NORMAN — Norman’s Performing Arts Studio is featuring the artwork of Sylvia Miller, Heidi James and Patricia Foster during an exhibit titled “Three Artists All Over the Place” at the Historic Santa Fe Depot Gallery.
Guests can meet the artists and see each perform a special demonstration at an opening reception 6-9 p.m. Jan. 10 during the 2nd Friday Circuit of Art. Admission to the Depot is free and all ages are welcome. Art varies in color and style, from western to landscapes to flowers. The work is on display through Feb. 14.
Promising the event will result in a nice enjoyable evening, Foster said Normanites should come to the Depot if not for the art, then for the demonstrations. Foster said each artist will demonstrate her art form and technique, providing a more intimate experience with the artists that an attendee may not get at other galleries.
“The reason we called it ‘Three Artists All Over the Place’ is we’re doing all different subjects, styles of painting and so it’s just a show with a lot of color and variety,” Miller said.
The name not only highlights the diverse art forms; Miller paints with a palette knife, James enjoys oil painting, Foster enjoys pastels and oil colors; but also the groups diverse backgrounds.
Miller, who has lived in Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma, said she began painting with a palette knife two years ago.
“I had a landscape I wanted to paint and I said, ‘I think I can paint this with a knife,’ and I kind of fell in love,” Miller said. “The colors come out so fresh and you get that interesting texture on the canvas. I use oil paints and I feel like it makes my paintings unique.”
One of the larger pieces Miller will be exhibiting at the show took her several days to complete. Painting with a palette knife, Miller has to plan out larger scale pieces.
“Once the paint dries, you really can’t go back,” Miller said. “If it’s a small painting, I might finish it in a couple of days. I always work from a photograph because I do better if I have something in front of me.”
Miller adds, she does not always limit herself to what she sees in the photograph, sometimes taking artistic liberty with the colors.
Foster also works from photographs. Focusing on western themed art, Foster said one of the pieces in the show is called “Old dog, old song” featuring a cowboy with his guitar and dog at his feet. Another shows a cowboy laying in the grass on the side of a mountain. These pieces of artwork are depicted from photos taken during Foster’s travels.
Of the later example, Foster said while taking a break from horseback riding, her friend decided to lay in the grassy meadow.
“I always had the desire to paint and didn’t really have the time when I was raising my children,” Foster said. “After they were grown, I started taking lessons at the Firehouse.”
Using primarily oil paints, Foster also likes pastels, which allow her to capture details like animals fur, “everything you get from a good picture,” she said.
“Two of the pieces are from when I went to work on the ranch,” Foster said. “We did a round-up where they did branding. I took pictures of that which resulted in one of my pieces called ‘Team Work.’ All the cowboys are over this calf and it made such a neat picture and painting because they all have their heads down and you see smoke coming from the branding.”
James, unlike Miller and Foster, was born and raised in Germany. Her love for art developed while living in Malaysia where her and a friend learned Chinese brush painting.
“I did [brush painting] for seven or eight years and then another friend setup a class to learn oil painting and talked me into going to that,” James said. “In the end I decided I much preferred oil painting to Chinese brush painting.”
Calling Chinese brush painting too restrictive, James switched to oil painting “because you can apply the paint anywhere you want to.” In the exhibit, James will primarily show landscapes and flowers, which she enjoys painting due to the dynamic colors involved.
“When you look at a red rose, it’s more than a rose, when you really look at it it’s not just red, there are so many other colors in there,” James said. “Painting has kind of become my second career after I’ve retired, more than just a hobby.”
All artwork, except a few, displayed during the exhibit will be for sale, ranging from $275 to $1,500 depending on the size of the pieces.
For more information visit pasnorman.org.
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