Bennington Center for the Arts, June 7-July 27
This story was featured in the June 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art June 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
Since 1991, the Oil Painters of America has been dedicated to preserving and advancing the techniques and skills of traditional representational oil painting. On Saturday, June 7, the OPA unveils its 23rd National Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils at the Bennington Center for the Arts in Bennington, VT. Chosen from a field of over 2,000 entries, 200 works are presented at this year’s show, which opens with an artists’ reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by an awards ceremony at 8:15. Special events continue throughout opening weekend including painting demonstrations and educational events, some of which require advance ticketing. The show remains on view through July 27. Here we introduce you to a small sampling of artists participat- ing in this year’s show.
Texas native Pamela Blaies discovered her talent for painting when her children, who were in a funk after moving to a new home, needed a pick-me-up. While painting murals on their bedroom walls, Blaies recognized her anticipation each morning to return to the project, and she followed that creative yen to the canvas, beginning what she calls a “lifelong commitment to the pursuit of painting.” Blaies paints in the alla prima style, completing each piece while the paint is still wet and employing thin, translucent washes combined with thicker, impasto texture in her traditional still lifes and occasional landscape and figurative works.
Larry Clingman says he has always been an artist. His years as a professional commercial artist, designer, illustrator, creative director, and then the owner of his own graphic studio all paved the way to his fine-art career. He paints selectively textured landscapes and chiaroscuro still lifes in the style of the old masters while continually developing his understanding of how light affects shape, color, and value.
Some artists seek to capture the startling and exotic in their quest for beauty. But Dianne Massey Dunbar finds she’s better able to relate to the ordinary things in life, so she focuses her still-life and figurative paintings on such everyday items as soda or ketchup bottles, raindrops on windshields, and construction crews doing roadwork. She hopes her work reveals the overlooked beauty and underlying spirituality of the objects and events that make up our daily lives.
Timothy Horn looks for how the play of light and shadow, reflection and translucency, can elevate something seemingly mundane to something beautiful. His pared-down representations of everyday scenes ring out as moments of quiet exception. With an eye toward classic cars, vintage Airstream campers, and quiet streets, he captures the nooks and crannies of urban, suburban, and rural life.
Gary Kim began his creative life in the art schools and advertising industry of Seoul, South Korea. In 1999 he and his young family moved to New York City so he could continue his education. Seeing a John Singer Sargent painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art changed the course of his career when he realized he could not deny his yearnings to become a fine artist. Kim now lives in New Mexico and paints the landscapes of the Southwest and the West Coast as well as figurative works, capturing people in art museums, characters of the West, and cultural scenes.
Deanne Lemley has been teaching watercolor and oil painting for 30 years. In her impressionistic landscape, figurative, and still-life paintings, she distills a scene down to its most important elements. “The camera,” she says, “has no heart, no soul, no spirit, but just coldly reproduces the image.” Reducing extraneous details, she allows viewers to fill in and complete the image in their own imaginations and thereby participate in the creative process.
A former chemical engineer and website developer, Patricia Nebbeling only began to paint in 2008, studying at the Ridgewood Art Institute in New Jersey. Since then she’s studied with such artists as Kenn Backhaus, Kevin Macpherson, and John Traynor, to name a few. She paints impressionistic still lifes, plein-air landscapes, and figurative works.
As the daughter of an architect and artist, Elizabeth Pollie has been encouraged in the arts since she was very young. After art school, she worked as a freelance illustrator until she left that career field to become a full-time painter. She now teaches and paints from her West Wind Atelier on the northeastern shore of Lake Michigan. She combines her deep loves of travel and art history in her multilayered landscapes, still lifes, and figurative works and her paintings of farm animals and draft horses.
With an extensive background in commercial art working with major film studios and in advertising, Jim Salvati sees his contemporary portraits as portals into various cultures and segments of society. He employs layers of paint to create images that are as rich in texture as color, bringing life to his subjects, telling their stories, and capturing the emotion of the moment and of the world that surrounds them.
Colorado painter Susiehyer says her paintings—a nocturnal mountain landscape, a cluster of lemons, a café scene—transcend the elements and objects depicted on the canvas. Schooled in abstract art and mentored by abstract artists, she sees her subject matter as shapes, colors, and values. The result is paintings that resist realism, yet are colorful, dramatic, and highly representational.
Markissia Touliatos has been painting commissioned portraits in the alla prima style for over 30 years. After years of painting life-sized portraits, Touliatos discovered a passion for creating miniature portraits and landscapes using traditional, classical painting techniques. Today she is an award-winning miniatures artist.
Creative inspiration runs in Sabina Turner’s family, from her great- grandfather, a sculptor, to her ballerina mother to her father, a set designer on the original Star Trek series. She began her studies at the Art Institute of Chicago when she was just 8 years old, and after a career in graphic art, she pursued fine art full time. She paints portraits, figurative works, and the occasional horse or canine in oil and watercolor.
When Tim Tyler wasn’t playing sports in school, he was making posters for his teachers because it “got him out of doing yucky stuff,” he says. By the time he was 16, his artwork was being consigned to art galleries, and while attending college on a baseball scholarship, he realized his future was in fine art. His representational figurative and still-life works often incorporate a bit of dark humor or allegory.
Northwest artist Jane Wallis has been painting for over 30 years. She paints vibrantly colored, impressionistic landscapes in a variety of media, including pastels, watercolors, and oils. She is intrigued by positive forms, negative space, and textures, which leads her naturally to trees as subject matter. More generally, she paints the landscapes of the Northwest and of her European travels, as well as portraits, figures, and still lifes. —Laura Rintala
Featured in the June 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art June 2014 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!
MORE RESOURCES FOR ART COLLECTORS & ENTHUSIASTS
• Subscribe to Southwest Art magazine
• Learn how to paint & how to draw with downloads, books, videos & more from North Light Shop
• Sign up for your Southwest Art email newsletter & download a FREE ebook