Shed Your Blahs!

February 4, 2011

Pears With Green Teapot- Sheila Ortiz

If you’re feeling a little cabin fever and are looking for a break from the cold, we invite you to come out tonight to the Little Gems opening at the West End Gallery.  It’s always a great time with great miniature paintings by extraordinarily talented artists mixed in with a little wine and  some food, friends and music.  It will lift your wintertime blues!

The show starts at 5 PM and goes to 7:30 and is sponsored by JoAnn Bonady and her son, Joseph.  William Groome will treat the upstairs crowd with his guitar playing. 

HR Pufnstuf - David Higgins

If you’ve never been to an opening at the West End Gallery, don’t let that stop you.  It’s a very casual affair (no stuffy black ties here!) and is family friendly.  So don’t be shy and  if you have young artists-to-be , bring them along!  So throw on your coat, toss the kids in the car and come on out tonight.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Barn in Winter- Anne Bialke

Ham Radio- Wilson Ong

Gems Preview!

February 2, 2011

Cherry Blossoms- Bridget Bossart van Otterloo

We’re sure the wet and cold weather has us all wishing for the gray skies to clear and a little light to shine on us.  One way you can find a little light and warmth in these cold times is to head out to the West End Gallery this Friday evening, February 4th, for the opening of our annual Little Gems exhibit.  The exhibit features miniature paintings from our best artists and is always a great show and evening.

Curtis Rd. Hay Bales- Christopher O'Handley

The show this year is sponsored once a gain by a great friend of the gallery, JoAnn Bonady and her son, Joseph.  Music will be provided by the well-regarded guitarist William Groome.  The reception for the opening starts at 5 PM and runs until 7:30 PM.  The exhibit is currently hanging and is waiting for you take a stroll through.  Do yourself a favor and don’t miss this show!

Small World #9- GC Myers

Here Come the Gems!

January 27, 2011

"Grannies Paradise" - Barbara Coulter Baldwin

Well. we’re near the beginning of February and that can only mean one thing at the West End Gallery– the Little Gems show is coming !

As the opening for the show approaches,  the gallery is now filled with miniature paintings by our fabulous stable of artists, giving those who come in early a head start on some exceptional artwork.  There are paintings to meet any taste and at prices that are very inviting to the beginning collector who is seeking art without breaking their budget.

8-5-10 -- Chad Smalt

The exhibit opens Friday, February 4th, with an opening from 5-7:30 PM .  This is always one of our more popular shows of the year  so we hope to see you there on Friday.  Or stop in beforehand for a preview without the crowds!  Either way, you will like what you see.

Here are just a few example of the work available.  We’ll be showing more here in the next week so keep your eyes open!

Centerway Bridge- Bruce Baxter

Edd Harnas/ Little Gems

January 2, 2011

As the New Year begins and we begin to prepare here for our annual Little Gems show, opening in February, artist Edd Harnas, formerly of Corning but now painting in Hawaiirecently wrote about his preparations for the show:

The Holiday show was just recently hung, but I’m already thinking “small.”

I generally make smaller pieces for West End shows for various reasons. My “studio” is a small space in the apartment and I do not have the luxury of working on or storing large pieces. And who needs a large blank intimidating canvas taunting you anyway?

So I am working on pieces for the “Little Gems” show in February, 2011. As I look over some of the work so far, I mostly appreciate the variety.

I’m sure some West End artists who usually work on a larger scale need to rethink their approach to an image so that it will still have impact despite the diminutive size. This show may also afford them the chance to experiment with other styles and techniques and images without sacrificing a large expensive canvas. I acknowledge that the small format allows that for me in some of the recent paintings.

In September, I showed artwork at ING Direct here and spoke at the opening reception. One point I made was being able to find picturesque scenes, even within the most urban of settings in which I live. And that ultimately (no matter our style or size) is what we as artists do on a daily basis: find the “little gem” among the vast environments around us, and the overwhelmingness of sensory perception we process.

And that is where I’m at as I produce new work for the “Little Gems” show at West End Gallery.

Gallery Gems

February 4, 2010

Our annual exhibit of small paintings, Little Gems, opens tomorrow night.  This year’s offerings really makeup a wonderful group of work and the walls are filled with selections from nearly every gallery artist in a wide range of styles and subjects.

In other words, there is something interesting for just about anyone.

From Dustin Boutwell’s tiny still lifes, like his Tootsie above, to the whimsical creature characters, such as  Pig Brother shown here, from Wilson Ong, there are too many highlights to mention.  We, here at the gallery, think this might be the best all-around group of small paintings we’ve had in the sixteen years that Little Gems has been held.

