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PAINTING IN PANDEMICS A LONG HISTORY OF ARTISTIC RESPONSE

Art sts
ACHIEVE
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ARTISTSNETWORK.COM
Magazine You Want to
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Special Issue page 82

BEST of the
BEST
Presenting 65 Outstanding
Works of Art From Our
37th Annual Competition

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021

TRY A NEW DIRECTION


4 Ideas for Adding Zing to
Your Sketchbook Practice
Contents
Volume 38 | Issue 01
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021

50

59
Compositions
34 50
LAYERS OF TIME GIVING NATURE HER DUE
With brushes, sticks, fingers and cloth, Heidi Jung recasts the glory of the botanical world
Atanas Matsoureff creates haunting watercolors with a compelling and innovative use
that bring the past within touching distance. of sumi ink and charcoal on Mylar.
BY ANI KODJABASHEVA BY JENN REIN

42 59
BRUSH WITH DEATH THE 37TH ANNUAL ART
A look at art in the time of pandemics provides a sense COMPETITION
of the changing attitudes toward disease as well as the Get inspired with 15 prizewinning
anguish and poignancy of its human toll. works of art plus 50 honorable mentions.
BY CYNTHIA CLOSE EDITED BY CAROLINE LEHMAN

2 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


8 18

84
Prime Build Outfit
6 ANATOMY OF 14 TUTORIAL 80 ART NEWS
A PAINTING Follow a step-by-step Keeping you in the know
Henry Clay and Helen Frick demonstration for painting BY CYNTHIA CLOSE
by Edmund Tarbell on a metal substrate.
BY JERRY N. WEISS BY HELEN OH 82 BUSINESS OF ART
Set yourself up for success
8 CROSSROADS 18 LESSON with goals for the new year.
Artist Claudia Stevens Paint in a winter wonderland BY C.J. KENT
merges botanical illustration with these cold-weather tips.
with polar marine research. BY KATHLEEN DUNPHY 84 INDEPENDENT STUDY
BY ALLISON MALAFRONTE Resources for artists
24 SKETCHBOOK BY HOLLY DAVIS
12 THE ASK Push your sketches in
If you could travel anywhere exciting new directions 88 LASTING IMPRESSION
to recharge your creativity, with four strategies. Fox Hunt
where would you go? BY SUHITA SHIRODKAR by Winslow Homer
EDITED BY ANNE HEVENER BY JAYNE YANTZ
28 WORKSHOP
Use a mirror to reproduce
form and color with
4 FROM THE Vermeer-like accuracy. ON THE COVER
EDITOR BY ANDREW S. CONKLIN When Pigs Fly (detail)
by Noriko Fox
oil on linen, 36x18

24
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From The Editor Art sts Magazine
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Luncheon on the Grass
ANNE HEVENER by Édouard Manet
Editor-in-Chief 1863; oil on canvas, 82x104
MUSÉE D’ORSAY, PARIS ArtistsNetwork

4 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


“I’D SPEND SOME TIME IN
T H E O K AVA N G O D E LTA I N
BOTSWANA , SIT TING IN A
MOKORO [CANOE], GLIDING
A L O N G Q U I E T LY A M I D S T
T H E W AT E R L I L I E S .  ”
— M A R I O N B O D DY- E VA N S
BLAINE HARRINGTON III/GETTY IMAGES

ArtistsNetwork.com 5
Prime ANATOMY OF A PAINTING

Henry Clay and Helen Frick was


painted in 1910. In September
of that year, Tarbell wrote,
“Dear Mr. Frick, I wish to
express to you my appreciation

A Powerful of your kindness in giving me


the commission to paint the
portraits of yourself and your

Portrait of Power
daughter and to say that I shall
do them to the very best of my
ability, and as speedily as is
possible.” Indeed, the painting
A formidable industrialist and his patron-of-the-arts daughter was completed before year’s
end, but was not purchased
present a striking pair in EDMUND TARBELL’s splendid painting. by the Fricks. It remained
in Tarbell’s family until its
by Jerry N. Weiss acquisition by the National
Portrait Gallery in the 1980s.

E dmund Tarbell (1862–1938),


was one of the best painters
of the Boston School. He first
earned a reputation for painting
scenes of women in sunlit landscapes
Henry Clay and Helen Frick
by Edmund Tarbell
ca 1910; oil on canvas, 31x23¼ Tarbell used a monochrome
photograph as his primary
in a manner reminiscent of French reference for the painting.
Impressionism. He proved equally the issue; after 10 men were killed in “The beautiful photographs,”
proficient painting women and the ensuing battle, the Pennsylvania he wrote to Frick, “have just
children, often members of his own state militia was called in. Perhaps reached me, the one of you
family, within the subtly lit interiors the best example of Frick’s tough- and your daughter seems to me
of his home. These canvases evoke ness came when a would-be assassin especially fine and I think would
Vermeer’s influence. Tarbell was also broke into his office and shot and make a splendid portrait.” The
a gifted portraitist, good enough to stabbed his intended victim. Seriously following month he apprised
be considered a worthy successor to wounded, Frick managed to help beat Frick of the progress: “I have the
John Singer Sargent. Among his sub- his assailant into submission. double portrait of yourself and
jects were three U.S. presidents and The best part of Frick’s legacy is Miss Frick almost as far along as
one of the most powerful industrial- his philanthropy. His spectacular art I can get without sittings.”
ists of the era, Henry Clay Frick. collection is housed in the mansion he
Frick was a steel tycoon, a ruth- built on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
less businessman with culpability in His daughter, Helen, served as the
two notorious American tragedies. first female board member of the In Henry Clay and Helen Frick,
He shared responsibility for shoddy Frick Collection and created one of Tarbell demonstrates mastery of
repairs to a dam that subsequently the foremost art reference libraries in edges, modulating the contours
burst, causing the Johnstown Flood the country. of forms. We’re drawn to the
that killed over 2,200 people. Three sharpest lines: Frick’s profile,
years later, when his steelworkers went Jerry N. Weiss is a contributing writer the outer edge of Helen’s cheek
on strike and locked down a factory, to art magazines and teaches at the Art and the crisp black brim of
Frick summoned armed guards to force Students League of New York. her hat that connects the two
portraits. The harder planes of
Frick’s head pull him into the
“The colors—especially the skin tones, which foreground and emphasize his
age and dominant personality.
glow nicely against neutral surroundings—
attest to Tarbell’s skill as a figure painter.”

6 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


Except for changing the shape of Helen’s hat, Tarbell’s portrait stuck closely to his photographic reference. One
imagines he was hoping for live sessions to work on color and get a better fix on personality. The colors—especially
the skin tones, which glow nicely against neutral surroundings—attest to Tarbell’s skill as a figure painter.
NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY, SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, WASHINGTON, D.C.

ArtistsNetwork.com 7
Prime CROSSROADS

Treasures Hidden
in Plain Sight Stellarima microtrias
watercolor and
gouache on paper,
9x12
Art and science merge with the
collaboration of an illustrator and
two polar marine researchers.
by Allison Malafronte

Claudia Stevens, complete projects centered on specific


a botanical illustra- plant specimens. Her latest endeavor
tor based in the rural finds her teaming up with two polar
Monterey Bay town of Aptos, marine researchers to illustrate spe-
Calif., harbors a lifelong love of cies of diatom (microscopic, single-cell
Thalasassiosira nature and a deep concern regarding microalgae) from Antarctica’s
tumida
watercolor and the environment and the detrimental Southern Ocean and subglacial lakes
gouache on paper, 9x12 effects of climate change. She collects (see Natural Art, opposite). The part-
botanical specimens from various nership came about serendipitously
locations—including Antarctica, inter- when, in 2014, Stevens’ son Jamin
national rain forests and California’s Stevens Greenbaum, a geophysicist,

a
High Sierras—and creates detailed met polar marine diatom researchers
lthough much of art-making illustrations not only to provide docu- Amy Leventer and Leanne Armand
can be solitary, artistic col- mentation of these often endangered on a six-week Antarctica research
laboration isn’t uncommon. species but also to showcase their cruise. Greenbaum shared a lab and
Sometimes the collaborators work rare beauty. The finished illustrations a 12-hour shift with Armand. While
in the same artistic field—think are either published in professional observing Armand studying these fas-
of Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel scientific journals or exhibited for both cinating, rare organisms, Greenbaum
Basquiat. Other times, a project artistic and educational purposes in an naturally thought of his mother
might pair artists who work in dif- effort to raise awareness and provide and her dedication to documenting
ferent creative fields—an illustrator another language through which the nature’s beauty for posterity and
with a fashion designer, for example. general public can learn about science. public education. Knowing firsthand
In this story, however, the collabora- Over the course of her 30-year how art and science can intersect for
tive project involves two seemingly career, Stevens has collaborated with mutual benefit, Greenbaum intro-
different yet fundamentally aligned a number of scientists, including duced the three women, initiating an
fields: art and science. ecologists and anthropologists, to ongoing creative collaboration.

8 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


Actinocyclus
watercolor and
gouache on
paper, 9x12
NATURAL ART
Diatoms, such as those pictured here, are both important scientific
paleoenvironmental indicators [signifiers of a geological age] and beautiful
organisms, rich in texture and detailed structure. The incredible patterns that
characterize different diatom species and
genera have garnered attention for many
years as important identifying features.
For example, areolae [colored rings]
can be organized into sunflower
patterns (the “golden spiral”), or
honeycombs. The famous Fibonacci
sequence exists throughout nature
in the unfolding spirals of
seashells and galaxies— Coscinodiscus
and single-cell diatoms. radiatus
These exquisite watercolor and
patterns and spirals gouache on
paper, 9x12
are mesmerizing,
captivating, and
alluring—nature’s fine
art. At the same time,
scientists utilize diatoms
as proxies for climate change.
Asteromphalus hookeri —CLAUDIA STEVENS
watercolor and gouache
on paper, 9x12

ART INFORMING
she attended the Polar Marine drawing and sketching, to observe
SCIENCE Conference—a community-led much more closely. Slowing down gives
Diatoms provide essential data on how educational exchange for polar diatom us time to think—and while we sketch,
the climate and tightly clustered ice researchers—where she taught two we’re subconsciously asking ourselves
sheets evolved and, by extrapolation, biological illustration workshops. bigger questions about what we’re see-
they also offer clues about the future. This was the first time in the 36-year ing. The physical act of drawing frees
That’s why documenting them through history of the conference that an artis- our minds to wander, contemplate our
illustration is crucial to Stevens. In her tic component was included. “Claudia data, and visualize the distinguishing
project outline, “The Intersection of offered two evening sessions that were characteristics of the individual taxa.”
Art and Science: Scientific Observation attended by almost every scientist at Stevens’ other scientist collaborator,
Through the Practice of Art,” she the conference,” says Leventer. “We Armand, says, “Illustrating diatoms
writes, “By cataloging the shapes, learned how to use a variety of tools to helps bring an understanding of the
sizes and assemblages of these com- sketch and illustrate our favorite diat- beauty of all organisms, no matter
plex and beautiful organisms with oms. One of the key contributions from how small. I’ve always called diatoms
respect to where they were recovered Claudia is that we’re learning, through ‘eye candy’ for scientists, but it’s the
around Antarctica, scientists use illustrator’s rendition that allows a
these diminutive plants to determine wider public to see the beauty of what
the timing of past ice sheet advance
and retreat, sea ice cover, wind pat-
“Illustrating diatoms we study and to convey the impor-
tance of protecting our oceans.”
terns and other phenomena related helps bring an Stevens is not surprised by the sci-
to the climate. By understanding how
and when these events transpired in
understanding of the entists’ reactions, for she knows from
years of teaching precisely how art can
the past, we may better understand beauty of all organisms, improve the brain’s ability to analyze
the magnitude and timing of changes and process. “Research shows that art
we can expect to see in the future.”
no matter how small.” enhances learning in all other subjects
Stevens entered the Antarctica —leanne armand and that, as adults, our brains are mal-
Diatom Project in 2018 when POLAR MARINE DIATOM RESEARCHER leable for learning new skills,” she says.

ArtistsNetwork.com 9
Prime CROSSROADS

HIGH AND TINY


After an arduous hike to an elevation of nearly 11,000 feet
in the High Sierra, Stevens found and sketched the elusive
mountain laurel in pencil. Her botanical painting of the
flower, completed in the studio, reveals its easily overlooked
beauty. Note the minuscule life-size rendition of the blossom
in the lower left corner of the painting.

RIGHT: Kalmia polifolia (mountain laurel)


watercolor and gouache on paper, 24x18

“For my students, hands-on experience Throughout the process, Leventer and


coupled with close observation adds Armand made themselves available
an engaging element and dimension to to the artist to provide the scientific
the learning process. Through sketch- framework that Stevens needed
ing their observations, these scientists to faithfully reproduce the various
gained a new perspective specific to species of diatoms. The insight and
their field work. In the midst of the details they shared enriched her
intensive weeklong program at the understanding of the microscopic
conference, the slow, focused obser- views she was portraying.
vation and the physical act of making Stevens began her own visual
art gave participants time to process research by using a high-powered
their science in a new way and synthe- microscope (1000X) to view the diat-
size disparate sets of data.” oms. The magnified view highlighted
key visual information and brought
an otherwise hidden world into the
SCIENCE INFORMING ART light. “In seeing these tiny, single-cell
After the conference the scientists life forms under the microscope, it’s
offered their strengths and skill sets hard not to notice their vibrating,
to inform Stevens’ creative process. undulating glowing light and brilliant
Leventer, who has been working in color. Some even appear to be neon,”
Antarctica since 1983 and has com- says Stevens. “As an artist, I find the
pleted 30 field-based expeditions, way the macro and micro play together
sent Stevens slides of the Antarctica intriguing and mystifying; although Stevens, who made the scarf she’s wearing,
diatoms she’d been collecting for invisible to the naked eye, diatoms compares creating diatom illustrations to
knitting: “You build slowly,” she says.
years. These included samples from are ubiquitous and omnipresent. The
sea ice cores, open ocean and deep-sea greatest issue facing us today—climate
sediments in the Southern Ocean. change—is imprinted and reflected in

10 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


TOP LEFT
Mimulus
watercolor and gouache
on paper, 24x18 Itinerant Artist
BOTTOM LEFT A dedicated botanical artist
Buckeye might travel anywhere on
watercolor and gouache
on paper, 24x18 earth in quest of specimens.
Below, Stevens is seen hiking
she knew the mountain laurel Kalmia relatively close to home in
polifolia thrives. She took out her the High Sierra of California.
pocket-sized sketchbook and pencil She has also visited rain
and spent the day making several
drawings to become better acquainted forests and hopes to go to
with the plant and its environment. Antarctica—always with the
Then, she gathered the plant material aim of observing, collecting
and brought it home where she pre-
served it in dehydrating salts. In the
and sketching botanical finds
studio she viewed the plant under in their natural habitats.
a microscope as well as topically.
Finally, implementing a multilayer
drybrush technique, using watercolor
and gouache on heavy hot-pressed
paper, she painted the plant.

