Claudia Seymour is a widely collected artist who is known for her classic still lifes that glow with radiant light. Join us on Thursday, November 6 – note corrected date – as she demonstrates her techniques and process. The program will be presented from 6:30 – 8:30 pm in the Social Room at Congregation Kol Haverim, 1079 Hebron Avenue in Glastonbury and is free to the public.
Claudia Seymour’s paintings in pastel are a personal expression of her lifelong fascination with the visual effects of color as revealed by the play of light across an array of objects. As a still-life artist, Claudia has the luxury of determining virtually every aspect of her painting, allowing her to present a clarity of vision through the creation, use, and presentation of light that is totally within her control.
“My goal as a representational painter is to attempt to portray the infinite beauty of color not only in every object itself but also in the interaction between objects, their shadows, and the surrounding space as light travels over and amongst them,” says Seymour.
Claudia uses the classic technique called chiaroscuro to create her stunning still lifes. Chiaroscuro, originally developed centuries ago by the great Renaissance master painters, was used to achieve tangibly realistic effects achieved by placing vibrant colorful elements against a dark background. “I also use light to sculpt and emphasize color, texture, and space,” she explains, “and to create a heightened sense of drama and mystery that causes the elements within the painting to literally glow.”
She works only from life, developing still-life set-ups that establish a tranquil mood and impression of timeless serenity both by the lighting itself and by the choice and arrangement of flowers, dried and organic objects, antiques, fabrics, and other materials. The deep, often neutral color of the backdrops helps to establish depth and fosters a feeling of air within the piece.
Ms. Seymour is the former President of the historic Salmagundi Club in New York. She is a Master Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America and has been awarded Master Circle status by the International Association of Pastel Societies. She is also an Associate Member of the Oil Painters of America. Her classic still lifes in oil and pastel have been shown in over 150 juried national and international exhibitions, and she has won numerous prizes, including first-place and best-in-show awards. She is represented by Handwright Gallery in New Canaan, Connecticut, J.M. Stringer Gallery in Bernardsville, New Jersey, and Vero Beach, Florida, as well as Gladwell and Patterson in London, England.
Experience the paintings and words of James Abbot McNeill Whister and a painting demonstration by ED HICKS in his own style as he talks about his art and the marketing aspects of his craft. The program will be presented from 6:30 – 8:30 pm in the Friends Room at the Welles Turner Memorial Library in Glastonbury and is free to the public.
Part 1 of the presentation: Whistler’s paintings and words, He was not just an artist, but his colorful lifestyle influenced the culture of his time.
Part 2 of the presentation: Ed Hicks will paint a landscape in his own style, talk about his art, and the marketing aspects of his craft.
About Ed Hicks: Ed feels that what is left out of a painting is as important as what is put into it. “I paint my impression of it, focusing on what captures my attention giving just enough information to tell the story, but inviting the viewer to fill in the blanks”, he says.
The oil paintings of Ed Hicks capture the essence of the New England Landscape. Each piece has a color scheme that brings the scene to life, each brush stroke highlights the beauty of his subject without exaggerating details or oversimplifying. One can almost feel the texture of an autumn hayfield warmed by an October sun.
Ed has a dedicated and large following of admirers and collectors, many of whom may not know that his first artistic calling was the world of commercial art and design. A graduate of Vesper George School of Art in Boston, Ed worked as an art director in Hartford for close to a decade before feeling a tug in another direction, to the world of painting.
His firm grounding in the fundamentals of color, line, and design is balanced by his sensitivity to the light and atmosphere of the New England landscape. He maintains that, “After one learns the fundamentals, one can branch in any artistic direction.” Using both sets of skills, technical and artistic, he translates a scene into its simplest and most direct terms creating compelling imagery that excites and satisfies the senses.
Three Artists – Three Perspectives. On Tuesday, September 23, 2014, Joan McPherson, Karen Suponski, and James Grabowski will interpret the same subject in three different styles and media at Glastonbury High School, 330 Hubbard Street, from 6:30 – 9:30 pm. Masters of their media, these artists are eager to share their knowledge, techniques, and enthusiasm for art as you watch them interpret a subject.
Joan McPherson’s interest in painting was first sparked by a watercolor class during college. Today, she is a plein air painter and award-winning artist of the New England Watercolor Society, and a signature member of the National Watercolor Society.
Her work has been exhibited in local, regional and national juried shows. Her one-woman exhibits have been hung in New England, Virginia and New York, as well as at local venues in Madison, CT.
Known for her interpretive use of color and evocative compositions, her representational watercolors can be found in private and corporate collections on the east and west coasts.
