Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Exhibition Sneak Peek: Mirrors -
Works by Jesús Villarreal

El Espejo (The Mirror)
68 X 42 in.
oil on linen

Also opening this week at Haynes Galleries in Thomaston, Maine, is Mirrors, the first solo exhibition at the gallery by the young painter, Jesús Emmanuel Villarreal.

The twenty-eight year old artist definitively announced his presence on the art scene last year when his artwork, El Espejo (The Mirror), was awarded the prestigious William F. Draper Grand Prize in the 2011 International Portrait Competition hosted by the Portrait Society of America.  Villarreal's direct and masterful self-portrait caused American Master Burton Silverman, one of the judges of that competition, to say of the artist:
“This young artist has dramatic painting skills and the self-portrait reveals a good deal of his emotional intensity. He is at the outset of his career and his talents have much to explore. The special qualities of light and intense figuration in the self-portrait are part of the emotional convergences in the painting. I would want to see more of his figures and the development he might have as his work progresses and expands.”
Villarreal, the son of an artist, was born March 27, 1984 in Maracaibo, Venezuela, and became a United States citizen in 2006.  Choosing to follow in his father's footsteps, Villarreal began an earnest study of painting at a young age, apprenticing to Miami artist Abdon Romero before eventually attending the Maryland Institute College of Art, where he earned his BFA.  His studies then continued at the Florence Academy of Art, where he was graduated in 2009.

This solo exhibition, Villarreal's first since winning the Draper Prize, focuses on the artist's figurative work, and offers an in-depth look at the processes he observed in creating his award-winning work, El Espejo.

“I try my best to paint with honesty,” Villarreal says. “I want people to look beyond Realism to be able to see what I’m painting, to see a little deeper than the superficial aspect. I try to paint the unseen things. The mystery behind things. The unspoken truth.”

Mirrors opens August 3rd at Haynes Galleries, and will run through the 28th of the month.  There will be an opening night reception from 6:00 to 8:00 PM, and all are invited to attend.  Haynes Galleries, located at 91 Main Street in Thomaston, Maine, is open from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Tuesday through Saturday, or by appointment.  For more information about this exhibit, or to schedule a private viewing, call 207-354-0685 or 615-430-8147, or visit the gallery's website, HAYNESGALLERIES.COM.

Sketch for The Mirror
63 X 42 in.
charcoal on paper

Study for The Mirror
10 X 5 in.
charcoal on paper

Study for The Mirror
14¾ X 9½ in.
oil on linen

46 X 26 in.
oil on linen

The Door
60 X 40 in.
oil on board

The Red Door
60 X 90 in.
oil on board

24 X 18 in.
charcoal on paper

Reclining Nude
59½ X 42 in.
oil on canvas

Exhibition Sneak Peek:
Haynes Galleries, Thomaston, Maine

Ellen Cooper
Big Blue Chair
37 X 33 in.
oil on linen

Opening this week at Haynes Galleries in Thomaston, Maine, is a new exhibit which exemplifies the gallery's dedication to contemporary American Representational Art.  Four Figurative Artists, features the works of Ellen Cooper, Ryan S. Brown, Renee Foulks, and Lea Colie Wight, four artists of differing perspectives and backgrounds, brought together to showcase some of the best work created within the genre.  According to gallery owner Gary R. Haynes, “These artists are dedicated to the revival of realist art in America. They are award-winning artists who are committed to teaching their philosophy and craft to a new generation of contemporary realists, and they are producing some of the most exciting work being done anywhere.”  The show opens with a public reception on August 3rd from 6:00 to 8:00 PM, and will run through the 28th of the month.  

Haynes Galleries, founded in Nashville, Tennessee, opened their newer, Northeast location two summers ago.   Housed in the former home of the 19th century sea captain John Singer, and situated in the heart of coastal Wyeth country, Haynes Galleries is part of Mr. Haynes' continuing vision of creating private, full-service art galleries specializing in American Realism.  In addition to showcasing some of today's most talented Representational artists, Haynes Galleries also offers works from the past two centuries, including paintings by John Singer Sargent, William McGregor Paxton, and three generations of the legendary Wyeths.  

