Showing posts with label Ka Fisher. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ka Fisher. Show all posts

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Artists as Storytellers

By Judy Feldman | www.wildemeyer.com

What stimulates the artistic mind to pick up a brush and create a painting, or to produce a beautiful object, or, for that matter, to write a compelling novel? Sometimes we see something that triggers our imagination – whether it’s a beautiful landscape, a bowl of perfect fruit, colors that turn us on, or a story that we’ve overheard.

Airing Out
Ka Fisher
Some artists use many of these stimuli to create their work. Painters can tell the story of what they’ve been thinking about through narrative art. These storytellers don’t use words; they use images and color to inform the viewer.

Ka Fisher’s paintings, which have a lovely, Impressionist style, tell stories about Native Americans – their land and the things they do during their daily lives. She told me that she often visits places like Chinle, Kayenta and Canyon de Chelly for her inspiration. At the Hubbell Trading post, she has taken a “listening tour,” where she overhears conversations among customers.

“I get many ideas from the people I meet as well as places I visit,” Ka said. “In the Town of Tubac, they have open wood structures that are used for events to give shade. They also have the same type of structures on the Navajo reservation.” Ka took this vision and developed a story in her large painting entitled “Airing Out,” where rugs are hung to air, and horses walk between them. “I wanted the narrative to be happy and fun, so I added many animals in the foreground,” she said.

Dreamboat Annie Cruisin'
Ka Fisher
Another painting, “Dreamboat Annie Cruisin’,” combines stories that relate to the Navajo way of life and Ka’s own history. “Here, I’m mixing memory and imagery,” she said. “The vintage cars are embedded in my mind from childhood.” Ka sets the scene in the mountain foothills, where Navajo display their rugs in and among a vintage car show. That may not actually have happened, but it’s Ka’s story to tell! The bright colors of the rugs and the cars create a lively, appealing scene.

Sometimes memories can play a role in narrative painting. In Ka Fisher’s case, she spent her childhood summers in Canada by a river near two Indian villages. The scenes she paints incorporate some of that landscape, along with the Southwest she has adopted as her current home.
My Market
Linda Carter Holman
Over in California, artist Linda Carter Holman tells painted stories about her vision of life. Many of the elements in her paintings have special meanings for her. In her painting entitled “My Market,” she created a scene that’s “how it would be if I had a market.” She said that the sunflower over one woman’s head is symbolic of the sun, which she couldn’t show because of the awning overhead. The lovebird in the cage is another favorite image, as is the goldfish in the bowl under the table on the right side. “Goldfish represent the miracle of discovering the world to me,” she said. Above the goldfish bowl, there is a jug with a small ladder leaning against it. Linda said that image also tells a story of self-discovery.

Lotus
Linda Carter Holman
Even though Linda uses a strong color palette, her painting is serene. The four women in the painting seem to be enjoying themselves as they walk through the market. They are soft-bodied figures, since Linda thinks that curves are more relaxing. You see curved shapes throughout the painting, which is filled in every spot with an image, because, as she says “every inch of our lives is filled with something.”

Her painting entitled “Lotus” tells a different story. It seems more mysterious to me. The solitary figure has her back to the viewer, so we don’t really know what she’s thinking. When I commented to Linda that things didn’t seem to be in scale, she replied that she was just creating a composition – a visual story – which unfolded in that way. “I just painted a moment in this woman’s life.” I asked about the umbrellas, and she said that they symbolize being prepared (that’s more necessary in Northern California than here in Arizona). She chose the image of the lotus because “it comes from the mud and becomes something, just as a person evolves.”


Treats
Judy Feldman
After speaking with these two artists, I started thinking about my own paintings. Do I tell a story, too? I actually think I do, since many of my paintings are about places I’d like to be – cozy settings, with colorful furniture, and, usually, a contented dog. “Treats” is a good example of a typical story I tell. The open book, the slippers and the tea and cupcakes all indicate that a person will soon be coming back into the room. The dog shares its owner’s good life, with treats for him on the table.

Cote D'Azur
Judy Feldman
Another painting, “Afternoon at the Cote D’Azur,” is inspired by a visit to the South of France. Here, again, my story is of an inviting place, with a table set for a possible romantic dinner, observed by the family’s dog and cat.

We all have stories. Some of us are fortunate to be able to tell them visually. But, even if you can’t paint or write, it’s important to share your stories with others. And, don’t forget to embellish them a little!