ART & SCIENCE ALIGNED


For the Antarctica Diatom Project,
Stevens worked with specimens the
two scientists provided, but all three
are hopeful Stevens will be able to
join Leventer and Armand on their
next research trip to Antarctica.
“I would love to see Claudia actively
participate in the field expedition for
two reasons,” says Leventer. “First,
the living diatoms have features you
simply can’t see as well once they’ve
been preserved, including colony
structure and distribution of chloro-
plasts. Second, research cruises tend
to be nonstop action, and that real-
time back-and-forth sharing between
the diatom. Here we are as humans, Claudia and scientists would help
discovering climate-change patterns forge an even greater connection.” LEARN MORE ABOUT CLAUDIA
in the smallest creature on earth, hid- In the meantime, Stevens con- STEVENS AND VIEW HER BOTANICAL
ART AT CSTEVENSSTUDIOS.COM.
den in plain sight.” tinues to help advance educational
When preparing to create a botani- components of the project. Already,
cal illustration, Stevens typically does in this initiative, she has once again
her field research by finding an inter- seen scientists learning careful and academic museums, universities and
esting specimen and spending time close observation through the prac- scientific laboratories. They also want
in its natural habitat. For instance, tice of art while she, as an artist, is to develop fine art curricula showing
for the illustration of mountain deepening her understanding of the exactly how a successful collaboration
laurel (see High and Tiny, opposite), incredible internal worlds beneath between art and science is done.
a semi-microscopic, high-elevation the surface of these biotic resources.
plant, Stevens made an arduous trek in Stevens and the team hope to share Allison Malafronte is a fine arts and
California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains these findings by exhibiting the design writer and editor based in the
to an elevation of 10,915 feet where diatom portraits in fine-art venues, greater New York area.

ArtistsNetwork.com 11
Prime THE ASK

WE ASKED...
“A slow roll through the
traditional holiday markets
If you could plan a travel of Europe. A visual
extravaganza, festive
getaway right now to regional fare, crafts rooted
in folklore and brisk
recharge creatively, weather create a perfect
setting to find inspiration.”
where would you go? ELIZABETH K. AHRENS
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AMERICAN
IMPRESSIONIST SOCIETY

“Nowhere. I’m happiest


D. . .
painting close to home, WE ASKE
which for me is the
Hudson Valley of New ED
WER
York State. The pandemic YO U A N S
has made me appreciate
more than ever the “The island of Santorini. To be
An 1899 sculpture by Aniceto Marina of
17th-century painter Diego Velázquez welcomes prosaic subjects of my surrounded by nothing but
visitors to the Museo del Prado in Madrid. familiar world. Traveling the bluest waters while
is fine, but the subjects sitting at an outdoor cafe
“I’d enjoy a week of daily I pick when I’m away from having a cappuccino is the
visits to the Prado.” home don’t resonate with creative boost I totally need.”
me as much as the vistas —CAT CARBONE
JIMMY WRIGHT
ARTIST AND PRESIDENT,
around here that others
“The Isle of Skye captivates
PASTEL SOCIETY OF AMERICA may overlook.”
and calls to me. Rugged
JAMES GURNEY misty mountains and the
ARTIST AND AUTHOR OF THE enchanting Fairy Glen. That’s
a wild and free watercolor
“A long road trip ILLUSTRATED BOOK SERIES
“DINOTOPIA” experience that I’d love.”
through the —WENDY WELK
countryside of France,
“Israel. The juxtaposition of
Italy and Switzerland. “I’d spend some time in the ancient and the modern
Driving is the only way the Okavango Delta in is unbeatable for drawing.”
to get a real feel for a Botswana, sitting in a —PEG ELEFANT

region, its people and mokoro [canoe], gliding


along quietly amidst
FRAN011/GETTY IMAGES

the amazing food.” LIKE US ON FACEBOOK


@ARTISTSNETWORK TO
the water lilies.” ANSWER EACH MONTH’S
MICHAEL SKALKA QUESTION IN “THE ASK.”
CHAIRMAN, ASTM D01.57, ARTISTS’ MARION BODDY-EVANS RESPONSES MAY BE EDITED
MATERIALS STANDARDS ARTIST, INSTRUCTOR AND WRITER FOR LENGTH AND CLARITY.

12 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


Bu ld

“ O N E T H I N G ’ S F O R C E R TA I N : Y O U H AV E T O
G E T C O L D T O P A I N T S N O W C O N V I N C I N G LY.”
— K AT H L E E N D U N P H Y

A Bluebird Day (detail)


by Kathleen Dunphy
oil on linen, 12x12

ArtistsNetwork.com 13
Build TUTORIAL

Follow HELEN OH’s step-by-step


SURFACE EXPLORATION demonstration for painting on
a metal substrate.

While on a visit to the Getty Museum,


in Los Angeles, I came across a
remarkable painting by a 21-year
old artist. Despite its small size,
the painted figure it depicted drew
me in with its carefree expression
of youthful optimism. The master-
ful work from 1628 was free from
the fine craquelure typical of old
paintings; it looked as if it had been
painted yesterday. When I read the
label I understood why. Rembrandt
Laughing, a self portrait, was painted
on an 8x6 copper sheet.
Rembrandt (Dutch, 1606–69)
painted several other works on copper
substrates at that time, including Old
Woman Praying, for which the artist
gilded the copper panel before adding
paint. It seems that Rembrandt was
searching for exotic painting supports
to showcase his skillful brushwork.
Throughout Europe, painters experi-
mented on unusual supports—colorful
marble slabs, black slate and mirrors
that were painted partially, leaving
the reflective surface as an unpainted
background.
One clear hint that a painting is on
a metal support is the smoothness of
its surface. Unlike linen or wood,
metal supports aren’t subject to the
stresses that decades of temperature
and humidity fluctuations can exact
on the material, to the detriment of
the paint that rests upon it. With cop-
per and other metals, the changes to
the support are negligible; hence the
pristine condition of the brushwork
and colors.
Some years ago, I began experi-
menting with metal grounds, guided
by a recipe for their preparation from
Rembrandt Laughing
the author and art conservator Kurt by Rembrandt van Rijn
Wehlte. His book, The Materials & Helen Oh is an artist and conservator, circa 1628; oil on copper, 8¾x6¾
Techniques of Painting, is something and an instructor at the School of the J. PAUL GETTY MUSEUM, LOS ANGELES
between a bible and a cookbook for Art Institute of Chicago and Palette &
painters. In it, he explains the tradi- Chisel Academy of Fine Arts. Gallery
tional method of preparing a metal Victor Armendariz represents her work.
surface, such as copper, steel or zinc,
for oil painting.

14 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


STILL LIFE: PAINTING ON COPPER
To demonstrate painting on a metal surface, I put together a still life with two Venetian masks and a small drawer filled with
colorful bow ties. The masks are known as bauta, which the Venetians introduced in the 16th century. The clever construction
allows wearers to conceal their identity while still being able to talk, eat and drink. I juxtaposed a plain white mask with one
decorated with paintings of gondolas on a lagoon, musical notes and gilt edging.

1 Using vine charcoal, I drew the composition on a copper


surface. Then I applied a semitransparent, dry titanium
alkyd ground, which created a pinkish surface (see Prepping
a Metal Surface, at bottom).

2 I blocked in the shadows using raw umber and


Mars black.

3 I painted the white mask and the foreground with gray


mixtures of white and Mars black. For the white,
I used Gamblin’s flake white replacement. It’s a mix of
titanium and zinc and, when compared to pure titanium
white, closely resembles lead white’s traditional qualities of
1
translucency and warmth.

2 3

Demo continued on the following pages

PREPPING A METAL SURFACE


Copper or zinc panels come in a wide range of thicknesses, called gauges, and are available
at many art stores. The lower the gauge number, the thicker the panel. Using metal
sandpaper, remove any oxidation on the surface of the metal. Clean off oil or particles on
the surface with a soft cloth dipped in white vinegar. Dilute titanium alkyd paint in Gamsol
to the consistency of heavy cream. Then coat the panel using a soft flat brush. Make sure
the brush doesn’t shed bristles or contain too much dust since these will be apparent on
the surface. Leave the panel to dry in a dust-free place, such as a high shelf or a box. Once
the first layer of coating dries, I prefer to apply a single coat of semitransparent ground, but
a double coat of white is also appropriate for oil painting.

ArtistsNetwork.com 15
Build TUTORIAL

4 5

4 I filled in areas with local colors,


using lemon yellow, Indian yellow,
vermilion, caput mortuum, cobalt blue
and white. Then I left the layer to dry.

5 Next, I began developing the forms.


For the intense blue, I added
cerulean blue and Prussian blue to my
palette. The warm pinkish tone of
copper activates the intensity of the
blue and green. I further rendered the
white mask to solidify the form.

6a
6 The smoothness of the metal
surface facilitates subtractive and
additive mark-making. To depict the
stripes on the gray silk, I scratched off
the design using the end of the brush
handle while the layer was still wet (6a).
This technique, called sgraffito, is direct
and tactile, and it provided a nice
contrast to the thickly painted gold
ornamentation on the mask (6b).

6b

16 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


7 Once I was sure that the previous layer
was completely dry, I painted the blue
textile designs with a No. 1 round sable brush.
Letting the previous layer dry gave me the
option of removing the design with a soft cloth
dipped in Gamsol, should I have decided the
design needed to be reworked.

8 To complete Venetian Masks (9x11),


I painted the background, using diluted
black to unify the composition. I also rendered
accents on the pink bow tie and added black
ribbons to the masks.

Venetian Masks
oil on copper, 9x11
7

ArtistsNetwork.com 17
Build LESSON

PLEIN AIR

Snow Day
KATHLEEN DUNPHY offers tips for painting outside in the winter months.

Who doesn’t love the look of freshly


fallen snow? A good winter storm can
turn even the most mundane scene
into something spectacular to paint.
The first time I bundled up and
hauled my gear out in winter condi-
tions, however, I learned just how
challenging painting in the snow can
be. It’s always tempting to take a few
photos and use those as reference
while I paint in my warm, comfortable
studio, but one thing’s for certain:
You have to get cold to paint snow
convincingly. Almost more than any
other subject matter, snow requires
direct observation to convey its subtle
beauty onto canvas.
After years of trial and error, I’ve
developed a system for painting in the
snow that minimizes my personal dis-
comfort and allows me to paint
outside in the winter. Here are a few
tips for your next snow day.

LAYER UP
Always start out with what seems like
too many layers. Leave your vanity
behind and layer up. I have an old
down coat that serves me well when
I’m outside and tops off a couple of
other layers of more modern outdoor
wear. I also wear fingerless gloves
with chemical warming packs tucked
inside. They provide just enough heat
to keep my hands moving freely.
Most importantly, keep your feet
warm by investing in a good pair of
snow boots. I bought a pair of high
quality waterproof boots a couple of
years ago that have proven invaluable
in snowy and wet conditions.

18 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


RIGHT
Winter’s Blanket
oil on linen, 8x6

OPPOSITE
Trax
oil on linen, 8x6

Standing on a mat or a bare section


of ground instead of directly on the
snow helps. I take a bath mat with me
for this purpose—it provides traction
and an extra barrier between me and
the cold ground. I sometimes set up in
the bed of my truck to paint—it gets
me out of the snow and helps me see
over the berms at the side of the road.

AVOID GLARE
Light reflecting off the snow can be
blinding and make painting uncom-
fortable. If possible, set up in the shade
or use an umbrella to cut down on the
glare that can occur even on an over-
cast day. Situate your easel so bright
sunlight reflecting off snow behind you
doesn’t hit your canvas. I bring along a
dark blanket to lay out in front of my
easel to minimize the light reflecting
off the snow directly in front of me.
Use more sunscreen than you think
you’ll need. With the sunlight reflect-
ing off the snow at all angles, you’ll
get twice the exposure to UV rays.

KEEP YOUR PAINT WARM


I usually keep my plein air gear in my
car, but I always bring my paint CARING FOR CANINE
indoors the night before a snow-day
painting session to make sure it’s not PAINTING COMPANIONS
too cold to use the next morning. In My dogs love the snow and will
extreme conditions, I’ll tuck my paint do anything to go with me
into an inside pocket of my jacket to whenever I head out to paint,
keep it warm and pliable. I squeeze but even dogs with the thickest
only a small amount of paint onto my fur can get cold during a long
palette at one time to keep it from sit- outdoor painting session. If you
ting out in the cold for too long. decide to bring your furry friend
along on your next cold-weather
PAINT SMALL plein air session, try to find
a patch of bare, dry ground for
QUICK STUDIES your setup—you’ll both stay
Small, quick studies are great practice a lot warmer and dryer. Bring
at any time, but they’re especially a blanket for your companion to lie on, but also make sure to take time out for
important when the cold creeps in periodic breaks in the car with the heater turned on. Consider outfitting your
and affects your ability to concen- dog with a dog jacket and booties for extra layers of warmth and protection.
trate. It’s better to cover the canvas Be sure to keep your pet hydrated with plenty of water, and bring treats to
on a small painting than to be unable reward good behavior. Keeping your painting partner happy is well worth the
to finish a larger piece. extra weight in your pack!

