Showing posts with label Melinda Curtin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Melinda Curtin. Show all posts

Friday, October 24, 2014

Day of the Dead

By Laura Orozco Allen | www.wildemeyer.com

It is not a scary holiday. I can say it because I grew up celebrating it. Although I'm from the most northern part of Mexico, my hometown city's customs are a little Americanized and because of it, the typical Mexican traditions from Central and South Mexico are more diluted. But still, it was an important celebration.

As a child it meant my favorite time of the year was here! The air is (or was) full of the toasty smell of burning leaves. The air is cold and is windier there. The leaves walk with you as you go along with the wind... and we walked; my friend Norma and I walked everywhere.


The "Panaderias” (bakeries) would start selling the white sugar skulls, brightly decorated and with names on the forehead. It is fun to find yours and hopefully it is decorated in the colors you like.

Also “El Pan de Muerto” (Day of the Dead bread) would make their once a year appearance for a few weeks. The bread, sweet but a little bland, and is wonderful with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee. It is enjoyed in the evenings after a light supper.

Another sign that the "El Dia De Los Muertos" is near, is the flowers you'll see. "Mota De Obispo" is such a strange but beautiful flower. Deep red purple color and velvety to the touch. It looks like the ruffles and folds of a very elegant Spanish dancer dress.

The "Cempasuchitl" or Marigolds is another popular flower for this day. More than their bright orange color, what comes to my mind is their smell. They can fill the air with their aroma in churches and even the cemeteries. You can smell them from far away! In the spring I see them at the nurseries here, and to me, they will always be "Day of the Dead" flowers. Not a bad thing.

The cemeteries are full with visitors (live ones) the weekend before, the week of, and the weekend after. And it's really a celebration. People make it a point to come. Headstones get swept, polished, and even repainted. They are then decorated with flowers and veladoras (candles.) A mariachi band would play in the background or someone might bring a guitar and sing our gone relatives' favorite songs. Since it is an all day event people bring chairs, blankets, food, and drinks! Food vendors pass by saying "Elootess!" (corn on the cob) or it could be "Paleetass!” (ice pops) or something else. The rosary is read and yes, it can be a very sad day especially if it is a recent passing. But with the passing of the years it really becomes a day when you only think of the happy memories. The afternoon would be full of remember when’s…

In college, at La Univerisdad Autonoma De Cd. Juarez, we would have competitions of "Altares." Each group was assigned a different State to represent. This is really how I learned about some of the different traditions and customs each Mexican State has. One of my professors even had a real skull that she would bring for this special evening! While this was an academic assignment, it was a favorite, and looking back it gave me a deeper respect and admiration for this wonderful day!


This year at Wilde Meyer Gallery we are celebrating our first Day of the Dead. I'm very glad to say that none of us has "gone" yet. So we are celebrating our wonderful and beloved pets that are gone now. So come celebrate with us! We will have an Altar and "Ofrendas" with treats for our dogs and cats. And Pan De Muertos and coffee for us humans.

Come and see now! The Altar is on the works now. The reception and refreshments will happen next Art Walk October 30th, from 7 to 9 pm.

Los esperamos! (or, we are looking forward!)

Clockwise from top left: Charles Davison "Journey 2"; Trevor Mikula "Day of the Dead II"
Andrea Peterson "Mourning Dove"; Melinda Curtin "Dia De los Muertos" 


Friday, August 8, 2014

Just Say “No” to Canvas!

By Judy Feldman | www.wildemeyer.com

Since I’m a fairly traditional artist, I paint on canvas or, sometimes, wood panel. But, I’ve discovered, after talking to other artists at the gallery, that it can be fun to paint on other surfaces.

That’s not such a new idea. Aside from really early paintings such as petroglyphs, traditional art was made on wood panels, before canvas came into use in the early 1400s. According to Wikipedia, panel painting remained more common until the 16th century in Italy and the 17th century in Northern Europe.

But, walls and wood panels are pretty ordinary surfaces. How about vintage windows; mixed media with glass and paint; sheet metal and ceramics? That’s what I saw looking at the Wilde Meyer website, so I decided to give those artists a call.

