Gunnison Arts Center Featured Artist

I have been chosen as the featured artist for the month of August at the Gunnison Arts Center.  During the month of August all framed paintings of mine are offered at 10% off- both at the Arts Center and through the website.  use this link to receive 10% off during the month of August, (simply mention this blog post.)  This is a good time to purchase that special painting you have been admiring, or commission a special work.

Gold Dust
Roadside Gold, watercolor with acrylic accents, 10″x19″  $200 Copyright C Isgreen

I will be painting live at the Arts Center during Gunnison’s First Friday August Art Walk.
Break in the Clouds (1) I will be pleased to visit with you, answer questions, and share what I am working on.  As Gunnison locals know, I am a frequent instructor at the Center, along with exhibiting my watercolors and mixed media work through the Shop at the GAC and GAC exhibitions, including the recent Colorado Watercolor Society juried “A Splash of Colorado,” and the GAC January staff/instructor show, where I showed my travel sketches and paintings.  I spent the winter in the Central Highlands of Mexico, painting the beautiful Baroque cities of Guanajuato, Dolores Hidalgo, Querétaro, and San Luis Potosí, and the charming village of Ajijí, Jalisco.

The following is an interview with Erin Jacobs, manager of the GAC Featured Artist Series:

Where are you from?

I grew up in Lake County, Ill., (which is horse heaven- similar to Ireland.)  I have lived in Western Colorado for the past 45 years, (which is a different kind of heaven.)
What is your medium of choice?

watercolor often, but mixed media with ceramic, metal, fiber, & glass comes a close second


What inspires your work?

I am fascinated by the relationship between light and shadow on natural forms. Compositions for watercolor paintings develop as I respond to the interplay of light and dark shapes.   As I paint, I seek fresh, unexpected color mixtures through poured techniques and spontaneous wet-into-wet brushwork. I strive for a sense of mystery and narrative in each painting. My three passions are horses, flowers, and travel, which often inform the subject matter of my compositions.

When did you get involved in the art world?

I have always been an artist.  My earliest memory of making art was when I was perhaps 4 years old.  My twin sister and I scratched our self portraits into the headboards of our twin beds with the plug of the bedside lamp.

What are you currently working on?                                                                                 Flamenco dancers- this series explores light on the human form.  I was so inspired by the performance I attended while in Mexico this winter.

What are you most passionate about professionally? Personally?
%22Out of the Shadows%22 sold
“Out of the Shadows” poured watercolor, copyright C Isgreen; Award of Merit Around the Corner Gallery; People’s Choice Montrose Visual Arts Guild Annual Show; private collection

Professionally: I am most passionate about striving for excellence and originality in every piece I create.  With so much digital media available, I want each of my pieces to be an original work of art directly from my own hand from the highest standards of excellence.

Personally: I am most passionate about kindness and integrity in dealing with others, relating to our environment, training my horse, and making decisions.

What’s your greatest accomplishment?

Raising a caring and thoughtful daughter and maintaining a close relationship with her.


Where could one find you on a Saturday afternoon?

On the back of my horse; I ride dressage which is a lifelong journey toward excellence and lightness.


What circumstances do you find yourself producing new work?

I am forever getting creative brainstorms, so creating new work is an on-going process.


Do you offer custom commissions?

%22Power%22
“Conversano Mima” watercolor, copyright C Isgreen

Yes, I enjoy getting to know my client and working with the client to create a special piece of artwork.  In the case of horses, I often visit the farm to meet the horse.  Then I take several photos, develop detailed drawings, and discuss how my vision will become a painting.  The painting at left was commissioned by White Horse Vale Lipizzans, Goldendale, WA.


What is your website address?

https://cheriisgreenfineart.wordpress.com  I can also be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CheriIsgreenFineArt and on Instagram at Cheri Isgreen Fine Art.  I invite you to follow me!

 

New Dream Horse Series

Dream Horses………………………..

the confluence of my dreams, experiences, and passions arise to my stream of consciousness from time to time.  Showing my Dream Horse watercolor paintings at the Equine Art in the Park, Denver and the Montrose Center for the Arts Pop-Up Show have brought new energy to this creative direction.

