Touchstone oil painter Jeanne Garant paints abstractly. For a painter like Jeanne, abstract means to focus on a particular shape and color noticed at any given moment and then to discard the rest. She draws from the jumble of life rather than trying to capture it all in a photographic or three-dimensional way. Garant's attitude in creating the flat or one-perspective paintings, 275 Stripes, mirrors that of New England painter Milton Avery. “I try to construct a picture in which shapes, spaces, colors, form a set of unique relationships, independent of any subject matter. At the same time I try to capture and translate the excitement and emotion aroused in me by the impact with the original idea.”Read more
Gale Wallar’s exactitude in describing what she sees around her is remarkable. Through the language of oil paint she creates compelling vignettes that put the viewer in the scene she is describing, as though present on the street in front of a row of buildings that she visited in one of her many years of travel. At some point, however, the viewer comes to the realization that the colors may be fresher and the perspective condensed. Wallar images the “real,” but, she remarks, her viewpoint “conveys a subjective reality affected by time and space.” In other words, the painted images may appear photographic, but subliminal qualities influence images in unexpected and compelling ways. Look for this in her attention to detail.Read more
Washington, DC, artist Dee Levinson learned at an early age to collage imagery and colors together. As a child she began by pasting small museum art reproductions into little booklets her mother provided. This seemingly inconsequential activity instilled in Levinson the notion that one could mix just about anything together to make a piece of art. Today she does this “collaging” by mixing classical forms painted in a linear manner with highly saturated colors reminiscent of early 20th century German Expressionists.
John Blee, a Washington DC artist, explores new spatial and emotional dimensions in Orchard Suite, his latest series of acrylic paintings on exhibit at Touchstone Gallery. While most of his works vibrate with the intense spring blossom hues that are signature to his palette, several other paintings offer deeper, nocturnal shades, reflecting inverse color themes. Playful geometries activate abstract, luminous sky-and-earth compositions and dance with one another to create an unlikely balance and playfulness. The effect in the viewer is usually an uplifted spirit one might call joie de vivre.
The color of a bud opening in spring, dismal gray leafless trees looking slightly reddish from a distance, and the almost crass lemon yellow of blooming daffodils announce the freshness of each new spring. The transformation of dormant life into energetic green and wild color is so powerful that poets wax on about it and artists paint about it. Aleksandra Katargina, a blossoming young painter living in the DC area, is on the same path. She is the Touchstone Foundation for the Arts first Emerging Artist Fellow Winner mounting her first oil painting solo exhibition In Pursuit of Happiness.Read more
For Gale, who was born into a military family, being nomadic was the norm. That, and a rich exposure to art, architecture and history. Art is the course that Gale set for herself as a child and she has stuck to it during some circuitous turns and long journeys. After achieving a BFA in painting and printmaking, she freelanced in Washington D.C. and some of her political cartoons were published in the Washington Post.Read more