On a recent trip to see my sister and her family in Colorado, I visited the Foothills Art Center in Golden. Situated on a prominent corner of this gorgeous mountain town, the Center was once a presbyterian church. The building itself—erected in 1872—is a grand work of art!
Currently on exhibit are juried selections by the Center’s member artists. What a treat it was to take in so many different talents and media. Here were the highlights for me…
Technique: “Jumble Birds” by Joyce Shelton
The vibrant colors of this piece drew me in. In her artist statement, Shelton shares that she was applying layers of transparent of acrylic paint when birds seemed to emerge. She then used opaque acrylic to make their presence more apparent. The process of making “Jumble Birds” sounds so fun and gratifying!
At a glance, “Robin’s Trees” by Shirley Gist looks like a two-dimensional painting, but upon further exploration, I learned that the image is made of nails and is actually a “sculpture.” Gist describes herself as “[a]lways a fan of pointillism,” but it wasn’t until she decided to quit smoking that she tested the technique for herself. “You can’t hammer and smoke at the same time!” she says. As the term implies, pointillism is a method that employs small distinct dots to arrive at a distinct image.
Artwork: “Conservation of Self” by Tara Flores
The visiting public was invited to vote for their favorite piece, and this painting received my nod. I was taken with the intricacy of the geometric shapes she employed to arrive at a floral-esque interpretation of relationship and emotion. I also dig that she used house paint, in addition to acrylic, in creating “Conservation of Self.” It’s fun to imagine why she used such a medium and how she got ahold of it. Was it what was available at the time? Was she smitten with the color? Perhaps it adorns a wall or two in her home? Maybe I’ll find out someday.
Artist: Tara Flores
It was “Conservation of Self” that made me aware of Flores, but upon further investigation, I fell in love with her entire portfolio! It’s a colorful collection of abstract art in a variety of themes: “Inner Space,” “Peaks & Valleys,” “Energy,” etc. The artist shares this about her choice of genre: “Abstraction gets me. There’s an immediacy to it. You can’t know what it is, what it ‘means’ or what it is trying to convey for sure, but you feel it… Even if you don’t ‘get it,’ it gets you.”
Your work has definitely “got me,” Ms. Flores!
My visit to Foothills spawned three ideas—a trifecta of sorts! First, I’d love to try my hand at Shelton’s process to see what specific images might pop from my freely painting. Second, pointillism is something I’ve wanted to try for awhile, but instead of nails or paint, I’m eager to use punched-out dots of paper from magazines. Finally, the word “soul” has been bouncing around in my head in recent weeks—I hope to create an abstract depiction of what that word means to me. I know, I know—it’s definitely time to get to work!
(NOTE: I would love to include photos of “Jumbled Birds” and “Robin’s Trees” here, but when the artists themselves don’t share their art online, I don’t feel comfortable doing it for them.)