Melinda Curtin is done with canvas. She’s entranced with glass art. “Ever since I started painting on glass, I didn’t want to paint on anything else,” she said. Her favorite surface is old glass windows, which she finds at salvage yards. But, she says, “People hear about my work and bring me their old windows!”

Melinda enjoys the process of painting on smooth glass. She uses acrylic paints, often layering to get the desired effect. However, painting on glass can be challenging. Melinda says that it’s a reverse process, so she has to paint all the details first, and then the large spaces afterwards. If you look at “Casa Blanca,” you can see that the house, cacti, mountains and clouds are all outlined in black, and the big shapes are mostly flat paint. Sometimes Melinda leaves a little space between the outline and bigger shape to let a little of the transparent glass show through. She’s also designed a frame of gold leaf on the glass, which fits inside the window pane.

“El Parajo” also has its own painted border. This painting, too, has a folk art aspect to it. Melinda told me that in Europe, painting on glass was generally folk art, so she also chooses themes in this tradition.

Aside from loving the process of painting on glass, Melinda says that this support medium gives her images a very luminous effect. And, the vintage windows are a great conversation piece: just look at “The Farm.” A great way to recycle!

Josiane Childers enjoys painting on smooth surfaces, too. She’s chosen thin sheets of steel, as well as plexiglass to support her beautiful abstract paintings. She works with her husband Justin, who prepares the surfaces, grinding parts of the steel and plexiglass to create texture. He also creates the frames on which the steel pieces are attached.

When she paints on plexiglass, Josiane works on the frosted side, but presents the painting on the smooth side. She encounters the same challenges as Melinda, since she, too, is painting in reverse.

You can see the ground textures in Josiane’s dreamy landscape entitled “Captivate.” They take the paint pigment differently, and since they are darker, they appear to be behind the other images. She’s also created a beautiful reflection of the vertical tree shapes with softer strokes and tones. “I find it exciting to paint on other surfaces,” she said. “It makes my work look more diverse.”

Thin steel gives Josiane another option to present her art. The two pieces of her vertical diptych entitled “Invoke” are uniquely shaped and curved, welded to a flat frame. Again, the textures on the steel show through, offering spontaneous shapes, grabbing color in a different way than the smoother areas. Josiane paints intuitively, using bright colors, and these surfaces seem to work so well for her.

She hasn’t abandoned canvas, but when she does paint on that surface, she textures it as well, using molding paste and then, thick paint. “Materialize” is an example of her mixed media technique.

Nancy Pendleton and her sister, Sandy are both artists. Nancy is a painter and Sandy works in glass. Often, they combine their talents to create mixed media pieces on wood panel. Although that surface is traditional, their collaborative work is not. Nancy paints an abstract ground for Sandy’s glass centerpiece. “We’ve worked out a technique,” said Nancy. “I often use a centerpiece in my art, and Sandy came up with glass pieces that work well in my paintings. You can see examples of this sibling partnership in “What You See Is What It Is #2 and “Oasis.”

Kathryn Blackmun was a graphic designer and illustrator living in Los Angeles. When she moved to Santa Fe, she decided to study ceramics. Now, her whimsical images of dogs, cats, cowboys and cacti are painted on greenware plates.

Kathryn’s challenges are different from those of Melinda’s. She doesn’t paint in reverse, but since she works on gray-colored clay, she can’t see colors accurately when she creates her images with underglaze paint. “The greenware has to be fired for seven hours, and cooled for several hours before I can tell if the colors are what I wanted,” she said. “It’s definitely unpredictable!”

This labor-intensive process ends with a coat of clear glaze, and another firing and cooling. To look at a happy piece such as “Dog Trek,” you’ve never know it was so time-consuming! “Cowboy Palomino” is a good example of Kathryn’s folk art style, which is well-suited to this type of ceramics.

After I finished interviewing these artists, I went to a local thrift shop. Poking around, I found three wood frames with glass inserts. Guess what I’m going to try? But, I’m not abandoning canvas. I have too much inventory!

