plein air

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: Valtcho Tonov


“I believe in the beauty of ordinary subjects.” — Valtcho Tonov


   "Greece" by Valtcho Tonov, 10x20 in, oil on linen panel (2016), $700 (comes in gold plein air style frame)|  BUY NOW

 "Greece" by Valtcho Tonov, 10x20 in, oil on linen panel (2016), $700 (comes in gold plein air style frame)| BUY NOW

Artist, Valtcho Tonov

Artist, Valtcho Tonov

Even though Valtcho Tonov has no formal, institutional diploma, through private lessons and countless workshops he has been relentless in pursuing a personal course of study in painting. For many years he practiced painting the figure from life in a class setting and the landscape en plein air.

“As my experience accumulates as an artist during the years I understand that it's important to convey feeling with my art and relate in a profound way to the viewer. I believe in the beauty of ordinary subjects. I consider myself an abstract impressionist, however my style varies depending of my mood and the way I start a new painting.”

"Cherokee Park Path" by Valtcho Tonov, 12x16 in, oil on linen panel (2016), $700 (comes in plein air style dark frame) |  BUY NOW

"Cherokee Park Path" by Valtcho Tonov, 12x16 in, oil on linen panel (2016), $700 (comes in plein air style dark frame) | BUY NOW

We see the different moods in “Cherokee Park Path”, which perfectly captures the unique winter light on the snow, everything crisp and clear under the brilliant sun, of how the equine forms in “Southern Horses” seem rooted to the earth as if the are plants awaiting harvest, and is there an image more evocative of moodiness than a view of the skyline distorted as if being witnessed through a rain-streaked window in “Louisville Winter”.

This is what a painter does; working with one of the most plastic and expressive of mediums, the artist is able to communicate a heightened perception of the world, forcing us to look harder at our own environment and the aspects of nature that we too easily take for granted.

"Mc Neely Lake, Louisville" by Valtcho Tonov, 12x16in, oil on linen panel (2016), $700 (comes in plein air style dark frame) |  BUY NOW

"Mc Neely Lake, Louisville" by Valtcho Tonov, 12x16in, oil on linen panel (2016), $700 (comes in plein air style dark frame) | BUY NOW

Tonov is a member of Oil Painters Of America and the Plein Air Painters of Kentucky. After moving to the United States in 2001, he eventually settled in Louisville, Kentucky. Tonov has continued his studies under the tutelage of renowned artists such as John Michael Carter, Phil Starke, and others. He is part of an ongoing uninstructed figurative drawing/painting workshop at Mellwood Art Center in Louisville.

Hometown: Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Age: 44
Education: self-taught but studied with John Michael Carter & Phil Starke
Website: http://www.vptart.co

"Louisville Winter" by Valtcho Tonov, 20x24 in, oil on canvas (2017), $900 (not framed, finished sides) |  BUY NOW

"Louisville Winter" by Valtcho Tonov, 20x24 in, oil on canvas (2017), $900 (not framed, finished sides) | BUY NOW

"Southern Horses" by Valtcho Tonov, 11x14 in, oil on linen panel (2016), $600 (comes in gold frame) |  BUY NOW

"Southern Horses" by Valtcho Tonov, 11x14 in, oil on linen panel (2016), $600 (comes in gold frame) | BUY NOW

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

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Painting

Vignette: Teresa McCarthy

"Geese Be With You" by Teresa McCarthy, 40x36in, acrylic on canvas (2016)

"Geese Be With You" by Teresa McCarthy, 40x36in, acrylic on canvas (2016)

Artist Teresa McCarthy

Artist Teresa McCarthy

Painter Teresa McCarthy has always painted landscapes and animal life, and in “Geese Be With You,” we see her developing even greater discipline in her composition and technique. The control in mark-making and balance between wildlife and environment place this work squarely in the Ray Harm school of nature paintings; seeking a pictorial harmony echoing spiritual that is expressed in the humorous play-on-words of the title.

McCarthy began by painting other people’s vacation homes in exchange for lodging - a happy merging of profession and inspiration. “I haven’t put the paintbrush down since that painting. I love painting with oil, acrylic and watercolor. Every painting I’m working on is my favorite. I know this is what I’m supposed to be doing. It is with such certainty of purpose that I paint; it is my vocation.”

McCarthy is currently represented by Kore Gallery in the Mellwood Arts and Entertainment Center. She is a Member of the Kentucky Artist Guild of Artists and Craftsmen and the Louisville Visual Arts. She has participated in the Junior League Tulips for Juleps, Highview Arts and Craft Fair, the Regeneration Fair “Plein Air” Paint Out, and the LVA/Hite Institute Open Studio Weekends.

