Artists of the Month - January 2016
by Judie Apablaza
Zoila Einem, "Pigeon"
Our first place winner for the new year, was Zoila Einem. Her medium of choice is acrylic. Zoila and her husband are animal lovers. They enjoy feeding a wide variety of birds in her backyard locally and when they travel to their cabin in Lake Arrowhead. It is a natural extension of her interest in animals that Zoila captures the beauty of nature with photography and interprets it on canvas. She has her own darkroom in her home where she has worked with photography for many years.
Her entry, “Pigeon” was caught on film then transitioned to a painting. The lovely purples and iridescent turquoise on the bird's neck are accented by the red of the eye. The portrait artfully uses a hint of bold colors to contrast with the softness of the light, delicate feathers of the bird's body. In addition to painting and photographing animals, Zoila and her husband are also involved in showing and handling Lagoto Romagnolo dogs, also known as truffle dogs.
Zoila’s art interests were also honed during a long career as a pre-school teacher. She always brought in unique arts and crafts projects for her students to explore and expand their creativity. She credits James Williams, her teacher and mentor through McGroarty Art Center, with her confidence and inspiration to paint with acrylic. We are fortunate to have Zoila and her husband with us as new members of the Verdugo Hills Art Association and look forward to their future artistic inspirations from the natural world.
Jen Swain, "Octoruss"
In keeping with our January meeting theme of animation, Jennifer Swain was our second place winner. Jen’s work was a whimsical mixed media presentation titled, “Octoruss.” She is trying out her new art form with pencil on wood. Her creature was playfully creeping across a wooden board sporting tusks, eyeballs and tentacles. As Jen stated, “an octopus and walrus creation” out of her imagination.
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. As a single mom, she is also very proud of her son, who does film editing, carrying on the family tradition in the arts. We are very fortunate to have Jennifer Swain as a board member in charge of publicity for our Verdugo Hills Art Association.