ArtistsNetwork.com 19
Build LESSON

RIGHT
Cold Fingers
oil on linen, 6x8

BELOW LEFT
Thaw
oil on linen, 24x20

BELOW RIGHT
First Snow
oil on linen, 12x12

20 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


TAKE ADVANTAGE OF If you have the chance, go ahead and work has won numerous awards. She has
bundle up—then get out in the snow attained signature status with the Plein
SHOULDER SEASONS and paint this beautiful winter season. Air Painters of America, Oil Painters of
Admittedly, I’d rather paint outdoors America and Laguna Plein Air Painters.
in 50-degree weather than 5-degree Kathleen Dunphy (kathleendunphy.
weather, so I take advantage of the first com) is a popular workshop instructor
storm to get a head start on the season. whose paintings can be found in galleries
Chances are there will still be some coast-to-coast. She has served as a judge Turn the page for a
bare patches of ground on which to set for several art competitions, and her
up, and the snow won’t be too deep step-by-step demo
to hike through. Late April is a beau-
tiful time to paint snow in the Sierra
Nevada mountains near my home in
California—the days are warm, the
grasses are starting to grow, and the
rivers are thawing. It’s also a wonderful
time to gather source material for next
winter’s studio paintings.

MY PLEIN AIR TOOLKIT


The contents of my plein air painting pack, from top to bottom, left to
right are: tripod, GPS tracker, extra food, water bottle, glasses, marker,
sketchbook, sunscreen, bug repellent, solvent containers, mirror, Easy-L
umbrella, MSR bottle for extra solvent, dog treats, leash, fingerless
gloves, paper towels, Open Box M easel, oil paints, brushes, palette knife
and panels in wet panel carriers.

See my advice for honing your gear down to the essentials at


More Online! artistsnetwork.com/go/dunphy-toolkit.

ArtistsNetwork.com 21
Build LESSON

DEMO: PAINT THE SNOW—IN THE SNOW

1 As with all my paintings, whether


working en plein air or in the studio,
I started with a thumbnail sketch to
2 I toned the canvas with a light wash
of warm yellow paint. (The wash
shows through in places throughout the
3 I always start with my darkest
shadow shapes to establish the
structure of the design. I painted these
plan the design and format of the finished painting, conveying a feeling of areas with thin paint so that I could
composition. warm sunlight.) Then I transposed my more easily apply subsequent layers
thumbnail sketch to the canvas, using over them without getting muddy colors
a small brush and thinned red paint. as the painting progressed.

4 I started developing the sunlit side of some of the major


shapes on the horizon line, which helped me more
accurately judge the color and value of the distant mountains.
5 I mixed the color of the snow in shadow, being careful to
make it dark enough to read as a shadow compared to
the snow in sunlight. It’s easy to make these snow shadow
At this point, I began to use thicker paint and more active values too light, so I constantly glanced back and forth
brushstrokes. between the light and shadow to assess those values
correctly. I painted the colors that I saw in the water,
squinting my eyes to eliminate unnecessary detail and
determine accurate values.

22 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


6 Snow in sunlight is never just pure white; it’s important to
observe the scene carefully to determine the subtle tints
that the snow is taking on. Here, I saw a light lavender color
7 At this point, I stepped away from the painting and
evaluated whether I wanted to make any subtle
adjustments. I decided to change the shape of the mountain
in horizontal planes and a lighter, more pinkish hue on the and add another distant range to improve the design. I also
areas where the snow was catching more direct sunlight. altered the top of the pine tree on the left when I realized
I painted some negative spaces between the branches of the it was too similar in height and shape to the other trees on
willows with the snow colors to give the bushes a more airy the horizon.
and delicate feel.

8 The last 10
percent of the
painting takes 90
percent of the time.
After setting the
painting aside for
a few days, I was able
to view it with fresh
eyes to make my final
adjustments. I added
a little more color to
the foreground water,
and some detail to the
light side of the pine
trees, then cleaned up
a few of the edges.

Winter Palette
oil on linen, 12x16

ArtistsNetwork.com 23
Build SKETCHBOOK

Take the Detour


When your sketching practice begins to feel a bit lackluster, try a new direction.
SUHITA SHIRODKAR shares four strategies for switching things up.

Doo you find yourself reaching


for the saame supplies whenever
y u start to sketch? Are you
orking with the same tools
a d techniques over and over
an
a a n? Do your sketches look
ke more of the same when you
flip throuugh the pages of your
sketchbo ook? It’s good to switch
things up p once in a while—to
hit the reffresh button, so to
speak. It doesn’t
d require bold
moves or fancy new materials;
even smaall changes can jump-
start a tired practice. Here are
four simp ple ideas you can use to
put some excitement back into
your skettching.
To capture the lushness of this scene, I painted
a rectangle of green first and then worked over
it with gouache, watercolor, and pen and ink. START WIT
WITH COLOR
Though white paper is most common
for sketchbooks, toned paper options
are readily available now. Starting
with a mid-tone as your base color
rewires your thinking and lets your
lightest tones really sing. If a whole
sketchbook of toned paper doesn’t
appeal to you, try toning a single page
before sketching on it.

Sketching on beige-colored
paper warms up the purples
of the jacaranda tree and
makes the white truck parked
underneath really stand out.

24 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


TRY A NEW MEDIUM
The specific characteristics of
a medium will influence how you
Using a new medium sketch. Try a medium you don’t use
can lead to fun often and see how it pushes your
discoveries. I found work in a new direction. Acrylic inks
that the bold or acrylic markers can create bold,
opaque pigment of
acrylic inks was just the bright pieces. Materials you might
thing for this brightly have used as a child, like wax crayons
colored subject. or colored pencils, can reconnect you
to a time when you were more open
to experimentation and playfulness in
your drawing.

“New movements
I started each of and tools bring new
these dancers with
a few strokes in wax
vocabulary to the
crayon. The medium marks you make.”
feels like a throwback
to my childhood and
never fails to bring
a sense of play to
my sketching.

ArtistsNetwork.com 25
Build SKETCHBOOK
Almost anything can be reimagined as an art tool. A piece of
sponge, a fork and a cut-up piece of card did most of the work
for this sketch of the first summer tomatoes from my backyard.

I made this sketch


of my son playing
the violin using a
tool that’s often
forgotten in the back
of my supply drawer:
a folded pen. This unusual
tool creates a variable and
slightly unpredictable line
that I embraced and enjoyed.

EXPERIMENT WITH
UNUSUAL TOOLS
Look at everything around you as
a potential drawing and painting
tool. Twigs and feathers make great
dip pens, and their organic and
slightly unpredictable nature can
bring character to your drawing.
Consider everyday objects around
your home. Forks, chopsticks and
ink droppers can all make interesting
and varied marks; and an old tooth-
brush, kitchen sponge or table salt
can add wonderful texture to your
sketches. For a really accessible tool,
try finger painting!
If you’ve ever bought an art tool on
a whim and then not used it, now is
the time to pull it out and give it a spin.

CHANGE SCALE
AND PROPORTION
If you’ve always worked in a small With this little book and a pen in my pocket, I can sketch
anywhere when I find myself with a couple of free minutes.
sketchbook, try going big. Working in

26 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


This sweeping
view called for
an extra-long
panorama across
the spread of
my horizontal
sketchbook.

I divided a sketchbook spread into small boxes, proportional to my movie-viewing


screen, and filled them with compositional studies from an animated film.

a large book will force you to think on a new scale. It might alive and exciting. Experiments don’t always give you the
mean drawing with your whole arm instead of just your results you might want or expect (or they wouldn’t be
fingers and hand. New movements and tools bring new experiments, would they?) but you always learn from them.
vocabulary to the marks you make. So try something new in your sketchbook today!
Changing the scale of your sketches works the other
way, too. Start using a super-small sketchbook and carry Suhita Shirodkar (suhitasketch.
it everywhere you go. Going small helps simplify your com) is an urban sketcher,
sketching kit. Creating a very portable setup will get you illustrator, instructor and author
sketching more often. of the book The Urban Sketching
If you love your current sketchbook, you can still change Handbook—Techniques for
the scale, proportion and orientation of sketches by working Beginners: How to Build a Practice
across a double spread or attaching a foldout page for a super for Sketching on Location. She’s the
long sketch. To work smaller, divide a page by drawing boxes recipient of a Knight Foundation
or use artists’ tape to mark off a grid of smaller squares. grant for her reportage covering
vintage signs in San Jose, Calif. An
international correspondent with
LEARN SOMETHING NEW the nonprofit, Urban Sketchers,
Anytime you feel the need for a refresh, try making just Shirodkar teaches sketching
a small change in routine to keep your sketchbook looking workshops worldwide.

ArtistsNetwork.com 27
Build WORKSHOP

OPTICAL DEVICE

A Masterly Technique
ANDREW S. CONKLIN demonstrates the use of a mirror to reproduce
the form and color of a figurine with remarkable accuracy.

When I first saw, as a freshman in art school, the portrait


drawings of Hans Holbein the Younger, I immediately began Materials
to wonder how the artist could have captured likenesses with SURFACE:
such apparent accuracy in so few lines. Over the years I was paperboard sized with
fortunate to see a number of Holbein’s portraits (both draw- rabbit-skin glue
ings and paintings) in person, and the almost photographic DRAWING MATERIALS:
accuracy of the works left me with the sense that some · red colored pencil
optical devices may have played a role in his working process. · graphite pencil
David Hockney began his 2001 groundbreaking book,
WATERCOLOR BRUSHES:
Secret Knowledge, with a similar illuminating moment during
· Mostly Nos. 1, 2
a visit he took to London’s National Gallery to see a series
and 3 rounds
of portrait drawings by Ingres. He noted that despite the · Nos. 4 and 8 flats
small size of the drawings, the lines described every form
OILS:
with “uncanny” accuracy, with no evidence of any erasure or
· Cremnitz white
preliminary sketching.
· raw umber
When the film Tim’s Vermeer came out in 2014, I was
· Spanish earth
eager to see it and to discuss with friends its remarkable
· lemon yellow
assertion by Tim Jenison, who demonstrated a practical
· Naples yellow
solution to questions about the “photographic” look of
· alizarin crimson
Vermeer’s paintings. His approach, which used a large lens
· Winsor red
and a small mirror—a comparator—provided compelling
· sap green
evidence of a workable method of capturing the ambient
· phthalo turquoise
color, value and edges of an interior space without extensive
use of drawing or perspective. MEDIUM:
Jenison’s preliminary experiment—his first test of the ¾ Gamsol to ¼ stand oil
mirror in copying from nature—involved only the compara-
tor mirror. I thought I would try this approach to see how it
contrasted with my normal working process, which involves
painting directly from nature.

ANDREW S. CONKLIN earned a BFA from the American


Academy of Art, in Chicago. He attended the National
Academy of Design and the Art Students League of New
York before earning an MFA from the Academy of Art
University, in San Francisco. Gallery Victor Armendariz,
in Chicago, represents his work. For more information,
visit cargocollective.com/andrewsconklin.

28 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


Nativity Angel Figurine
oil on paperboard, 5x6

Turn the page for a


painting demonstration.

ArtistsNetwork.com 29
Build WORKSHOP

STEP 1
I took a small polished metal tile and fit it
into the slotted end of a short Tinkertoy
stick. I added wooden wheels and more
sticks and taped the assemblage to my
taboret. To calibrate the setup, I placed
an Italian nativity figurine on a small table
alongside the taboret. Sitting on a low
stool next to the mirror and angel, I could
look straight down at a sheet of paper on
my taboret. In the mirror—angled at 45
degrees—was an upside-down reflection
of the angel. While shifting my view
from left to right, I made a test contour
drawing of the angel, using red pencil.
The reflection guided me—a slight
movement to the right revealed more
of the paper; a shift to the left showed
me more of the reflected angel. By
continually moving from side to side,
I slowly matched up the two images.

STEP 2
As I was creating my calibration drawing, I'd noticed that the
polished edge of the metal tile produced a noticeable curving of the
image. To alleviate this distraction, I taped a glass mirror to the
metal tile, and I was ready to start my painting. First, I taped
a paperboard sized with rabbit-skin glue to the taboret. With
a graphite pencil, I again drew out the contours of the angel from its
reflection. In this picture I'm drawing the base of the figurine, which
STEP 3
I could see in the mirror when I moved my head a bit to the side. With a small nylon round watercolor brush,
I began painting the green base. Using a mixture
of sap green, phthalo turquoise, raw umber,
lemon yellow, Spanish earth and Cremnitz white,
I attempted to match the color of the reflected
image to the paint I placed on the board.

30 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


STEP 4 STEP 5
After completing the base, I added some beige around it, Here you see my view of the painting, partially hidden by
including a faint cast shadow. To mimic the intense pink of the the comparator mirror. As I moved my head from side to
hand-painted angel’s robe, I mixed white with alizarin crimson side, I could see the painted image blend into the
and Winsor red, adding some Naples yellow. Notice that, in reflection. My goal was to make the boundary between the
working with the comparator mirror, I painted from the base painting and the reflected image disappear by means of
of the figurine, on the right of the panel, gradually moving careful mixing and painting. I realized that the closeness
leftward on the panel as I approached the angel's head. of the angel to the mirror meant the colors always looked
brighter than even my strongest color mixtures.

STEP 6
At this point, I shifted my position at the taboret and began
painting the yellow-orange fabric draped behind the angel.
To render the details of the figure’s drapery, I worked
with very small watercolor brushes—No. 1 or 2 rounds.

COMPARATOR VIDEO
Drawing with a comparator isn't tracing—it's
more like completing missing portions of line
segments, little by little, as you adjust your
viewing angle. Words and still photos don't do
the technique justice, so I created a very short
video—just a few seconds long—as an extra
visual. Take a look at bit.ly/comparator-video.

ArtistsNetwork.com 31
Build WORKSHOP

STEP 7 STEP 8
At this point I've worked up to the face. Comparing the I decided to photograph myself to see how the shift
mirror view to the figurine, I noticed that the proportions caused the parallax. I double-exposed the images to
of my painting were somewhat elongated and realized that demonstrate the change of viewpoint. At this late stage
this was due to parallax—the result of my shifting from in the process, however, I decided to continue without
left to right, causing me to look down at the base of the compensating for my movements, in spite of the slight
figure but directly into the angel’s face. This wouldn't have vertical distortion of the angel in my painting.
been possible to do if I was simply looking at the angel
from a fixed eye level in my normal course of painting.

STEP 9 STEP 10
Finally, I rendered the face. I have a newfound respect for Here is the completed Nativity Angel Figurine (oil on paperboard,
the anonymous Italian artisans who hand-painted these 5x6) Working this way was a humbling experience, partly because
Nativity figurines, which were handed down to me from my of the unusual setup and partly because I was painting an inverted
great aunts. The angel's face includes distinct brown irises image. The process satisfied my curiosity, however, and left me all
surrounded by bright blue sclera—a challenge to replicate. the more fascinated by the ingenuity of my artist predecessors.