In their new incarnation, the Dream Horses are mixed media, not quite bas-relief, but definitely semi-sculptural.

dreamhorse large
Size large: roughly 24″ x 20″  $125              Each piece is created individually, so size varies slightly.  Pictured above: pink horse: hand-dyed, handwoven cotton, handwoven patches of pieced cotton, silk, & novelty fibers in violet range; violet copper wires; fresh water pearls, crystals, handblown glass, & millefiori beads; metallic & cotton fibers in mane & tail.  Violet horse: handwoven cotton, silk, & novelty fibers; violet & aqua copper wire; handblown glass, crystal, natural stone, and rose quartz beads; silk, metallic, rayon, and cotton fibers in mane & tail.

I start with my handwoven fabric, shaping with colorful wire, sewing, and pressing.  Legs are created with rare and precious beads.  Manes and tails are formed with natural fibers, novelty yarns, and sizing.  The horses are then finished with more wire and beads.

The mixed media Dream Horses come in three sizes: large (above); medium & small (see below.)  Fill out the information on the purchase link to receive photographs and details  of available sizes, materials, and colors.  Custom horses can be created with your horse’s hair and/or your sentimental jewels, fabrics, etc.

To order please visit purchase link.  All details will be handled securely through email.

 

dreamhorse medium
Medium size mixed media Dream Horse: approximately 12″ x 16″  $65                                                  hand-dyed, handwoven cotton fabric; copper wires; crystals, handblown glass, millefiori, & glass pony beads; metallic & silk fibers in mane & tail.
dreamhorse small
Small size mixed media Dream Horse: approximately 7″ x 10″  $45                                                  handwoven silk, metallic, cotton fabric; copper wires; vintage tube beads; metallic & silk fibers in mane & tail.

To read more about my Dream Horse inspirations, click Dream Horse Link

Queretaro

Santiago de Queretaro es una cuidad con mucha historia, cultura, y belleza…

Three days in Santiago de Queretaro, the capital city of Queretaro, is not enough time to experience all its history, culture, and beauty. A Unesco World Heritage site, the city central remains a pristine jewel of Baroque and neoclassical structures, with world class music in a variety of styles heard on every plaza and jardin, masterful handicrafts, and gardens tastefully landscaped with jaw-dropping tropical flowers. Known by the 17th Century as the “Pearl of the Bajio,” S de Queretaro continues to flourish to this day. It is recognized as having the highest quality of living and is the safest city in all Mexico.

Like Dolores Hidalgo, Queretaro boasts a historic role in Mexico’s struggle for independence. Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez, wife of Queretaro’s Mayor in the early 1800’s, is revered as the Mother of Independence. Using her prominent position and influence to gather intelligence, her home was used to plan and support the insurgency which resulted in Hidalgo’s “el Grito,” cry for independence in Dolores Hidalgo, launching Mexico’s struggle for independence against Spain.

Each city block contains mostly restored and preserved Colonial buildings and churches, each grander than the last. The main streets, along with the andadoras, (pedestrian walkways), are lined with plazas, gardens, fountains, open-air cafes, street artists, and musicians in colorful arrays of rich culture to saturate one’s senses.

Ink drawing

Mas Color

Raining down the hillsides of Guanajuato is a riot of color, as depicted in the painting posted yesterday. The joyful colors permeate city life and culture. Everywhere it is expressed in art and song by los ciudadanos de Guanajuato. Valentine’s Day inspired the posted collage. (Mixed media: watercolor, ink, ephemera, old-style cinco centavo)

What a big surprise to learn that Valentine’s Day is celebrated en masse with colored lights and/or balloon displays throughout the barrios. The whole city turns out to celebrate with padres giving ninos small gifts of heart-shaped candies, balloons, and toys; sweethearts exchanging flowers and huge stuffed animals; families receiving blessings of small crosses on foreheads given by the parish priests; restaurants and bars hosting special dinners and live music; and plazas filled with families eating al fresco at the numerous pop up eateries.

The centerpiece of my collage features an invitation to El Midi Bistro. We enjoyed a three course meal with champagne while serenaded to the sounds of French cafe music in the style of Edith Piaffe.

