Nature is That “Nameless Thing”

Jennifer Hoffman Gessler, Morning Glory. 8x10"

Jennifer Hoffman, Morning Glory. 8 x10″ Oil

“There is something beyond explanation when an artist is drawn to a subject,” writes Jackson Hole artist Jennifer Hoffman. “Maybe it’s a bit of light or some familiar memory that is stirred, or some emotion the scene recalls. I’ve heard other artists refer to it as a sense of mystery or magic. My desire to paint the landscape around us (or any subject) goes beyond just copying its visual qualities.”

“That Nameless Thing” is the title of Hoffman’s newest show at Trio Fine Art, located just north of the Town Square in Jackson, Wyoming. She took the title from the writings of the deceased artist Emily Carr, an artist working in the early 1900’s associated with Canada’s “Group of Seven.”  Carr’s book “Hundreds and Thousands: the journals of Emily Carr” is Hoffman’s source.

While a variety of subjects, sizes and mediums fill the show, Hoffman has one ultimate goal: “I hope to catch something of that ‘nameless thing’,” she says. Hoffman was recently quite successful at capturing nature~~her serene, mirror-like painting of Flat Creek won “Honorable Mention” at the recent “Plein Air for the Park” Show and Sale.

“I love the patterns, colors, and textures of the mineral deposits, the steam, the reflective quality of the water.  I love the abstractness of the forms.” ~ Jennifer Hoffman

Jennifer Hoffman, "From Within." 12 x 16" Oil Pastel

Jennifer Hoffman, “From Within.” 12 x 16″ Oil Pastel

I’ve followed Hoffman closely over the years, and over those years she has consistently demonstrated her great gift for delving ever deeper into a scene. She is able to “translate” a landscape, wild creatures and still lifes into surprising, yet evocative works of art. Her draftsmanship is nothing short of impeccable, but she’s able to keep us from thinking of composition in its most basic terms because we are carried away by the poetry in her paintings.  One 30 x 30″ pastel of a thawing Hoback River is Hoffman’s largest pastel work to date.

Jennifer Hoffman at work.

The artist at Flat Creek

I’d go so far as to say Hoffman is channeling a bit of Abstract Expressionism. Helen Frankenthaler, are you in the air?

Yellowstone’s thermal areas are obviously beautiful.  Of course they draw many, many visitors because of their drama and unique physicality,” Hoffman observes. “I love the patterns, colors, and textures of the mineral deposits, the steam, the reflective quality of the water.  I love the abstraction of form.”

Jennifer Hoffman, "Transition," 16 x 20" Pastel

Jennifer Hoffman, “Transition,” 16 x 20″ Pastel

In this show you’ll find the fantastic, the sweet secrets of nature, a commanding use of color and light, and fall in love.

“That Nameless Thing” opens at Trio Fine Art on July 27th, and remains on exhibition through August 13th. An Opening Reception takes place Thursday, July 28th, 5-8:00 pm. Hoffman will give a talk at 6:00 pm. All work will be viewable online by July 25th. Visit www.triofineart.com ,  and contact the gallery at 307-734-4444. Email:   jen@jlholhoffmanfineart.com 

 

 

 

Plein Air for the Park ~ 2016!

 

Celebrate the Centennial! Visit "Plein Air for the Park" artists and shows!

Celebrate the Centennial! Visit “Plein Air for the Park” artists and shows!

It’s wondrous. “Plein Air for the Park is wondrous. A natural branching off from the roots of our precious national parks, “Plein Air for the Park” brings Grand Teton National Park to the world, just as the first explorers and chroniclers of the great Western Landscape did over 120 years ago. “Plein Air for the Park” has long been the summer arts event that most touches my heart. It’s fun for everyone, no matter your age, your artistic inclinations, no matter what you may or may not know about our parks.

One of Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painter Wes Newton's Teton-themed works.

One of Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painter Wes Newton’s Teton-themed works.