32 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


“ I N S O M E W AY, I L E AV E T R A C E S
OF A HUMAN PRESENCE OR
S O M E K I N D O F L I F E .”
—ATA N A S M AT S O U R E F F

Falling Water (detail)


by Atanas Matsoureff
watercolor on paper, 28x20

ArtistsNetwork.com 33
Layers of Time

34 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


With brushes, sticks, fingers and cloth, Atanas Matsoureff creates haunting
watercolors that show the past is so close, we can touch it. by Ani Kodjabasheva

met Atanas Matsoureff


at a beer garden in Sofia,
Bulgaria, on a bright sum-
mer day in July 2020. At
a time when most meetings
were happening remotely,
it was a privilege to talk in
person, especially with an
artist who cares so much
about materiality. When
I asked Matsoureff how he chooses
his subjects, he pointed to the nonde-
script wall behind me where a roughly
hewn stone stuck out of the thickly
plastered cement. “I’ve been looking
at this stone for the past 10 minutes
and wondering how to paint it—what
color it is and which paper I’d use for
it,” he says.
Matsoureff is especially mindful
of the marks left on various surfaces
over time. In his painting The Door
(opposite) a leather jacket hangs on
the back of a door. The leather is
naturally polished at the elbows and
shoulders and creased around the
collar, having been molded by wear
over time. It’s as if the owner’s body
is still present, giving mass and form
to the garment. The area below the
door handle is stained yellow from
the touch of countless hands. A sense
of dwelling is captured in simple,
evocative details.
“It’s not your typical spontaneous
watercolor,” says Matsoureff, who
crafts his paintings in a very physical
way, an approach he likens to build-
ing a sculpture, layer by layer. The
artist creates a variety of textures
using smudging, stamping cloth and
sponges. “Anything that can help me
heighten the sense of realism—I use
it,” he says. “I’ll even use weeds or
twigs that I picked up from the area

LEFT TO RIGHT
The Door
watercolor on paper,
29½x22

The Corner
watercolor on paper,
29x21

ArtistsNetwork.com 35
I’m painting—something that’s a part
“I like it when the paper surprises me, of the landscape.” A self-taught artist,
and sometimes, because of this, things Matsoureff developed his sculptural
approach to painting through a lot of
happen that I couldn’t do otherwise.” practice and experimentation.

DISCOVERING THE MEDIUM


Asked about his personal story,
Matsoureff quips, “It’s very short.”
He was born in the mountain town
of Bansko, south of Sofia, Bulgaria.
His grandfather, an art teacher,
encouraged him to play with sev-
eral different types of art materials
and media. Matsoureff remembers
assembling mosaics out of grains
and sculpting animal figurines out of
clay. In high school he took classes in
interior design and woodworking. Yet
despite three attempts to enroll in the
Bulgarian National Art Academy, he
couldn’t pass the exam. Disappointed
but determined, he resolved to find
a way to make a living as an artist.
Although Matsoureff had been
experimenting with different media,
it took a chance encounter to show
him the true possiblities of watercolor.
While leafing through an old Russian
magazine, he came across an article
about Andrew Wyeth. “When I read
that this was watercolor, I didn’t
sleep for two nights. I told myself,
if watercolor can do that, I need to
do watercolor. It was so close to my
sense of what I had to do—and so well
done—it gave me a kind of foothold.”
The artist bought every type of
paper he could find and started exper-
imenting with mixing his own paints.
He spent the next few years teaching
himself the medium in this manner.
“The best way to learn something is by
doing,” says Matsoureff. “Once you dis-
cover things for yourself, they’re yours,
and nobody else can do them your way
exactly. It’s also a form of research—
I always discover something new.”

TOP TO BOTTOM
Under the Snow
watercolor on paper,
16x23

Thorns
watercolor on paper,
18x18½

36 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


TOP TO BOTTOM
Layers of Time
watercolor on paper,
22x18

Wisdom
watercolor on paper,
19x26

TRUSTING THE PAPER


While Matsoureff no longer makes
his own paints, having since found
a 28-color palette that gives him the
necessary range, he continues to
work with different kinds of paper.
“For me, paper is the main thing,” he
says. The artist paints only on vintage
handmade sheets he has collected
over time. The oldest one, he says, is
from three centuries ago. Choosing
a sheet is an important part of his
process, as the grain defines the
painting’s textures and even guides
his hand. Damage the paper has sus-
tained over time can become part of
the work. “I like it when the paper
surprises me,” he says, “and some-
times, because of this, things happen
that I couldn’t do otherwise.”
The artist knew just the surface to
use for his painting, Facade (22x13),
when he saw a small window cut
into a discolored façade in Fabriano,
Italy. “I had a sheet of rare handmade
English paper from the mid-1800s
that was yellow and stained around
the edges,” he says. The sheet also
experienced foxing—orange dots,
like speckles of rust, that appear due
to iron in the water. “There’s always
a risk working with older papers, but
sometimes that helps,” he says.
In Layers of Time (at top), the age
and texture of the paper perfectly
suited the facade of the old building,
which the artist says painted itself.
“This wouldn’t have happened in the
same way on different paper,” says
Matsoureff. He believes that a paint-
ing is complete when idea, execution
and material work as one. In this case,
they fell together quickly.
The artist’s reverence for architec-
ture and its facture comes through
in every painting that features build-
ings and structures. Matsoureff’s
depictions of such subjects offer an
appreciation of craft and labor, even
when they lament the passing of time.
The same holds true with paper: his

ArtistsNetwork.com 37
desire to bring out the possibilities roofs and brick chimneys darkened by dried peppers adorn a rickety wooden
encoded in each sheet makes him smoke. Matsoureff never paints mod- door in Old Stories (opposite); a bunch
a collaborator with the people who ern urban life with its surface sheen of herbs hangs from the rafters in
produced it centuries ago. Trusting in and anonymity. Scenes with lots Raining December (pages 40–41).
technique and material, Matsoureff of cars, bars and lights don’t excite These exquisitely detailed paint-
sees an agency in inanimate objects. him. Luster without texture doesn’t ings seem to capture a moment that
This leads him to a philosophy he calls captivate him. has just passed. Water overflows
“magical realism.” For a series of rural scenes, the a metal pot under a faucet; the leather
artist spent two months living in a jacket hangs on the back of the door,
THE MAGICAL MOMENT small, nearly depopulated village in as if just left there by its owner. These
“I’m mostly oriented toward the past,” the Rhodope Mountains in southern almost-present moments unfold
the artist says. Sofia, the city where Bulgaria. In addition to documenting against backgrounds of crumbling
he lives, rarely finds its way into his the construction of walls and the dam- walls that further reinforce the
art except in the form of old buildings age time has wrought upon them, he melancholy mood.
worn out by habitation—as in painted a number of still lifes that hint “In some way, I leave traces of
a monochrome watercolor of sagging at the locals’ everyday life. Onions and a human presence or some kind of

38 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


life—a movement in the landscape, even if it’s invis- this particular bird was placed in the
ible at first sight,” he says. Matsoureff points to his scene by the artist.
painting Layers of Time (page 37), as one such example. That subtle change is the magical
Plaster peels off the facade, revealing red brick under- moment to which Matsoureff aspires.
neath. Plaster-cast ornaments framing a window look “At first, you look at a window, and it’s
incongruous against the decay. Everything in the pic- nothing but a variety of textures,” says
ture is a record of reality, except for a pigeon—almost the artist. “Then you really start look-
the same gray as the wall—resting on the windowsill. ing and see there’s a pigeon. Suddenly,
“At first, you don’t even see it,” he says. It’s a minor the whole picture tells a different story
intervention—although pigeons often alight there, and everything has a different nuance.”

ABOVE
Address Unknown
watercolor on paper,
22x30

RIGHT
Old Stories
watercolor on paper,
28x25

ArtistsNetwork.com 39
ABOVE
Raining December
watercolor on paper,
27x31

LEFT
In Blue Dress
watercolor on paper,
30x22

“The best way to learn something is by doing. Once


you discover things for yourself, they’re yours, and
nobody else can do them exactly your way.”
40 Artists Magazine January/February 2021
MEET THE ARTIST
Atanas Matsoureff (matsoureff.com)
is a self-taught watercolor artist.
He was born in the town of Bansko,
Bulgaria, and graduated from the
woodcarving class in his native town
before eventually moving to live and
work in the nation’s capital, Sofia.
His work has won many prestigious
awards in Bulgaria and abroad, and his
drawings and paintings are in galleries
and private collections around the
world. The artist also leads master
classes across Europe and Asia.

LAYERING TIME
When freely composing a scene, as artist. Matsoureff’s fingertips navigate To begin, Matsoureff makes
in a portrait, Matsoureff finds more the intersection of paint and paper. a detailed, proportioned drawing,
ways to achieve temporal depth. In He can paint an entire portrait with which will become the painting’s
his painting In Blue Dress (opposite), only his hands, using his fingernail “backbone.” This mental map, which
the model (his wife, curator Eugenia to sculpt hair, pupils and eyelashes. can take a day to complete, allows
Matsureva) poses for a Renaissance- Sometimes, architectural details may him to render everything else.
style seated portrait. To save the be almost etched into the page with a “When you’ve looked at something,
painting from a dry exactitude and sharp point. “I paint in a more graphic it stays in your memory—the eye
give it character, the artist used the way than other watercolorists,” remembers,” he says. Matsoureff can
area around the figure where he Matsoureff says. “I’m a relatively slow envision the color and temperature
would paint the background to test painter.” His meticulously crafted of each shadow, even if he only drew
his colors and shape his brush. (He details capture a subject’s materiality, it in pencil. After that, the actual
normally does this on a separate showing it defiantly present against watercolor flows quickly, from both
piece of paper.) The staining enlivens the passing of time. memory and from life.
the wall and adds a bit of texture On one occasion, Matsoureff
that can be difficult to achieve in LIVING MEMORY couldn’t finish a seascape. It remained
the thin, transparent application of Observing and remembering the only partially painted for six years
watercolor. Once again, every surface world around him is an essential part until one summer day, when he
is marked by traces—in this case, of of Matsoureff’s work. He doesn’t use returned to the same spot and finally
the artist himself. photographs; the scene has to come finished the piece. It was as if no time
Matsoureff’s marking and staining alive in his mind. He prefers to com- had passed at all.
techniques go way beyond brushes. He plete landscapes and architectural
often uses cloth, sponges, the side of scenes en plein air, which involves Ani Kodjabasheva (anikodjabasheva.
his hand and his fingers. “There’s no coming back again and again to the journoportfolio.com) is a fine-art and
better tool than your hands,” says the same spot. education writer.

ArtistsNetwork.com 41
BRUSH With DEATH
A look at art in the time of pandemics provides a sense of the changing attitudes
toward disease as well as the anguish and poignancy of its human toll.
by Cynthia Close

ALL IMAGES EXCEPT THAT OF THE COVID-19 VIRUS ARE FROM WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.

42 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


LEFT
Saint Sebastian Interceding
for the Plague Stricken
by Josse Lieferinxe
1497–99; oil on panel,
32¹⁄₅x21²⁄₅
WALTERS ART MUSEUM, BALTIMORE, MD

OPPOSITE
Leprosy
by Jacopo Oddi
1474; from the illuminated
manuscript La Franceschina
BIBLIPTECA AUGUSTA, PERUGIA, ITALY

and after plagues of the past offers


a chance to reflect on our relation-
ships to our family, friends and other
fellow humans—as well as our place
and vulnerability in the world today.

THE BLACK DEATH


History’s worsts pandemic, the
Black Death, was an outbreak of the
bubonic plague that occurred between
1347 and 1351. The death toll dur-
ing those four years is estimated
to have been between 25 and 200
million people worldwide, including
approximately half of the entire pop-
ulation of Europe. The plague then
recurred in cycles through the 1600s.
Surprisingly, there are few works
showing the actual symptoms of the
disease. A 15th-century illuminated
manuscript by Jacopo Oddi has been
mistakenly thought to depict lesion-
covered sufferers of the Black Death. It
actually shows St. Francis and others
ministering to patients with leprosy
(see Leprosy, opposite). This disease is
a bacterial infection now treated with
antibiotics. It’s not particularly conta-
gious, so it has lost some of its early
stigma. Alternatively, the physical and
psychological impact associated with
the bubonic plague and depicted in
reat crises often generate traced back centuries through the art of the 14th and 15th centuries can

G great art along with pro-


found social change. The
Renaissance, perhaps the
greatest efflorescence of science
work of poets, philosophers and art-
ists. Disease is an invisible enemy, but
the ability of artists to imagine the
unknown and give it form, has illumi-
still affect our reaction to epidemics.
The emotional turmoil caused
by witnessing decaying corpses and
seeing the horrific symptoms of the
and art in Western civilization, was nated and documented the impact of plague led people in early Europe
sparked in the 14th century by the various diseases on individuals and on to seek answers in religion. Artists
search for a response to the bubonic society as a whole throughout history. used spiritual iconography to explain
plague known as the Black Death. Although we each suffer sickness the origins of the disease. Medieval
Pandemics, epidemics, plagues and in our own private way, a pandemic people were passionately concerned
pestilence are an inherent part of reveals the pain of isolation and with the destiny of individuals after
the human condition. Often driven trauma as a collective experience. death. Would heaven or hell await
by fear, the reaction to illness can be Examining artworks produced during them? Some of the earliest images

