This is a really big adventure painting for me. I have decided to devote all my energies into figurative work for the time being as it has been a focus ever since I started my formal studies with an Illustrator when I was just 14. I used to see figures as exacting portraits but now that I have been at it for a very long time and fell under the spell of studying the work in museums and national exhibits, I see the figure as landscape and abstraction. When a painting becomes that, the artist, in this case me, becomes an exercise in composition, line, form, and color. I am no longer copying the perfect photograph hoping that all the details are accurate.
So here’s what happens: I go to the beach, wait for people to assemble, move around, and then bring out my sketch book and iPhone camera. The ideas are laid out, the color notes are described along with my feelings about the day. Was it overcast? Bright and sunny? Did my subjects seem to know each other? (I love to make up stories about that one!)
So then I head back the studio and think about what the theme might be. Sometimes I get stuck on that until one morning, over a good cup of coffee, it all comes together. I write it down as those moments can be fleeting. Then the work starts. I begin with line only then move to form and color. I have been known to change this many times but I am showing you the points I have landed on this week.
I am in the waiting area recently. I can’t take my eyes off the woman sitting across from me. She is wearing a black and white striped dress, has a black and white purse and is holding a cell phone in a black and white striped case.
After the intrigue of the moment turns into a serious study, I get up my nerve to politely ask “Excuse me, would you mind if I took a photo of you?
I am an artist, and I think your look would make an interesting painting. I won’t show your face.” She agrees, and I show her the photo, quipping that I’m surprised that she didn’t finish the look with black and white shoes. She says ( in all seriousness), “I’m having a pedicure today, so I couldn’t wear them.”
Sometimes your inspiration can be right in front of you! Working on this painting now:
Heather Kelley is a member artist at Fifth Avenue Art Gallery. View her bio and a partial portfolio, HERE
I was born an artist but it didn’t exactly work out the way I intended. Be that as it may, that is not the story I am going to tell. I am going to fast forward to living outside of Boston, Ma where my husband and I raised our 2 daughters. A favorite pass time over the years was heading to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and going to the Contemporary Wing. I loved the imagery and color of Arthur Dove, a modernist who lived from 1880 to 1946. We even had this poster hanging in our family room.
I resumed taking art classes after a one year program in Honolulu while we lived there before children. In New England, I connected with a group of artists on Monhegan Island, Maine. I was in over my head but over time, I persisted in learning how to be a realist painter. That led to a somewhat impulsive one year painting trip around the world with my then 13 year old daughter. I came back with 70 paintings and wrote a book about our adventures.
Florida was next on my journey and when I got here, I didn’t relate to the scenery and remembered the Arthur Dove painting that hung in my old house. My search to find how to paint with wax emulsion which is the medium he used, led me to taking a 3 day course at the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota. The only problem was, it was not wax emulsion it was wax encaustic, which I never heard of. But I had paid for the course and had a place to stay….. and that was 10 years ago. I took the exact same course 3 times over the course of year 1. After learning the ins and outs of encaustic, I was still stymied by how to make the transition from a realist to an abstract painter. My teacher in Maine, Don Stone, commented that any good abstract painter had to first be a good realist painter. So, I had that part under my belt. I was just afraid to do it.
One night in a dream, Arthur Dove came to me and told me I had everything in me that I needed and fear was the only thing preventing me from doing it. All I needed to do was walk through the fear, which I did.
I enjoy encaustic collage, the brilliance of encaustic alone and encaustic monotypes.
Encaustic monotype using the hotbox
I recently added encaustic pigment sticks to my mix and they are luscious and brilliant.
Damien’s love and passion for marine life and the lifestyle of a true surfer are all revealed on canvas. He paints to inspire us and to communicate all that is beautiful both physical and spiritual in sea and life.
He works exclusively in acrylics, which gives the work a bold look and every piece ties him to water, be it ocean or the Lagoon. Please join us for this exciting exhibition… come meet Damien Share and enjoy his unique view of Brevard County.