Artist Date: Hopkins Center for the Arts – March 17, 2018

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“Waterscape I” by Denise Presnell-Weidner

I visited Hopkins Center for the Arts three times over the past week: once for an art class, another time for an Empty Bowls fundraiser, and finally to reexamine just one piece of artwork that caught my eye. Though hundreds of other pieces lined the halls as part of The North Show: Arts in Harmony, “Waterscape I” captured my curiosity and compelled my return to the exhibit. Here’s why…

Technique: Layers
Waterscape I” looks like a lot of the abstract and expressionist pieces I tend to like: full of color and reminiscent of the natural world. But I knew there was something special about this piece, a different level of dimensionality. After further study, I figured it out: it was essentially two pieces of art, one layered on top of the other. On the bottom? Linen colored from corner to corner with the rich hues of oil pastel. On the top? A solid sheet of clear plexiglass painted with flecks of orange and blue complementing the scene below.

Artist: Denise Presnell-Weidner
This is the artist who created “Waterscape I” (and earned third place honors in the North Show’s Mixed Media category, by the way). My Google search revealed that Presnell-Weidner is an art professor who recently retired from Lakeland University in Sheboygan, Wis. After viewing more of her work online, I was pleased to learn that she’s having a solo exhibition in Hopkins next winter!

Assignment: “Tapestry”
As I continue to dabble in “contemplative collage,” the concept of “tapestry” has been playing on the edges of my mind. To be more specific, I’ve been dwelling on the kind of metaphorical tapestry as described in Corrie Ten Boom’s famous poem “Life Is But a Weaving.” Now I know exactly how I plan to tackle this notion of tapestry in my art: by employing some layers just as Presnell-Weidner did with “Waterscape I”—I look forward to depicting the “upper” and “underside” of God’s “canvas” using a method similar to hers. With yet another new idea on my list, my assignments are really starting to pile up—I hope to share more finished products soon!

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