ArtistsNetwork.com 43
illustrated the plague as a punishment a Time of Plague, 1500-1800, states despair. Barker believes that “the artist
for humankind’s sins. People also that empathy for the sick was a rising wanted to protect the viewer against
sought solace and hope in depictions theme in the art of the 17th century. the very disease the painting depicts”;
of saints and the Madonna. The arrow She points out that many people however, it was also a widely held
is a symbol of divine punishment, believed imagination had the power belief in the 17th century that you
a carrier of disease that frequently to harm or heal. The French artist could contract the disease simply by
occurs in art influenced by the Black Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665) painted looking at a painting of an epidemic.
Death. In a church in the small town of The Plague of Ashdod (opposite), depict- Plague doctors in 17th-century
Lavaudieu, France, a 1355 fresco titled ing a story from the Old Testament Rome wore beaked masks and long
The Black Death by an unknown artist about a plague visited upon the robes, completely covering their body
shows a central female figure grasping enemies of the Israelites by the wrath from head to foot—the 1600s’ equiv-
bundles of arrows in each hand to sym- of God for the theft of the Ark of the alent of today’s PPE. In Paul Fürst’s
bolize the plague. She’s surrounded by Covenant. When Poussin was working copper engraving of Dr. Schnabel
randomly pierced victims, indicating on this historical painting, there was von Rom (opposite)—the doctor’s
the disease’s lack of concern for a per- an outbreak of bubonic plague in Italy. name being German for “beak of
son’s wealth or social rank. Poussin’s re-creation of a tragic biblical Rome”—we see the classic pointed
scene provokes feelings of horror and mask, which functioned a bit like
SUBSEQUENT WAVES
The four years of the Black Death
took the most significant toll of lives,
but devastating breakouts of bubonic
plaque continued periodically during
the 15th through the 17th centuries.
Josse Lieferinxe (active 1493–1508),
a Southern Netherlandish painter,
was known as the Master of St.
Sebastian for his altarpiece com-
prising eight scenes depicting the
miracles of the saint regarded as
a protector against the plague. In
Saint Sebastian Interceding for the
Plague Stricken (page 43) the saint,
pierced with arrows, kneels before
God, pleading for all humanity. An
angel and a demon battle in the sky.
Meanwhile, on the ground, a victim
is about to be buried when a grave
attendant is struck by the disease.
The Triumph of Death (right), by
one of the most significant Dutch
Renaissance artists, Pieter Bruegel
the Elder (1525–1569), is a literal
landscape of death and destruction.
Skeletons dance around rotting corpses
while fires burn in the distance. The
painting is a rich repository of details
about 16th-century life during times
of disease when no one is spared and
death is indiscriminate, taking people
across all levels of society.
Dr. Sheila Barker, feminist art
scholar, plague art historian and
writer of the essay “Plague Art in
Early Modern Rome: Divine Directives
and Human Remedies” in the book
Hope and Healing: Painting in Italy in

44 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


LEFT
The Plague at Ashdod
by Nicolas Poussin
1630; oil on canvas, 58¼x78
LOUVRE, PARIS

BELOW LEFT
The Triumph of Death
by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
ca 1562; oil on panel, 46x63⁷⁄₁0
MUSEO DEL PRADO

BELOW RIGHT
Dr Schnabel von Rom
by Paul Fürst
ca 1656; copper engraving

ArtistsNetwork.com 45
The Plague
by Arnold Böcklin
1898; tempera on fir panel;
58⁴⁄₅x41¹⁄₁0
KUNSTMUSEUM BASEL,
SWITZERLAND

nude, with an imaginative depiction of


the couple’s unborn child. Edith died
of pneumonia before the painting was
finished. Three days later, Schiele died
of the flu at the age of 28.
Other artists also died of the
Spanish flu, but Norwegian painter
Edvard Munch (1863–1944) was one
of the lucky ones who caught the
disease yet survived. His painting Self-
Portrait With the Spanish Flu shows
the gaunt artist wrapped in blankets,
his sickly, greenish-tinged skin and
opened mouth echo the head in his
most famous painting, The Scream.
The disease occurred in waves,
starting in the early spring of 1918,
disappearing in the summer, then
returning in the autumn. October
1918 was the deadliest month in
American history. There was a third
wave, and then this particular strain
of the flu retreated.

AIDS
The worldwide AIDS pandemic began
in the early 1980s, hitting the arts
community particularly hard. For those
of us old enough to remember the
fear, confusion and false information
that proliferated at the outset of the
disease, we can see a repeat of a very
old pattern of human behavior that
occurs when people are faced with the
a respirator. Sweet smelling herbs symbolists exerted a strong influence unknown. The art of the AIDS crisis
could be stored in the beak to ward off on surrealism and expressionism that was boldly political. Avram Finklestein
the stench of decay and death. These followed into the 20th century. (1952–) is a prominent American
so-called “doctors” rarely had profes- artist/activist whose 2017 book After
sional medical training and, instead of SPANISH FLU Silence: A History of AIDS Through
saving lives, may have been responsi- The bubonic plague isn’t the only dis- Its Images (University of California
ble for more disease spread. ease to have taken a significant toll on Press) describes how the iconic image
The Swiss symbolist Arnold Böcklin human life. Austrian figurative expres- of a pink triangle with the words
(1827–1901) was obsessed with sionist Egon Schiele (1890–1918) was “Silence=Death” came to represent
the macabre. Nightmare-provoking one of the well-known 20th-century a moment of protest in the midst of
scenes of war, death and pestilence figures to die of the 1918 Spanish Flu. an epidemic that still resonates today.
echo throughout his oeuvre, exem- This pandemic came on the heels of Cartoon-like imagery was a foil
plified by his painting titled simply WWI, killing more people than the for the underlying serious messaging
The Plague (above). Death appears as total of military and civilian war casu- of the American artist Keith Haring
a ghoulish figure riding through town alties. Schiele’s wife was six months (1958–1990). His Pop Art sensibility
on a sort of winged dragon while the pregnant when he was working on evolved from graffiti and the New
dead and dying lie scattered on the The Family, a poignant family portrait York street culture of the 1980s.
ground below. The late 19th-century featuring Schiele and his wife, Edith, Much of his work focused on gay

46 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


Self-Portrait With the Spanish Flu
by Edvard Munch
1919; oil on canvas, 59x51½
NATIONAL GALLERY OF NORWAY, OSL0

ArtistsNetwork.com 47
TOP LEFT
Todo Juntos Podemos Parar El SIDA
(Together We Can Fight AIDS) (detail)
by Keith Haring
1989; Barcelona; paint on cement,
94½ feet long
PHOTO COURTESY ALBERTO-G-ROVI;
CREATIVECOMMONS.ORG/LICENSES/BY/3.0

BOTTOM LEFT
Bandits’ Roost, 59½ Mulberry
Street
by Jacob August Riis
1888; gelatin silver print
MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NEW YORK CITY

iconography and, as an activist, his


public mural commissions advocated
safe-sex practices (see Todo Juntos
Podemos Parar el SIDA, left). Although
he died in 1990 of AIDS-related
complications, wide commercializa-
tion of his imagery on clothing, toys
and household items made his work
highly recognizable and affordable.

“GERM CITY”
In 2018 the Museum of the City of
New York, in collaboration with the
New York Academy of Medicine,
launched “Germ City: Microbes and
the Metropolis,” an exhibition that
explored the city’s historical trajec-
tory battling infectious disease. It
proved to be prophetic, as New York
City was an early urban epicenter in
the U.S. when COVID-19 struck two
years later. The exhibition featured
the work of Danish-born photojour-
nalist and social reformer Jacob A.
Riis (1849–1914), whose 1890 book
How the Other Half Lives revealed the
squalid back alleys, tenements and
sweat shops where conditions were
ripe for the spread of disease (see
Bandits Roost, 59½ Mulberry Street
(left). The exhibition also included the
story of Mary Mallon (1870–1938), an
Irish immigrant known as “Typhoid
Mary” (see the newspaper illustration,
opposite). Mallon worked as a cook in
New York and was an asymptomatic
carrier of the typhus. She’s one of
the most notorious characters in the
history of communicable disease, hav-
ing been responsible for infecting at

48 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


LEFT
Typhoid Mary newspaper
illustration
The New York American,
June 20, 1909

BELOW
Drop Dead Gorgeous
illustrations
scientific and editorial
illustrations of the COVID-19
virus sourced online during
April, May and June 2020;
compiled by Chantal Zakari
USED BY PERMISSION OF CHANTAL
ZAKARI

images of the spikey orbs that have


often appeared in otherworldly hues
ranging from neon-bright reds to cool
blue-greens. She has assembled them,
along with photos of health-care
workers and other masked individu-
als, in a self-published “artists’ book”
titled Drop Dead Gorgeous (available at
thecorner.net). “Science is objective,”
Zakari said, “but the representation
may not be. What we are looking at is
an extremely romanticized image of
the virus.” (See Drop Dead Gorgeous
illustrations, left.)
Zakari has addressed the challenges
of this current pandemic in her art
practice and in her teaching. Museum
School faculty were asked not to
simply adapt past curriculum but to
reinvent a new way of teaching for the
fall semester, since all the classes are
being held virtually. Zakari teaches
a course called “WebCrawler,” for which
students collect images they find on
the web and, through sequencing, con-
least 53 people, several of whom died. School of the Museum of Fine Arts at struct their unique visual narratives.
Museum director Whitney Donhauser Tufts University, was captivated by In time, these stories, like Drop Dead
has remarked that the “Germ City” the ubiquitous scientific renderings Gorgeous, will become part of the his-
exhibition might serve as a model in of the coronavirus. Perhaps the most torical record of this pandemic’s impact
planning an exhibition for fall/winter familiar are those gray spheres stud- on the art of the 21st century.
2020–2021 to be called “New York ded with red protuberances, created by
Responds: Beyond Covid.” the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Cynthia Close (cynthiaclose.com),
medical illustrators Alissa Eckert of Burlington, Vt. earned an MFA from
CORONAVIRUS IMAGERY and Dan Higgins. Zakari, known for Boston University and worked in various
Chantal Zakari, interdisciplinary tackling conceptually challenging art-related roles before becoming a writer
artist, designer and professor at the themes in her work, began collecting and editor.

ArtistsNetwork.com 49
Monstera Delisioso
sumi ink and charcoal on
Mylar on panel, 48x36

50 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


GIVING
NATURE
HER DUE
HEIDI JUNG
recasts the glory
of the botanical
world with
a compelling,
innovative use
of sumi ink and
charcoal on Mylar.
by Jenn Rein

Rambling Rose
sumi ink and
charcoal on Mylar on
panel, 60x40
51
For those artists who feel driven to depict the Jung keeps nature close at hand on
the property of her home in Denver.
splendor of the plant kingdom, the fractals of nature Warmer weather reveals her passion
are an alluring and infinite source of inspiration. in the most demonstrable way—with
a backyard garden that’s as surpris-
Colorado native Heidi Jung brings these patterns ing as it is lush. Small olive trees
into her art with a method of her own devising. occupy the same space as hostas, and
summer vegetables keep company
The results are a striking ode to botanicals. with creeping Jenny and rare lilies.

52 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


RIGHT
Spike
sumi ink and charcoal
on Mylar on panel,
48x36

BELOW
Palo Verde
sumi ink, charcoal
and pastel on Mylar
on panel; 18x24

Wisteria hangs in graceful suspense on the outside of her small studio, which
boasts a garage door with glass panels. Nature is always within Jung’s view.
The botanical models she uses are often dead and dried, far past what most
people would consider their peak; however, the details of a plant are laid bare at
the hands of this artist. The structure and form of her specimens tell a story of
life that’s closer to declining than thriving, but within these organic relics, Jung
finds the beauty that feeds her work.

DRAWN FROM THE DARKROOM


Commenting on her education at the Metropolitan State University of Denver,
Jung says, “I started in photography, but then everything moved to digital.
Instructors were talking about how you could plop the state capital into the
background of a photo, even while sitting in your living room. It lacked authen-
ticity, and I was heartbroken because I love the darkroom. I love the magic that
happens in a darkroom when the image reveals itself.”

ArtistsNetwork.com 53
The digital age that permanently changed photography A piece currently created by Jung
as a medium literally took Jung back to the drawing board. might read as a large photographic
“I decided to go all the way back to the beginning,” she negative to the viewer. The flat
says. “One of my professors had said, ‘When you’re an art- black-and-white presentation reflects
ist, whether you’re a sculptor, a painter or a jewelry maker, a depth in shadow reminiscent of clas-
you have to know how to draw.’ ” sic darkroom techniques. Conversely,
BELOW LEFT She moved into creating a body of work on cotton rag, one might wonder if the illustration
Beet primarily in charcoal and ink, sticking to the black-and- itself is digitized by the artist, with
sumi ink, charcoal
and pastel on Mylar
white aesthetic of the photography she so loved. Her the final work printed on Mylar and
on panel, 60x40 subject matter in those early days was not so far removed then mounted onto a panel. Neither
from her current choice. “My senior thesis show was a of these guesses would be accurate.
BELOW RIGHT series of insect drawings,” says Jung, “so it was a natural
Joshua
sumi ink, charcoal
progression to go into botanical imagery.” ADD AND SUBTRACT
and pastel on Mylar Using a Chinese calligraphy brush to
on panel; 18x24 apply sumi ink to a sheet of Mylar,
Jung draws her subject in pure silhou-
ette. What may seem to be a simple,
routine beginning of the artist’s pro-
cess is, in fact, the most arduous stage
as she strives for a highly accurate
depiction. “If a drawing doesn’t make
the cut, it becomes a ‘carcass,’ ” she
says, gesturing to the corner storage
in her studio that boasts a stack of
Mylar stained with sumi ink.

54 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


NATURAL SETTING
Jung’s work speaks softly in muted tones, but the
enlarged view of her organic subject matter carries
a huge impact, as seen in this 2016 exhibition photo
taken at the Denver Botanic Gardens. The ink and
charcoal drawings seem fully at home among the
natural foliage and, in fact, many of the artist’s
works are based on photos taken in these gardens. Carrots
sumi ink and charcoal on
Mylar on panel, 40x60

On the other hand, if a drawing sees completion, it’s


laid flat, initiating a two-week drying process. During this
period, Jung will eventually hang the nearly dried work
in order to view where her next steps might lead—and
these next steps are what contribute so heavily to Jung’s
innovative approach.
Once a drawing has dried, the artist uses sandpaper
to blend the ink into the Mylar and to distress the ink,
creating what she calls a “halo effect” around the shape of
the plant. Jung also starts applying charcoal at this stage,
defining the form of the plant at a deeper level. Grattage—
the removal or erasure of granulations—is another
technique that comes into play, involving various tools or
the use of water. The artist points out that her movements
around the ink must be calculated, especially when they
involve water, as it has an aggressive power to strip away
pieces of the composition—but when the sweet spot is
achieved, a finished work by Heidi Jung hangs in capti-
vating repose. Presented in panel form, the raw organic
image draws in the viewer through its sheer familiarity.
Something as simple as a common beet presents an allur-
ing design (see Beet, opposite).

