Tuesday, July 28, 2009
"A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.” — Henry David Thoreau
Growing up in the Great Lakes region, Amy Arntson has always found water to be a powerful symbol, and her paintings are about spirit as much as they are about water. In her words, "Water is intimately connected with the passage of time, with stability and change: both fragile and seemingly eternal. Most of my current paintings do not reference the surrounding land; instead they focus on light, texture, shape and movement of water. There is no place to stand; only a place to be. Without a horizon line, viewers are encouraged to meditate on the water, projecting themselves into the painting. While the artist begins the painting, each viewer completes it with memories and personal associations."
As an artist, author, and art professor, her commitment to painting is enriched by a respect for art and design history, and for the region where she lives. Influences on her work range from wash drawings of the 17th century illuminists -- who addressed the relationship between landscape and the expression of feeling -- to an array of 20th century abstract artworks. Visual design elements of color, shape, and texture are an underpinning to all of her realistic paintings, as are a sense of place and time. The paintings are created from sketches and photographs of locations in the Great Lakes and many other areas; she works in watercolor because, having examined a wide variety of media and concepts, she finds line and wash and watercolor to be consistently the most beautiful and appealing to her eye.
Amy Arntson grew up in the lakeshore town of Frankfort, Michigan. After earning a BFA from Michigan State University, she went on to get her MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where she taught art and design for 22 years. Her many lectures and presentations have spanned the globe, and she has also authored college art and design textbooks. A full-time artist, she has exhibited paintings in the Florence Bienniale, as well as in China and England, along with presentations in Central and South America and the United Arab Emirates.
Please visit Amy's website to see more of her work.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
From cats facing off through a shop window to punks in Trafalgar Square to a basket of rocks, Sue Johnston's work conveys a delight in her subject and a fascination with light and color. Each painting grows out of her involvement with a subject -- often encountered during her travels -- cats in San Miguel, train trips through the West, travels to London. She loves to portray the humor of the human condition and the sense of self that people convey. Although she does produce paintings in bright primary colors, she frequently works with a palette ranging from deep oranges and blues to rich browns, softening them as the mood of the painting dictates. Her use of deep darks adds an air of mystery to her scenes.
Sue began her career as a watercolorist after 25 years as an elementary teacher in the Oakland public schools. Following a lifelong dream to become proficient in the medium, she began by taking classes at Merritt College and has continued her development with workshops and classes from renowned artists in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout the country. She joined the California Watercolor Association in 1998 and served on various committees; she was vice president in charge of the annual national exhibition in 2003 and then led the group as president from 2004-2008. Her work has been included in two shows at the Triton Museum in Santa Clara, California -- winning second place in the exhibition in 2007 -- and in national exhibits presented by the San Diego Watercolor Society, Arizona Aqueous, Watercolor West, the Northwest Watercolor Society, and the California Watercolor Association. Sue is a signature member of CWA. She is represented by Gallery Concord in Concord, California.
Please go to Sue's website to see more of her work.