Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Neon Art

Santa Barbara Artist Peggy Ferris

Born in Los Angeles, California, Peggy Ferris studied art and English at UC Santa Barbara, where she graduated in 1975.

In 1977, she ventured off to Holland where she lived for two years, learned the language and attended the Royal Academy of Art. She apprenticed as a graphic designer with a firm in The Hague and became involved in the local arts scene. She developed a hard-edge painting style using gouache on paper and studied the art of English artist Richard Smith who was her early inspiration and who showed frequently in Holland during those years. In addition she regularly entered sculpture designs into city-sponsored competitions for art for public places.

By 1979 she had returned to the US and enrolled in Art Center College of Design. She received a BFA with honors in 1982 in graphic design/ packaging. Upon graduation she received the prestigious Dale Brubaker award, based on design portfolio and presented to one student in the graduating class from international design firm Landor Associates.

In 1983, she moved to Santa Barbara and started her freelance graphic design firm Peggy Ferris Design, in continuous operation since its inception.

2000 - PRESENT

Having rediscovered her interests in abstract art, she began phasing out her design work to paint full time. She currently works in both hard-edge and gestural mixed-media styles.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Carpinteria Artist Pamela Hill Enticknap

Pamela maintains a studio in Carpinteria, California where she paints in oil on canvas, as well as drawing extensively in charcoal, with a focus on figurative work. Whether it is the characters that inhabit her life, or the seascape, mountains and village where she lives, she approaches the work with characteristic robust energy dense with emotional richness.

Pamela Hill Enticknap is counted among the most significant living California artists today. In addition to painting for several galleries, Pamela serves as co-president of Santa Barbara Studio Artists, a non-profit consortium of Santa Barbara’s top artists who open their studios annually over Labor Day Weekend Open Studios Tour.

Described as free-spirited, intuitive and expressive, her work is inspired by lyrical rhythms and patterns and the time and place she inhabits. She has exhibited extensively on both coasts, and has shown in juried exhibitions in Northern and Southern California, Massachusetts, Washington DC, Arizona, Illinois and New Jersey galleries.

Born in Concord, Massachusetts, Enticknap attended Massachusetts College of Art and obtained a BA with high honors from Rutgers University in 1978. As owner and Creative Director of Rivermead Studio from 1978 to 1995 she was the recipient of numerous national and regional awards for design and illustration. Upon arriving in California in 1998, she returned exclusively to fine arts.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Santa Barbara Artists Open Studio Tour

A treasure trove of world-class original art and a rare peek inside artists' studios is much anticipated each year when Santa Barbara's leading artists open their private studios for the annual Open Studios tour. This year's program has been expanded to include a month-long preview exhibition giving tour attendees extra time to plan which of the more than 40 studios they want to visit during the visually enticing two-day tour.

The Open Studios Tour guides visitors to charming artists' studios through the stunning back roads, neighborhoods and estates throughout Santa Barbara on Saturday August 28th and Sunday August 29th, from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Prior to the tour there will be two exhibition parties at the Santa Barbara Frame Shop and Gallery located at 1324 State Street (at Arlington Plaza,) Santa Barbara, CA. The artists from the tour will be in attendance at the parties, and one piece of each artist's work will be on display. During these festive soirees, collectors and tour participants mingle and strategize about which studios to visit during the tour.

The Advance Party is from 5:00 to 8:00 pm on Thursday, August 5th. (This is the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization's 'First Thursday' celebration, and is also the 2nd day of Fiesta.)

The second Opening Reception will take place 5:00 to 8:00 pm on Friday August 27th.

Santa Barbara Studio Artists Annual Tour has had international acclaim since 2002 featuring: landscape, contemporary, and figurative painting; sculpture and assemblage; and abstract, impressionist, and expressionist styles by top US artists based in Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara Studio Artists is a nonprofit, juried organization of professional fine artists dedicated to raising the profile of Santa Barbara as a destination for the arts.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Artist Cecil Touchon

I look at Cecil Touchon’s work and feel like I’m seeing more clearly something that was always present in language: a certain claustrophobia. I think this applies to much of concrete poetry as well. There’s a need in our culture to find the recognizable letters, the meaning, the obvious context of words and to move fluidly to the next word without becoming “caught”. Also, to avoid confronting that terror that seems to plague all texts, that we or they will not “get it”. With concrete poetry we’re often pressed up against language and all of it’s parts. these collages contain that panic.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Learning Composition

Composition is all about placing the elements of an art piece where they deliver most impact and overall balance. If you've ever studied the artworks of the masters you might have noticed how calming they appear. With an almost magical ease they slip inside you delivering great viewing satisfaction. This is not just because they are stunningly realistic to behold and richly detailed, but also because the artist has taken great care in placing the various elements in the right places. The important elements are usually placed where they create balance and communicates most effeciently across to the beholder.

TIP: Remember this when starting on a new piece; place the important elements of your work where they are most pleasing to the eye and communicate most efficiently across to the beholder.

The above goal can be accomplished in many ways and one of those is to conform to the rule of thirds. By dividing your piece into nine equally sized rectangles or squares and placing key elements on, or close to some of the focal points and along the lines, you can create a much more eye-pleasing piece of art. The four spots where the lines meet are called focal points where the upper and lower right spots are the most important. This is because most of us were taught to read from left to right, hence it is the most natural way for us to look at an image also. Look at the picture below.

More Composition Styles

There are many other ways to compose an art piece; the L-Composition, the Iconic composition, and the Cross composition just to name a few. They each have their strenghts in communicating across to the viewer. Look at the illustrations below of the three different compositions styles below. By placing important elements on top of or along the lines, or directly on the focal points you can create a more effective work of art.

Returning shortly to the rule of thirds it is important to mention that the focal points do not necessarily need to be covered by solid objects. For instance, if you wish your piece to be spacious you can easily let the area around some of the focal points have alot of surrounding space. Another important thing is to not have important elements on the different focal points in the same artwork competing with eachother over the viewers attention. That way it'll do more harm than good, and break the balance you are trying to achieve in your artwork.

The Final Words (and more composition stuff)

This short tutorial is only meant as a preliminary step into the world of art composition, and a brief reminder that composition is indeed very important. Solid composition can make a mediocre piece look good, and a good one look great. Once you are comfortable with the basics you can even combine different styles of composition but that takes alot of practice to master. The possibilities are pretty much endless. Before the final punctuation of this art tutorial, I want to share a link to one of the best in-depth composition tutorials the web has to offer (well at least in my own humble opinion) The webs best art composition tutorial.