You can see more art by Judy Feldman, Linda Carter Holman and Ka Fisher at Wilde Meyer Gallery.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

WILDE MEYER Celebrates 30 Years of Art

By Judy Feldman | www.wildemeyer.com

On November 7th, Wilde Meyer celebrated its 30th anniversary at its Marshall Way gallery with a party for clients, artists and “art walkers.” It was fun for me to meet some of the artists I’ve spoken with on the phone during blog interviews. I met Ka Fisher, Charles Davison and Chaille Trevor. Nancy Pendleton and Brian Boner also came for the occasion. Mark, Laura, Jonathan, Ryan, Tyler and Andrea were all there to chat with everyone while we enjoyed a delicious anniversary cake.

If you don’t already know, Wilde Meyer is named for owners Betty Wilde and Mark Meyer. Betty’s son Jonathan Henderson, also is a partner.

Since Betty wasn’t able to attend (she was at the WM party in Tucson), I decided to give her a call to congratulate her on this milestone and learn a little more about the gallery’s history. I didn’t know that Betty has a BFA in fine art, and that she had a gallery in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

In 1983, Betty and Mark came to Scottsdale and opened a gallery on Marshall Way, just across the street from their current location. They brought some artists’ work from Tulsa, but quickly, other artists applied to have their work exhibited. Over the years, the gallery has had several locations on Marshall Way. Betty said that their present location used to be a veterinarian and dog clinic. Instead of art walks, Thursday nights were for dog training classes! Wilde Meyer moved into this space in 1990. Wilde Meyer Annex, their other gallery in Scottsdale, has also had several previous locations, but has been at the Main Street site since 1997. It’s a fun place to shop, with colorful art, jewelry, gift items and some “arty”clothing.

Quite a few Wilde Meyer’s artists have been with the gallery for many years. Linda Carter Holman and Charles Davison have been represented here since its inception. Barbara Gurwitz came a little later. Sherri Belassan, Timothy Chapman, Ka Fisher, Alix Stefan and Nancy Pendleton have been showing their art here for 10 to 15 years. And, I’ve been with Wilde Meyer since 2006!

The year 2000 marked the opening of the beautiful Wilde Meyer gallery in Tucson. We artists are fortunate to have these three venues for our work to be displayed. And, sometimes, we’re featured on the walls of the Canyon Ranch Spa.

But no matter which locale you visit, you’ll find the contemporary, colorful art that characterizes Wilde Meyer. Whether it’s paintings that portray everything from landscapes to amazing chimpanzees or art glass, ceramics or sculpture, the recurring motif is quality art that pleases the eye.

Betty told me that owning art galleries is a fascinating endeavor, certainly not without its challenges. But she, Mark and Jonathan are looking forward to a bright future. “Both visitors and local residents in these two cities enjoy and support art, and we feel very fortunate to be in this business.”

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Storyteller & The Dream Maker

The Dream Maker by Andrea Peterson
What stimulates the artistic mind to pick up a brush and create a painting, or to produce a beautiful object, or, for that matter, to write a compelling novel? Sometimes we see something that triggers our imagination – whether it’s a beautiful landscape, a bowl of perfect fruit, colors that turn us on, or a story that we’ve overheard.

Some artists use many of these stimuli to create their work. Painters can tell the story of what they’ve been thinking about through narrative art. These storytellers don’t use words; they use images and color to inform the viewer.

Ka Fisher’s paintings, which have a lovely, Impressionist style, tell stories about Native Americans – their land and the things they do during their daily lives. She told me that she often visits places like Chinle, Kayenta and Canyon de Chelly for her inspiration. At the Hubbell Trading post, she has taken a “listening tour,” where she overhears conversations among customers.

Escape Plan by Ka Fisher

Billy Blue Hat Rides by Ka Fisher
“I get many ideas from the people I meet and the stories I hear,” Ka said. For example, I heard about animals that tend to get away such as problem sheep. That provided me with the idea for ‘Escape Plan,’  which depicts a woman herder and a border collie keeping watch over sheep that seem to have another idea about where they want to go.”
Boots and Fetish
by Ka Fisher

Another painting, “Come to Say Hello,” was inspired by a moment when Ka was at a ranch in Taos eating donuts and some horses approached her. “I think they wanted a taste,” she said. “That was a moment I remembered and decided to share in this painting.” Although her references are accurate, Ka’s color palette is very imaginative, as you can see in her paintings.

Come to Say Hello by Ka Fisher
Sometimes memories can play a role in narrative painting. In Ka Fisher’s case, she spent her childhood summers in Canada by a river near two Indian villages. The scenes she paints incorporate some of that landscape, along with the Southwest she has adopted as her current home.

Andrea Peterson’s paintings are based on ancient mythology, lost legends and a time when nature was full of mystery. She, too, tells stories about cultures, often referring to eastern traditions and symbolism. Andrea’s paintings seem to be inspired by thoughts of figures wandering through mystical lands.