Little Gems opens Friday evening, February 5th, with a reception that starts at 5 PM and runs until 7:30 PM.  We’ll be featuring the music of flute trio A.m.A. throughout the evening.  This year’s reception is generously sponsored by a great friend of the gallery, Jo Ann Bonady and her son Joseph Bonady.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Parnilla Carpenter: At Cornell Plantations

February 2, 2010

Parnilla Carpenter, Around The Bend
Colored Pencil, 3” x 4 ½”
Matted & framed to 5” x 7”

The other day, my partner Mark asked how I felt about the phrase ‘comfort art’.  Was that okay?  Was I offended?  Yes, I said.  No, I said.  It’s a compliment. There’s too much dark and brooding in the world. Why not try to contribute a little comfort.

Around The Bend and Garden Gate are about the comfort of good memories: A sunny summer afternoon at Cornell University’s Plantations.  They’re a reminder (note to self too) that winter really doesn’t last forever, that flowers will bloom again soon.

Parnilla Carpenter, Garden Gate
Colored Pencil, 4 ½” x 3”
Matted & framed to 7” x 5”

A little about how the Plantations drawings were done:

Unless I’m doing a calligraphy or portrait where another media is requested, I work mostly these days in colored pencil on smooth-surface Bristol Board. My layers of color and the pressure I apply to blend them will buckle lighter papers, but Strathmore’s Bristol provides a durable foundation.  I use Berol Prismacolor and Derwent pencils.

These drawings’ palette consists mostly of siennas, greens and earth tones coupled with vibrant reds, blues, and yellows to make the compositions glow and pop.  Layers and colors were blended with a white pencil.  I kept the shapes of the trees and flowers simple, impressionistic, let their bright colors do the talking.

Visit the Plantations’ Herb Garden on a warm June afternoon, and you can explore these places yourself.  The bloom cycle changes with every week of the growing season, and there’s always something new to enjoy.

Around The Bend, Garden Gate and other recent Parnilla drawings are available at West End Gallery.  Her drawing Purr is featured on the Little Gems invitation.

—————- Posted by Parnilla Carpenter

Mark Reep’s Chapel Bell

January 26, 2010

Mark Reep, Chapel Bell
Charcoal & Graphite drawing
3 1/2″ x 2″, matted & framed to 7″ x 5″

It’s been awhile since I’ve worked this small and tight, and with West End’s annual Little Gems show coming up, a true miniature sounded like fun.  I began this drawing by laying out the chapel’s belltower on a clean sheet of Strathmore Bristol Board with a very sharp #3 Dixon Ticonderoga graphite pencil.  These pencils are a couple grades harder than the yellow #2s we all used in school, and create fine lines that erase cleanly.  With the layout established, I lightened the lines with a kneaded eraser, and shingled the brightly lit surface of the roof with the same pencil.  For the shadowed slope I switched to a very sharp, very hard HHH Wolf’s Carbon pencil that’s harder to keep sharp but produces marks a little darker than any of my graphites.  The deepest shadows were darkened with HB General Charcoal pencils.

For me, the process of stippling is about adding a little, taking a little away, adding more.  When a mark or area becomes too dark, I lighten it with a kneaded eraser shaped to a fine point- Essentially, stippling in the negative.  Not quick work, but continuing to build up and adjust marks as needed creates layered surfaces with texture and depth.

The chapel’s roof and walls were created the same way.  For the foreground evergreens I used a softer 6B General Charcoal pencil, lightening with a kneaded eraser, softening and blending with a Q-Tip, darkening again, definining further.  The foreground wall, bushes and ground cover were established with charcoal pencils, refined with graphite.  To create the effect of the farther trees receding into bright mist, I used only graphite pencils to keep values in those areas lighter.  The trees’ shapes and mist, the lawn and path were refined and smoothed with kneaded erasers, progressively harder graphite pencils, finishing with a Staedtler 6H.

I began the drawing’s remaining background by loading a cotton ball with powdered charcoal, scrubbing off most of it on scrap paper, then applying what was left very lightly, barely brushing the paper.  It’s a technique that borrows something from drybrush, creates a kind of dry wash that’s not as smooth as watercolor, but provides a good foundation for a somewhat similar effect.  I avoided the finished elements, and developed adjacent areas- along the chapel’s roofline, and at bottom left- with the Staedtler 6H.

And yes, I did remember to use my magnifier this time.

The thumbnail above should load an actual-size jpeg at most browser settings.  Here’s an enlargement.

Chapel Bell and other recent Mark Reep drawings will be available at West End Gallery’s Little Gems exhibit.  The show runs from February 5- March 12; opening reception is Friday, February 5, 5:00- 7:30.  If you’re interested, call Lin, Hedy or Bridget at 607.936.2011.