“The arts and nature cannot survive without one another.” ~ Yours Truly

Now in its fifth year, “Plein Air for the Park” attracts approximately 40 exceptional, professional painters to the park. Here, they spend the better part of two weeks spread out across the valley, painting our great natural wonders through their own eyes; interpreting what they see and feel. Then they put it on canvas. It all culminates in a grand SHOW & SALE at the Craig Thomas Discovery Center in Moose, Wyoming. Sale proceeds support the Grand Teton Association, a non-profit organization spreading the Park’s good word through literature, art, maps, posters, interpretive products, toys and learning games for children.

An early "Plein Air for the Park" painting by John Hughes.

An early “Plein Air for the Park” painting by John Hughes.

RMPAP, the Grand Teton Association, and Grand Teton National Park are proud to present this exclusive “wet painting” show and sale, now in its fifth year and a cornerstone of the Park’s summer season. Participating artists will paint on-location, “en plein-air,” in the Park and Jackson Hole area beginning July 4th (yes, it’s way past July 4th!)  The Show and Sale officially opens at Craig Thomas on Wednesday, July 13th.

39% of the proceeds from the show will benefit the Grand Teton Association and support their ongoing educational, interpretive, and scientific programs in GTNP.

Here’s an easy-to-follow schedule of events. Print it out, and paste it on your calendar!

JULY 4-12: Artists paint in and around Grand Teton NP and Jackson Hole. You may find them anywhere as you hike, fish, ride or float in the Park.

A painter's tools. Photo courtesy of "Artists in the Environment"

A painter’s tools. Photo courtesy of “Artists in the Environment”

SATURDAY, JULY 9: “Artists in the Environment” joins “Plein Air for the Park” in a group painting exhibition at String Lake, 9am – 12 Noon. Look for signage pointing the way. RMPAP artists Carol Swinney, Walter Porter and Jim Wodark will be on hand, and the public is welcome ~~encouraged! ~~ to stop by and bring a chair to watch. Bring your own art supplies and do your own sketches; children love painting alongside these talented landscape painters. A few years ago, several Park visitors made their own paintings on the spot and took them home. (Heart emoji!!)  Sponsored by the Grand Teton Association, this event is free and open to the public!

MONDAY, JULY 11: “Painting on the Mountain,” 5-7 PM at the Top of the Bridger Gondola/Couloir Restaurant, Teton Village. YES! That’s right. They’re painting high up on the slopes. Artists will demonstrate their painting techniques and skills and be available to answer questions about their work and the show.

TUESDAY, JULY 12: “Painting on the Square,” 3:30-6:30 PM, downtown Jackson. Join artists as they set up their easels and demonstrate in the heart of Jackson, on Jackson Town Square.

My Mom bought a painting!

My Mom bought a painting!

WEDNESDAY, JULY 13: Today is the Day!  Gala Opening Reception and Sale, 7-9:00 pm, at the Craig Thomas Discovery Center in Moose, Wyoming. All artists will be in attendance. Works are hung gallery-style, refreshments are in abundance, and energy high. It’s a fabulous party, and it’s FREE and OPEN to the Public. 

Very important and meaningful to those who knew and loved Greg McHuron, one of our greatest and most devoted plein air painters: The reception will also serve as the release party for Susan Hallsten McGarry’s new book about RMPAP member Greg McHuron, Gregory I. McHuron – Plein Air Master & Mentor. This beautiful new volume chronicles Greg’s life and work, and may be pre-ordered for the first time, exclusively at Plein Air for the Park.

Visitors throng to "Plein Air for the Park's" Quick Draw.

Visitors throng to “Plein Air for the Park’s” Quick Draw.

SATURDAY, JULY 16: The Show & Sale is a hard act to follow, but follow it we do! Come to the artists’ “Quick Draw” event, also at the Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitors Center, for a fixed-price sale of painted-on-the-spot works by RMPAP artists. The painting takes place 9-11:00 am, and is followed by a chance to buy works from the artists from 11:00 am – 12:00 Noon.

