Artists of the Month - February 2017
by Judie Apablaza
Year of the Rooster, Jen Swain
Our first place, blue ribbon winner was by Jennifer Swain, titled “Year of the Rooster.” She stated, “I started drawing on wood because I liked the texture and the patterns on the wood and wanted to try to create a happy medium between my art and the wood.” She has always delighted in drawing “creatures” and whimsical beings. She enjoys the botanical quality of working on a background of wood. The medium is truly and literally a springboard from nature. The woodgrain adds texture and earth tones as she works and creates using pencil and ink as her playful images emerge from the surface of the board.
Very few artists meld drawing and organic backgrounds into one creation. Jen also states, "I liked how it was working together so I continued to do different creatures and then tried some figures (portrait) and I was enjoying it.”
Jen has her own website design company for her bread and butter projects. With her boundless energy, Jen always has time for submitting and seeing her designs in the form of Rose Bowl floats, commissioned chalk art for Jet Blue and Cirque du Soleil as well as other high-profile projects. Jen’s heart’s desire would be to have her work published in the form of illustrations and written copy for children’s books.
Jen, like many VHAA members, has had formal training at the Art Center College of Design. She parlayed her skills and talent into the commercial art field and worked professionally for at least ten years for a well known advertising company. We are very fortunate to have Jennifer Swain as a board member in charge of publicity for our Verdugo Hills Art Association.
Remnants of Rain, Kimberly-Ann Talbert
Kimberly-Ann Talbert was our second place winner with her photography entry titled, “Remnants of Rain” a stunner for this month’s competition. Her inspirations often originate from her Descanso Gardens walks covering several miles in her frequent excursions through the acres of oaks and plantings. She almost always has her camera because she states, "the gardens are a different place everyday: what is there one day, might not be there the next; just as what is not there one day, may be there the next.” Kimberly-Ann said that she captured this month’s winner just as it had rained with the raindrops enhancing the brilliant colors of the flower. The water shone like crystals and played with the existing light.
Through her photography she would like to show people what she sees. She states, "There is so much, so many wonderful things to see in the normal world, but most of us are so busy that we simply do not take the time to stop and enjoy what is around us.” As she stated at our meeting, she takes the time to see what is out there: even a fireplug or a sofa out on the curb can become art. As she states, "It just takes time and the willingness to slow down and really look at what we are seeing."
As a photographer, she would like to share the beauty and awe of the everyday things surrounding us. She states, "If I have done that, then I am happy and I know that I am accomplishing what I have set out to do.” Kimberly-Ann is enjoying her recent retirement from a very busy, professional career. She is excited that she can devote more of her time to her passion of photography.