My calligraphic work, begun four decades ago, predates my working in watercolor, oil, and acrylic. Over time my painting has been influenced by the graceful lines of calligraphy which in turn has been influenced by the vibrancy of watercolors, oils and acrylics. The dramatic flow of calligraphy within the discipline and grace of the letterform literally permeates my thinking when applying a brush stroke, creating a composition, or experimenting with new materials as I have done most recently with textured acrylics.
When I sit down to work at a drafting table or stand at an easel, the process begins. The planning, the warm up, the mixing of colors (my favorite part) is a standard routine. When I get stuck, when inspiration fails, I try to remember that so much of art is simply “showing up.” Frida Kahlo said, and this I believe, “The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to.”
Joan says, "I love the landscape and enjoy the experience of putting my interpretation of Nature’s beauty on canvas. I work primarily in pastel and love the radiance of the pigment as well as the mark making that is possible. These five landscapes were created both en plein air and through the use of photo reference. I hope you enjoy them."
~Dogs I Have Known~
I truly love animals and nature but i have a great affinity for the dog. They are so perfectly happy with being just as they are and doing almost nothing...just being dogs. And they have an unending supply of love for us no matter how wrapped up in our lives we typically are. They are always there for us. As such I thought I would share some of my favorite dog portraits from over the years. Enjoy! (and hug your pet when you get home!)
Barbara Wachter paints in oils. She is represented by The Arts of the Albemarle Gallery, Elizabeth City, NC. Barbara explains, "Art is a collaboration between the heart and the mind in an effort to expose a piece of the artist's soul. It is the interpretation of each artist, some will choose realism and others abstraction. Learning to express our true selves through art is like searching for treasure. It is the endless search where challenge and frustration become our friends , edging us to look deeper within, to find those elements that excite our imagination and touch our hearts. These are the catalysts which motivate us to paint and to find the treasure within.
Only with knowledge can you truly be free to express yourself. Those fundamental building blocks provide the foundation for all good art and they will accompany for the entire journey. Although it is an endless journey, if entered into with an open heart, you will discover the nourishment of individuality and the place where true art begins. Traveling along my path is sometimes elusive and challenging but finding that hidden voice must outweigh the fear of failure and disappointment. Although I have encountered both.
I have been lucky to have the gift of wonderful teachers, talented friends and artists who offered inspiration and helped to keep the artistic fires burning. My wish is that each artist will enjoy the journey. Her website: www.barbarawachter.com
Friday February 1st at 5 PM - 7 PMJefferson-Madison Regional Library201 E. Market Street, Charlottesville, Va. 22902
Feb 5 - Apr 8, artwork will be displayed on the 2nd floor hallways to the Lab and Cancer Center and on the 3rd floor hallway to the Family Birthing Center. The theme is "Calm Reflections". Anyone can view the artwork any day 8-9.
Members participating: Randy Baskerville, Terry Coffey, Joan Dreicer, Judith Ely, Sara Gondwe, Anne Hopper, Julia Kindred, Amy Shawley Paquette, Shirley Paul, Barbara Ryan, Juliette Swenson, Barbara Wachter.
art above by Joan Dreicer
artwork banner L-R: Amy Shawley Paquette, Barbara Wachter and Shirley Paul
“Art for me is a process of experimentation, discovery, design and color. My goal is to create art that is inspiring and a delight to the eye of the viewer. I create with a Mixed Media genre new to the Art World, i.e., using melted crayons and fabric paint. Shaving crayons onto a canvas, a household iron is used to melt, combine and shape the colors in a pleasing way. The side of the iron and the pointed end of the paint tube become my brush. Bright colors, a 3-D effect, action, texture and a lot of passionate fun culminate in a work of art”.
Gondwe, a self-taught artist, gets in touch with her heart and with Nature to create beautiful art. Trees, mountains, and sky are her themes. As an abstract artist, imagination leads her to paint underwater caverns, a conference of fishes, dragons, zebra trees or imaginary insects. "The March of the Dancing Zebra Trees" won Best in Show at the Fluvanna County Annual Art Show in 2015. The judge said its merit was in the artist's unique style of painting. In 2018, "The Healing Tree" earned the Artist Choice Award at the annual show of the Page Valley Arts Council in Luray.
I have finished the mural at the car wash. It was quite an experience. I did enjoy the physical nature of the whole process. And it was fairly cold a lot of days by the time the scaffolding was up. The contract had required the company hiring me to have the scaffolding put up for me. My husband was a huge help. I hadn't realized that the rented platforms had to be moved around from section to section. He did that. And he also refused to let me be there alone since I was so high up. He was afraid I'd back up to look and step off the platform. Gradually, he realized that I was okay.
It was the heavily pitted concrete block which made up the wall that was the challenge. I ended up using rollers with brush work to smooth edges. And after the grid was set up with contractor's pigment line I did the outline in a midtone gray. Then working on the stars section took quite a while. My husband actually did a lot of the stripes for me as I told him which section was what color while I carefully painted the white stars. Anyway, all of the work painting it went well. It took about six weeks of selected decent weather days (45+ degrees C. and no wind or rain).
I framed the painting I had made of the mural at the beginning for the company at their request after the mural was done.
There is actually soooo much more to this project with all of the paint purchasing, color mixing ( 25+ containers of shades of various colors established by ratio), materials to work with. I am not detailing all of that process here.
My prayer is that the mural will depict the feeling of people in our country working together and getting along. The faces of the first responders will be showing diversity racially. (Diverse ethnicity to be understood.)