Artists of the Month - October 2017
by Judie Apablaza
Jay Ewing, was our first place winner in the “Premier” category. Jay is in an enviable position to be able to travel to exotic places for business and have time to do a bit of Plein Air watercolor and pen and ink work while in these idyllic locations. His painting was titled with the name of the little village in Germany. The title of the watercolor painting is “Bad Swalbach.” While he was a Frankfurt, Germany he took a side trip to this little town by the Rhine filled with narrow cobblestone streets and half-beam shops and residences. Those of us who know Jay would say that he was delighted to find a quaint setting for a sketch in pen and ink, completed with subtle colors in rich watercolor. Jay is a master at architectural drawing and can complete the drawing with precision and realism.
The sun had just come out from behind the clouds and the rain had stopped. He was finishing up his watercolor piece on location, catching the light and the shadows.
School had just let out for the day and middle school boys surrounded him as he added important details to his sketch. As he was deep into his subject, the boys quietly helped themselves to his camera and started taking shots of Jay, the buildings and their fellow students. When Jay returned home, he was surprised to find many pictures that he had not taken on his digital camera. Nothing was taken and the camera was replaced in the exact local where the boys had found it.
We are so pleased to have Jay as an active, enthusiastic member. With a solid, formal art background from Art Center College of Design and 20 plus years of commercial art experience, he loves to share is techniques and encouragement with others. He perfects his fine art on weekends as well as teaching class and workshops. Jay feels that watercolor is one of the challenging of art mediums and he also enjoys working with oils. We are pleased to say that several VHAA members have also been Jay’s students.
Our blue ribbon winner in the “Open” category was David Crandon, who entered a painting in oil pastel. At the time that he brought the painting to the display table, he had no great interest in creating a title for his work. After some deliberation and pressure from the author, David decided that the painting would remain untitled. David’s inspiration for the painting was a photo from the LA Times. While he very much liked the composition, he found the muted colors in the newsprint to be uninspiring. Multiple experiments later David came up with a final version and was ready to move on to something new.
The mood that he was attempting to portray places the artist and the observer in the coolness of the shade, dark trees that frame a warm, intensely colored background. David worked and reworked his design elements to create a balance of “interesting shapes.” For those of us who have never worked with oil pastels, David explained that creating with this medium requires that the artist build up layers on a surface. Crosshatching and “scrumbling” with a “light touch” can create various textures over previous layers. David states that "Blending colors with oil pastels is very difficult, for me at least, and is quite different from the process of using watercolors." He also noted that oil pastel was created by Sennelier, a French company, for Pablo Picasso.
We are looking foreword to other inspirations and creations by David Crandon now that he has retired. David had a successful career in the software industry in which his firm created, installed and trained staff in large financial institutions. He states that he is a “dabbler” in the fine arts, but I would rather imagine that he is using the same “attention to detail” that he applied in his professional career.
Dilmit Singh, a new member, was our second place winner in the “Open” category. Her watercolor was titled, “Oh Jerusalem.” While traveling in Israel with a fact-finding group of educators, Dilmit found time to snap a few photos of the Dome of the Rock. She said that the golden dome was illuminated in the setting sun. Surrounding the dome was a huge cemetery in contrasting grays with the city far below, as she observed the setting from the Mount of Olives. Dilmit stated that it was "visually the center of everything and so beautiful.” We as artists can imagine the setting and the symbolic nature of the old city of Jerusalem surrounded by the topography that has remained relatively unchanged for hundred of years. Her trip to Israel with a group of school principals focused on curriculum and the unique organization of their schools. Dilmit observed, first hand, the value and high priority that the Israeli community places on education. She has taught English in India and enjoys her administrative position.
Our second place winner also states that she is a “dabbler” in the arts and manages to sketch and paint as well as managing a home and family. She obviously is a high-energy person and still enjoys painting in oil and watercolor as well as keeping an illustrative journal. She feels that there is an intuitive connection with the beauty of the written language and fine art. We are so pleased that Dilmit happen to find our Verdugo Hills Art Association when she moved here a year ago. She was walking in the neighborhood and noticed that one of our Friday meetings was just beginning. She took the unique opportunity to join us that evening. We are so pleased to welcome her
as a new member.