Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Monet, Van Gogh, Cezanne and Klimt as Teaching Partners

The paintings in an exhibit which opened today March 4th, at the Smurfit Stone Library in Bathurst are the result of two sessions of "Painting Like the Masters", a course given by Adrienne Elfner-Hazen, B.F.A., at the Bay Breeze Art Gallery in Bathurst.  The artists taking part in this study were Rita May Gates, Sherley Kenny, Priscilla Laffoley, Laura Lavoie and Rosita Sprohge.

Here you will see how the Impressionist Painters defied the traditionalist painters to create a new order of painting.  They painted every day life, peasants working in the fields or attending to animals in the pastures.  They also developed a new style of painting, concentrating on broken brush strokes allowing underlying color to come through.  This was a rebellion against the tradition of blending all brush strokes to achieve a form of realism not unlike photography.  This is very evident in the works of Monet, and Van Gogh.

Artists like Cezanne, broke up their paintings into simplified shapes that were often geometric in design.  Cezanne, one of the Impressionists, often painted Mont St. Victorie in France.  Rita May Gates and Sherley Kenny have successfully re-created Cezanne's work in this manner.  

Although Gustav Klimt was not an impressionist he was an Austrian artist from the same time period who brought symbolism into the forefront in his exquisite paintings.  Klimt loved painting women both in portraits and in larger concepts such as the "Three Stages of a Woman's Life".  He used gold and silver in special gilding techniques so there is often a lot of shimmer and dazzle in his works.  In April of this year a new movie, "Women in Gold" will be released staring Helen Mirren based on the golden painting of Adele Bauch-Bauer.  This painting has been reproduced here by Sherley Kenny.

We also have some paintings here, that are totally the creation of the artists themselves but where they have used the learned techniques of the masters to achieve translation of their ideas onto canvas.  The show will be on for the month of March and possibly the month of April as well.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Hazards in Art Rooms and Studios

I want to focus on the danger of solvents used to clean up brushes, skin and work areas of oil paint.  Turpentine, White spirits and even Odorless Solvents are very dangerous.  Here is the scientific reasoning for this:  "Anything that dries (most notably paint), or anything you use to "cut" the paint does so by off-gassing some sort of solvent. For water colours, this will mostly be water (harmless) but some of the paint will also come off as a vapor. For oils, the reason they take so long to dry is that the molecules are generally much larger. The general rule for things you ingest into your body is that like compounds stay together. So anything that is water soluble (water colours) will likely be flushed from your system quite quickly. Oils on the other hand, will tend to go into the fat stored in your body. It  gets locked up there, but if you were to lose weight, it can cause all of these toxins to become released at once. The other problem with oil based products is that over time you can build up more and more in your fat stores, eventually getting to toxic levels. I have no idea about the metals that may be present  in both types of paints, but from what I have read they tend to get locked up in fat stores as well.
Generally everything that is in the air will eventually get stuck onto the surface of something (wall, dust, etc). If it is some place like the floor, then it can repeatedly get kicked up (and thus inhaled). As to ventllation, this will help, but would need to be (1) very close to where you are working (2) blowing material outside. If you simply have a fan, you don't really get rid of anything, just mix it up better, and in some cases it can make things worse."
Other ways to clean, are to use Turpenoid Natural, Baby Oil and Murphy's Oil Wood Cleaner.  None of these products are toxic and a good alternative.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

I am back to my Bay Breeze Blogger site!

After a period of absence from this blog I am back with information to artists and the public on various subjects of interest and importance.

I have very recently launched a new website and this blog will be shown there as well.  The new site will keep the public updated on classes, art materials, special events and a gallery of my own personal work.  Classes and art materials are located at the Bay Breeze Art Gallery located in La Promenade, 82 Douglas Avenue, Bathurst, N.B.  E2A 7S6.  Our gallery telephone number is 506-548-6937. Please stay posted and add me as a blog to follow!  Cheers,  Adrienne 506-548-2160