“Three Passions: Horses, Flowers, Travel” features new works by Cheri Isgreen.
Horses highlights my deep connection with horses, especially my special relationship with Monarch, who I have raised and trained from green colt to seasoned show, clinic, trail, and special events horse.
“Ebony and Ivory” is my newest watercolor. It depicts a Lipizzan and a warmblood in joyful camaraderie. These horse create their own “liberty pas de deux.” Look closely at how suspension enhances the beauty of horses’ movement. Light on living forms creates a unending variety of interesting and harmonious shapes. The white horse is defined by shadows, in contrast to the highlights defining form in the black horse.
Flowers, like Horses focuses on my interest of how light defines living forms. Unlike Horses, (which I paint in a narrative style), Flowers are painted in a looser style that explores pure design and composition.
Travel samples a collection of entries from my travel sketch journals in a variety of media, including pencil, ink, watercolor, and collage. Works are presented as 5″ x 7″ framed prints from Colorado, Utah, Texas, and Mexico trips.
“Three Passions: Horses, Flowers, Travel” opens tomorrow at the Blue Pig Gallery in Palisade, Colorado, running through September 30, 2016
“Three Passions” features new works inspired by my love of horses, flowers, and travel. All the horse and flower paintings are executed in watercolors, and explore the effects of light on living forms. While the horse paintings are narrative in nature, the flower compositions are pure design. They focus on movement, space, color, pattern, rhythm, and line. My travel pieces are framed 5″ x 7″ prints from my sketch journals. They represent a wide range of work including pencil, pen & ink, watercolor, watercolor & ink; Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Utah.
I have one more piece on my easel, a narrative equine painting which will be titled, “Ebony & Ivory.” This is the study for “Ebony & Ivory.” (Note difference in style between equine & floral compositions.)
“Cosmos” will be one of the featured works for my upcoming show at the Blue Pig Gallery running Sept 1-30, 2016. For more information about this show, visit the following link:
Bursting from the picture plane and leaping into the room, “Power,” depicts the lovely Lipizzan stallion, Conversano Mima. Mima, a USDF grand prix horse, stands at White Horse Vale Lipizzans in Goldendale, WA. As a commissioned painting, I did several studies in pencil and watercolor before I began the final painting. Living with him in photographs, drawings, and paintings, I came to know him quite well. He is painted in a simple triad: raw sienna, (yellow); burnt sienna, (red); and 3 blues, (manganese blue, Windsor blue-green, cobalt blue). I was able to mix a variety of colors with this palette. The mixed siennas lent an earthy, neutralized tone- a counterpoint to the pure, unmixed pigments. The strong direction of the splatter paint in the mane balances the horizontal movement in the dust and shadows. To keep the eye moving around the composition, this painting has two focal points- the stallion’s beautiful, noble face and the action of the three legs coming together, as he strikes off into the first beat of the next canter sequence. The canter is a circular gait, reminiscent of a wheel. Using the canter in a painting encourages the eye to circle the painting in the same path that the eye follows when watching the 3 beats of the canter.
Artist Reception, Art Show, Sale and Silent Auction Saturday, March 12, 2016 from 4:30 – 6:30 PM
Art in the Park area of Hall of Education Building
Over 45 sophisticated and talented artists who blend their passion for horses with their creative intuition highlight this one-of-find art exhibit. The artists selected to exhibit their works at the “Art in the Park” gallery in the Hall of Education Building at this year’s Expo will display paintings, equine-related photography, stained glass, bronze sculptures and various mixed-media all celebrating the horse from their own perspective and artistic interpretation. Come meet the artists at the reception starting at 4:30pm. All artwork displayed is available for purchase. Click here to view the works on the BlackTie Colorado website. You will also have the opportunity to bid on additional artwork donated by the artists specifically for the silent auction.
I will show three pieces:
“For a Good Time, Call Ed” watercolor, juried
“Conversano Mima” watercolor, juried
“A Pause in the Day’s Occupation” small monoprint, auction
Drawing in an investigative process; as one draws, one learns about a chosen subject. Monet was the master of learning through repeated studies of the same subject: Rouen Cathedral, the train station Saint-Lazare, and of course his beloved waterlily pond and bridge.