The preview showcases la Virgen de San Juan de Los Lagos. After witnessing the pilgrimage from San Miguel de Allende, I became interested and did some research into the Candlemas Festival and pilgrimage of San Juan de los Lagos. The town is visited by over two million pilgrims each Candlemas. While in San Miguel, we were awakened at 6AM by 1,000 or more of the faithful, singing, and carrying banners and a statue on their way to San Juan de Los Lagos. From my research, I learned the statue is a representation of the Virgin de Los Lagos. The original statue is just 2′ tall, wears elegant gold trimmed clothing, a gold Byzantine crown, and stands on a crescent moon. With a new awareness, I began to see the Virgin in many places. While walking in the Pastita Barrio, I noticed her image in ceramic tiles on a modest house. (See Pastita Barrio). According to legend, in 1623 a young acrobat, a girl of seven, fell and impaled herself on daggers. The bereft family brought her to the chapel in preparation for burial. The church caretaker, Ana Lucia Antes placed an old statue of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception with the body, instructing the family to keep their faith and pray with her. Within an hour, the lifeless body began to stir. Her father unwrapped the shroud to discover his daughter alive and unscathed. News of the miracle spread, and the 90-year old tattered statue, made of plastered cornmeal and orchid juice was sent to Guadalajara to be restored. Miraculously the statue arrived fully restored and has remained in pristine condition to this day. Today, the faithful make pilgrimages to the Virgin throughout the year, with thousands walking, even crawling or being pushed in wheelchairs, throughout Mexico to San Juan de los Lagos during the Candlemas celebrations. (Read the whole story here: Virgin de Los Lagos)

Many walls and casas are adorned with ceramic plaques telling their histories. My favorite is the plaque from the Prussian Consulate of 1864. I used two motifs from different plaques in my collage.

Colorful cut paper banners, called “papel picado,” are hung during celebrations, (also see Papel picado). Walking through a papel picado strewn street, one can’t help but feel festive.

Flowers abound in Mexico. The flowers in my collage came from a mural in one of the small family restaurants where we shared breakfast with friends. Last night for Valentines Day, flower vendors were set up on every plaza. I bought mine from the florist on Plaza de Embajadores. I made a new friend, as we discussed the joys of working in a flower shop, a job I held many years ago. I left with a hug, a kiss, and a exquisite bouquet. As I arranged them in water, I marveled at their exotic beauty and ready availability.

From murals to street art; graphic design to folk arts; indigenous clothing to painted houses; music to theater; food to flowers, Guanajuato abounds with “de colores.”

Guanajuato Color

The city of Guanajuato is a Unesco World Heritage site, named for its opulent Baroque and Neoclassical buildings, elegant plazas, and abundant theaters, museums, and galleries. Over and above, (quite literally) the rich heritage in Zona Central Historical, the city’s innate expression of color manifests itself in vibrant markets and neighborhoods. The city sits in a “valley bowl” with bright houses crammed into the steep slopes, ringing the city, and coloring the hillsides.

“Guanajuato Color” watercolor 16″ x 20″ $350

Mexican love of color is expressed everywhere from folk arts, to charming business signs and posters, to flower-filled balconies overlooking every street and callejon. (Stay tuned…….I have a post planned for this theme. Today is Valentines Day. Our landlady just gave us a most charming invitation to her restaurant for a special dinner and musical evening. “Musica Francesa” will feature French cafe-style music, in the vein of Edith Piaffe, one of my favorite singers. Our reservation is for 7:30).

Museo & Casa de Olga Costa & Jose Chavez Morado

Today we visited the Museo de Olga Costa-Jose Chavez Morado. Artists Costa & Chavez Morado shared a partnership of art and marriage. The museum is Costa and Chavez Morado’s former home and studio, which they donated to the city of Guanajuato, along with their art collection. On display is a rich collection of ceramics, (both pre-Hispanic and 20th Century local talavera), furniture, masks, textiles, and their own artworks. Across the courtyard, exhibitions of rotating contemporary art is shown. Learn more: Olga Costa & Jose Chavez Morado

To find the museum, one walks along the picturesque Rio Pastita, which parallels Calle Pastita in the Pastita Bario. Along the route is the old Colonial-era aqueduct. Costa and Chavez Morado converted a massive old well into their home and studio. Based on the shape of the back walls, I imagine the artists removed the original back part of the well to build additional walls and enlarge their living/studio space. This back area opens to lovely gardens and a spacious courtyard.

Ink drawing: old well beautifully converted to artists’ home & section of old aqueduct