Monthly Archives: January 2013

Meet Our Members: Joan Maguire

Joan Maguire

Joan Maguire

How do you describe yourself as an artist?

I call myself a Saturday artist.  Working full time limits when I can paint.  I am always thirsty to learn new techniques. As an artist you tend to see beyond the common.  When you look at a field of corn you see the shapes of the stalks, how they line up in the field, how the shadows play, the darkness toward the roots and how the light plays off the husks.

Where do you create your art?

I create most of my art in my mind – color, forms, shapes, feelings – until it just has to come out on to paper.  The first major piece I did, and what got me started into serious painting, was a field of poppies named “Field of Dreams”.  For many years I thought about how I could paint a field of poppies that were not your typical red field.  I wanted to capture the feelings, smell, and texture of the petal against the coarseness of the leaves and pods. Then one day, about nine years ago it just “came out”.  The first original sold and the second, “Field of Dreams II” is now my signature piece.

Field of Dreams II by Joan Maguire

Field of Dreams II by Joan Maguire

I have a small dream studio on Beech Island, located on Lake Frederic on the Susquehanna, directly across from TMI!  Surrounded by water, beautiful Herons, butterflies, flowers and ferns makes it a lovely place to paint.  During the winter months I live in Hershey and paint and frame at my home. Whenever I travel I carry my brushes and camera.

Joan's garden view on Beech Island

Joan’s garden view on Beech Island

What is your favorite medium?

All my life I did some type of art or craft but I always came back to watercolor.  I put all my projects away and try to keep watercolor my priority.  I did take an oil painting class and really like that medium.  I think I will make that my secondary medium in a few years.  I did several abstracts in oil that have sold… which is encouraging!

What are your favorite tools?

My eraser is my most favorite tool.  Seriously, I panic if I don’t have it when I am working on a sketch or painting.  I also use a metal gadget designed by Terry Madden that allows me to create thin veins in petals and leaves or large flat scrapes to form rocky areas while your paint is still wet.  High quality paint, paper and brushes are a must. You paint with what you can afford, but it is better to have a small amount of high quality products then a large amount of lesser quality tools.   I use Arches 140 lb cold press block for small paintings and Arches 300 lb for larger paintings.  The heavier paper allows you to create texture, make corrections and remove color without damaging the surface.

What motivates you to be creative?

It is like when your body craves orange juice, my mind craves to create.  Otherwise I might be summoned by an amazing orchid calling my name to take it home and paint it.

Orchid by Joan Maguire

Orchid by Joan Maguire

Can you describe your medium and style?

Years ago I started painting very tight and detailed and wanted to let loose and have a freer style.  I would watch Terry Madden on WITF every Sunday morning – right before Bob Ross! I took one of his workshops which allowed me to open up and have a looser style.

Many people think watercolor is a hard medium to work with but you can use muted, soft tones or heavy intense colors.  They can flow freely or be controlled – depending on the amount of water you use and your style.  Watercolor is very portable and dries fast.  The convenience makes it easy to work with.

My style of art brings me joy, a smile, a moment away from myself.  It is my hope that my paintings bring the same happiness to those who own and view my art.  Most of my work doesn’t make you think; rather it lets your mind drift to a fun or calm place.

I have been playing with Yupo – which is plastic instead of paper.  The paint sits on top, swirls and pools.  When it dries you can paint on top or wipe off areas you don’t like.  It forces me to paint with a fun free spirit despite myself!

A floral painting on Yupp by Joan Maguire

A floral painting on Yupo by Joan Maguire

Describe your dream studio or creative space:

I do have some nice spaces to paint, but lately I have been thinking about making a 10 X 10-foot space in my basement where the floor, walls and ceiling are covered in a heavy plastic.  I would hang paper and canvas all over the space and then just start wildly creating – painting them all at the same time to a good music beat.

Do you have a favorite technique that you use a lot in your work?

A tooth brush (dedicated to painting I might add) can give you great texture when spritzed for sand, highlighting or adding a little metallic glitz to finish a picture.  Salt, both fine table salt and course Kosher are not only good on your food!  I often use a little on a painting as it will add interest after it absorbs the color and feathers the spot.  When I paint a sky I do a blue wash and then blot out the color, creating wonderful fluffy images. Occasionally I will use a sea sponge to give texture to foliage.

Key Largo by Joan Maguire

Key Largo by Joan Maguire

How did you get into this type of art?

Somewhere along the way I thought, or was told, that watercolor was the hardest medium to work with.  (I grew up having to drive a stick shift before I was allowed to drive an automatic) So I think that is why I started with watercolor.  I don’t have that philosophy anymore but there is so much more I need to learn and try with this medium that I want to keep with it.

My Aunt Marion (MEL) Fetterolf is a watercolor artist of national acclaim.  I probably was influenced over the years with her work and chose the medium because of her.

What are your favorite things about your work?

The feeling that you get when you look at it.  I want my art to take the viewer away, into the scene or feeling, to have a few minutes of calm from their hectic day.