Karen Suponski is equally adept at painting landscapes, still lifes, and interior scenes. “Being an artist often means seeing our world a little differently than others do”, she says. She loves the play of sunlight and shadow as well as reflective light in metals and glass.
A graduate of the School of the Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, MA, she studied there with Sante Graziani and Leon Hovsepian, concentrating on drawing still lifes and life studies in charcoal, silverpoint, graphite, and colored pencil. Her formal educations has been rounded out by studies under notable pastel artists Christine Ivers, Claudia Seymour, Frank Federico, Ray Hassard, Doug Dawson, and Susan Ogilvie.
In 2013, Karen was elected as a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America in New York. She is also a Signature Member of the Connecticut Pastel Society, an elected member of the Academic Artists Association, and a member of Women Artists Collective.
James Grabowski is a prolific painter of realism and abstraction. He creates canvases that are small to colossal. His work is also highly improvisational, “I let the first stroke dictate the next”, he says. He never hesitates to try something new with his work and his constant innovation exemplifies his enthusiasm for art.
James graduated from Central Connecticut State University and pursued his Master’s degree there. Following his graduation, he first taught, encouraging students to find ways to succeed in expressing themselves. However, during his time as a teacher, he also found that he needed to do more. He needed to create, deciding to devote his energies, full-time, to the work of being a professional artist.
In addition to painting to satisfy his own artistic voice, he is a successful and renowned commission artist. Nevertheless, he remains true to himself and has amassed an impressive collection of corporate clients, including many well-known corporations, including Aetna Life and Casualty, IBM, The Marriott, Harvard Business College, Apple, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Otis Elevators, and American Airlines. Locally, The Hartford Insurance, Bristol Public Library, St. Francis Hospital, and Gideon Wells School are just a few lucky owners of his work.
Gil Fahey knows the purpose of his art. He seeks “to freeze time by freeing creativity,” working to display “the endless toil of men and women.” As a child, Gil spent his summers on one of the farms near his home in a small town. He says that painting and drawing “evoke an early fascination with the textures of stone and woods, the moods of the meadows, old farms, cellar holes, and earthen roads disappearing into the woods.” Although he has not always been able to focus primarily on his art, it has never been far from his life.
When Gil was young, he thought his ideal career would be that of a wildlife illustrator, following in the footsteps of some of his heroes, like Tom Lovell and Edwin Dickinson. As wildlife illustration slowly became absorbed by the world of photography, Gil’s heroes left to paint western scenes and he realized that the “fertile ground of the golden age of illustration” would be an influence, but not necessarily a career. However, he never forgot the teachings of his instructors, including Bernie Lettich and Ken Davies, even when his life took him away from his original goals – and their influence is present in his work today.
As Gil says, society is often based on materialism, and the role of an artist can be “fleeting and ephemeral,” but Gil was able to stay true to his passions, while also carving out a life for himself professionally as a Senior Graphic Designer and Staff Illustrator for a Fortune 500 corporation in New England. In addition, he never gave up his joy of freelance illustration and cartoon and he also taught drawing and painting. His classes have included private instruction, art programs, and adult education.
Now retired, Gil has been able to return to his first love for wildlife. He finds himself turning more to it each year. “The flame burns brightly,” he says. Inspiration comes from a variety of places. Gil Fahey describes art as “a vision born of the artist’s imagination – constant stimulative input, sometimes even at 2 am.” He brings to his work a sensitive awareness of design impact and textural clarity. His landscapes, still life, and wildlife paintings all feature a control of light and shadow, intermingled with detail. Gil works mostly in oil on plywood with ten coats of gesso on a birch surface. Pencil work is done on Strathmore hot press illustration board.
Although he admits disappointment in some of his work, he says one thing he loves about the process is that he can “go back to it several years later and learn from it.” He also accepts that the artist’s life can be lonely, but that it can also be beneficial, because the artist can work at his or her own pace and spend time in contemplation. Even with the challenges, Gil has never considered not painting or drawing. “I know the risks of NOT doing what I do,” he says.
A graduate of The Paier School of Art and former student at the Pratt Institute, Gil spends his time, when he’s not painting or drawing, working in his garden or visiting bookstores with his wife. He enjoys a great story, especially a cop procedural, or returning to the poets, such as A.E. Housman and Robert Frost, who shaped his childhood and his art.
Currently, Gil is working on a painting of an old dilapidated barn, which is reflective of his passion for New England and the simplicity of pastoral life. He says that someday, he would love to complete his dream project, consisting of several large pastoral works. For more information on Gil Fahey, or to see some of his creations, visit his website at http://www.gilfahey.com.
