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Blogging the Co-op Life
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by Juanita Canzoneri
Welcome to an ongoing blog about how to sell your artwork through Commonwheel Artists Co-op. This timely tip is brought to you by our annual Holiday Market.
Option 1—Holiday Market!
Submit work to for our Holiday Market jury. This year it will take place on September 12 and we are accepting samples of your actual work, along with the Jury Form and Jury Fee of $10 on September 10, 11, and 12 from 10 am to 6 pm daily.
Jury Forms and information are available at commonwheel.com/holiday-market.html .
by Juanita Canzoneri
Jo Gaston grew up on a farm in southwest Missouri. Grandparents on both her mother's and father's side lived on farms nearby. Some of her earliest memories are of vegetable and flower gardens and of the livestock.
Jo creates watercolors of the ranch and garden subjects she has known since childhood. The realistic details of her paintings make her subjects easily recognizable as she uses light and color freely to intensify her impressions of the inherent abstract forms.
Attractive forms, textures, and colors are present and waiting to be recognized in many of her subjects especially in vegetables, flowers and Western tack. Although, she admits she finds that turning them into art is hard work. She has to choose thoughtfully, stand close, observe carefully, and work within the fundamentals of artistic composition.
The intricate shapes and glowing colors of vegetables and flowers appeal to her. She uses saturated, vibrant pigments to dramatize their form and texture. She finds an endless variety of form, texture, and light and color in vegetables and flowers. From warm, rich browns to bright, whimsical pinks, purples, and blues, her palette grows with each painting. Form, texture, light, and color are there waiting in most of her subjects, but composition and value are the most important elements in her work. She combines and positions her subjects to achieve the strongest visual effect. Her goal is always a composition that intrigues and rewards the viewer, and dramatizes the features that originally interested her to the subject.
For the pieces in “Botanical Expressions” Jo begins a painting by selecting a subject with strong, interesting design elements. Prominent colors and light levels also direct her choices. The hibiscus blossom that is a subject of Kathleen’s jewelry and her watercolor painting attracted her with exactly those desirable design elements: colors, and light levels.
Having chosen a subject, she does several drawings until she has an outline that reads well, one with a clear center of interest and a combination of shapes and lines that will guide a viewer into, and out of, the eventual painting. Then she adds shading to help with decisions about the direction and intensity of light and shadow. These decisions about values are critical because with transparent watercolor one cannot go back to lighten something that’s too dark.
When she’s sure of basic shapes and light levels, she does a color study by blocking in principal colors. Those blocks of color tell her for the first time whether the light, color, and shape will come together well. Going from the color study to the final painting takes hours of attention to shading, texture, and detail—using multiple layers of transparent watercolor to get the right balance of darkness and light, adding intricate details to emphasize texture and bring out important features.
That sounds like a lot of work for a single hibiscus blossom, doesn’t it? Kathleen and I agree that what we create does take plenty of effort and time, but somehow work doesn’t seem the right term for what we do. We take delight in the creating of our jewelry and paintings, and we very much hope you’ll enjoy seeing the results.
Step out of your comfort zone and feel the exhilaration of trying something new. Explore the possible creative ways of displaying and enjoying your beloved jewelry pieces by integrating diverse artistic mediums. You might find that an exotic pendant can be displayed in your home on an interesting wall art piece when it is not hanging around your neck. A gorgeous ring or bracelet may have a place to rest in a small shadow box that has a poem or haiku specifically written for the piece of personal adornment. A painting can become three dimensional when adding another artistic component. The possibilities are endless. Can you visualize a wonderful piece of pottery embellished with a removable piece of jewelry
Opening Reception Friday, April 15, 5—8 pm
April 15 to May 16, 2016
Commonwheel Artists Co-op invites you to free yourself from your comfort zone and open yourself to creativity!
We’re offering a place to explore new ideas in personal adornment and innovative home décor items, providing a sensory delight for our art loving customers. Why not display an exotic pendant on a beautiful ceramic sculpture when it is not hanging around your neck? Why not showcase a gorgeous ring or bracelet in an evocative shadow box? Why not exhibit a dazzling showpiece within an embellished painting?
Our next gallery show, “Dare to Express,” will playfully provide you with interesting ways to incorporate wearable art into your home décor and innovative displays to showcase your beloved jewelry pieces.
On April 15th join us for our gallery opening reception and get a chance to meet in person the creative masterminds behind this one-of-a-kind show, while tasting hors d'oeuvres and enjoying Colorado Bluegrass music.
Gallery Show featuring Sculpture and Paintings by David Caricato
Opening Reception March 18, 5-8 pm
Show runs through April 11. Regular store hours are 10 am-6 pm daily.
Article and photographs by Juanita Canzoneri
David Caricato has been making art for over 40 of his nearly 70 years. Most of that time he worked with sculptural forms in wood and other natural materials. His early work uses long gourds as a base for the pieces he calls “Earth Dancers” which include design elements from southwest First Nations tribes. He began incorporating raven masks worked in the northwest First Nations style as a humorous juxtaposition of ideas.
The raven masks, as well as other mask styles, have by now found their way into many other sculptures that don’t incorporate the “Earth Dancer” shapes.
With the most recent change in the economy he diversified to making small figural paintings in acrylics. He can sell the paintings at a lower price point since they come together quicker than his larger sculptures do. But ever the dyed-in-the-wool wood worker he hand-carves many of the frames for his paintings.
For his paintings he works with a limited number of models, over several years. Pointing to one painting he told me, “I’ve worked with her over 3 boyfriends and breakups. I think the guy she’s with now will be a keeper.” The pieces that come from these modelling sessions are collaborative. He might have an idea for where he wants to start, or the model may want to try something. The sessions are photographed and then both he and the model look at the photos and make changes.
With his paintings, which are typically no more than 6”-8” tall, his studio is the kitchen island or in his living room. He had a studio in an outbuilding on his property that’s more conducive to his sculptural work, with a tool bench and dust catchment system he works year round. Pulling out a piece he’s working on he explained some of the woods he worked with created dust that was quite dangerous to inhale.
David’s goal with his art is to push buttons and find where the boundaries are. He is making the type of art that he wants and is a self-diagnosed wood hoarder. His figural art deals with the human form, including many nudes. Getting the musculature correct is highly important to him, even with his smallest canvases. This gives his paintings and sculptures a realistic quality. But the humor in his art lends a charm and warmth to that realism. And there are times when David expresses his political views in a very tongue-in-cheek way with his work.
David is a Pueblo native with two undergraduate degrees, one in Graphic Design and one in Industrial Arts/Woodworking. He has been showing galleries throughout the Southwest, Washington state, Florida, and New York. He recently had a one-man show of the same name at the Sangre de Christo Art Center and has received numerous awards, including Best in Show and First Place in Sculpture at the Colorado State Fair Art Show.
102 Cañon Avenue, Manitou Springs, CO 80829