A QUIETLY STRIKING PRESENCE


Early on, Jung sought to marry attractive presentation
with the best economical use of her medium. Artists
seeking to gain a foothold and facing financial challenges
may struggle with the expense of framing pieces they’ve

ArtistsNetwork.com 55
worked so hard to complete—and then there might also be connect her artwork with their own experiences in nature,”
shipping charges. “Framing and shipping can become really he says. Another element of her work is its approachability,
big problems,” says Jung, “between cost and breaking glass “In the same way black-and-white photography is used to
and all of that.” focus attention on a subject, Heidi uses a reduced palette
She experimented with presentations that eliminated of sumi ink and charcoal to calm the viewer’s senses,”
the need for framing. First she tried wrapping drawing McClung says.
paper around a canvas. “The canvas gave the piece stabil-
ity,” says Jung, “but the paper was still free-floating on a VIEWER INPUT
stretcher. That proved to be rather delicate, so I abandoned Jung professes that she more than likely will “forget the
the idea.” The lightning strike she needed was her discov- bloom,” focusing not on a flower but rather the structure
ery of sumi ink applied to Mylar, which she could adhere that surrounds it. That doesn’t mean, however, that she
with adhesive to a panel. shuns floral themes. “If someone wants a commissioned
In a gallery or exhibition setting, Jung’s large, unframed piece and tells me that hydrangeas are their favorite
black-and-white panels featuring plant-based shapes quietly flower, I’m going to do my best to give them what they
command attention (See Natural Setting, page 55). The want,” she says. “I’m not so caught up in my aesthetic that
undergrowth of leaves, stems, petals, thorns, seed pods, I can’t collaborate.”
reeds and pieces of organic matter that form the surface of In the same manner, Jung is not so enamored of the
our natural environment are familiar and welcoming. simple elegance of black and white that she shuns color. On
Michael Warren Contemporary, in Denver, has been dis- some pieces she applies pastel, adding an aura or “essence,”
playing this artist’s work for six years. Gallery owner Mike as she calls it, to the drawing. “It’s just a suggestion of what
McClung understands why his clientele connect to Jung’s the subject’s life may have contributed to its surrounding
aesthetic. “People relate to the botanical imagery and world,” she says.

56 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


ABOVE
Meadow
sumi ink and charcoal
on Mylar on two
panels, 48x120

LEFT
Redirection
sumi ink, charcoal
and pastel on Mylar
on two panels; 48x84

ArtistsNetwork.com 57
More recently, a couple deeply admired her large-format FROM EARTH TO INSPIRATION
piece Meadow (pages 56–57), at the time on display at Those who know Jung know she’s prone to pulling unusual
Michael Warren Contemporary (currently hanging at Bryant weeds from public places—the shoulder of a road, for exam-
Street Gallery, in Palo Alto, Calif.). They wondered whether ple—if only to transplant them onto her own property. She
Jung could take the theme—a meadow of botanicals, chosen does it to witness a growth cycle, which allows her to see
more or less at the artist’s whim—and create a commis- more stages of the plant. Her attention to detail, focused
sioned variation using plants native to Boulder, Colo., where on botanicals for so long, carries into her art seamlessly.
the work would hang. “I loved that challenge,” says Jung, Jung nurtures this love in her urban environment not
“because I knew it would be so personal—that I’d be able to just through her own gardening but by making frequent
reflect the clients’ own love of the earth so that they could visits to the 23-acre Denver Botanic Gardens. She’ll often
relate to the work on a deeper level.” take photos on the property to serve as studies. She admits
she’s drawn to the exotic plants of the tropics, their leaves
somehow seeming a little prehistoric—a suggestion of how
Ponderosa life on this planet has grown but also diminished.
sumi ink and charcoal on Through vocational research
Mylar on panel, 36x24 enhanced by a lifelong passion for
flora, Jung is only too aware of the
fragile nature of her subjects. By cele-
brating the organic shapes and textures
this earth has to offer, Jung seeks to
educate viewers on what they might be
overlooking and to take that awareness
into the world so that they may see it
better. “The earth is dying,” she says,
“we lose pieces of it every day.” With
the help of her drawings, however, the
pieces are preserved and cherished.

Jenn Rein (jennrein.com) is a writer and


digital content producer living in
Northern Colorado.

PHOTO BY ELLA DASCALOS

MEET THE ARTIST


Heidi Jung began her college-level
arts education with an emphasis on
photography before switching to
drawing. She holds a BFA degree from
Metropolitan State University of Denver.
Her drawings are widely exhibited in
the Southwestern U.S. Michael Warren
Contemporary, in Denver, and Bryant
Street Gallery, in Palo Alto, Calif.,
represent her work.

LEARN MORE ABOUT JUNG AND


VIEW VIDEOS OF THE ARTIST AT
WORK AT HEIDIJUNG.COM.

58 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


The 37th Annual
Art Competition
PRESENTING 15 PRIZEWINNING WORKS OF ART,
PLUS 50 HONORABLE MENTIONS. GET READY FOR
INSPIRATION OVERLOAD! Edited by Caroline Lehman
Every year, Artists Magazine has the happy job
of showcasing the exceptional art being
made today by artists who deserve
time in the spotlight. With the help of
five distinguished art jurors, we have
awarded three prizes and 10 honorable
mentions in five categories. This year’s
award-winning artists have employed
a variety of media and techniques to bring
their visions to life. Drawing inspiration from
the divine, the natural and the quotidian,
these works display a range of expression
from the powerful to the playful. In
MACIEJ NICGORSKI/EYEEM/GETTY IMAGES

this 21-page competition showcase,


we celebrate talent, hard work and the
awesome scope of creativity.

59
Prizewinners | ANIMAL/WILDLIFE
JUROR: GREG BEECHAM
“I found this piece very creative, with excellent draftsmanship, gbeecham.work
humor and a great handling of light. It speaks to me.”
—GREG BEECHAM

My ongoing series, “At the Museum,” builds on a passion for painting cows that
First Place I developed over the course of many years of raising cattle in central Virginia.
NANCY K. BASS Each painting in the series juxtaposes a cow with an iconic work of American or
Boca Grande, Fla. European art. This reflects my interest in the exploration of color and texture, and
nancybassartist.com the boundary between nature and culture. Mel Bochner’s Blah, Blah, Blah appealed
to me both for its playful use of text and its message, which perfectly captures the
At the Museum (After Mel Bochner) ennui of the present moment. The challenge lay in finding the perfect cow to pair
oil on canvas, 36x36
with the colors and attitude of the artwork.

60 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


Second Place
CARRIE COOK
Austin, Texas
carriecook.com
Jam
oil on canvas, 40x20
Jam was born in a Hollywood
entertainment compound. At age three,
when his trainers stopped working with
great apes, he was sent to Florida, where
he was reunited with his mother, Geri.
My current series focuses on the great
apes living at the sanctuary. Through
every portrait, I encourage people to
acknowledge each animal’s right to life
and freedom from harm. Their stories are
inextricably linked with our own, and—like
ours—are filled with both loss and hope.
A Signature Member of both the Society of
Animal Artists and Artists for Conservation,
I actually consider myself a portrait artist
and strive to portray these animals as the
individuals that they are.

Third Place
YAEL MAIMON
Ashkelon, Israel
yaelmaimon.com
Mr. White
oil on linen, 12x16
This is a portrait of my cat, who’s
named “Mr. White” after Walter White,
the main character in the television
series “Breaking Bad.” The viewer sees
a cat with striking white fur. The lighting
is so dramatic that the shadowed fur
blends with the dark background, but
is still perceived as white. In this way,
I feel the painting highlights the “dark
side” that can be found in anyone—
even a pet cat—a message which
parallels the evolution of Walter White
from a good-guy chemistry teacher and
family man into a fearless criminal.

ArtistsNetwork.com 61
Honorable Mentions | ANIMAL/WILDLIFE
TOP ROW
LEFT TO RIGHT
JOHN JUDE
PALENCAR
Medina, Ohio
johnjudepalencar.com
Bird Shrine
acrylic on gessoed
panel, 12x12

JOHNE
RICHARDSON
Overland Park, Kan.
johnerichardson
studio.com
Do Not Disturb
oil on canvas, 36x36

SECOND ROW
LEFT TO RIGHT
ROBIN HUFFMAN
Irvine, California
robinhuffmanart.com
Dylan
acrylic on canvas,
40x40

KIM JOHNSON
Phoenix, Ariz.
kj-art.com
Houdini
watercolor on paper,
12x12

BOTTOM
BARBARA
BRAMHAM
Rohnert Park, Calif.
bbramham.art
span.com
Waldrapp Ibis
oil on canvas, 12x24

62 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


TOP ROW
LEFT TO RIGHT
DAVID LAWRUK
Adelaide, Australia
Wetland Tapestry,
Dusky Moorhen
acrylic on gessoed
panel, 14x24

MARK COLLINS
Bumpass, Va.
markcollinsfine
art.com
Like Water off
a Duck’s Back
watercolor on paper,
14x20

SECOND ROW
LEFT TO RIGHT
PATTY FOX
Spring Creek, Nev.
pattyfoxart.com
Twosome
acrylic on canvas
panel, 8x10

KATHRYN
ASHCROFT
Hyde Park, Utah
kathyashcroft.
weebly.com
Uphill Climb
oil on linen, 11x14

BOTTOM
NI ZHU
Santa Clara, Calif.
junyzhu.com
Once Upon a Time
in Egypt
oil on panel, 12x24

ArtistsNetwork.com 63
Prizewinners | LANDSCAPE
JUROR: LIZ HAYWOOD-SULLIVAN
lizhaywoodsullivan.com
“The sense of light and space in this piece is arresting. Compositionally,
I’m fascinated by the diagonal movement of the shade sails floating
through the perpendicular architecture of the background.”
—LIZ HAYWOOD-SULLIVAN

I’ve painted many of the narrow streets in my hometown as well as those I’ve seen in the ancient
First Place towns of Italy. These streets are expressive—full of character and potential. This painting is one of
NI ZHU a series that explores the shade sail as an emblem of local culture as well as an organic element
Santa Clara, Calif. of the “streetscape.” Although my typical format choice for these scenes is portrait, I had so
junyzhu.com much time for painting during the pandemic lockdown that I challenged myself to try a square.
In my work, I attempt to make ordinary things appear unusual and beautiful. At first, I was
Under the Shade drawn to the way the light and shadow play around the figure and to the way the diagonals of
Sails, No. 2
the sails break into the horizontals and verticals of the buildings, creating a sense of dynamic
oil on canvas, 20x20
harmony. The square format ultimately helped in achieving a fresh impression of the subject.

64 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


Second Place
JOHN JUDE
PALENCAR
Medina, Ohio
johnjudepalencar.com
The Dark Line
acrylic on ragboard, 29½x32
The Dark Line was painted over the
course of several months in my Ohio
studio. Although I’m primarily a figurative
painter, I’ve recently begun working on
a series of tree portraits. Trees show
their history in their bark and limbs as
they grow, and in this way are not unlike
people. In the painting, slivers of light
trace across the distant landscape.
The snow and the shifting light in the
foreground enhance the surreal mood
and sense of isolation.
The actual tree in this painting is
located in a cemetery between Mystic,
Conn., and Westerly, R.I., where I spent
a full day collecting reference images and
sketching. Within the image, I included
hidden symbols that reflect my own
personal iconography. I also included
objects and shapes that viewers can
interpret for themselves, leaving the piece
open-ended, with numerous meanings
and possible interpretations.

This painting was inspired by a visit


to Monet’s gardens in Giverny where
I was particularly drawn to a group
of waterlilies tucked away under
a canopy of trees. While some lilies
rested peacefully in the shadows,
others bathed in the rays of light that
permeated through the thick foliage.
The sky and trees made their way into
the scene as reflections in the water.
I found the contrast between light
and dark attractive, and between the
Third Place blue of the sky and the rich tones of
the water. To me, the harmonious
MUSA MUSA forms and relationships of the lily
Woodbridge, Ontario pads communicated a theme of
artbymusa.org togetherness—the need to work with
Waterlilies With Reflection of Sky and Trees one another to create a larger, more
pastel on paper, 18x24 meaningful whole.

ArtistsNetwork.com 65
Honorable Mentions | LANDSCAPE
TOP ROW
LEFT TO RIGHT
MISURE NIEN
Chunghua City,
Taiwan
artblr.com/
misurenien
Good Morning,
Santorini
watercolor on
watercolor canvas,
29⅛x27⅛

NANCY NOWAK
Suwanee, Ga.
nancynowak.com
Glass Bottom Boat
pastel on paper,
11x14

SECOND ROW
LEFT TO RIGHT
VADIM SEKATSKI
Yaroslavl, Russia
facebook.com/
vadimpainter
Fantasy
oil on canvas,
19⅔x27½

EMILY
THOMPSON
Doylestown, Pa.
@emilythompson
paintings
Rebman’s
oil on panel, 12x12

BOTTOM
JANE HUNT
Boulder, Colo.
janehuntart.com
Lavender Fields
oil on Gessobord
board, 12x24

66 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


TOP ROW
LEFT TO RIGHT
PAUL PEARSON
Brooklyn, New York
paulpearsonpaintings.
weebly.com
Sunday Rooftops
oil on canvas, 24x30

ATANAS
MATSOUREFF
Sofia, Bulgaria
matsoureff.com
Winter Garden
watercolor on paper,
22½x30¾

SECOND ROW
LEFT TO RIGHT
LELAND FOSTER
RIGHT Voorhees, New Jersey
TATYANA lelandkfoster.com
CHERNIKH Way Station
Minsk, Belarus oil on canvas, 36x48
chernikh.com
Autumn Forest THOMAS W
oil, 23⅔x35½ SCHALLER
Marina Del Rey,
California
thomasschaller.com
Memories of Cities
transparent
watercolor on paper,
30x22

ArtistsNetwork.com 67
Prizewinners | A B ST R AC T/ E X P E R I M E N TA L
JUROR: KATHERINE CHANG LIU
katherinechangliu.com

“This painting is poetic and offers layers of reading. I appreciate the color
relationships and the randomly placed lines. The work is a cut above.”
—KATHERINE CHANG LIU

First Place
ARLENE
TARPEY
Glenview, Ill.
arlenesart.fineart
studioonline.com

Imperfections
pastel on paper,
14½x11½
This painting is
part of an ongoing
series exploring
the abstract.
My process was
experimental
and interactive.
Rather than plan-
ning beforehand,
I let the materials
and colors guide
me, allowing for
mistakes, erasing
and reworking.
I’m drawn to the
imperfections
created by using
soft pastel and
smoothing the
pigment with
my fingers or a
sponge, leaving
a layer of trans-
parency. From
a bold beginning,
this work evolved
into a simple and
quiet painting.

