Orange Flowers was painted in 2020 as one of a series of still life works created while isolated at home due to the pandemic. I purchased the flowers at an outdoor garden center on a cold, gray day last April when almost everything was shut down. I was searching for anything that could be a symbol of hope during this difficult time. Observing the color, shape and texture found in nature while painting provided me with much comfort during the past year. My goal in my work is to interpret the beauty I see in the small details of nature and everyday objects and I hope my paintings provide my viewers with a sense of calm and quiet reflection.
For the past few years my art has been dealing with the fragility of life and the temporary nature of the world around us. The Covid 19 pandemic brought these issues into everyone’s lives; any one of us could die at any moment and many did. At the same time, the political situation in our country became more polarizing than ever. Many of us were looking for some form of healing.
As an artist I craved experiences that would allow me to explore and discover in nature settings. I also wanted to see how the materials I was using in my studio would behave outside, and I wanted to involve other people while social distancing. A friend asked me if I would want to bring my art practice to the beach. I immediately said, yes — I would love to do something that would be impermanent and site specific. This was the origin of the “Red, White, and Blue” video which was filmed at Winthrop beach and which was inspired by the red, white and blue tower that dominates the beach. I knew this color combination had many meanings that would be open to interpretation. The resulting video captured some of the experience of handling the paper in the wind and trying to create live sculpture. It was also important to involve other participants in the experience. The sculpture was very temporary in nature, and was not meant to be permanent. The paper we were using was destroyed by the wind but the experience we had remained and was captured on video.
After completing “Red, White, and Blue”, I wanted to explore the reflective surface of the mylar at the same location. The result was “Catching The Sunrise” at the beach, created with friends, a roll of mylar, and a very windy morning. Once again the interaction that took place between people, materials, and the force of nature was totally unpredictable and exhilarating. Just trying to hold onto the mylar while the gust of wind was ripping it out of our hands and pulling us around, even throwing some of us off our feet, was just as much of a physical workout as it was an artistic one. This video just like the one before is a glimpse into our experience of healing through art.
Doing portraits is always challenging. Going beyond just capturing a likeness, but capturing some insight into the subject. I find pastels are a great medium for portraits. Two of these pastels are my granddaughter and one of myself. Both subjects close to my heart.
Julliette is a contemporary artist who primarily paints landscapes in a painterly realistic style that is sometimes called American Impressionism.
Since 1990, Julliette has been exhibiting in select and increasingly prestigious juried shows. In Paris, France, Julliette’s work was included in the International Salon for Small Format Paintings in 2005, and her work was selected by the Whistler House Museum of Art in Lowell for inclusion in the “Ten Women” exhibition of New England painters, and for the Harness Tracks of America prestigious equine art exhibition in Lexington, Kentucky in 1997. Locally in Massachusetts, her work was shown in multiple exhibits of the new Belmont Gallery of Art, the Concord Art Association’s Painter’s Invitational in 2000 and Plein Air Invitational in 1998. The paintings completed during a 1994 Artist’s Residency in Plymouth were exhibited in a solo show at Mingo Gallery in Beverly in 1994 and, with many new works, at the Marblehead Arts Association Gallery in 1995. She has participated in many other small group gallery shows around New England, she was a juried studio artist at the Munroe Center for the Arts in Lexington, and she has been a juror for arts organizations. Julliette’s work is found in collections internationally.
Julliette received her bachelor’s degree in Art from the University of Lowell (MA) in 1980. She has continued her artistic development through workshops, museum classes, and extensive explorations. She has studied with regionally and nationally known painters, including Scott Christensen, Albert Handell, George Nick, Bob Gerbracht, T.M. Nicholas, David Curtis, Michael Dowling, Charlotte Wharton, and Adam Cope (France).
Julliette has been focusing her energy on growing her artistic skill in watercolor sketching and creating several series of oil paintings. Some of her work can be seen on her website (above) and the rest by screen-sharing online or at her studio.
