Thursday, March 31, 2011

Katherine Liontas-Warren and the Wichita mountains

Donna Merkt, director of education at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art that we are collaborating with on the Oklahoma documentary recommended a visit to the Wichita Mountain Refuge
Established in 1901,Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is one of more than 546 refuges throughout the United States managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service. The 59,020 acre Refuge hosts a rare piece of the past - a remnant mixed grass prairie, an island where the natural grasslands escaped destruction because the rocks underfoot defeated the plow.
The Refuge provides habitat for large native grazing animals such as American bisonRocky Mountain elk, and white-tailed deerTexas longhorn cattle also share the Refuge rangelands as a cultural and historical legacy species. More than 50 mammal, 240 bird, 64 reptile and amphibian, 36 fish, and 806 plant species thrive on this important refuge.
How to Get There

From I-44 take Highway 49 (exit 45). Go west 10 miles to the Refuge gate. If coming from Highway 62, take Highway 115 (Cache exit) north to the Refuge Gate. 
A map is available. You will find leaflet dispensers inside each of the Refuge gates that have maps and information. Contact Refuge Headquarters for more information or see available Google Map.
Donna also recommended an artist who draws great inspiration from them, Katherine Liontas-Warren. And I could see why as her drawings are exquisite. I love good drawing with drama, beautiful marks and deep chiarascuro.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Chiaroscuro (English pronunciation: /kiˌɑːrəˈskjʊəroʊ/Italian: [kjarosˈkuːro] "light-dark") in art is characterized by
 strong contrasts between light and dark, usually bold contrasts affecting a whole composition. It is also a
 technical term used by artists and art historians for using contrasts of light to achieve a sense of volume in
 modeling three-dimensional objects such as the human body.
See below to get a sense of her exquisite detail and go to her website The detail and drama in her black and white drawings is stunning. I jokingly told her that she is to rocks what I am to trees. We are going to visit her studio and then travel up into the Wichita Mountains to see some of her favorite spots where she draws inspiration and the drawings that have been done of them. I love seeing how an artist interprets the environment they love. This segment will be great fun to shoot.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Researching locations and interviews for our Oklahoma documentary

This morning I had a very inspiring conversation with Donna Merkt, the Director of Education at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art about developing a curriculum around the principles of the Creative Native Project which has been on our 'wish list'. As well as how we would shoot her innovative educational program at the museum. I was really looking forward to working with her as she has such a novel and engaging approach to education. After talking for quite a while it became apparent that we are both on the 'same page' which is exciting. More on my research and conversations with creative individuals tomorrow as we move toward production and location shooting of our Oklahoma show beginning in May.
I have posted a picture of one of my trees from the Keystone Ancient Forest near Sand Springs, OK. It is 60"x46", graphite on panel

More on it soon!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Preston Contemporary Art Center Opening-Mesilla, NM

PCAC Exhibition opens Friday, March 11
 Artists' Dialogue Saturday, March 12

Hello Friends of the Preston Contemporary Art Center,
We invite you to join us for the opening reception for the second PCAC Exhibition for 2011.  You'll have a chance to see new works and meet artists Kevin Box, Craig Dongoski, Fran Hardy and Suzanne Kane on Friday evening from 6:30 - 8:30 pm and at the Artists Dialogue on Saturday beginning at 1 pm.

Fran Hardy
Hardy - Planting Fields

All of Fran Hardy's work focuses on the natural world, especially native flora and its preservation. She is proficient and inventive with a wide variety of media, but her recent work focuses on large drawings on panel, often also utilizing watercolor and various acrylic mediums and grounds.  An eye for meticulous detail infuses Hardy's work, and she says that often various magical creatures and forms will make themselves known to the viewer within the twisting bark of her trees. "My early childhood was spent in the solitary pursuit of reading magic books and fairy tales, and along with my desire to save the natural world and vanishing ancient trees and flora, these forest sprites emerge unbidden and subconsciously as I draw. I enjoy the fact that like observing clouds, every viewer of my work will see different images in the gnarled bark of my trees."  With six solo museum exhibitions, two traveling shows and a 15-year retrospective, Hardy's work has reached a wide audience across the country. She has produced three educational documentaries that have aired at museums and on national television.  View a segment of one of her video presentations at the gallery.