The gallery is located at 91 Main Street, Thomaston, Maine, 04861, and is open from 11:00 AM- 4:00 PM, Tuesday-Saturday, or by appointment. For more information about this exhibit, or to schedule a private viewing, call 207-354-0685 or 615-430-8147.  Additional information can also be found by visiting  their website, HAYNESGALLERIES.COM.

Ellen Cooper
30 X 20 in.
oil on linen

Ellen Cooper
17 X 22 in.
oil on linen

Ellen Cooper
11 X 14 in.
oil on linen

Ellen Cooper
46 X 32 in.
oil on linen

Ellen Cooper
Cup and Vessel
38 X 28 in.
oil on linen

Ryan S. Brown
Alone in Her Thoughts
36 X 48 in.
oil on linen

Ryan S. Brown
Sarah in a Fox Stole
23 X 17 in.
charcoal and white chalk

Ryan S. Brown
14 X 11 in.
oil on linen

Ryan S. Brown
Study of Olivia
16 X 20 in.
oil on linen

Ryan S. Brown
44 X 60 in.
oil on linen

Renee Foulks
9 X 9 in.
oil on linen

Renee Foulks
Sal 1996
21¾ X 18¾ in.
oil on museum board

Renee Foulks
Sal 2011
8 X 8 in.
oil on linen

Renee Foulks
Twilight / Night
30 X 40 in.
oil on linen

Renee Foulks
Threshold Guardian
16¼ X 27 in.
oil on museum board

Lea Colie Wight
42 X 28 in.
oil on linen

Lea Colie Wight
54 X 30 in.
oil on linen

Lea Colie Wight
46 X 32 in.
oil on linen

Lea Colie Wight
48 X 28 in.
oil on linen

Lea Colie Wight
42 X 32 in.
oil on linen

Lea Colie Wight
24 X 16 in.
Conte and chalk on Fabriano paper

Lea Colie Wight
Five Minute Break
22 X 30 in.
oil on linen

Haynes Galleries is located at 91 Main Street, Thomaston, Maine, 04861. Gallery hours are 11:00 AM- 4:00 PM, Tuesday-Saturday, or by appointment. For more information about these exhibits or to schedule a private viewing, call 207-354-0685 or 615-430-8147, or visit their website, HAYNESGALLERIES.COM.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Color Palettes: Teresa Oaxaca (b. 1987)

Doll Maker

Among the recent generation of students to pass through the contemporary atelier system, there is a young artist whose skill and unique aesthetic discernment have brought her much attention in just the few years she has been working professionally.  Though only in her twenty-fifth year, Teresa Oaxaca, can boast of participating in group and solo shows throughout the United States, as well as in Italy, Ireland, England, and Norway, and of successes in competitions from the Art Renewal Center's Annual International Salon through the Portrait Society of America's International Portrait Competition.  She has proven that with dedication to one's craft, and an unerring passion for a personal vision, recognition and acclaim can still come relatively quickly.  


Book of Genesis

Oaxaca began by exploring sculpture when she was quite young, and before reaching the age of 10, she was already receiving private instruction from art teachers in the Netherlands, where her family lived during the years 1996, '97, and '98.  At the age of seventeen, the precocious Oaxaca enrolled in the Angel Academy of Art in Florence, Italy, where she remained for the next four years.  Immediately afterward, she headed to Norway, where she worked in the studio of Odd Nerdrum for the summer season.  Then in 2009, Oaxaca returned to Florence, where she attended courses at the Florence Academy of Art,  and where she eventually became a Student Instructor in Life Drawing.  Returning home to the Washington, D.C. area in 2010, she spent the next two years studying with Robert Liberace at The Art League Alexandria, in Old Town, Virginia, before deciding to embark fully upon her professional career.  Though currently not training under another artist, Oaxaca continues her schooling through continued study of Old Master paintings, and is, at the time of this writing, on a grand tour of Europe's premier museums to examine the works in their collections.






Vanitas with Typewriter

White Tea

Oaxaca credits her training in Florence with having the greatest influence on her progress as an artist, and she still uses the methods first learned at the Angel Academy of Art to produce her paintings .    When constructing her paintings she adheres to the "fat-over-lean principle," making sure that early layers of her painting have less oil in them than subsequent layers.  This method prevents beading in successive layers, and ensures that upper layers will dry more slowly than initial layers, therefore reducing the chances of cracking as the painting ages.  In the first stage, the wash-in or drawing stage, 
Oaxaca uses a "soupy" medium consisting of a fast-drying pigment – such as raw umber – diluted with turpentine or odorless mineral spirits.  Next, she lays in paint as it would come straight from the tube, or thinned very slightly with turpentine or OMS.  This is the dead-colouring stage, where "flat areas of loose color are laid in to better see the drawing and establish a color and value range."¹  The following step, the First Painting stage, is when form is established, and details are roughed in.  For this, Oaxaca uses a medium of 1 part linseed oil, to 2 parts turpentine.  In the final stage, the Second Painting, the medium she uses consists of 2 parts linseed oil to 1 part turpentine.  A caveat must be appended to this procedure, however;  the mediums mentioned are best suited for light-value colors.  For darker colors, the Dark/Black Medium is recommended to prevent sinking-in;  this medium is initially made with 2 parts linseed oil to 1 part damar varnish, and with each successive layer of paint, more linseed oil is to be added.


In Time


In the Balance


The Palette of Teresa Oaxaca

From Right to Left

Cadmium Yellow Medium
Yellow Ochre Light
Naples Yellow Light
Titanium White
Alizarin Crimson
Cadmium Red Light
Cadmium Red Medium
Venetian Red
Dioxazine Purple
Cadmium Yellow Lemon
Ultramarine Blue
Raw Umber
Ivory Black

Oaxaca mixes titanium white into the main colors of her palette to create value strings.  This enables her to see the full range of each pigment, and to differentiate between her dark colors like ivory black, raw umber, and dioxazine purple, which can all look similar when first squeezed onto the palette.  It also makes it easier and quicker for her to grab the appropriate value, and helps her to be more liberal with her paint application.

"1. Cadmium Yellow Medium- This is a nice warm yellow, and the closest thing on my palette to an orange. I consider this color to be an auxiliary pigment, mostly employed for bright things like flower painting.  
2. Yellow Ochre Light- One of my main pigments that is always on my palette. I use this for everything from flesh/figure painting to still life. One of my main beliefs is that the minimum means should be used to express the subject. So in other words, why take out the cadmium when the earth color will do the job? This is something I was taught in the Florence schools in Italy. There they believed that sticking to a limited palette would achieve a balanced, harmonious result.  
3. Naples Yellow Light- Another new pigment I am trying out. It is a bit brighter and lighter than the Yellow Ochre, and I sometimes use it instead for my lights.  
4. Titanium White- Old trusty. This is the only white I use... It is the brightest, and least toxic (you could eat it, it is put into cake frosting). I find its drying time to be alright. I keep a clean pile of this on the right hand side of my palette, and also use it to string out the other colors.  
5. Alizarin Crimson- ...Beware! Very strong. Use only when necessary. I find it so helpful to mix in my dark reds, and perhaps accent in a few key areas. I don't use it in the lights too often though. This is why I have 4 reds, so that the others can handle that job. Alizarin is a lake, very transparent and dark, the darkest of all my reds.  
6. Cadmium Red Light- A nice bright, warm red. This one is great for some skin tones, but most of the time I can do without it. I like it in flower painting, baby's cheeks, jester masks, that sort of thing. I don't know if the first closeup photo picks it up well, but every red has a different personality in its light, pastel range, so I just pick and choose what feels appropriate.  
7. Cadmium Red Medium- A dark red, a relatively new pigment for me. I started using this one when I began the "Father Time" Painting, and have kept it around ever since. It was very useful on Father Time's coat, cool skin tones, and cooler light red petals. 
Please keep in mind that I am just describing some common uses I can remember for these pigments. I am by no means advocating a"paint by numbers" system, or saying that there is such a thing as "fire-engine red" or "brick yellow" or "flesh tone". Truly I believe every object's colour depends on the light hitting it and the reflecting colours around it. There are no formulas, just practice, observation, and experience. Or more truly, Value, Chroma, and Hue. Just to be clear, Value refers to tone (think of a 9 step scale from black to white with intermediary greys). Chroma refers to the intensity, or dullness and Hue can be described as "greener" or "bluer," i.e. Cad. Red Medium is a "cooler," more "bluish" red than Cad. Red. Light. 
8. Venetian Red- Another old stable pigment, always to be found on the palette. I make 90% of my reds with this, and it goes into a lot of the shadows and browns, etc. It is basically an earth red, warm in hue.  
9. Dioxazine Purple- I never used this color until I started painting purple things... And even then you don't really need it, but it is useful. It helps one achieve strong darks too.  
10. Viridian- The only green on my palette. Use sparingly. Much as with Alizarin, I use it to tint more than anything. As you may have noticed I am pretty heavy on the yellows so I am able to mix greens just fine.  
11. Cadmium Yellow Lemon- A nice bright, cool yellow. I am a strong believer in having a warm and a cool version of something.  
12. Ultramarine Blue- My one blue, it is very nice and dark, semi transparent.  
13. Raw Umber- I am a big user of Raw Umber! It dries fast and goes into many of my wash drawings. It is also one of those 5 pigments which I so strictly adhered to back in school. Really, you can do a lot with these. For example in studio and figure painting, most greens can be accomplished with this pigment.  
14. Ivory Black- I am also a big user of black. This is also how I achieve my "blues", as the grey it produces can look a lot like blue, especially when laid next to a stroke of red or some other warm color."²

Father Time

Born During a Carnivale

Lillith the Putto

Building Blocks

Clamor of the Unconscious

Still Life with Cattle Skull


Plague Mask

All to Ashes


"My work is about pleasing the eye. I paint light and the way it falls. Simple observation reveals beauty; often it is found in the unconventional. Because of this I have learned to take particular delight in unusual pairings of subject matter.  Frequently my compositions are spontaneous. When a person comes to me, they occupy a space my mind. Arrangements form from there until with excitement I see and have the idea. The design is both planned and subconscious. For this reason I surround myself with Victorian and Baroque costume, bones, and other things which I find fascinating- I want subject matter to always be at hand."³

Paradise Lost


Mancini Fiddler

Girl in Blue

Self Portrait in Blue

Self Portrait with Jester

Girl in Pink


Artists and Muses (in progress)

Pregnancy Doll (in progress)

To see more of Oaxaca's work, please visit her website http://teresa.fineartstudioonline.com/.  For more information on her methods and current projects, please visit her blog, Drawing & Painting Journal.

¹ Oaxaca, Teresa, "Judy & Blitz Portrait, Mediums," retrieved July 26, 2012 from {http://teresaoaxacablogspot.com/2011/11/judy-blitz-portrait-mediums.html}.
² Oaxaca, Teresa, "My Palette & Eugène Delacroix," retrieved July 26, 2012 from {http://teresaoaxacablogspot.com/2011/03/my-palette-eugene-delacroix.html}.
³ Oaxaca, Teresa, "Teresa," retrieved July 26, 2012 from {http://teresa.fineartstudioonline.com/about}.