Phoenix and the Tiger by Andrea Peterson
Field of Piece by Andrea Peterson
For example, in “Phoenix and the Tiger,” she uses popular yin/yang symbols. The white tiger is a rare animal, and a powerful representation of strength, or yang. The girl has the tattoo of the Phoenix bird, a feminine, or yin, symbol of rebirth. Although this painting is highly imaginative, Andrea told me that the background is actually a depiction of an actual Chinese landscape called "Tiger Leaping Gorge."
My Bonnie by Andrea Peterson

In her painting entitled “Field of Piece,” we see a young woman with windblown hair cradling a lamb. The landscape that surrounds her is clearly one of the artist’s imaginations, and we wonder about the story that she is telling us here.

Her newest painting, entitled "Spirit World," is inspired by the annual Chinese lantern festival where many lanterns are released the first full moon of the New Year.

Spirit World celebrates positive relationships between people, ancestors, nature and the higher beings that were believed to be responsible for bringing or returning the light each year,” Andrea said. “The large size of this painting gives the viewer the sense of not just looking at a peaceful scene, but the feeling of being within the painting themselves,” she explained.

Spirit World by Andrea Peterson
As you can see, narrative art depicts subjects that are dear to an artist’s heart. In my next blog post, I’m going to look at paintings by Thom Ross. His stories are all about famous Western characters and the myths that follow them. Should be interesting!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Exploring Artistic Influences

Recently, I was lucky enough to see some wonderful art at museums in Paris and Amsterdam. I started thinking about how many of the master artists were influenced by other artists. Some, like Cezanne and Pissaro actually painted together. They were both influenced by the Impressionists, but Cezanne, like Van Gogh, went in a different direction, which, in turn, influenced many other artists after them.
Chloe and the Red Chair 36"x36"
Judy Feldman
 Almost all artists have their muses, and I think it’s so interesting to see how an artist can take inspiration from art they admire, and then incorporate certain elements into their own unique work. I believe that inspiration also comes from the subconscious, from experiences we’ve have had and places we’ve been during our lives.

For me, it’s always been the post-Impressionists – especially Matisse! I admire his amazing use of color, his disregard for the rules of perspective, and his emphasis on his reactions to what he saw, and how he transmitted those feelings in his paintings. Can you see his influence in "Chloe and the Red Chair"? Other painters, such as Bonnard and Gabrielle Munter also have inspired me. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in France, and I think that this, too, shows up in my paintings.
Following this theme of influences, I phoned a few Wilde Meyer artists to see who their muses were. Here are their responses:

Karen Bezuidenhout:

Three Horses 48"x48"
by Karen Bezuidenhout
Karen Bezuidenhout came to California from South Africa. She started painting in Santa Barbara and bought her first piece of original art from an artist named Billy Woolway. He became her muse and her mentor. Karen grew up around horses and knew that she wanted to paint them, but in her own way. Soon, she found her style and went from small paintings to works as big as 8’X12’. Karen also mentioned that she’s influenced by the painter Milton Avrey.

"Someone once said that my paintings reminded them of Avery, so I got a book about him, and became so inspired by his work," she said.
Elephant Family 48x48
by Karen Bezuidenhout

 Her painterly technique, simple shapes and use of earthy color reflect her influences, as does her South African background and affinity for horses. You can see this in her paintings, "Three Horses," and "Elephant Family."






Desert Valley 41"x55"
by Sushe Felix
Sushe Felix lives in Colorado. Her southwest landscapes have a distinctive style, which she claims is derived from her interest in American abstract painters from the 1930’s and 40s, as well as the modernist movement.

Vista 24"x33"
by Sushe Felix
“In particular, I’ve been influenced by Raymond Jonson, who led the Transcendental Painting Group in Santa Fe,” Sushe explained. 

I looked up the group on Google, and found that the aim of the Transcendental Painting Group was "to defend, validate and promote abstract art. They sought to carry painting beyond the appearance of the physical world, through new expressions of space, color, light and design."   Thomas Hart Benton, who was at the forefront of the Regionalist movement, also influenced Sushe, as did the southwest regionalist painters, who took the local landscape and abstracted it. Sushe has her own spin on this inspiration, with a strong focus on forms, shapes and color. You can see her unique style in these paintings, entitled "Desert Valley" and "Vista."


Ka Fisher:

Sneak Preview 60"x72"
by Ka Fisher
 Ka Fisher has some conscious and some subconscious influences on her art. She has studied with Marjorie Portnow and followed the work of Ron Pokrasso – both printmakers. She’s a big fan of Joan Mitchell, who she admires for her energy and mark makings. Other painters who have contributed to her style include Eric Fischl, Susan Rothenberg, Caravaggio and Renoir (in particular his iconic painting entitled “The Luncheon of the Boating Party”).