68 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


Second Place
DENNIS BERTRAM
Buffalo, N.Y.
dennisbertram.com
Bridge
oil and 23-karat gold leaf on canvas, 36x40
I’m curious about the complex
nature of human lives, particularly
our difficulty making wise decisions.
Bridge reflects this complexity
through the denseness, variety and
multiplicity of the structures in the
painting. The use of gold leaf was
inspired by religious iconography
symbolizing the belief that no mat-
ter how difficult and complicated
our lives become, there may be the
possibility of redemption. The title
is simply derived from the compo-
sition, which reminded me of land
bridges. Bridge is in many ways
a culmination of a similar style used
in my other paintings.

Third Place
THERESA
GIRARD
Bonita Springs, Fla.
tgirard.com
Where’s the Dance Floor?
acrylic on canvas, 60x48
When approaching this work,
my intention was to engage
the canvas fully. I wasn’t
looking to conceal, dissolve
or clarify a particular area or
mark. My process was merely
a search for conflict in the
colors and a presence of the
paint. I allowed the painting
to dominate the interaction
and used it to describe
a moment in time that was
meaningful to me.

ArtistsNetwork.com 69
Honorable Mentions | A B ST R AC T/ E X P E R I M E N TA L

TOP ROW
LEFT TO RIGHT
TRACI MEITZLER
Gilbertsville, Pa.
mad7studio.com
Conscious Captivity
acrylic mixed media
on canvas, 20x40

WILLIAM LEIGH
Yorba Linda, Calif.
A Helping Hand
colored pencil, 18x24

SECOND ROW
LEFT TO RIGHT
LAURA NELSON
Lafayette, Colo.
lauraenelson.com
Petrified Tree,
Arizona
colored ballpoint pen
on clayboard, 24x18

JEAN-FRANÇOIS
ORCET
Paris, France
jforcet01.wixsite.com/
monsite
Soda Pop in the
Garden
soft pastel on paper,
20x20

BOTTOM ROW
KAROLE
NICHOLSON
Attleboro, Mass.
karolenicholson.com
RFD
acrylic mixed-media
collage on canvas,
12x24

70 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


TOP ROW
LEFT TO RIGHT
SANDY CIOLA
STEVENS
Mount Sheridan,
Australia
Soul’s Journey—
A Meeting Place
for Truth
mixed media on
board, 70⁴⁄₅x144

LIZ NICKLUS
Apache Junction, Ariz.
liznicklus.com
Man of Letters
mixed media, 12x12

MIDDLE
YU-TING CHENG
Taipei, Taiwan
yuting-art.com
Strawberry
mixed media,
14¾x41

BOTTOM ROW
LEFT TO RIGHT
JL SCHWARTZ
Coral Springs, Fla.
jlschwartzart.com
Starts With You
acrylic mixed media
on wood panel,
24x18

JEFFREY
HAMMOCK
Portland, Ore.
facebook.com/
j.b.hammock
The Pouring
watercolor on paper,
22x15

ArtistsNetwork.com 71
Prizewinners | P O RT R A I T/ F I G U R E
JUROR: SALLY STRAND
sallystrand.com

“Mysterious and haunting, this large-scale charcoal drawing confronts viewers with
meaningful yet slightly unsettling questions. The artist’s intent is magnified by the use of
dramatic light and high contrast, further heightened by her attention to precise detail.”
—SALLY STRAND

First Place
ANNIE
MURPHY-
ROBINSON
Carmichael, Calif.
anniemurphyrobinson.com
Emily and the Ram
“Conjuring”
charcoal sanded into paper,
63x42
This piece was a labor of
love. I saw the ram at an
antique store, and the
owner let me take photos
of it after closing. I took
at least 100 pictures of
my daughter wearing an
antique dress and posing
with the ram. When
I looked at the photos
afterward, I knew this
was the image I wanted
to draw. There’s a look of
wonder on my daughter’s
face. The image captures
her tentative reach
toward the ram and his
“surety of self ” as he
stares at the viewer.
I didn’t want to hide the
fact that he’s taxidermic,
which led me to compose
the image as though the
touch of Emily’s hand
could bring him back to
life—thus the “conjuring”
nod in the title.

72 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


This is a portrait of the editor-in-chief of Underpaintings Online Magazine—a fellow painter
Second Place and one of my closest friends. This painting is filled with inside jokes drawn from our
NICOLE MONÉ conversations, emails and texts over the past 16 years. It’s an homage to a friendship rooted in
art and steeped in twisted humor. I’ve painted serious portraits of Matthew many times. This
New Castle, New York
nicolemone.com painting was made for myself without any expectation that it would be embraced by anyone
other than the two of us. In truth, I have enough material for many such paintings. I laughed
Head Study of Matthew Innis many times while creating this artwork and doubt that I will ever be able to look at it without
oil on panel, 18x36 laughing out loud. I’m grateful for such a friendship, and I’m pleased that this peek into our
“normal” has been so well-received.

Third Place
MARCOS REY
Arequipa, Peru
marcosrey.es
Hug
oil on canvas, 19⅔x19⅔
This painting was inspired by the
embrace of a mother. No one
loves like a mother, who teaches
her children to love and care for
themselves. In fact, the figure we see
only from the back in the painting is
the mother of the model. Through
use of the chiaroscuro technique, this
painting plays with the idea of being
able to “hug” and protect ourselves
when our mother isn’t able to. For me,
the glazes are important because they
provide realism, making the piece
vibrate through its textures.

ArtistsNetwork.com 73
Honorable Mentions | P O RT R A I T/ F I G U R E
TOP ROW
LEFT TO RIGHT
AMY WERNTZ
Dallas, Texas
amywerntz.com
Blue Scarf II
oil on Dibond, 16x11

JULIE BECK
Cambridge, Mass.
juliebcreative.com
A Vessel With
Two Hands
oil on canvas, 36x24

BOTTOM ROW
LEFT TO RIGHT
BARBARA FOX
Little Valley, N.Y.
barbarafoxart
studio.com
Parting With
Illusions
charcoal and pastel
on paper, 21x10

MARGARET
MINARDI
Northport, N.Y.
margaretminardi
artist.com
rabbit rabbit
colored pencil on
paper, 22x30

74 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


TOP ROW
LEFT TO RIGHT
PHIL COUTURE
Wrockław, Poland
philcouture.com
Toshinami
oil on linen,
23⅔x15¾

JOHN JUDE
PALENCAR
Medina, Ohio
johnjudepalencar.com
Prophet No. 3
acrylic on maple
panel, 15x15

SECOND ROW
LEFT TO RIGHT
CHELSIE MURFEE
Nixa, Mo.
simplychels.com
Cross the River
graphite and charcoal
on paper, 43x47

JESSE LANE
The Woodlands,
Texas
jesselaneart.com
Labyrinth
colored pencil on
Bristol board, 29x23

BOTTOM ROW
LEFT TO RIGHT
KATHY MORRIS
Woodstock, Ga.
kathymorrisfine
art.com
Camouflage
oil on ACM panel,
24x18

LISA RICKARD
Boynton Beach, Fla.
lisarickard.net
Capella
oil on canvas, 20x16

ArtistsNetwork.com 75
Prizewinners | ST I L L L I F E / I N T E R I O R
JUROR: JEFFREY T. LARSON
jeffreytlarson.com

“I chose this piece as the winner based upon the contemporary feel
in the composition, the color combination and the choice of subject
matter—all of which are tied to a high level of craftsmanship.”
—JEFFREY T. LARSON

First Place
STELLA KIM
Richmond, Calif.
@stellaoilpaintings
Tomatoes in Plastic Bag
oil on canvas, 24x18
For my painting, I turned
to the very ordinary
subjects around me,
such as tomatoes from
the market in a plastic
bag. I wanted to depict
the freshness by utilizing
layers of saturated color
and adjusting different
areas of brightness.
I made a special effort
on the plastic bag,
emphasizing the varying
values with tinted
colors. It has been
a pleasurable challenge
for me to play with the
magnificence of colors
in a reserved expression.

76 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


Second Place
TODD M.
CASEY
Redding, Conn.
toddmcasey.com
Collection of Bottles
oil on panel, 6x8

This painting was modeled after a collection of bottles and similar materials found lying around
my studio. Each object in the composition is connected by color, shape or texture. For the most
part, the color scheme is neutral, except for a few elements of red and green. I wanted the piece to
convey a mysterious mood and imply a story without being overly descriptive.

Third Place
JULIE BECK
Cambridge, Mass.
juliebcreative.com
The Hundredth Monkey
oil on canvas panel, 23x21
The Hundredth Monkey began as a
still life inspired by a gray, gold and
black piece of fabric. It resulted,
however, in a painting that dances
around the concept of internal
and external human exploration
while echoing the still life works
of the Dutch Golden Age. The
painting features objects related
to magic and science (two sides
of the same coin) as well as items
which suggest self-exploration
(the mirrored ball and Darwin’s
classic “I Think ...” from his
notebook). Also included are items
representing the senses by which
humans explore and experience the
world: sight (microscope), sound
(bell), touch (hand), taste (egg),
and smell (flower).

ArtistsNetwork.com 77
Honorable Mentions | ST I L L L I F E / I N T E R I O R
TOP ROW
LEFT TO RIGHT
YUHUA DAI
Lawrence, Kan.
artdaiyuhua.com
Hospital Bed
charcoal and pastel
on paper, 19x23½

DIANE REEVES
Boca Raton, Fla.
dianereevesfine
art.com
Awakening
oil on panel, 16x20

SECOND ROW
LEFT TO RIGHT
KATIE KOENIG
Bethel Park, Pa.
kkoenigart.com
A Safe Place
to Land
oil and acrylic on
panel, 24x18

CINDY GILLETT
Meridian, Idaho
cindygillettart.
faso.com
Cast Shadow
pastel on paper,
12x12

BOTTOM
KYLE SURGES
Lockport, Ill.
Royal Empress
oil on panel, 21x42

78 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


TOP ROW
LEFT TO RIGHT
CHRIS
KRUPINSKI
Maineville, Ohio
chriskrupinski.com
Red
watercolor on paper,
30x22

SAMUEL WILSON
San Antonio, Texas
samuelkwilson.com

I Can’t Even Draw


a Stick Figure
oil, 18x18

SECOND ROW
LEFT TO RIGHT
XIAOWEI LIU
Panjin City, China
Still Life
oil on linen,
11⁴⁄₅x15¾

NORIKO FOX
Amesbury, Mass.
When Pigs Fly
oil on linen, 36x18

BOTTOM FAR LEFT


XIAOWEI LIU
Panjin City, China
Lobster
oil on linen,
11⁴⁄₅x15¾

ArtistsNetwork.com 79
art news Keeping you in the know
BY CYNTHIA CLOSE

Gallery K Art Dedicates Its Space to Top


Contemporary Native American Artists

ABOVE FAR LEFT


Joshua Tree Enate by Luzene Hill
(Chemehuevi) by (Eastern band of
Lewis deSoto Cherokee Indians);
(Cahuilla); digitally 6956 silk taffeta,
bonded photography, female-figure cutouts
20x160) dyed with cochineal
LEFT BELOW
Crystaline There Are No
by G. Peter Jemison Endings by Duane
(Seneca, Heron Clan) Slick; (Meskwaki/
Ho-Chunk)

Opening an art gallery takes commit- What generally comes to mind Director at K Art. The current exhibi-
ment, energy, vision and resources. when the term “Native art” is men- tion schedule, running from the end of
A new venue focusing on margin- tioned are Santa Fe galleries showing 2020 through 2021, includes four solo
alized Native American art faces traditional craftwork—silver and or group shows presented both online
additional challenges, especially turquoise jewelry, pottery, weaving— and in the physical gallery space.
when the launch occurs in the midst mostly from Western tribes, such as The inaugural exhibition, opening
of a pandemic. Entrepreneur Dave Navajo, Crow and Hopi. K Art will December 4, will present the work of
Kimelberg, a Seneca Nation of Indians shift the geographic focus to an area Jay Carrier, Lewis deSoto, Luzene Hill,
(Bear Clan) member, has the neces- that was formerly Seneca Nation of G. Peter Jemison, Brad Kahlhamer,
sary enterprising spirit. He believes Indians’ land and is currently near the Meryl McMaster and Duane Slick,
that the art world needs a dedicated Seneca Nation territories—Buffalo, among others. The artists represent
space to showcase and promote the N.Y. The gallery occupies 2,000 square a variety of artistic fields, including
rich variety of Native art being created feet in K Haus, a makers space in the painting, multimedia work, sculpture,
today. To address this art-market Allentown historic district. photography, film and performance—
void, he has founded K Art—the first Kimelberg, whose expertise is in and often use their creations to explore
Native-owned gallery to promote financial investment, has engaged their role as artists in the political and
cutting-edge Native artists who’ve Brooke Leboeuf, who earned her cura- cultural milieu of American history.
received nationwide museum recogni- torial credentials at the prestigious
tion but lack a commercial platform. Albright-Knox Gallery, to work as Art VISIT THE K ART WEBSITE AT THEK.ART

80 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


“ F I N E B O TA N I C A L A R T D I S P L AY S
S C I E N T I F I C A C C U R A C Y, M A S T E R Y
O F H A N D - C R E AT E D T E C H N I Q U E ,
A N D A S E N S E O F A E S T H E T I C S .”
— F R O M B OTA N I C A L A RT T E C H N I Q U E S :
A C O M P R E H E N S I V E G U I D E TO WAT E R C O LO R ,
G R A P H I T E , C O LO R E D P E N C I L , V E L LU M ,
P E N A N D I N K , E G G T E M P E R A , O I L S,
PRINTMAKING, AND MORE (TIMBER PRESS)
BY C A R O L W O O D I N A N D R O B I N A . J E S S

Magnolia x Soulangeana
by Beverly Allen
watercolor on paper, 10x10

ArtistsNetwork.com 81
Outfit BUSINESS OF ART

Declare Yourself
Set yourself up for successful
goal achievement with these tips.
by C.J. Kent

s ometime between the end of one


year and the beginning of the
next, many of us decide to trans-
important to achieving the desired
outcome. Here are some pointers:
what steps you can take to develop
a conversation with curators and gal-
lery directors in order to help make
THOMAS BARWICK/GETTY IMAGES

form ourselves into an idealized state that exhibition happen.


