In his lifetime, British painter Arthur Wardle excelled at sporting art; but his claim to fame was in part due to his rejection of staying inside the boundaries of accepted animal and wildlife depiction. He “drew and painted every mammal, from elephant to mouse,” using a great range of mediums. By 1900, Wardle had made a quantum leap with subject matter and began rendering, erotically, mythical images of wildlife and women. Exotic creatures, like these giant leopards at play with a thinly clad, alluring woman (appearing a bit tousled, she and the leopards have clearly been rolling around in the iris; there’s no fear here–this painting depicts intimacy, curiosity and play) recall, as the National Museum of Wildlife Art (NMWA) says, the hedonistic spirit of Dionysus, Greek god of —-libido! And of wine, women and song.
Get your head into that as you enjoy this month’s NMWA Mix’d Media, happening on Valentine’s Day–-February 14th from 6-9:00 pm. “Legends of Mythology and Love” offers up Greek-themed food and drink, music and a free glass of pink bubbly to put you in the mood for love. NMWA’s “The Enchantress,” a centerpiece of its exhibition “Human/Nature: Exploring Humanity’s Relationship with Wildlife,” has inspired the evening’s festivities.
NMWA’s Amy Goicoechea enlisted the help of Rush Jenkins and Klaus Baer of WRJ Design Associates to create a worthy, sumptuous setting. DJ Era spins music, “and those inspired by the evening’s more mystical elements can enjoy crystal readings by Daria and Power Animal Medicine readings by Teri Gilfilen,” notes NMWA. $5 cover at the door. www.wildlifeart.org
“Many folks don’t appreciate the concept that in a painting, snow is NOT white,” says plein air painter Bill Sawczuck. “We thought that we would show how an artist sees into snow and analyzes all the colors that are actually there. The visual color of snow depends on the time of day, the angle of the sun, the color of the sky and the reflected colors of all the articles in the surrounding area.”
Trio Fine Art~~that sweet little gallery on North Cache featuring artwork by Jennifer L. Hoffman, Kathryn Mapes Turner and Bill Sawczuck~~is holding an impromptu post-Valentine’s open house on February 16th, in conjunction with that evening’s Art Walk and Winterfest. Open Noon-8:oo pm that day, gallery artists will be on hand to demonstrate; paintings and drawings will focus on winter themes. Demo times are:
1-3 PM – Bill Sawczuk, oil painting
3-5 PM – Jennifer L. Hoffman, pastels
5:30-7:30 – Kathryn Mapes Turner, oil painting
“You know I love to paint snow, and I particularly love to paint snow in plein air,” Hoffman told me. “There’s so much that happens with the reflective quality of snow, so many colors and values just dancing on the surface. And it changes with the sun’s position, with temperature, and with the type of snow. Fluffy dry snow reflects light differently than packed, wet or crusted snow!”
Snow is hard to paint! Infinitely challenging. With each winter plein air work, snow reveals its tantalizing secrets.
Kathyrn Mapes Turner agrees. “There is magic in the creative process. An image coming into form on a surface seems unexplainable, and I think this is why we all so enjoy experiencing the process directly. The artists at Trio have always been committed to sharing this process with visitors. It is this opportunity to form personal connections with the artist that makes Trio unique.”
And did I mention? Trio will offer friends and visitors hot cocoa all day. Yum. www.triofineart.com
Trio’s winter scene images~~Top, Jennifer L. Hoffman; Bill Sawczuck, right; Kathryn Mapes Turner, below.