Spiritual Ritual 36"x48"
by Ka Fisher
I asked Ka why she frequently uses Native Americans in her paintings – such as “Spiritual Ritual” and “Sneak Preview.” Then, I learned of her subconscious influence: she believes that her mother, who grew up in South Dakota, was a Native American. According to Ka, her mother never actually said as much, but she talked all the time about her heroes, who included Maria Tallchief, Crazy Horse and the Olympian Jim Thorpe. Her mother was a great storyteller, and that, too affects Ka’s narrative style. Native American artists, such as Fritz Scholder and Melanie Yazzie are also in her “muse library.” But Ka says she’s influenced by “everything,” and has photos all over her studio to provide the “information” that fuels her painting process.

Barbara Gurwitz:

The Mission at Tucamcori 40"x60"
by Barbara Gurwitz

Barbara Gurwitz’s first artistic influences were some prints that were on the inside and back cover of the dictionary she used as a child.

"They were primitive American paintings of the four seasons in a rural setting," she said. "I couldn’t stop looking at them."

Barbara went to school in Boston and frequented the Fine Arts Museum there. She likes the Impressionists, as well as Modigliani, but her main muse is Van Gogh because "he was willing to go outside the box.
Looking Northwest Across the Rio Grande 34"x44"
by Barbara Gurwitz
"With Van Gogh, the paint itself is part of the subject. I love how he painted wet on wet. Van Gogh said that it’s the artist’s responsibility to help people see the joy of creation within the world." 

Barbara lives outside of Tucson, and likes to paint the small villages in southern Arizona and New Mexico, particularly those with a mission church surrounded by the town. She has painted the same village seven or eight times, from various directions and in different seasons, so that no one is ever the same. "The Mission at Tumacacori" and "Looking Northwest Across the Rio Grande" are examples of her colorful, expressive landscapes.



You can view more art by each of these artists at Wilde Meyer Gallery's website:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

An Arizona Journey

I Love the Rain 22"x32"
by Alix Stefan
Yes, Scottsdale sizzles in the summer. Yes, we think twice about going out in mid-day, and everyone is jockeying for that primo parking spot under that mesquite tree. But summer is also a great time here. The restaurants are less crowded and offer many specials. The hotels offer great deals for both out-of-towners and locals who want to take a quick drive to a gorgeous resort to chill out around a beautiful pool.

And, speaking of “chill,” this coming week’s Summer Spectacular Artwork is sponsored in part by China Mist Iced Teas! The July art walk is always a very cool event – if not literally, at least in the “great scene” sense.
After the Rain is Over  23.75" x 23.75"
by Alix Stefan
This is actually the 22nd annual event, and Wilde Meyer will be participating with the other galleries on Marshall Way and Main Street. The Wilde Meyer show is called “Arizona Journey,” and it showcases diverse art by its local artists.

Alix Stefan’s landscapes bring our Sonoran desert alive with bright colors. In her painting entitled “After the Rain is Over,” she contrasts a stormy setting with bright red flowers in the foreground, and the red-tipped graceful ocotillo cactus.
"Uplifting Breeze"
by Nancy and Sandy Pendleton
oil on canvas 72" x 24"
Nancy and Sandy Pendleton are sisters. Their collaboration is a combination of abstract painting and textured fused glass. Nancy does the painting; Sandy does the fused glass.

In this work, entitled “Uplifting Breeze,” a fused glass panel hovers about one inch over Nancy’s brilliant red painting. It’s mixed media at its best!

Ka Fisher’s work depicts intimate scenes of Arizona, with a focus on our Native American culture. Her loose brushstrokes, slightly abstracted shapes and unique perspective create a distinctive, expressionistic style.
Sneak Preview oil on canvas 60" x 72"
by Ka Fisher
I really like her painting entitled “Sneak Preview,” depicting a “pop-up” rug show at an open air site, between a herd of sheep and the forest. It’s such a painterly way of showing an event many of us have seen in our travels around Northern Arizona.
"Looking West"
by Barbara Gurwitz
oil on canvas 40" x 50"

Wilde Meyer artists are known for their love of color, and Barbara Gurwitz is no exception. Her landscapes vibrate with bright colors, as you can see in this painting, “Looking West.”

Village Garden 60"x48"
by Barbara Gurwitz
Barbara pulls us into her paintings with a non-traditional view, often showing villages set in a valley surrounded by mountains. I think she has a charming, naïve style, but it’s not wimpy! Each painting makes a bold, exciting statement.

There will be many other local artists work on display (mine, too!) at WM, and of course other wonderful art in the neighborhood’s galleries. So, mark your calendar for July 7, from 7-9 p.m. and plan to wear your “coolest” clothes!