of perfection. The idea is inspiring—
SPECIFY YOUR PLAN Goals can fall under different
but the follow-through often ends in Make sure you’re clear about what categories and vary widely in terms of
deep disappointment. The new year you can do. For example, wanting what they entail. Here a few examples:
is a great time to think about goals, someone to exhibit your work places • Studio practice: Cultivate
but articulating them to yourself and the focus outside of yourself. Instead, a sketching practice; try a new
making them manageable are both reorient your thinking to consider medium or technique each

82 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


month; commit to a studio
schedule; plan for a show; make
and market a particular number “ T H E N E W Y E A R I S A G R E AT T I M E T O T H I N K
of works in a year.
• Business practice: File taxes A B O U T G O A L S , B U T A R T I C U L AT I N G T H E M
quarterly; organize receipts
each month; file as a small busi- TO YOURSELF AND MAKING THEM
ness; hire assistants; develop M A N A G E A B L E A R E B O T H I M P O R TA N T
a social media plan; update
or open a website; apply for T O A C H I E V I N G T H E D E S I G N E D O U T C O M E .”
a grant; create a newsletter;
submit exhibition proposals;
cultivate commissions.
• Broadening of contacts: Build schedule and send regular updates to yourself after each submission to
a network; attend art openings your network and attend a monthly a competition or juried exhibition.
regularly; invite studio visits; critique group and carve out weekly
join a sketch class; participate in reading time. All of these are sound
a critique group. goals, but if a certain type of task is
KEEP GOING
• Education: Take a workshop especially challenging, you may need Goals take time. That requires
to learn a new technique; take to tackle it bit by bit. patience with the process and yourself.
a grant-writing class or work Most people abandon goals because
with a grant writer; uncover they don’t achieve them quickly.
blocks with the help of a coach or
DEVISE A STRATEGY Disappointed by the lack of results,
therapist; read articles, blogs or A major undertaking requires the the project gets abandoned. Create
newsletters by local art writers planning of a step-by-step process. a schedule that makes time for the
about shows and events. Take a couple of hours to think process and for those all-important
about all the aspects of the activity. celebratory moments. I recommend
Determine how much travel or prep holding yourself to at least a six-
LIMIT YOUR GOALS time attending a class, critique month period of commitment.
Pick no more than one primary goal. group or show opening necessitates.
Make it something that will challenge Recognize that fulfilling your project
you personally or professionally. may begin with researching grants,
SHARE THE RIDE
Then, consider adding one or two classes, articles or examples of what Finally, having company on the jour-
small things that require very little you want to accomplish. Acknowledge ney helps. Accountability buddies or
change to your existing schedule. For that to redo your bookkeeping sys- coaches can help keep you on task
example, you could create a quick tem, you may need to choose and and provide support. You’ll need
on-site sketch while taking care of an then read a guide book, look into dif- encouragement, advice and maybe the
errand, or you could keep articles you ferent computer programs and create occasional push. Find a support system
want to read close at hand for those a special organizer for receipts—all and then don’t hesitate to rely on it
in-between moments. Letting yourself before launching into the regular for morale. When things don’t work as
become ovewhelmed doesn’t help you schedule you imagine. planned, write about or discuss what
succeed, but doing brief tasks helps Consider getting someone to help went wrong, and then keep going.
maintain focus and commitment as you through the early phases. A book- When Georgia O’Keeffe said, “You
the larger goal unfurls. keeper, for example, could assist you get whatever accomplishment you are
in setting up a system and guide you willing to declare,” she knew that by
to self-sufficiency. stating your intention, declaring the
KNOW YOURSELF steps to get there and then expressing
Take account of your personality. joy as you hit each marker, you would
If you are an introvert, don’t plan
APPLAUD EACH STEP find yourself one day—a day much
to join a critique group and attend Identifying small chunks of activity like any other—exactly where you
every art opening and sign up for an within your larger goal allows for want to be.
intensive and remote workshop. If small successes along the way. For
you don’t like computer work, don’t example, if you want to apply for C.J. Kent is a freelance writer and editor,
believe you’ll apply for grants and a grant, celebrate the moment when as well as a professor at Montclair State
launch a social media plan and reform you decide on the list of grants that University. She also founded Script and
your bookkeeping system. If routine are right for you. Congratulate your- Type (scriptandtype.com), which helps
has never been your strength, don’t self on completing the last edits for people express themselves effectively in
expect to develop a consistent studio a polished artist statement. Toast writing and in person.

ArtistsNetwork.com 83
Independent
Study
Resources to
inspire + build skills
BY HOLLY DAVIS

BOTANICAL BOUNTY
Botanical Art Techniques:
A Comprehensive Guide
to Watercolor, Graphite,
Colored Pencil, Vellum,
Pen and Ink, Egg Tempera,
Oils, Printmaking, and
More (Timber Press), by
the American Society of
Botanical Artists (ASBA),
Brave Art
offers 400-plus pages of Does contemporary
step-by-step demonstrations
plus introductory material on art leave you feeling
materials and composition.
The book, edited by
like an outsider?
botanical artists Robin Then Who’s Afraid of
Jess and Carol Woodin,
features instruction from Contemporary Art?
more than 50 ASBA artists (Thames & Hudson) is
offering expertise on specific
media and techniques. The for you. Authors Kyung
demonstrations progress from
lower to higher skill levels.
An, assistant curator
at the Guggenheim
The website
Botanical Art & Artists
Museum, and Jessica
(botanicalartandartists.com), Cerasi, exhibitions
by artist and writer
Katherine Tyrell, bills itself
manager at London’s
as “The Top Botanical Art Carroll/Fletcher
Compendium”—a justifiable
claim. Go to the site for gallery, demystify the
worldwide listings of leading
botanical artists—both past
contemporary art world
and present—educational with short, entertaining
opportunities, exhibitions
and organizations. You’ll also
chapters addressing
find resources about botany questions such as “What
and botanic gardens—plus
a news blog. makes it art?” “Why is
A Flowering Cactus: it so expensive?” and
Heliocereus Speciosus (detail)
by Pierre-Joseph Redouté “What should museums
1831; watercolor on vellum,
25⅝x22½ (framed)
look like?”
LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART

84 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


Colored
Pencil Call for Entries
Fine Prints Cash awards for the 29th
Annual Colored Pencil Society
In the book Prints of America International
and Their Makers Exhibition will total more
(Princeton Architectural than $15,000,
Press), master printer including a
$5,000 top
Phil Sanders covers
award. Works
eight types of prints— must be 100%
relief, intaglio, chine colored pencil
collé, photogravure, and meet other
lithography, monotype/ eligibility requirements.
monoprint, screenprint Entries: December 15, 2020,
and multiprocess. to March 31, 2021. This is a
juried gallery exhibition to be
Chapters on each Medicine Man (20" x 16") held at The Summit, A Dolce
type of print contain articles on top contemporary Morris Taft Thomas (Louisiana)
Juried into the 2020 CPSA Hotel, in Cincinnati, Ohio, from
printmakers from around the globe, plus a generous International Exhibition July 4 to August 2, 2021.
selection of illustrations showing work by both historic Since 1990 For a prospectus visit:
and current artists. www.cpsa.org/INA
In the preface, Sanders mentions a series of videos,
commissioned several years ago by the Museum of Join CPSA
Modern Art, in which he gives short demonstrations Become a positive voice
of the woodcut, intaglio and lithographic printing for colored pencil fine art
processes. Check them out at bit.ly/print-videos. www.cpsa.org

ARTISTS NETWORK ONLINE


Free Ebooks!
Artists Network offers a host
of no-cost art tutorials in the
form of ebooks written by top
artists. Choose from a wide
selection of topics, including
color, perspective and various
genres and media. You’ll also find
separate libraries of drawing and
painting lessons. Check out the
complete list at artistsnetwork.
com/free-art-instruction.

A WINTER PLEIN BECOMING A Make a Painter’s


FULL-TIME ARTIST Resolution
AIR TOOLKIT Two successful full-time artists Put an emphasis on your painting,
After 20 years of painting outdoors, share their advice on how to drawing and mixed-media art, and
Kathleen Dunphy (see page 18) has transition into making art as be inspired all year long.
honed her gear down to the essentials. a primary source of income. Read the article: artistsnetwork.
Read the article: artistsnetwork. Read the article: artistsnetwork. com/go/resolutions
com/go/dunphy-toolkit com/go/full-time-artist

ArtistsNetwork.com 85
Art sts
%ðYEP %VX
'óTIXMXMô
2021
Put your
masterpiece in
the spotlight!
$24,000 in cash & prizes
with special awards for
students!

Five categories include:


QPortrait and figure

QStill life and interior

QLandscape

QAbstract
and experimental
QAnimal and wildlife

Call for Entries

All That Glitters is Not Golden


by Samuel Wilson

LEARN MORE AT ArtistsNetwork.com/Art-Competitions/Artists-Magazine-Annual

Home of
ARTISTS MARKETPLACE
KALINE CARTER • KCARTER@PEAKMEDIAPROPERTIES.COM • 505-730-9301 | MARY MCLANE • MMCLANE@PEAKMEDIAPROPERTIES.COM • 970-290-6065

The next Workshop Section will appear in


the Artists Magazine March 2021 issue. Space HUDSON RIVER VALLEY
Reservation by November 17, 2020 Newsstand
Date for March is January 19, 2021 ART WORKSHOPS
Learning, Laughter,
and Friendships in an
C a l l Fo r E n t r ie s Inspiring & Inviting
Environment
DEADLINE: MARCH 4, 2021
RRWS NATIONAL EXHIBITION
Open June 7 - August 7, 2021. $5000+ in Awards Call Toll-Free 1-888-665-0044
and Merchandise. Juror Robbie Laird, NWS, SDWS, Weeklong classes in painting,
SLMN, WW. To apply for the RRWS 28th Annual drawing, mixed media and more.
National Juried Watermedia Exhibition log on Howard Rose Mar 27-31, 2021
directly to www.OnlineJuriedShows.com Alvaro Castagnet Apr 7-11, 2021
Apr 25-May 1, 2021 JOHN C. CAMPBELL FOLK SCHOOL
DEADLINE: NOVEMBER 28, 2021 Sally Strand
folkschool.org 1-800-FOLK-SCH
ANNUAL BIRDS IN ART EXHIBITION Robert Burridge May 9-15, 2021 BRASSTOWN NORTH CAROLINA
The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum is Barbara Nechis May 19-23, 2021
accepting submissions to the annual juried Birds John MacDonald May 23-29, 2021
in Art exhibition, Sept. 11 – Nov. 28, 2021. All works
Margaret Evans May 29-Jun 2, 2021

FREE
must interpret birds and related subject matter.
Processing fee: $55 for one entry; $65 for two Melanie Morris Jun 2-6, 2021
entries. Postmark and online submission deadline Jane Davies Jun 13-19, 2021
for entry form, digital image, and processing fee
is April 22, 2021. For prospectus/entry form, visit Patti Mollica Jun 26-30, 2021
www.lywam.org/birds-in-art/prospectus; call Lesley Riley Jul 7-11, 2021
715.845.7010; email info@lywam.org or write Margaret Dyer Jul 11-17, 2021
700 N 12th St., Wausau, WI 54403-5007
Michael Solovyev Jul 18-24, 2021
Kim English Jul 25-31, 2021

BRUSH
John Lovett Aug 29-Sep 4, 2021
Retreat Week Sep 5-11, 2021
See Art | Love Art | Share Art David Taylor Sep 12-18, 2021
David Daniels Sep 19-25, 2021

#myartistsnetwork
Alain Picard
Skip Lawrence
Sep 26-Oct 2, 2021
Oct 3-9, 2021
with test set purchase
artworkshops.com www.davincibrush.com

TOP 3 TIPS for


4EMRXMRK0ERHWGETIW
JVó.SLEðIW:P÷ýYMW
1. To ensure a sense of depth in your paintings, assign
the darkest value to the vertical mass, a mid-value to
the horizontal plane, and the lightest value to the sky.

2. For daylight scenes, avoid any shape being darker than


a value 4 (with 1 being black). The viewer should be
able to stand 10 feet away and distinguish the native For more tips and
hues for all shapes. live instruction, join
Johannes Vloothuis
3. To paint great foliage, apply Liquitex Super Heavy
each month for live
Gesso on the surface with a 1- inch brush in criss-
stream Paint Alongs!
cross strokes. Lightly blend away some of the raking
lines. Use the dry brush technique to lightly caress the Learn more at:
canvas so the paint will break into leaf clusters. artistsnetwork.com/paint-a ong/

ArtistsNetwork.com 87
Lasting impression

Fox Hunt
by Winslow Homer
1893; oil on canvas, 38x68½
PENNSYLVANIA ACADEMY OF THE FINE ARTS

This powerful painting by Winslow Homer (1836–1910),


one of America’s great realist painters, was completed during his 27-year
stay on the coast of Maine, living and working only 75 feet from the ocean.
In it, Homer delivers his most enduring theme—the struggle between life
and death in nature—or, in Darwinian terms, the survival of the fittest.
When food is scarce in winter, crows hunt in flocks, running their prey until
it drops from exhaustion. Homer doesn’t reveal the fate of the fox; instead,
he intensifies the dramatic narrative with the dark, looming crows
that stalk the animal and play out their own role in nature.

JAY N E YA N T Z
Instructor of Art History
P e n n s y lv a n i a A c a d e m y o f t h e F i n e A r t s

88 Artists Magazine January/February 2021


Call for
Splash 23 Entries
The Best of Watercolor

SHOWCASE
YOUR TALENT!

Artists Network is pleased to announce the Harvey


23rd Annual Splash Competition, celebrating by Irena Roman
artists working in watermedia, is now
open for entries.

With awards juror Mary Whyte!

Enter for your chance to win amazing prizes and


to have your art seen by art enthusiasts
around the world.
QFirst place winner $2,000

QSecond place winner $1,000

QThird place winner $500

Q10 honorable mentions and a


selected number of finalists
QAll winning artwork will
appear in a special issue
publication

Early Bird Deadline


(Save $10): March 15, 2021

Regular Deadline:
June 14, 2021

A proud sponsor of artists

LEARN MORE AT ArtistsNetwork.com/Art-Competitions/Splash

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