I have been exploring and playing with my inner artist since first grade at a Waldorf school when I picked up colored pencils and began drawing. Over the years I continued to devote any extra time to my artistic expression and explored various medium from pen and ink to watercolor, and oils. In retirement, I was finally able to return to my art and took classes at Danforth Art and New Art Center to explore expression in acrylics. Spirit guides my image choices, including realistic, emotional, and a bit whimsical. My intention is to inspire others to explore life through art and to bring joy and reflection to the viewers.
Hope - A year ago I needed to do some emotional healing that began with my childhood. As I explored the painful parts of my life I felt overwhelmed. However, at the end of the deeper dive into how my life unfolded, I was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel and walk into freedom.
Cabin fever - During the past winter I started to feel squeezed into the daily routine of my life. Covid kept my husband and myself fairly stuck in quarantine. One day it was snowing a lot. That, and the combination of shuttered sidewalks and biting cold, made it harder to even just go for a walk. For me, Cabin fever expresses that frustration through color, shape, and texture.
Dreaming - As I began to come out of the Covid tunnel I started to dream. Where would I go? What would the weather be like? How would I pass my time? With whom would I go? And finally, when would I be able to go? Someplace warm, beautiful, and inviting calls my heart to rest and relax. For me, it’s the south of France.
Apples are a staple of life in many ways, for example, “an apple a day…” and so on. We have apple trees in our yard. Each Fall we enjoy eating and cooking with apples from the trees and also sharing them with many animals: birds, squirrels, chipmunks, turkeys, and deer. Watching the daily routine unfold as animals come to the trees to enjoy the fruit evokes a certain content. In the painting, the green border represents the grass around the trees and the apples are there for all to enjoy.
Autumn Leaves falling in our yard inspired me to capture this energy on canvas. The pointed tips of the leaves with varied and vibrant colors make me happy. They are the present, an anchor to time and beauty.
Book with Wine Bottle and Chairs, shows favorite things that enrich body and soul; reading and enjoying the company of friends.The empty chairs represent the absence of friends and family, and sadly, friends no longer here. The chairs will again seat family and friends. There is hope and healing.
I love how my dog can stare through the door for a long time. In “Spring Loaded” I wanted to convey that sense of intense focus and also anticipation for the moment when he’s released. More than ever, I can relate to this feeling as vaccines are dispensed and we get the “all clear” sign. He is Spring Loaded but he models patience and calm, which soothes me.
My other painting is from old photo from the 40’s is “Primping.” My mother-in-law was always proper and the image shot in the bathroom as she prepares for an evening out must have made her blush! I enjoy seeing her primping which we now recognize as ‘self care’ or ‘me time’, a necessary time for reflecting and transforming.
I love painting flowers. The edge of the flower can create movement and flow, while the color can calm, excite or inspire the viewer! People often share with me that my paintings give them a sense of peace.
“The Light Within” was such an inspiration to paint! Every day, I could not wait to get to the canvas. My goal was to reveal a glow in the peony, representing the Lord’s presence. It is my hope that all three paintings give the viewer a sense of hope and joy!
I myself was blessed 35 years ago to experience the healing of 2 incurable eye diseases. The retinal specialist said that I was not in remission, I was healed - even my misshapen pupil became round and my vision became 20/20. My desire is for my artwork to reflect my faith, joy and thankfulness.
My art is a visual daybook reflecting the times and thoughts of my days. 2020 has been a challenge to artists - a pandemic with no end in sight, an election year with climate events that overwhelm parts of the planet on a regular basis. Most of my work during this year has been full of color and light reaching for hope and happier times: however, “Walking Through the World” is a painting that shows people as they walk through sadness and difficulty. Although this painting was created before the pandemic, the faces and their struggle seem timely.