SUNDAY, JULY 17: The Show & Sale concludes at 4:00 pm. Want to know more about RMPAP and the Grand Teton Association? Visit www.rmpap.org and grand teton association

Painting in the Park~Courtesy Jackson Hole Art Blog

Painting in the Park~Courtesy Jackson Hole Art Blog

Enjoy! See you out there! Come early!  #jacksonhole #grandtetonnationalpark #pleinairforthepark #rockymountainpleinairpainters #jacksonholeartblog

 

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Borbay Merges Abstraction with Aristotle

Borbay. "Go Out and Get It For Yourself," ~ Portrait of Don Draper. Collage

Borbay. “Go Out and Get It For Yourself,” ~ Portrait of Don Draper. Collage.

It boils down to what makes an artist tick. Recently I shared an image of Borbay’s portrait of the actor Jon Hamm as Don Draper with a friend. Fascinated by the artist’s collage technique, she wondered why Borbay chose that creative path.

Aristotle said it best,” Borbay answered. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

For Borbay, known outside the art world as Jason Borbet, collage elements embedded within a portrait are a reflection of the subject, their era, issues and, “of course, autobiographical elements of yours truly.” Each piece is a multi-tiered time capsule.

Borbay’s Jackson Hole opening show reception takes place at the Art Association on Thursday, July 7th, 6-8:00pm. Entitled “Painting Light,” the show remains up through July 30th, 2016. The show includes examples of Borbay’s collage works, acrylic and “neon” canvases. To preview the full show, click here

"Painting Light's" signature work: Borbay's "Neon Cowboy.

“Painting Light’s” signature work: Borbay’s “Neon Cowboy. Acrylic, 24×24”

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A Closer Look at Plein Air

Bill Sawczuk, from "A Closer Look."

Bill Sawczuk, from “A Closer Look.”

Why take “a closer look?” What does it mean, relative to plein air painting, to examine the world more closely?

Summer is the season, and Jackson Hole is the place to find out. The summer brings a multitude of artists into the open, where they mingle with wilderness, wildlife and, this year, a blockbuster number of tourists. Like the good people working for the postal service, neither sleet nor snow nor bears eating easels can keep plein air painters from delivering the plein air “mail.”

Plein air painter and partner at Jackson gallery Trio Fine Art, Bill Sawczuk is set to host his summer solo exhibition “A Closer Look.”  The show, says the artist, will explore the [myriad talents] of an experienced eye. In partnership with a well-weilded paintbrush, an artist’s eye may take very close examination at its surrounding beauty.

Sawczuk’s work has been largely traditional, primarily broad landscapes, directly translated. “A Closer Look” searches out what doesn’t immediately catch the eye. Seemingly static scenes change, and Sawczuk wants to see what’s new.

“Old cabins in Grand Teton National Park are picturesque to be sure, but there is more to be seen and felt. [I have] tried to express the loneliness and melancholy [I] feel when describing these cabins in a painting. It can take very little to say a lot, to explore the material, and to convey [my] feelings to the viewer.” says the artist.

Bill Sawczuk at work.

Bill Sawczuk at work.

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The Red Road: Valkyries and Medicine Men at Altamira Fine Art

R. Tom Gilleon, Valkyrie. Oil, 32 x 24 inches

R. Tom Gilleon, Valkyrie. Oil, 32 x 24″. At Altamira Fine Art.

Valkyries. Often portrayed as beneficent creatures, their role as the God Odin’s daughters (or female assistants) in Norse mythology is deciding which warriors die and which survive great battles. Those who perish are flown to Odin’s Valhalla by the valkyries, so that he may watch over them.

“Whether in their loving or bloodthirsty modalities, the valkyries are best understood as part of the extensive and dynamic complex of shamanism that permeates pre-Christian Germanic religion,” notes the web page Norse Mythology for Smart People.

R. Tom Gilleon’s “Valkyrie” elicits a tumbling mass of confliciting emotion. Is this a wise and beneficent angel of Odin or a bloodthirsty footman? Is she grounded or hovering? Is she watching over a particualar soldier or pensive? And how does this mythological Norse shaman legend translate to Native American symbols and culture?

How many battles were waged as white men overtook Indian lands, livelihood and very soul? Too many to count. Gilleon uses an ancient character to make a statement about today’s world crises, too many to count. But I choose to believe Gilleon’s valkyrie is a compassionate, helping spirit, ready to protect. Ready to carry our souls to safety.

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