Friday, August 3, 2012

It’s A Dog’s World,-At Least for This Month


Dog Days the 20th, August 2012
Coyote Underbrush by Sarah Webber
 We all know that dogs are man’s best friend, right? I think that you could also say that dogs are one of Wilde Meyer artist’s favorite subjects – especially right now, when the 20th annual “Dog Days of Summer” show is up at the Marshall Way gallery. As noted in the show invitation, the "dog days of summer" refers to the period of time between early July and early September when the Dog Star, Sirius, is visible in the night sky. Presumably because Sirius appeared during the very warm days in August, "dog days" came to signify the hot humid days of summer.
Party Dogs in the Pueblo by Melinda Curtin 

There are several great things about this show. First, it features small and affordable paintings. So, it’s a great way to collect a piece by a favorite artist without spending too much. Second, it showcases many different kinds of dogs in so many painterly ways.


Some artists choose to paint the dog in a more realistic manner, such as Sarah Webber who has done an impressionistic portrait of a coyote. Others, such as Melinda Curtin, favor a more non-traditional route. Her dancing dog is reverse-painted on glass in a contemporary, funky way.


Sounds Resonable by Linda Carter Holman


Top: Pancake and Polly, Puggie
Bottom: Whittle Brown Baby, Pug
by Trevor Mikula
If you follow the artists at Wilde Meyer, I’m sure you’ll recognize their style in these small dog paintings. Linda Carter Holman’s painting has so many of her favorite “accessories:” calla lilies, a pearl necklace on the dog, a bowl of fruit, lovebirds and a goldfish bowl. Trevor Mikula shows his wacky characters- some adorable hounds you’ll probably never see in real life! As usual, Connie Townsend’s dogs are going for a joy ride – this time on a motorcycle.

You’ll also recognize Sushi Felix’s distinctive style in the stylized canines she’s portrayed. You might even recognize my two pieces (hint: Plein Air Pooch and The Secret of the Missing Cupcake). The latter was inspired by a photo of a friend’s dog who was stealing a sweet potato. I thought a cupcake would be more appealing!


Biking the Bloomin' Desert by Connie Townsend

Coyote Pups and Little Coyote by Sushe Felix

Plein Air Pooch by Judy Feldman

The Secret of the Missing Cupcake by Judy Feldman

The last, and maybe best, great thing about the Dog Days of Summer show is that so many artists choose to participate (more than 30 this year). It’s so much fun to paint dogs in different ways, and we all enjoy the spontaneous pleasure of working on a small canvas. So, brave the heat of August, and cool off at the gallery while selecting your favorite hound. If you’re in Tucson, the show will be up there in September.

"Dog Days the 20th" view from outside




Friday, June 22, 2012

Found Objects: Recycled or Re-purposed

Melinda Curtin, Cacti and Succulents 28" x 36"
reverse glass painting in vintage window
Recycling is now a common word in our vocabulary. We recycle paper, glass and certain plastics in a special pail, and we often find that things we buy were once something altogether different, like a floor mat made from old flip-flops!

Charles Davison, Magic Sky
28.5"x22.5"
acrylic, buttons, paper, yarn,
 & various metal objects on panel

Art also can be made from recycled objects, and the results are pretty creative. The other day, I found a piece of corrugated metal from an old wood icebox in my studio. I started wondering what I could possibly do with it. Probably make an interesting small painting. Or, maybe I could adhere it to a larger piece of wood. Or, maybe stick some small rocks or shells on it. These decisions will require some thought! In the meantime, I decided to check out some of the Wilde Meyer artists who use found objects in their artwork. They seem to know exactly what to do with bits and pieces of stuff!
Charles Davison, Prosperity Tree
36"x32" mixed media

Charles Davison’s work reflects his collecting habit. He has a stockpile of buttons, antique jewelry, rusted bottle caps, stones, papers and fabrics that enable him to produce multi-media pieces that are infused with bright color and textures.

