Friday, September 20, 2013


Some more colored pencil works from the Colored Pencil Society of America District Chapter 119 show currently at The Barn (The Woman's Art Club of Cincinnati gallery) in Mariemont:

This realistic painting that was a masterpiece of shapes and reflections was created by Donna Schwarz.  Ms. Schwarz achieved her signature status (meaning she has been accepted into the CPSA International Juried Exhibition at least 3 times in 10 years).  

This was one of Sweetie's favorites - and he doesn't even drink alcohol!  I know he really liked the reflective surfaces.

There were 3 works on tiles - two of them were framed and one was hung just with clips.  They all were interesting to me.  I had to get close and see the texture created by using the tile that had built in texture lines and cracks.  For the one that was unframed, you could see the size and depth of the tile.  A very cool surface to work on if you want some texture without a rough surface.  

This one was by Diane Harm.  She is a colored pencil teacher and I wondered if this is a surface she introduces in her classes and workshops and the other two artists learned from her?  I really liked all of the ones on tiles but only got photos of two of them.

This one is by Jean Malicoat.  Ms. Malicoat also achieved her signature status in the CPSA.

Both of these were interesting in that they go outside the picture plane, making it even more 3 dimensional.  

Sweetie was fascinated by them, too, wanting to know if I could paint in watercolor on granite tiles - I don't know how I could but told him there were ways to get textured surfaces to paint on - like rice papers and tyvek paper and even rough watercolor paper.  I guess he likes texture, too!

And now I have to share the works of Katherine Thomas, local colored pencil artist and fellow blogger...

Katherine won an Honorable Mention for this work, a lonely, abandoned building amides a few scraggly trees.

And this one is called Over the Rhine (a local area of Cincinnati that has a lot of historic buildings which are being bought up, rehabbed, and sold to the young, upwardly mobile of the new millenium).  You can tell from Katherine's subjects that she is drawn (no pun intended) to historic buildings and areas.

I believe Katherine was working with the Fibonacci "rules" of natural shapes when she came up with this one, called Fibonacci's Garden.

And here is just one more (by John Middick) that caught my eye at the show because of the unusual way it was done on black paper...

I wondered about the difficulty of working backwards (for a watercolor artist), starting with black and putting in the mediums and lights to get this very delicate portrait of a young girl.  

To see the other works at the show, you'll just have to drive over there and see them!  There is a large selection, a varied selection, and enough to make you wonder about colored pencil work and if you should try it!

And why the Depth of Field title for this post?  I was wondering how a colored pencil artist gets good depth of field - a sense of distance and three dimensions - in his/her work.  And is it okay to have a more flattened painting with everything seemingly on the same plane?  I saw works that were done both ways in the show.  And I know artists of all media flatten images on purpose, so it started me thinking about shaping, shading, and the creation of values in colored pencil work.  

This piece, especially (by John Smolko with his signature scribbles), comes to mind - when you stand in front of it, you see the scribbles and places where the neutral greyish paper shows through, and the hard edged lines (a lot of them in bold red).  But when you stand back about 3 feet, you get the full impact:  a 3 dimensional portrait with good values and highlights, and the scribbles become skin tones that cause the person to be sitting there in front of you!  How is that done?

Maybe some colored pencil artist can enlighten my ignorance about the medium?


Debbie Nolan said...

So glad you got to see Katherine's work up close. She is one of my blogging buddies and her work is certainly excellent. She really speaks to the heart with each piece she does. Just enjoyed so much you sharing this wonderful event. Thanks Rhonda - hope you have a great week-end.

CrimsonLeaves said...

Such beautiful work you've shared.

RH Carpenter said...

Glad you enjoyed the little peek of the show, Debbie and Sherry :)

Katherine Thomas said...

Aw... I didn't know this was here! Thank you so much! I'm so flattered!

Vandy Massey said...

Some really inspiring work there. Thanks for sharing them. Reminds me how much there is always to learn - which is most of the fun of art.

RH Carpenter said...

Katherine, you are welcome :) You have a strong following in the tri-state so I couldn't not share your work with fellow bloggers. Hope it makes them want to see the show in person! Your work looks great and shows very well in the group!

Vandy, I am amazed at the just plain stick-to-it-tiveness of colored pencil artists; they are really detail oriented and I imagine it becomes like a meditation when they work on their pieces. I imagine they are "in the zone" most of the time!