"Fall Together" by Teresa McCarthy, 60x40in (polyptch), oil on canvas (2016), $1400 |  BUY NOW

"Fall Together" by Teresa McCarthy, 60x40in (polyptch), oil on canvas (2016), $1400 | BUY NOW

Her professional life has been in office management and real estate (she works as the Office Manager at Seiller Waterman, LLC.), but even with dual careers, McCarthy has always felt driven to make art and one of the ways she is able to share her passion is being the fine art instructor at Michael’s. Recently she was featured in the Born to Run exhibit at the Brown Hotel Gallery, along with Jamie Corum and Melanie Osborne.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 56
Education: Attended St. Agnes and Durrett High School; obtained Broker’s License in 1986
Gallery Representation: Kore Gallery (Louisville)

"Canoe On Golden Pond" by Teresa McCarthy, 30x40in, oil on canvas (2016)

"Canoe On Golden Pond" by Teresa McCarthy, 30x40in, oil on canvas (2016)

"Winter Wolf with Full Moon" by Teresa McCarthy, 18x24in, oil on canvas (2016)

"Winter Wolf with Full Moon" by Teresa McCarthy, 18x24in, oil on canvas (2016)

"Raccons" by Teresa McCarthy, 17x36in, acrylic on canvas in tree frame (2016)

"Raccons" by Teresa McCarthy, 17x36in, acrylic on canvas in tree frame (2016)

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

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Painting

Vignette: Catherine Bryant


“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” — Edgar Degas


"Yellow Villa" by Catherine Bryant, 12x9in, oil on canvas, plein air (2010), $395 |  BUY NOW

"Yellow Villa" by Catherine Bryant, 12x9in, oil on canvas, plein air (2010), $395 | BUY NOW

Catherine Bryant’s outlook on life may best be expressed in a phrase she likes, “Art is the breath of life.” After experiencing a troubled childhood, Bryant used art to change her life, or at least get moving in a better direction. Armed with a sketchbook and charcoal, she set out to find beauty and record the wonders around her. This journey took her into a world of constant growth.

Bryant is a landscape painter, but she doesn’t restrict herself to panoramic scenes of nature. In fact, her compositions tend to be more intimate glimpses of the way the trees and vegetation frames our point-of-view on the bucolic environment. “Yellow Villa” shows the expansive view that reaches off to the horizon, the diminishing fields becoming more abstract as the distance increases, but in “The Trees Speak Softly”, the viewer feels hidden in the shade, poised to eavesdrop on whatever privileged moment might be about to transpire just beyond the trees.

Another aspect of landscape compositions is the still, unmoving aspect that is so common, but in “Warm H20” Bryant captures a spontaneous moment in time, the immediacy of the interaction between horse and human palpably communicated with certainty and skill. Perhaps it is the introduction of animals, always a favorite with this artist, that represents an opportunity to inject some modicum of unpredictability into her compositions.

"Warm H2O" by Catherine Bryant, 36x48in, oil on canvas (2015)

"Warm H2O" by Catherine Bryant, 36x48in, oil on canvas (2015)

After a career in advertising as a Graphic Designer and airbrush illustrator, teaching classes at Ivy Tech, Bryant created her own business, working as a muralist for 25 years.  Realizing she wouldn’t always want to climb scaffolding, she started honing her skills as a fine art painter.

"The Trees Speak Softly" by Catherine Bryant, 8x10in, oil on canvas (plein air), $395 |  BUY NOW

"The Trees Speak Softly" by Catherine Bryant, 8x10in, oil on canvas (plein air), $395 | BUY NOW

Now, during the summer months, one can find the artist outdoors throughout the state of Kentucky and southern Indiana, painting  “plein air” (painting outdoors). She finds “plein air” painting to be the best method for sharpening her quick decision making skills; an invaluable exercise for simplifying composition, value assessment and color acuity, all the while completing a painting in a matter of a couple of hours. These lessons carry over back in the studio during the winter months.

Ms. Bryant teaches her passion for painting at Preston Arts Center on Bardstown Road, and in her private studio.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BA, University of Louisville
Gallery Representative: Jane Morgan Gallery; Edenside Gallery; Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft, and Hoosier Salon (Louisville) Broad Ripple Gallery (Indianapolis)
Website: http://www.catherinebryantart.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/catherinebryantstudio/

"1st Notes of Spring" by Catherine Bryant, 30x24in, oil on canvas, $2950 |  BUY NOW

"1st Notes of Spring" by Catherine Bryant, 30x24in, oil on canvas, $2950 | BUY NOW

"Sweet Dreams Dear Light," by Catherine Bryant, 11x14in, oil on canvas, plein air (2016), $495 |  BUY NOW

"Sweet Dreams Dear Light," by Catherine Bryant, 11x14in, oil on canvas, plein air (2016), $495 | BUY NOW

"Dance of the Texasbonnets and Indian Paintbrush" by Catherine Bryant, 48x36in, encaustic & oil on canvas (2016), $3500 |  BUY NOW

"Dance of the Texasbonnets and Indian Paintbrush" by Catherine Bryant, 48x36in, encaustic & oil on canvas (2016), $3500 | BUY NOW

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

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