A self-described pack rat, Charles says that he gets his materials from thrift shops, antique stores, and from things he finds in the desert. His three-dimensional artwork can be appreciated from a distance, and elicits delight upon closer examination, when you discover what materials are in the paintings.

Charles Davison, Jonah's Tale, 20"x20"
mixed media: acrylic paint, buttons, mirror, beads, fabric, printed paper, bottle tops

For example, in his painting entitled “Jonah’s Tale”, Jonah is standing atop different found materials, looking at a huge fish encrusted with buttons. Behind the watery shoreline, a bright orange background is made from what looks to be an embroidered Indian fabric, perhaps a sari in an earlier life. The sun is made of several found objects, and the entire piece is framed in buttons.

Charles Davison, Calling up the Moon, 56"x56"
mixed media tapestry:fabric, objects include beads, ceramic dishes

Charles says that his collection often gives him ideas for paintings. Or, he may have an image in mind, and then delves into his huge inventory to find just the right objects. Rusted metal objects, wooden stars and decorative house moldings all play roles in different paintings. Some objects are glued on with epoxies; others are sewn on. “Calling Up the Moon” is a work that took him four years to complete. It features miniature dishes, semi-precious stones, beadwork and appliqued fabrics.


Melinda Curtin, Party Dogs in the Pueblo 28" x 36"
reverse glass painting in vintage window

Melinda Curtin, Snake and Cacti 57" x 27"
reverse glass on vintage window
Old windows are the canvas for Melinda Curtin’s paintings. Her first collection was from windows she found at a salvage yard. Now, she gets calls from people who are re-modeling homes in old Tucson and want to dispose of their old windows. Melinda does reverse paintings on the glass, and keeps the old frames as they are. “I like the idea that these windows have been used before,” she said. “Reverse glass painting originated in Europe centuries ago,” she explained. “It’s a folk art concept that we see in many different cultures.”

Melinda puts a contemporary, playful twist on this style. She taught art in elementary school in the past and refers to the way kids think when she conjures up an image. “Kids have a wonderful simplicity and happiness that I like to convey.”

She lives in Tucson, and her work has a southwestern influence. Her technique for painting on glass is challenging, since she has to paint in reverse. She told me that she has to paint the details first, and then add the main image on top. “You have to think backwards, “she said. “The details you would normally do last, you have to paint first.” Her painting, “Party Dogs in the Pueblo,” is painted on a window with its original hardware intact. It’s typical of her style, with bright colors; flat, playful images and a southwestern theme.
Melinda Curtin, Casa Sedona 28" x 30"
reverse glass on vintage window

“Casa Sedona” also has a weathered frame and old hardware, with the bright blue sky, cacti and simple subject rendering she favors. Things got a little more complicated in “Snake and Cacti,” since she had to work on a 10-panel window, and unite the 10 different images by theme and color.


I can see that using old materials for new art requires quite a collecting habit, a great deal of imagination and a bit of humor. Now what can I do with that piece of corrugated metal (and my old button collection)??

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tucson Rocks, Wilde Meyer Too!!

"Bad Boy Jacket: Cool"  mixed media on canvas 46"x46"
by Melinda Hall

"Seranade" oil on canvas 12"x12"
by Linda Carter Holman
Wilde Meyer Gallery presents our “Tucson Rocks” event, “Wilde Interpretations of Rock and Roll: The ‘50s to the Present,” a group art exhibition featuring art that captures the mood and feeling brought about by music and Rock showing October 6, 2011 through October 28, 2011.

"Tucson Rocks" is community-wide programming that celebrates "Who Shot Rock and Roll, A Photographic History" an exhibition opening at the Tucson Museum of Art on October 23, 2011.This exhibition originated at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and has traveled to several museums  across the country including Akron Art Museum in Ohio, Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama, Columbia Museum of Art in South Carolina, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in Tennessee and others.  It's the first major museum exhibition to focus on the photographers who captured and portrayed Rock and Roll in photographs.