Inspired by my sister’s arrangement of tangerines and tangelos, I decided to make a seven day study of the fruit. I love the Italian desert server on which she arranged her fruit. The fruit was fresh from the grove, with intriguing almost pear-like shapes.
The first drawing captures the arrangement in ink.
I was very drawn to the leaves still clinging to a few of the fresh tangelos. I knew that the contrast of the green and orange would make a striking little watercolor painting.
“Zooming in close allowed me to explore how light influences color on a form. The red shadows from the reflected light surprised me.”
With so many shapes and overlaps, I decided to explore how that overlap would be exploited in a Cubistic manner. I chose blue complements for the server’s outlines.
“LOOKING THROUGH- observe carefully and imagine how to complete each shape- though hidden by overlap. Painting allows abstract pattern of color to develop. This is my take on cubism.
Further exploring the “orange-ness” of the fruit, I played with the essence of sun and citrus- similar colors, shapes, even texture.
“An orange is a small package of liquid sunshine.”
Each day’s study suggests a new direction for the subsequent journal entry. The oranges and sunshine reminded me of the creative approach the program CBS Sunday takes with its iconic sun.
Drawing and painting reflections, rather than object, forces an artist to search for true shape and color, instead of an object’s symbolic elements. To emphasize the reflections, I left the rest of the drawing as minimal tonal values and details.
What better way to end this study on Super Bowl Sunday?
Art Center Members Exhibition
Feb. 5-27, 2016
Sponsored by Chuck & Kendra McDaniel and Ron Beckman
February First Friday
6:30 p.m.: First Friday intros
7 – 9 p.m.: Opening Reception
Cash wine bar. Beer generously provided by Odell Brewing.
Free hors d’oeuvres provided by The Art Center Guild.
Music by Rosewood & Ivory.
Free and open to the public.
press release from the WCCA:
February means the Art Center’s annual Members Exhibition. With over 300 works it has the claim to fame of being our largest exhibition, but it also reflects the geographic and technical diversity of our membership. Medium ranges from collage to clay, and exhibiting members come from all over the Western Slope and beyond.
Four years ago the Art Center incorporated People’s Choice Awards into the Members Exhibition. Votes are collected and cash prizes are awarded to first, second, and third place winners. This democratic process raises the stakes for both attendees and featured artists by prompting our viewers to evaluate their aesthetic preferences. Most of us know exactly what we like and dislike but do not know or think about why. Our predilections, especially when it comes to art—that most subjective of subjects—can teach us a great deal about our personality.
The People’s Choice Awards also encourage viewers take a closer look at artworks than they normally would. Anyone who has taken the time knows that the longer you look at a work of art, the more it will communicate. The conversation between a viewer and a work of art is never over, but usually we don’t allow enough time for it to even begin. For the artists (and WCCA members) themselves, seeing their work in an exhibition setting tends to give them a whole new take on their artistic approach. Observing how viewers interact with a piece is one way artists gauge how effectively their work conveys their intention and, subsequently, if that is something that even matters to them.
You’d be hard-pressed to find another exhibition that showcases beginners alongside experts, painters alongside photographers. Our members are distinct in their method of artistic expression but united under their support for the Western Colorado Center for the Arts.
Awards Announcement: Saturday, Feb. 20 at noon
Best of Show $350 – Frame Depot
First Place $250 – Colorado Canyons Gallery, Framing & Gifts
Second Place $150 – George and Gayle Gerson
Third Place $100 gift certificate – Blue Pig Gallery
I will show two works of art. “Wine Pearing,” a graphic-designed watercolor composition depicting the agricultural life on the western slope of Colorado, and “Autumn Glow.” “Autumn Glow” is executed in the poured watercolor style that I recently demonstrated at the arts center for the Brush and Palette Club. It celebrated the beauty of Colorado mountains.
In this post, I will show you how I take a poured watercolor composition from conception to finish. In yesterday’s post, I noted the steps I feel are important in developing a successful poured painting. Today, I will illustrate these points.