James Grabowski, a versatile artist skilled at creating anything from enormous abstracts to seaside landscapes, will be providing an overview of his work, techniques, and the process for creating abstracts using acrylics on Tuesday, June 3, 2014. The program will be presented from 6:30 – 8:30 pm at the Welles Turner Memorial Library on in Glastonbury and is free to the public.
One thing James feels is important to his work is incorporating a feel of adventure and “unpredictability” into his work. As he says, “you want to have surprises.” For this reason, he never draws preliminary outlines, instead “letting the first stroke dictate what the next one is going to be.” A prolific painter and aficionado in both realism and the abstract, James has covered thousands of canvases of varying sizes, ranging from medium – a 24 in. x 30 in. – to colossal, his largest being a 9 ft. x 13 ft. diptych at the New Britain General Hospital. A diptych consists of two paintings designed to work as a single composition. James believes that the key to success is to “capture the imagination of people,” and though a veteran in the field, he never hesitates to try something new with his work. His constant innovation exemplifies the enthusiastic artist he is.
James graduated from Central Connecticut State University in 1966 and, after a year of teaching art in Meriden, CT, he returned to Central to pursue his Master’s degree. Next, he spent a few years teaching in West Hartford, and at the Institute of Living in Hartford. He focused on encouraging students to find ways to succeed in expressing themselves. However, during his time as a teacher, he also found that he needed to do more; he needed to create. He cites his first “big break” as Glastonbury Arts’ own “On the Green” Show Fine Art & Craft Show. He continues to honor his roots by devoting himself to the continued success of “On the Green.”
After 20 years of doing shows, James was able to cut back on the traveling and make a career producing work for his client base and selling through art galleries across New England. Now a successful and renowned commission artist, it is sometimes necessary that he paint for an audience. Nevertheless, he remains true to himself. He has amassed an impressive collection of clients, including many well-known corporations, including Aetna Life and Casualty, IBM, The Marriott, Harvard Business College, Apple, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Otis Elevators, and American Airlines. Locally, The Hartford Insurance, Bristol Public Library, St. Francis Hospital, and Gideon Wells School are just a few lucky owners of his work.
“I don’t want to make pictures. I want to make art,” says Russ Kramer.
Russ Kramer, widely regarded as one of the world’s leading marine artists, walked attendees at the April 10, 2014 Got Art Program through the history of American yachting, as well as his own artistic journey and process, this past Thursday evening as part of Glastonbury Arts’ Got Art series. The event was well attended and Russ explained the complex and often windy road that brought him to maritime painting.
The presentation began with an artistic exploration of yachting in America, seen first-hand through Russ’s own work. From there, Russ talked the audience through how he got to where he is today. He was honest about his experiences, realizing at the age of 16 that commercial art was more likely to be financially viable than fine art; however, as Russ went through his process, he explained how the passion for the craft become greater later in his life. As he concluded, although he enjoyed his career, now his focus is on the quality of the art. “I don’t want to make pictures; I want to make art,” he explained.
Audience members were able to see how Russ creates his dynamic paintings, from the first sketch as he completes his research to the final product. Because there are few photographs from the time period in which Russ’s work is set, he must be comprehensive in studying logs and documents. Combining data about weather conditions on certain dates with his own sailing expertise, Russ is able to generate an idea of what it was like on the ship on the day and at the time of the painting.
Russ is also fortunate in that he has several friends who are actively involved in his process, because he utilizes them as models. Posing them in appropriate costumes of the era and in positions that would make sense for the planned piece, Russ creates a composite of sketches and posed photographs in PhotoShop and uses that as his starting piece. Before the brush touches the canvas, Russ Kramer has likely spent several weeks brainstorming.
Russ is currently serving as President of the 500-member American Society of Marine Artists and has been the subject of a one-man show at the Museum of Yachting in Newport, RI. He has also appeared in Wooden Boat, Yachting, and Sail magazines, and will be prominently represented in Hyland-Granby’s and William Koch’s forthcoming book, Art and Artifacts of The America’s Cup. He lives in Mystic, CT.
The “Got Art” programs are designed to provide both artists and art lovers with a ‘window-in’ to the creative process. The programs are presented by Glastonbury Arts, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, whose goal is to make art accessible in our community. “Got Art” is free and open to the public and is funded by a grant from the George H. C. Ensworth Memorial Trust.
The next event will be held on May 8, 2014 from 6:30-8:30 pm at the Kol Haverim Social Room on Hebron Avenue in Glastonbury. Dianne Panarelli Miller is the featured artist and she will demonstrate how to paint portraits in oil.