say that all art speaks to tradition; even the most radical work usually sees Dadaism as an ancestor. There was a time when virtually the only way to make a living as an artist was to create religious imagery – the church was one of the only paying customers, and private collectors rarely wanted secular art, except for portraits. Iconography is not always religious, but the use of recurrent symbols and themes in churches arguably laid the foundation of how we think about such things. Sarah Johnson here picks up that tradition in designs that show fealty to the rigid, highly symmetrical compositional formula that were essential in this work, but with a soupcon of individual interpretation in the details of character.

“I have the opinion that art is supposed to reflect to its audience a message,” says Johnson. “I believe art has a very significant role to play in our daily and personal lives as well as having the capacity to influence our entire culture, spiritually and politically. The best examples of that kind of art have one thing in common: it touches the soul. I have a strong desire to share my belief and perspective and Iconography has given me the opportunity to undergo a reflection and transformation and to learn a time-tested medium. I aim to continue in my study in Iconography.”

So Johnson’s images are unabashedly ecclesiastical; a personal expression of spirituality rooted in the long and rich historical traditions employed by some of the greatest artists the world has known: Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, not to mention untold numbers whose specific identity has been lost to time.

Hometown: Maysville, Kentucky
Age: 32
Education: Studied at the Art Academy of Cincinnati
Website: http://www.sarahcatherinejohnson.wordpress.com

"Christ Pantocrator" by Sarah Johnson, 14x22in, graphite on paper (2017)

"Christ Pantocrator" by Sarah Johnson, 14x22in, graphite on paper (2017)

"Archangel Michael" by Sarah Johnson, 14x22in, graphite on paper (2017)

"Archangel Michael" by Sarah Johnson, 14x22in, graphite on paper (2017)

"Saint Andrew" by Sarah Johnson, 14x22in, graphite on paper (2017)

"Saint Andrew" by Sarah Johnson, 14x22in, graphite on paper (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.

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