Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"Painters' Perspective" - Challenge at Gallery 21


Hello All!

Long time, no write. I've had a very busy few weeks since my last blog, and what a great time to bring everyone up to date on the latest news at Gallery 21 in Spanish Village Art Center. Good news is never too late, and great art is never forgotten or passe. Which brings me to the recent exhibit of the "Painters' Perspective" in Gallery 21. This exhibition "challenge" ran from July 21, 2010 through August 2, 2010.

A select group of 50 painters who paint under the tutelage of Linda A. Doll [], aws, nws, internationally renowned painter, digital artist, instructor and juror, recently participated in an "art challenge" where 3 challenges were presented to them for creating works of art based upon the particular criteria set forth by Ms. Doll. These painting "solutions" were submitted in various media by the artists and critiqued by Ms. Doll for the exhibition. The resulting works of art were intriguing and as individual as each of the artists participating in the challenge.

Having Linda Doll as a mentor is a tremendous "boon", to say the least, as is evident in the works displayed in the exhibit. Ms. Doll's credentials read like a well tuned Stradivarius and are as follows,(quote): "A teacher of workshops and seminars throughout the U.S., Mexico, Canada, France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Ireland and Bali". (!!!) (Wait, there's more.) She is a past-President and Life Member of the National Watercolor Society, a past Board Member and Juror of the American Watercolor Society, and a past Board Member of Watercolor West. (It continues...) She is a Life Honorary Member of the Federation of Canadian Artists and an elected Life Member of the San Diego Watercolor included in...Who's Who in American Art and Who's Who of American Women.(unquote) Whew!!! Challenge or Gift to the Universe? I'll let you decide! She's certainly got the "right stuff" that one needs to be a mentor. Ms. Doll, take a bow!

With all of this motivation, the artists meet at Linda's home on a monthly basis for mentoring, challenges and critiquing of their work. Ms. Doll frequently showcases her students' work in exhibitions such as the "Painters' Perspective" to show creative solutions to the challenges she gives them. These challenges are designed to get students to push the limits of their individual and separate talents, in order to create or "recreate" art that is either already in some stage of existence or waiting to be discovered and given fruition.

I was intrigued by this concept when I visited the exhibition, and was given some interesting insights to the process by which the artists worked. Martha Grimm, who is a watercolorist in the show, has been wonderfully generous with sharing information about the challenge, and caught my attention with her "solution" to one of the challenges on color usage.

As one walked through the show, each of the challenges was presented along with the artists' solutions to the assignments. Each challenge was displayed on a separate wall of the gallery with a description (of the parameters) of the assignment as set forth by Ms. Doll. The first of these (as you entered the gallery) was to Recycle an "Old Painting". Ms. Doll states, "Artists were randomly given an old painting from another artist who wasn't happy with the painting they had done and wanted to abandon it. The challenge was to create a new painting from the old one using elements of the original painting but completing it using a new creative solution. I believe many artists give up too early on a painting and need to come back to an unsuccessful painting with a fresh idea and story".

The next challenge was two-fold in as much as the artists were given the choice of "Painting in Specified Colors". There were two color choices: Pure Orange and Muted Greens. The artists were given sample photos showing these color choices utilized in interiors. They could use any combination of the colors shown in the photos to then create a painting reflecting these palettes. Pure Orange colors were to be luminous, bright, glowing and bold carefully or randomly placed with whites. However, the overall composition should maintain a balance between the alternating white areas of the painting and the use of color. Muted Greens, ofttimes considered to be "neutral" in the color spectrum, are calming and restful with a soothing effect when observed in muted form. As a painter, myself, these two challenges intrigued me the most. I chose two paintings that captured my attention [within this challenge] to share with you: Sharon Feingold's, "Muted Greens" and Martha Grim"s, "Heads or Tails", one from each of the two color challenges.

The third challenge in the exhibition was to "Paint a Still Life" from a collection of objects brought in by the artists. The objects were placed randomly on a table and the artists chose which of these objects they wanted to include in their painting composition. The artists were given no "limitations", and could paint in any style and medium that they wanted. A collection of "pig figurines" were among the intriguing items brought in for painting, as well a selection of vintage radios and a collection of fabrics. There was a delightful mixture of objects in the still life paintings created for this particular challenge. Among the pig collection, was an unforgettable red, black and white pig that surfaced in quite a few of the stilllifes, fairly dominating the scene with its undeniable presence and strong color contrasts. Who was that "masked piggy"? Hmmm. I guess "pigs may come, and pigs may go", but that little piggy will stay in every one's memory and those stilllifes forever.

Summarily, it seems that Ms. Doll and the Painter's Perspective group is a very interesting and educational concept. If I didn't have such a full schedule, I would certainly entertain the idea of joining them for those once a month critiques. Ms. Doll is an inspiring teacher, and her pupils show an aptitude for painting that is notable. I think that they have all successfully risen to the "challenge" of this exhibition, heightened their awareness, honed their skills and turned out some great artwork to boot.

Thanks and a "Great Big Shout Out" to all of you who participated in this exhibition. I, and the greater public, look forward to seeing you all again at Gallery 21.

MARTHA GRIM'S, "Heads or Tails"

Written and posted by Cassandra Shepard, Studio 32
text and content copyrighted 2010, all rights reserved

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