When following artists over time, you can detect changes. Some are subtle and others are more pronounced. Sometimes, the artist has been doing something all along that you simply missed because there is so much going on and patrons are not camped out in the studio to notice.
This article provides examples of how some Arlington Artist Alliance members have introduced some changes.
In the case of oil painter, Wen LePore, I have learned about her process. She usually begins with a very good sketch of what she intends for a painting. She may produce several sketches before zeroing in on a favored composition. Then, she begins to “build” a painting. I use the word “build” because it often involves systematically laying down colors, sometimes starting with two high contrast colors to establish the main spaces.
Then, she paints in layer upon layer. The foundation may disappear revealing only subtle color, however, it may not have been possible to produce the effect any other way. The colors build in all directions until the main figure firmly appears. After that, she applies copious details.
She painted a portrait of artist George Bowles. George himself doesn’t change much, although he may change his suspenders. The effect created by Wen LePore is ultimately different and subtle. Compare that with a portrait of George Bowles by artist Kathy Turner.
Kathy’s palette is vibrant, by contrast. Both capture George Bowles’ personality that is very laid back. Now, take a look at a painting by George Bowles.
(See and follow the slideshow.)
Since I first saw Sandi Parker’s work awhile back, she was pretty much into two subjects, kids playing sports and landscapes inspired by France and Italy. Then, she began to change. She painted more abstractly. Now, she does both kinds of paintings, but there she shows unique command of color in her abstracts that may well come from lots of experience in handling landscapes and people in action.
Bryan Jernigan, the Washington Color School revivalist and barn painter has transformed to becoming much more of an abstract painter. His new direction is exciting and less predictable than trees and barns. He is a fun-spirited painter and abstract suits him well.
When I think of the artist, Mary Ryder, I recall her minimalist figures, some of which are striking and even haunting. They stir the emotions while they are visually interesting and imaginative. One may also characterize them as adult.
Today, I saw her new work at Gallery Underground as they are interspersed in the gallery. I wish they were in one spot for study. There is a black and white chalklike painting of children that is the foundation for a colorful painting rendition of the same kids. There are other Ryder children that still retain her style, but the subjects are what changed.
Three more artists’ work caught my attention in the context of this article.
Theresa Stifel, the former seamstress and proprietor of Stifel & Capra store and gallery in Falls Church shows and ampersand painting. She is on the move as an artist and it is hard to imagine where she gets the time to accomplish all the she does. Stifel produces many sewn and painted images, with a fashion designer quality.
Last, there are two potters whose work cracks me up (no pun intended). Lieve De Wulf has a sculpture item that shows her sense of humor and European design sense. I use her functional pottery daily and must add one of these whimsical pieces to my collection.
Like De Wulf, Marcia Finnerty has three squares in the show. The exception is, since she is a potter, her material escapes the boundary of the square. Don’t try to fence her in with some arbitrary rules.
2100 Crystal Dr, Arlington, VA 22202
Gallery Hours: M-F 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m - 2:00 p.m., Closed Sundays. Metro accessible. Parking is available in metered spots on nearby streets and in public garages which are free all day Saturdays and after 4:00 on weekdays.