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As my mother spiraled yet deeper into dementia and her care became the overriding factor in my life, creating this table top mosaic became a counterbalancing time of carefree joy and delight. My daughter, Evelyn, joined me in bringing my design to life. Neither of us had worked in mosaic tile before, so it was a welcome new challenge. The iridescent tiles came together to create the shining scales of the koi fish, the luminescent lilies, and the wavering water. As I look at this table top, I think of the connections of mothers and daughters through generations. The underlying table belonged to my grandmother. Thus, the two koi fish might represent my grandmother and mother, or my mother and me, or me and my daughter. And so the circle of life goes on with joy and with hope.
Jennifer Dubost’s initial incentive for creating pastel portraits of people and pets came from her fondness of a childhood pastel portrait that had captured the essence of her mother at age seven. She was inspired to sharpen her skills in the use of pastels to evocatively render cherished people or pets for current day clients. A beautiful pastel portrait can be enjoyed now and for generations to come.
Jennifer delights in working with the luminous beauty of pastels and enjoys bringing out the unique personal qualities of each individual in her portraits. Portraits are not simply an apt likeness, but are imbued with personality and vivacity.
Jennifer earned a BA in Art from Smith College and has since taken classes at the New England School of Art and Design and at the Decordova Museum, as well as pursuing private instruction in portraiture. Jennifer has exhibited her portraits in several juried shows and takes joy in creating commissioned portraits for clients.
This past winter I started hand-painting cards to send to friends and family members to fight the feeling of Covid isolation. I painted dozens and dozens. Images of little blue landscapes of my backyard. Inspirational quotes. Women reading. Children ice-skating. Painting and sending these cards brought a sense of connection. Doing small watercolor paintings on cards also took away the sense of pressure to make something momentous on a bigger canvas. I could just fiddle around. And I found that the cards became a kind of diary of my own emotions.
The dog card, “I just don’t understand people,” was painted after the January 6th attack on the Capitol building. I just couldn’t understand how anyone could defend such terrible mob violence. I couldn’t understand how people could excuse the president and ignore the fact that he had incited the crowd. I couldn’t understand how the senators who had been threatened with violence could make excuses for it. The puzzled dog summed up these feelings in a simple way, and is also more universal. Why do humans make such a mess of their world?
The collage of the woman walking away from the burning dumpster sums up the feeling of trying to walk away from the pain of this past year, the mess of how our country handled the pandemic and also personal things that had happened to me. The image came to me one early morning as I was cleaning the house and picked up a vintage book. I saw that figure on the cover and pictured her calmly walking away from chaos. I quickly painted the dumpster fire scene in watercolor and made the collage, all before seven a.m..
The watercolor card “Find Your Happy Place,” with a cheerful gardener working at her potting bench, represents another side of me. The side that tries to focus on better things to come. Even in the midst of difficult times we can all try to find that place or activity that centers us. For some people it might be gardening, for others walking their dog or just sitting with a cup of tea and looking out the window. It was a little message to look for even small moments of happiness.
Joanna Dunn lives in Belmont, MA. She works in oils, watercolors, and also clay sculpture. She has shown her work at Oxbow Gallery in Northampton, MA, and last January collaborated in an installation there called Borealuminations. Joanna’s work can be found on Facebook at JoannaDunnPaintings. In the summers Joanna is one of the directors of Sugarhill Art, a program in Chesterfield, MA for ages 4 through teen, where kids explore all kinds of artistic media and storytelling.
Submission 1 title: “Grapes of Wrath”
Description: As an artist, I am most in my element when portraying light and transparency using oils. I love creating scenes where light is diffusing through objects and taking on the color of those objects, and throwing them on to a human subject. Everything we see is a reflection of light, and I strive to create pieces that show the versatility of light and its dynamic with shadow, making even the most mundane objects transform into something beautiful.
Submission 2 title: “Point of View”
Description: Be careful, I might just reach out of the page and grab you! While charcoal is not my preferred medium, I was very pleased with the outcome of this piece. The carefully placed light source allowed for a full range of values to be represented, while perspective, scale, and composition all work in perfect harmony to create the scene.
ELAINE HAWKES speaks on Art and Healing.
Cellist SARAH FREIBERG ELLISON performs
Special presentation by artist JOHN WILLIAMS
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