Artists of the Month - November 2015
by Judie Apablaza
Ann Carpenter - Light, Lilacs and Lace
Our first place winner in the “Premier Category", Ann Carpenter, titled her lovely watercolor composition “Light, Lilacs and Lace.” We can almost catch the scent of the blue lilacs in the vase as they sit on a drawing room table, crowning the middle of a 100 year old Battenburg lace tablecloth. (Battenburg lace was developed in the 1800s and revived the English lace-making industry.) Ann has borrowed the tablecloth on many occasions from her sister-in-law who inherited it from her grandmother. There is also a deeper connection to family, with memories of gathering wild lilacs around the family cabin in Big Bear.
Ann rediscovered the drawing of her lilac and lace composition that she had put away in storage. After eleven years she resumed her painting. The painting will be given to her sister-in-law with all the fond memories and hours of work that went into this intricate watercolor painting. Ann would like us to be aware that she did not use any masking fluid in the preparation and completion of this art work. We have written about Ann on other occasions and always look forward to her display of skill and attention to detail.
Nikki Thomas - Give Me A Kiss
Nikki Thomas was our blue ribbon winner in the “Open Category.” She gave us a playful moment with her watercolor painting titled, “Give Me A Kiss.” These two elephants romping and playing caught Nikki’s eye, as she happened to see the pair at play in a unique magazine photograph. The pair had their trunks crossed as they turned and greeted one another. Her inspiration was the spontaneous action and fluid quality of these seemingly ponderous animals. She captured the moment in a delicate and luminous quality that only watercolor can capture.
Nikki has many interests and tireless energy. She describes herself as a “practical person” but we know that her practical bookkeeping career in the field of banking has also balanced out with years of musical and visual art expressions. She started out with childhood “paint-by-the-numbers” and tole painting. Her other passion has also been music and specifically singing with her church choir and with the Sweet Adelines for 10 years. When she explored an art class at Cal State Los Angeles, she said “she was hooked” on art. Nikki is not content to hide her talents and interests, rather she shares and encourages us with her warmth and enthusiasm for art.
Barbara Thorn-Otto - Pot Full Of Daisies
Our second place winner, in the “Premier Category” is Barbara Thorn-Otto. Barbara is not a stranger to the winners circle and we have been pleased to interview her about her career and accomplishments in the past. Her watercolor titled, “Pot Full Of Daisies” was a standout with the members and guests. The fluid composition and delicate nature of the painting was balanced out by a contrasting, darker background and the pastel quality of the well-placed flowers. The composition has an almost animated quality. Barbara completed this painting in her neighbor’s backyard. Barbara and several painting friends still get together with their teacher from Brand Studio in Glendale. Her neighbor has a stunning garden, thanks to her knowledge and expertise gleaned from her part-time work at Sheridan Gardens. Truly the airiness and spontaneity of the painting makes us think of a sunny day. We are pleased to have Barbara as one of our Verdugo Hills Art Association’s loyal and active members.