Critical concerns to Ensure a Successful Painting
The artist needs to make studies before painting. For each mask layer to be successful, a careful drawing must be executed with accurate shapes and values . Additionally, the artist needs to consider all the elements, (line, color, texture, form, and space, as well as shape and value), to insure a balanced composition. Though pouring is primarily a studio technique and not suitable for pleine aire painting, poured watercolor develops technical skills, habits of mind, and the awareness of compositional elements that are critical in the field when an artist must work quickly to capture the light.
When initiating compositional studies, develop your ideas into connected shapes with three or more values.
Edges matter- draw and mask shapes very carefully, so the painting will read when the mask is removed. Buy the best brushes you can afford for masking, (you will need a variety), and take good care of them, so the mask doesn’t destroy them. Mask brushes and water containers must be dedicated for masking only.
Exploit lost & found edges, negative space, and counter-change when developing compositional studies.
Avoid details until the end, when the mask is off.
When the mask is off, find areas where the edges must be softened.
The photograph below shows my daughter’s pony, about 17 years ago. It is well suited for a poured demo, as it has large shapes and strong light.
Develop strong connected shapes in three values:
I made an initial drawing in three values. You can see how the shapes connect- the white area of grass flows into the pony’s nose, and the dark area of grass flows into the pony’s legs. This gives the painting nice use of negative space, and the lost and found edges compel viewer involvement. In the actual composition, the white leg flows better into the white grassy area. Without making the value study, I would not have noticed this. At this stage there are few details, yet the painting clearly reads as a pony in his pasture.
Consider each element of art: (line, color, texture, form, space, shape, value)
I begin designing with shape, value, and space, then I consider the other four. The light on the pony’s back and the lighter belly areas will define a well-rounded, solid form. I will enhance this element after the mask is off, as I soften edges that define form.
Color, line, and texture come from my painted studies.
Raw sienna, cobalt blue, and manganese blue all produce granulation, which will add texture to both the pony and the foreground. This color study tells me what to expect as the colors mix during the pour.
In making a small color study, I learned that my initial primary color triad- raw sienna (for yellow), burnt sienna (for red), and cobalt blue, needed a little punch to the earth pigments. I added rose madder, because it is earthier than permanent rose, and manganese blue for its lovely green mixing qualities and granulation. I use a limited palette of 4 blues, 3 reds, and 3 yellows for my paintings. For poured paintings, I limit my palette to just 3-6 pigments.
In the painted study, I connected the white leg into the white grassy shape, as noted above. In painting the grass, I used a variety of long, short, and broken lines to convey both texture and to lead the eye into the pony, as subject. Then I added juicy drops of color into the tail to blow tail lines that echo grass lines and blend into pasture.
Shapes are carefully masked. I use my value map, (first photo), to make order out of the chaos of masking and pouring. Once the first mask is applied, it becomes difficult to see how the painting is progressing, so the initial studies are critical to organizing the pouring process.
Avoid details and soften edges when the mask is removed:
Check back soon for how to resolve the painting once the mask has been removed.
An interested audience of close to 40 artists attended a watercolor demo by Cheri Isgreen at the Western Colorado Center for the Arts Thursday afternoon. The demo focused on the technique of poured watercolor, which exploits watercolor’s natural tendency to produce unexpected, yet rich luminous color mixtures. Cheri explained that this technique emphasizes lost and found edges, negative space, counterchange, and a strong value design. With its many layers of mask and washes, poured watercolor is primarily a studio technique. A good underdrawing, balanced composition, and carefully applied media ensure successful paintings. Though not suitable for pleine aire painting, poured watercolor develops technical skills and the awareness of compositional elements that are critical in the field when an artist must work quickly to capture the light. The demo, sponsored by the Brush and Palette Club drew one of the largest audiences the club has experienced for a demo. Elise Lind, president of the club remarked the club gained 5 new members after this demo. The club is working with Cheri to provide a Poured Watercolor Workshop in the coming year. If you are interested in attending, comment below.
To learn more about the technique and see how this demo painting is developing, follow the blog- https://cheriisgreenfineart.wordpress.comThe series will begin tomorrow, taking the demo painting from initial studies to finished painting.
A large audience of artists await the beginning of the demo by Cheri Isgreen: