Sunday, January 16, 2011

Marianne Mitchell Gives Artists Talk at DVAL

 "Wine Country" 10x10" Oil Pastel, (c) Marianne Mitchell
Friday was an art day for me. First, I attended the monthly Board meeting of the Delaware Valley Art League.
Then, after a lunch break with fellow artists, was the general meeting for members. I was treated to a presentation by an artist whose work I hadn't yet seen, Marianne Mitchell.

She showed photos of her oil pastel works, her acrylic paintings, and her photographs, pointing out the similarities between them. I found it quite striking how although the medium may change, the artist's hand/mind still shines through.

As you can see, her art is rich with color and full of contrasts: complementary colors, organic vs. architectural shapes, fluid vs, straight lines,...
Abstract images that emerge from her reactions to her environment and the seasons filled her paintings. She has traveled to many places, among them: China, Maine, the Pacific coast, Canada. The colors and shapes in her paintings reflected her experiences there.
I was sorry that my fellow ARTsister, Linda Dubin Garfield, wasn't able to attend. I saw many similarities between the two artists' works.

Towards the end of the presentation, Marianne answered questions, many of which were concerning the materials she uses, and we got a great tip on a painting tool. Called an auto body spreader, and found at auto parts stores, she said of the tool that it is "the cheapest, most fabulous tool you'll ever buy." (I stopped by Auto Zone today and picked up a package of three for $3 so I can give it a try.)

I also am perplexed a bit. A few years ago, when I heard about the Delaware Valley Art League, I was invited to a meeting to check it out. At this meeting, the presenter was artist Nancy Halbert, who creates and teaches art. She showed a slide presentation covering the history of art from cave paintings to abstracts.
By the meeting's end, I decided that joining this organization would be a good career move for me. Here was a chance to meet other artists, to learn from other artists, (and I firmly believe, when one stops learning, they stop living) to show my work, to network,...
Since then I have joined the Board and have made every attempt to attend to every meeting. It was through DVAL that I was introduced to many wonderful area artists like Sarah Yeoman (watercolors) , Carol Kardon (oils, pastels), and Ann Northrup (murals).

So, can someone please tell me, why are the meetings so often not well-attended? We have many members, but only a few take advantage of the wealth of benefit of the monthly meetings. I just don't get it!

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