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Art appreciation in the details: Gallery Underground

1. Sybil Bedner-Ostrowski, painting
James George

This article is the second in a series about “Art in a series.” Looking at a body of work, a collection of work intended to support a common theme or set of ideas or techniques from the current Gallery Underground (Arlington, Virginia) exhibit, I want to zoom in on some artists and their works.

By the way, if you want to gain some quick academic knowledge about the elements of art appreciation, check out this tutorial by Professor Paige Prater.

http://www.slideshare.net/PaigePrater/art-appreciation-elements-of-art-value-space

Having reviewed an overall sample from the "Body of Work: Art in a Series" exhibit at Gallery Underground (see the associated link) here in list format are notes about specific artists and their works. The show runs the entire month and is well worth seeing.

Gallery Underground
The Shops at
2100 Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202

info@galleryunderground.org
Tel: (571) 483-0652

1. Sybil Bedner-Ostrowski, painting
1. Sybil Bedner-Ostrowski, painting James George

1. Sybil Bedner-Ostrowski, painting

Sybil Bedner-Ostrowski painted images of cafes and waitresses. Here is one of her paintings that features impressions of ladies having tea. See their shopping bags? Notice the fainter image of the waiter in the background. See how she illustrates a fur worn by the lady in a chartreuse blouse. Also notice their faint and natural hand placement and crossed legs. The pair appear to be having a quiet and relaxed conversation.

2. Wen LePore, Bon Air Park series
2. Wen LePore, Bon Air Park series James George

2. Wen LePore, Bon Air Park series

Wen LePore often paints with Sybil Bedner-Ostrowski. In this painting, Wen is at a familiar place, Bon Air Park in Arlington, Virginia. She is in the rose garden where there are interesting bird houses. She is a master oil painter who harnesses natural light to create an impression of warmth. The shadows suggest sometime before noon. The composition is balanced accommodating rose flowers and lots of green from bushes, grass, and trees. Eliminating sky from this painting focuses on the garden.

3. Wen LePore, Bon Air, Herb Garden
3. Wen LePore, Bon Air, Herb Garden James George

3. Wen LePore, Bon Air, Herb Garden

In a second Wen LePore painting, she zooms into the herb garden. There, she creates an eclectic impression of a variety of blooming plants. Her liberal use of color is accentuated by the placement of shadows. An artist selects what she want viewers to experience.

Katherine Sullivan, "Beauty Beneath the Water" series
Katherine Sullivan, "Beauty Beneath the Water" series James George

Katherine Sullivan, "Beauty Beneath the Water" series

Katherine Sullivan painted a series titled “Beauty Beneath the Water.” It includes large and miniature paintings. Let’s focus on the miniatures. I’ll use my fingers to illustrate the size.

5. Katherine Sullivan, "Beauty Beneath the Water" series #2
5. Katherine Sullivan, "Beauty Beneath the Water" series #2 James George

5. Katherine Sullivan, "Beauty Beneath the Water" series #2

Next, I focus the camera on the details. What is interesting is how the artist controls the paint in creating a common impression. Her larger images connote the same feeling as her intimate paintings. Some patrons collect miniatures because they appreciate how difficult that is to accomplish.

6. Katherine Sullivan, small fishes
6. Katherine Sullivan, small fishes James George

6. Katherine Sullivan, small fishes

When painting small, brushes may feel fat and cumbersome no matter how small they are. Their capillary effect absorbs moisture that the artist must control.

7. Dennis Crayon, robust display of window paintings
7. Dennis Crayon, robust display of window paintings James George

7. Dennis Crayon, robust display of window paintings

Dennis Crayon painted a series of “window paintings.” They are views that include windows. See the overall collection that has many paintings. Then, zoom into one painting at a time.

8. Dennis Crayon from the Window Series
8. Dennis Crayon from the Window Series James George

8. Dennis Crayon from the Window Series

This daisy seems to be having an out-of-pot experience. The artist placed items on a window sill. Those could be acorns. The Ball canning jar and its detailed execution reinforces the details of the flowers and their leaves. The out-of-focus background eliminates distractions.

9. Dennis Crayon, eclectic composition
9. Dennis Crayon, eclectic composition James George

9. Dennis Crayon, eclectic composition

Dennis Crayon presents an eye-popper with a bowl of raspberries, and orange with a glass of Chardonnay in between. Observe the detail in the China bowl as Dennis could just as well have created that piece of fine pottery.