Tag Archives: Trio Fine Art

Sketching With Bill Sawczuk; Crushing on Rob Kingwill

By Bill Sawczuk

“I don’t need a sketch to paint.”  
 
“Sketching is too time consuming.” 
 
“I don’t like pencil work.” 
 
And the real reason:
“I don’t wish to spend the time practicing to sketch.”  

 

These are reasons artists chafe against sketching, as cited by plein air painter Bill Sawczuk. In this post, I’m letting Bill do the talking. A consummate professional, he’s always thinking of composition, technique and hard work. In his mind, the definition of sketching–and its importance in the artistic process–is largely misunderstood.

Sawczuk says that the resistance to pencil work stems from the fact that many artists tend to take a pencil sketch too far.

“They labor at technique and finish. The feeling of spontaneity and freshness is gone, and an overworked sketch is the result,” explains Sawczuk. “Look at the sketches that Sorolla did of people sitting in restaurants in New York and Chicago. They were very quickly done, but they capture the attitude and character of those people.”

Bill Sawczuk is quick on the oil sketch draw. No evidence of coffee stains!

As Sawczuk is predominantly a plein air oil painter, he often uses oil as a sketching medium to do a quick study on 8-weight museum quality paper board.

“The big advantage of this material is its ability to soak in the oil paint, which allows you to keep painting on a relatively dry surface. I completed this oil sketch (above) in one hour, and it could have been quicker if I hadn’t dipped my brush in my coffee,” says the artist.

Bill Sawczuk, Conte Figure Sketch

Many world-renowned artists executed highly descriptive yet simple renderings of buildings around the globe using a pencil, Sawczuk tells us. A pencil, he says, is a handy tool, easily obtained, easily carried, and quick to use with plenty of practice.

Photo of Bill Sawczuk by Tammy Christel

“Carry a nice soft pencil and sketch pad with you…no eraser! Using an eraser might cause you to over-correct, negating the time-saving benefits of a quick sketch. Your subject might be anything, but your purpose is learning. If you are drawing from a live model, take advantage of your chance to quick sketch, and see how quickly you improve.”

Sawczuk’s ability to capture the heart of Jackson Hole’s Western culture and wildlife is unmatched. His dynamic portrait of a bull moose sold like lightning at the Art Association’s recent “Whodunnit” fundraiser sale. The painting’s power and surety, its “moose essence,” made it jump off the wall. Sawczuk was also recently featured in the prestigious Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine in that publication’s article on figure drawing, “Go Figure.”

A member of the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters group, Bill Sawczuk is also represented at Trio Fine Art in Jackson Hole. You know he’ll be out and painting up a storm this summer!  www.triofineart.com

Rob Kingwill for Nike

I’m old. And that’s why, when the coolest of the cool snowboarding – art crowd talk to me, it’s HUGE! The other evening I ran into Rob Kingwill at a friend’s birthday party, and I have to say about this young man: he ALWAYS smiles and says hello, he’s always positive, he’s “clear,” and he’s good to his parents.

We talked for a while. Really, Rob talked and I listened, because I’m not close to his arts group here. He creates for the joy of it; he’s not weighted with angst, but he’s also, I think, hungry and ready for more exposure in the Jackson Hole art scene. For his genre to be taken “seriously.”
To be considered….fine art?  Take a look!

AVALON7 SNOWBOARDING AND FLYFISHING FACEMASKS

It’s certainly sought after. It’s as disciplined as any other form of art. Understand the snowboard culture and you understand the art.  I think a few more pop-up shows for Kingwill and his colleagues are in order, don’t you? There are some pretty sweet sponsors we could hit up!  Check out his company on Facebook:  AVALON7.

Thanks for the talk, Rob. I learned a lot. https://www.linkedin.com/in/rob-kingwill-ab8487b/

 

Kathryn Mapes Turner Meets Winter 2017

Kathryn Mapes Turner, “Dance,” 48 x 48″.

Kathryn Mapes Turner, of Trio Fine Art, grew up in Grand Teton National Park on her family’s Triangle X Ranch. She’s arguably experienced just about everything a Jackson Hole winter can throw out there.

But, says the artist, there is winter…and there is THIS winter. With little sun, high winds, frigid temperatures and hundreds of inches of snowfall, even this valley veteran turned to accessing her imagination in lieu of accessing 15-foot high snow berms.

“Winters are always magical,” says Turner. “A typical winter brings peace and solitude; it’s a time to scale back, explore internal creative impulses, and ‘save up’ for summer when once again I’ll be able to respond to the sublime stimulation and inspiration of painting out in the field.”

“It’s all made me think back on my anthropology studies. We explored how the arts flourished in communities that had their basic needs met as opposed to communities that didn’t.”

Endlessly fascinating are the transformations snow and ice bring. Winter turns the outdoors into a dream world, simplifying landscapes, paring it down to essentials. But this winter, Turner admits her soul was not buoyed by her favorite winter activity, skiing.

Kathryn Mapes Turner, “Teton Sunrise.”

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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 

 

 

 

Hoffman’s World; Far Afield with Bert

THIS. BLOWS. MY. MIND.

Enlightened, ©Jennifer L. Hoffman, 2015, oil and cold wax on linen, 24x18 in.

Enlightened, ©Jennifer L. Hoffman, 2015, oil and cold wax on linen, 24×18 in.

Trio Fine Art’s partners Kathryn Mapes Turner, Jennifer L. Hoffman and Bill Sawczuk have taken to sending out what amount to personal diaries that reveal their feelings and processes. I’m lucky to have been physically present when all three artists create work, and we always enjoy conversations that certainly help form my own soul’s perspective.

