pastel

Drawing

Vignette: Shayne Hull

Taking Inspiration From William Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus 

"Donald Andronicus, Jr." by Shayne Hull, pastel on board, 2017, $575

"Donald Andronicus, Jr." by Shayne Hull, pastel on board, 2017, $575

When Shayne Hull turns his sardonic eye to public figures, he joins a great tradition of political satirists, such as the legendary Hugh Haynie. Republican Strategist Karl Rove, and President Barack Obama, have all been subjects, and now, partially inspired by the plot of William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, Hull offers portraits of “Mobin Andronicus, Sr.,” “Eric Andronicus,” and “Donald Andronicus, Jr.,” wickedly funny caricatures that strike at both sides of the political aisle and require no pithy caption for their pointed understanding.

Hull’s human heads are often misshapen, so the knack for satire fits him like a second skin, but he also turns his misanthropic perspective on himself, and those whom he holds dear. Self-flagellation in portraiture was not invented by Hull, but few have exposed themselves so ruthlessly on a gallery wall. Barbed wire is a most unforgiving material to wrap a human head, and his own children model adhesive tape and play with wooden rods that are can be suggestive of something more sinister.

On another level, the portraits reveal the malleable plasticity of human form applied absurdly to the skull. Our brains are encased and protected in these rounded shields of bone, and that they are here so easily distorted suggests an awareness of the arrogance by which we take our bodies for granted; a cautionary reminder of our own fragility and the preciousness of life.

Such dark humor may invite squeamishness in the viewer, yet even the most disturbing of Hull’s images (a wooden rod tucked under a boy’s chin) contain a deeply felt humanity; a playfulness that pushes boundaries with what often feels like a child-like sensibility. That quality may come, in part, from his work with young patients at the Kosair Children’s Outpatient Hospital (Louisville, KY) where Hull and his students created a 10′ x 20′ ceramic tile mural.

"Eric Andronicus" by Shayne Hull, pastel on board, 2017, $575

"Eric Andronicus" by Shayne Hull, pastel on board, 2017, $575

Hull studied painting at Texas A&M and the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), and earned a Master in art education from the University of Louisville. The Kentucky Arts Council has honored Hull with the Kentucky Visions 2004 Purchase Award, an Individual Art Professional Development Grant, and the 1998 Al Smith Artist Fellowship. He also won the Frank F. Weisberg Excellence in Painting Award at the 2003 Water Tower Annual (Louisville, KY).

Shaynicus Andronicus, a solo exhibit of Shayne Hull’s work, will be on view at LVA during the performances of Titus Andronicus by Kentucky Shakespeare that runs October 4 – 31 (Thur-Sat 8:00pm), or by appointment through Louisville Visual Art.

 

Hometown: East Moline, Illinois
Age: 56
Education: BFA in Painting, Texas A&M @ Corpus Christi; MFA in Painting, Maryland Institute College of Art; and MAT in Art Education, University of Louisville
Website: http://www.shaynehull.com/
Gallery Representative: Swanson Contemporary

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"Mobin Andronicus" by Shayne Hull, pastel & oil on panel, 18x24in, 2017, $575

"Mobin Andronicus" by Shayne Hull, pastel & oil on panel, 18x24in, 2017, $575

"Are We Not Men?" by Shayne Hull, pastel on board, 18x24in, 2014, $575

"Are We Not Men?" by Shayne Hull, pastel on board, 18x24in, 2014, $575

"Bad at Pool" by Shayne Hull, pastel on board, 18x24in, 2014, $575

"Bad at Pool" by Shayne Hull, pastel on board, 18x24in, 2014, $575

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.

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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: Barb McDevitt


“Art enables us to finds ourselves. As an artist I try to interpret what I have seen in hope that others can see my vision.” — Barb McDevitt


"TAJI" by Barb McDevitt, 16x20in, pastel (2016) $700 |  BUY NOW

"TAJI" by Barb McDevitt, 16x20in, pastel (2016) $700 | BUY NOW

Although she paints plein aire, Barb McDevitt also finds old architecture quite compelling. She sees the survival of venerable buildings from the past as inspirational, discovering the rich, earthy color of the brick, or the originally bright, albeit now somewhat dimmed colors of the signage and storefronts among the more modern buildings in the city.

“The TAJ was an old building bought back to life again,” says McDevitt. “I wanted to capture that rebirth. Conversely, The Phoenix Hill Tavern was a place of good times for many generations only to suffer a death by way of retirement. There is irony in the idea that a building with that name would not be born again from the ashes.”       

These prosaic images tie present and past together in simple, honest, terms, but visual motifs are always loaded with more than the surface meaning; memory, history, and the passing of an age are at all at work in these paintings because those aspects are important to McDevitt. In her own way, like many other artist, she is a local historian and preservationist.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BA, Graphic Arts, University of Louisvill
Gallery Representative: Jane Morgan Gallery, Framer’s Express (Louisville)
Website: http://barbamcdevitt.webs.com/

"Spring Floyds Fork" by Barb McDevitt, 14x11in, pastel (2015) $350 |  BUY NOW

"Spring Floyds Fork" by Barb McDevitt, 14x11in, pastel (2015) $350 | BUY NOW

"Coffee Talk" by Barb McDevitt, 12x16in, pastel (2016) $500 |  BUY NOW

"Coffee Talk" by Barb McDevitt, 12x16in, pastel (2016) $500 | BUY NOW

"  The Death of the Phoenix" by Barb McDevitt, 20x16in, pastel (2016) $700 |  BUY NOW

"The Death of the Phoenix" by Barb McDevitt, 20x16in, pastel (2016) $700 | BUY NOW

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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