Dream Horses at Pop Up Gallery

Montrose Center for the Arts and Weehawken Creative Arts present a “POP-UP GALLERY”  May 19 – May 31, 2018 at the Montrose Field House, corner of Rio Grande and Colorado Ave.   Join me for the Opening Reception, May 19 from 2-4 pm.  Light snacks and refreshments provided, and sales will be open!  Commission proceeds benefit the Center.

I am showing three of my Dream Horses, “Carousel,” “Spanish Walk,” and “Walk Like An Egyptian.”

Unlike my equine portraits and pastoral compositions, Dream Horses arise from a deeper, mysterious place- the confluence of my experiences, emotions, and energy.  Dream Horses are part nocturnal dreams and part dream goals; part whimsey, part wistfulness, and part triumph.  The process of mastery and harmony with the horse is a long dedicated journey traveled by luminaries Xenophon, de la Guérinière, Podhajsky, and mere mortals, such as myself.  Dreams Horses are elusive, unpredictable, free spirits.  During the artistic process, I release control to the emergence of the horse, which evolves from old world cultures, shared traditions, modern design, and playful exploration, synthesized with my experiences, (the sensation of fluid power, connection, and engagement upon his back) and profound feelings of awe and gratitude for everything the horse gives.  Dream Horses represent idealized beauty, power, grace, generosity, and wisdom.

 

“Spanish Walk”  &  “Walk Like An Egyptian”

watercolor 20″ x 16″ framed; $350 each;  to order visit purchase link

“Carousel”

%22Dream Horse #4.Carousel%22
“Dream Horse #4, Carousel” copyright Cheri Isgreen 2015
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Anatomy of a Portrait

“Redheads Have More Fun”  portrait of Willy

I have been working on a commissioned portrait of a beautiful 8 year old chestnut warmblood gelding.  Commissions require extra care, because we all have unique perspectives based on our experiences.  I wanted my vision to capture the horse’s sweet generous nature and the owner’s expectations.

I took extra care with the pencil study, being careful with Willy’s anatomy, his stunning drop-dead-gorgeous-good-looks and conformation, as well as his sunny personality.  I took extra time drawing his face, as the face and especially the eyes are the window to the spirit.

willy 1
pencil study

When the pencil study was complete, I did a value map.  I would recommend this step to anyone who wants to ensure success with a studied composition.  This process is not suitable for alla prima quick painting, but it works out many of the compositional problems that could crop up in a larger studio work.  My process is to find 3 values- dark, medium, and light.  I combine close values from the pencil study into larger connected shapes.  When I get to the painting stage, I keep the values accurate, and add a variety of color within the value shapes.  This variety of color enlivens the painting’s surface and the subject of the painting.  I also like to create lost-and-found edges at this point.  Where the sunlight touches the edge of the horse’s body, I have allowed the shapes to merge with the background- (horse’s left front leg and hoof.)

willy #2
Value map

The next step is the underpainting.  The underpainting sets the tone/temperature for the completed work, as this glaze will glow from within.  I have a warm golden wash in a variety of tones and tints- (hansa yellow, gamboge, raw sienna, burnt sienna).  I masked the areas of white- blaze and socks, and left those white areas in shadow blank- no underpainting.  For this portrait, I want a warm painting with distinct blue shadows on the horse’s socks and nose, so I saved those shapes for later painting.

willy #3.JPG
underpainting

After the underpainting was dry, I painted the background.  I wanted a very soft, light background that wouldn’t compete with the horse.  I used both blues for contrast and yellows for harmony.  When the background was dry, I built up shapes, added color, and worked from light to dark, using my value map.  As the body was taking shape, I switched to a smaller brush to complete the face.  The face slowed the process down, as stated before, an artist must capture the soul here.  When the horse was complete, I added energy in the foreground with lively brushstroke and splattered color.  I wanted to convey the energy of a joyful gallop and the impression of a flowery meadow.

willy

This work will be previewed at my Open House Sept 29, 2017 5-7 PM at Backstreet Street Bagels & Gallery.    To purchase a painting or commission a work, use this link:     purchase painting

Open House 9/29/17

If you look on my Exhibition tab, you will see that it has been a busy summer.  Along with painting for the shows and commissioned work, I am quite busy designing courses for Montrose and Gunnison.  The Workshop Tab will be updated soon to announce the many course offerings.  I have also been asked to offer a tab for purchase of card sets and prints from my sketch books.  Stay tuned for that.

Because of all the new endeavors, I have not had time to keep the website as current as I would like.  Today I was asked to write a newsletter article for the Montrose Visual Arts Guild.  As I was putting the finishing touches on it, I realized this would make a good blog post.  The article gives a background of my beginnings in the art world and features my latest projects.  Hope many of the local readers can come to my Open House.

Cheri Isgreen works in watercolor, mixed media, and pastel.  Throughout her life, Cheri has created art.  Her first installation, at age three, was a self portrait with her twin sister scratched into the headboard of her bed.  For many years, Cheri worked as a master weaver with work featured in collections and publications in the US and abroad.  As an art teacher for 25 years, she taught the gamut of media, styles, and subjects.  She served as an Art Fellow with US Dept of Ed and consulted with Colorad Dept Ed, universities, and private companies.  Retiring from public education in 2010, Cheri began painting professionally.  She draws inspiration from her passions: horses, gardens, and travels.  She and her husband look forward to spending two months as visiting artists capturing the beautiful Baroque city of Guanajuato, Mexico this winter.

“I am fascinated by the relationship between light and shadow on natural forms.  Compositions for paintings develop as I respond to the interplay of light and dark shapes.  I seek fresh, unexpected color with spontaneous wet brushwork.  I strive for a sense of mystery and narrative in each painting.”

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Cheri shows widely in galleries and exhibitions.  Recent awards include First Place, “Scent” Western Colorado Watercolor Society, (Sept 2017) .  Colorado Watercolor Society, (August 2017) Second Place “Orchid’s Glow” & Honorable Mention “No Hoof No Horse.”  

 

Collaborating with Scott Cassidy, they transformed Backstreet Bagels into an accessible gallery where Cheri regularly rotates new work.  On September 29, 2017 Backstreet will host an Open House for Cheri, Lynn Vogel, and Debbie Watkins.  Each artist comes from a background of fiber.  Their current work in painting, woven & embossed copper, and art quilts complements as a unified showing of creative exploration.  Please plan to attend 5-7 PM, 9/29/17, Backstreet Bagels & Gallery, 127 N Townsend Ave, Montrose.

Flight Behavior
“Flight Behavior” I have always been fascinated by the pattern of birds in flight, called murmuration. I pondered for years how to capture this phenomenon. Techniques: background poured watercolor. Birds & foreground: fast loose saturated brushwork with the color changing at every dip of the brush- no black pigment used.