Jennifer Hoffman at work. Photo by Tammy Christel

Jennifer Hoffman at work. Photo by Tammy Christel

But there’s nothing like reading these “diaries.” Hoffman is a dear friend. When I first arrived in Jackson her work stood out. She’s climbed a lot of ladders, and her work is highly praised. It’s thrilling to see her venture into the abstract. Her work is cliché-free. Each stroke of her brush or pastel is laden with emotion. With memory. Hoffman’s thickly layered canvases are what plein air should be: our eyes roam each surface, seeking out details. We marvel at layered textures, a dream-like, hauntingly soft view of the world. She approaches nature as the mystery it is.

Jennifer Hoffman - "Winding Through."

Jennifer Hoffman – “Winding Through.”

A year ago I had the honor of standing in for Hoffman at New York’s Salmagundi Club. Her work received a prestigious award, one of many. It was a proud day for the artist, and a heady, exciting day for me.

Here’s an excerpt from Hoffman’s blog. In it, she describes a “Eureka!” moment shared with the late, great plein air painter Greg McHuron. That day, Hoffman was frustrated with her artistic efforts, and McHuron solved the dilemma:

“…So I drew a thumbnail of what I remembered as the composition.  “Look!” [Greg] said, pointing at the saguaro in front of the mountains that I’d sketched on the napkin. “You’ve already improved on your idea!” He was right: I had subtly shifted the main elements of my design into a better version of my original composition.  Without the distraction of a million compelling details in front of my eyes, that idea became my whole focus.”

Click here to read more about Jennifer Hoffman’s work. And click here to visit her gallery, Trio Fine Art.

Bert Raynes and Friend. Courtesy JenTen Productions.

Bert Raynes and Friend. Courtesy JenTen Productions.

TONIGHT, June 3rd, 6-7:30 pm, PLEASE join the JenTen film production team at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Help crowd fund “Far Afield,” a documentary about one of this valley’s most beloved conservationists, Bert Raynes. I’ve contributed!

“Donate and Celebrate,” as the group says. You may also visit http://igg.me/at/BertFilmJH to contribute. Contact Jennifer Tennican at 307.690.2258 or jentennican@gmail.com for more info.  

22, You View, You! – Art Association Hat Trick

Jennifer Hoffman - Flat Creek Breakdown

Jennifer Hoffman – Flat Creek Breakdown

Bushwhacking through dense underbrush and tangled bunches of new and old-growth forest one afternoon with two of the three Trio Fine Art artists, I finally “got” what determination means when it comes to plain air painting. I’ve loved and been close to plain air for decades, but rarely get a chance to go with painters to protected, coveted painting sites. This day was different, and following the footsteps of Jennifer Hoffman and Bill Sawczuk as they marked a painting spot on protected land can be defined, without hesitation, as adventure.

When bellowing bull elk bear down on you, suggesting you’d be better off moving some yards to the south, you pick up your paint box and move it. Hoffman tells the story of that day much better than I; We ventured out on the Ladd property. You think you know what you’re doing, but this valley is always full of surprises…read the story here.

Kathryn Turner - Mead Ranch

Kathryn Turner – Mead Ranch

View22: Painting Jackson Hole’s Open Spaces is a collaboration and fundraiser art exhibition featuring the works of artists Kathryn Turner, Hoffman and Sawczuk. The exhibition’s opening reception takes place Friday, December 6th, at Trio Fine Art on North Cache. Time is 5-8 pm, with artists’ remarks beginning at 6pm. The exhibition remains up through December 21st. A portion of exhibition sales benefit the Jackson Hole Land Trust.

Drawing inspiration from Thomas Moran, the painter responsible for capturing Yellowstone’s rugged beauty so magnificently that Congress declared it and Grand Teton as national parks, View 22 celebrates the Jackson Hole Land Trust’s conservation efforts that have so dramatically affected our open spaces, and works to further cement the eternal bond between art and nature.

Bill Sawczuk - Hardeman Barn

Bill Sawczuk – Hardeman Barn

This past summer and early fall saw Turner, Hoffman and Sawczuk visiting an array of preserved open spaces, often not available to the public, and painting their landscapes, wildlife and historic valley structures. Besides benefitting the Land Trust, this show shines a light on special land tracts many of us don’t get a chance to see. Or, if you have had the luck to visit them, you may view each of these places anew. Eighteen protected properties were captured en plein air for the project; 23,000 acres have been protected by the Land Trust.

“As full-time landscape painters in Jackson Hole, we have a vital interest in the preservation of open space within our valley. It is the natural beauty found in wide open spaces that inspires our creativity. Through sharing our interpretations of the landscape, we hope to shine a spotlight on the importance of conservation efforts made possible by the Jackson Hole Land Trust,” said Turner, Hoffman, and Sawczuk.

A View 22 produced video of the artists, their activities and several locations they visited can be viewed here.

Land Trust Executive Director Laurie Andrews is thrilled with Trio Fine Art’s commitment. “Through Trio’s artists’ deep understanding of how the valley’s protected open spaces affect their daily lives, and [through] their talent and creativity, they’ve shown us all a very special view of [the Land Trust’s] work.”

For more information contact Trio Fine Art at 307.734.4444, or phone the Land Trust’s Leslie Steen at 307.733.4707. Email: leslie@jhlandtrust.org   www.triofineart.com  www.jhlandtrust.org  

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