"Unplugged"  oil on canvas 20"x16"
by Connie Townsend
Just as Rock and Roll means different things to different people, artists at Wilde Meyer visualize their ideas through paintings.

Linda Carter Holman captures the festive mood as a singing guitarist travels with an audience of animal companions. 

For those who like art with humor, Trevor Mikula and Connie Townsend portray animals bearing musical instruments or wearing punk-rock outfits.  

Energetic paintings of people absorbed in a concert can be seen in the expressive scenes by Monika Rossa. 

Rock music’s effect on the body is shown in the beauty of dance, seen in stylized figure paintings by Sherri Belassen. 

Ryan Hale and Melinda Hall create paintings of paraphernalia and iconic objects of Rock in their still lives of guitars or leather jackets. 

Paintings by Bill Colt and Robert Ransom recall the early years of the rock and roll spirit in vintage caddies and hot rod roadsters.
 
“Wilde Interpretations of Rock and Roll: The ‘50s to the Present” opens on Thursday, October 6, 2011 at our gallery in Tucson and continues through October 29, 2011.

"Be There Or" reverse glass painting with vintage window 28"x30"
by Melinda Curtin
 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Rooms with a View

Cleo in the Garden Room  oil on canvas 36"x48"
by Judy Feldman
In the Red Room, (2007) 30"x30"
by Judy Feldman
I have always been attracted to scenes that include a window or patio – I love showing the foliage outside and contrasting the view with an interior setting. You can see this idea in my painting, “Cleo in the Garden Room."
Recently, I visited New York City to get my culture “fix.” I saw some wonderful museum exhibits, including one at the Metropolitan Museum of Art entitled “Rooms with a View: The Open Window in the 19th Century.”

During the Romantic era, the open window appeared in many paintings of interiors. For the first time, the window is actually the focal point, often showing views from the artist’s studio. In addition to the effects of light on the interior room, you get the impression of a painting within a painting, as some of the window scenes are quite detailed.

Cleo and the Red Chair 36"x36"
by Judy Feldman
 This theme of rooms with a view has continued to attract many painters ever since. I’m thinking of the wonderful paintings of Matisse who used the theme of an open window throughout his long career. In Open Window, Collioure, (National Gallery of Art), he painted the view out the window of his apartment on the Southern coast of France. He used the theme of the open window in Paris and especially during the years in Nice, Grand Interieur (Art Institute of Chicago) and Etretat, and in his final years, particularly during the late 1940s.

Pierre Bonnard also painted from his home, favoring interior scenes of his family and daily life. In “The Green Blouse,” (Metropolitan Museum) the window is a prominent part of the background; in the “Dining Room Overlooking the Garden,” (MoMA) the view outside is even larger than the table setting inside.

 Here at Wilde Meyer, you can see several artists who have been influenced by this theme of Rooms with a View.
 
 
My Real Life Big Screen TV acrylic on panel  18" x 20"
by Lori Faye Bock

  Lori Faye Bock
In her painting entitled “My Real Life Big Screen TV,” Lori Faye Bock shows a fantasy view outside a dining room window. It’s very decorative – a painting within a painting.
Doesn't Get Much Better Than This!
acrylic on panel
by Lori Faye Bock

 
Breakfast on the Portal
acrylic on panel in handmade frame 22" x 26"
by Fran Larsen


Fran Larsen
The view of a large red mountain and lush foliage is the focal point of Fran Larsen’s “Breakfast on the Portal” painting. Her vivid colors take us outside, beyond the vignette of the purple chair and oddly sloped table.

Living Room, Our House
28"x32"
by Fran Larsen

 Mermaid reverse glass painting on reclaimed window 27" x 30"
by Melinda Curtin

Melinda Curtin takes the window theme to another level. She actually paints on vintage windows in a reverse glass process. The window frame becomes the painting frame, and sometimes she paints an additional frame inside, as in this image, “Mermaid.” 

Horse at Night 27"x30"
by Melinda Curtin
So the next time you see a beautiful scene outside a window, think of all the artists who have been inspired by this visual act to create some amazing works of art!