Hibiscus by Joan Maguire

Hibiscus by Joan Maguire

What artists do you relate to?

Growing up in Chester County Andrew and Jamie Wyeth were big influences.  I took a few classes at the Art Association of Harrisburg by David Lenker who also painted in that style.  My father, Eugene Liesau, started oil painting later in his life.  He did beautiful still-life oils.   Some people have said my work has some similarity Georgia O’Keefe.    I love the cleanness, bright color and form that she used.

What are your goals for the future of your art?

When I decided I was going to be an artist and sell my work I established goals.  These started out by joining art organizations, entering competitions and exhibiting in galleries.  My next phase was to establish an internet presence which culminated with my own web site at www.Joanmaguireart.com  Here, buyers of certain prints get a chance to win the original painting after a set number are sold.

My five year goal is to expand my gallery presence outside of the local area, grow my internet business and to continue to learn and grow as an artist.

I also take picture of all my steps of painting.  During one of our Mixed Media meetings it was suggested I use this process to create eBooks.  Look for them in the future!

Joan' Maguire's future ebook in progress.

Joan’ Maguire’s future ebook in progress.

Joan Maguire's painting process in her ebook.

Joan Maguire’s painting process in her ebook.

See more of Joan Maguire’s art here. Read more interviews about Mixed Media Art Group members on this site and visit our website for more information about members, exhibits, and workshops. www.mixedmediaartgroup.com

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Meet Our Members: Lynn Kennedy

Lynn Kennedy

Lynn Kennedy-Putt

Lynn Kennedy-Putt is a forever-growing Mixed Media Artist who thrives on new art form experimentation and exploring new mediums.  She started her education at the York Academy of Art later transferring to and graduating from Antonelli Institute. For the next twenty years, she worked at several advertising agencies where she advanced to an Art Director position.  Upon the birth of her first child, she left the ad agency and began working part time as a freelance artist.  While she enjoyed the freedom and rewards of being her own boss, the majority of her work still involved the use of computer graphics and she longed for the days of experiencing her work through her hands.  Having been a long time member of the Art Association of Harrisburg, she learned of an abstract art class offered by Linda Benton-McCloskey.  Lynn found her new passion.

Lynn has participated in the Harrisburg Cow parade and Kitefest events through the Whitaker Center and has won numerous awards over the years.  She is married with two school age children.

How do you describe yourself as an artist?

I am an experimental artist.  I am ever changing and growing in my painting.  I love trying new mediums and techniques.

Where do you create your art?

I create art in my basement.  My husband finished our basement several years ago and I have a room that I can leave the paints and everything else out.  YES, it is messy!

"Intense" by Lynn Kennedy

“Intense” by Lynn Kennedy-Putt

What is your favorite medium?

Being a mixed media artist, it is hard to pick out one medium of choice, because I love experimenting with so many.  One of the most versatile mediums I use is acrylic paints.  There are so many possibilities you can do with them.  I also like that they dry fast!

What are your favorite tools?

My hands are my favorite tools! I always have to have my hands in the paint.  My fingerprints are on all my paintings.

What motivates you to be creative?

Going to museums and art shows motivates me to be creative.  Seeing other creations, and being around creative people really inspires me.

Can you describe your medium and style?

The mixed media artist that I am, I love using a variety of different mediums and styles. I love abstracts, portraits and collage.

Describe your dream studio or creative space:

I feel I have my dream space.   Just having a room that I can create art in and not worry about how messy things get is my dream space.  Of course, it could always be a little bigger and more organized.

Do you have a favorite technique that you use a lot in your work?

I love texture and metallics.   I always seem to put one or both into a painting.  I try not to think too much when starting a painting or else it would take me a while before I start one.

"Drifting Away" by Lynn Kennedy

“Drifting Away” by Lynn Kennedy-Putt

How did you get into this type of art?

When my daughter was 12, I wanted to bond with her.  I knew she liked abstract paintings from taking her to museums.  I thought it would be fun to take an art class together. I signed us up for a mixed media class that Linda Benton McCloskey taught.  My daughter won first place in the student show at the Art Association of Harrisburg.  My daughter and I tend to argue when we paint together.  I have come to realize that arguing is bonding with her.  We bond a lot!  I enjoy doing art with her.  It has brought us closer.  She has a good eye for composition and design. I ask her opinion about my paintings and she makes good suggestions.

What are your favorite things about your work?

I like never knowing what the final painting is going to look like until it is finished.  I like being pleasantly surprised!

"Fulfilment" by Lynn Kennedy

“Fulfillment” by Lynn Kennedy-Putt

What artists do you relate to?

I seem to go to impressionist and modern paintings when in a museum. Gustav Klimt, Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sargent and Chidi Okaye are some of my favorite artists.

What are your goals for the future of your art?

Goals for the future are to paint a little every day…or at least once a week.  Being a graphic artist for the past twenty some years I want to paint for myself and not for others.

Read more about Mixed Media Art Group by visiting our website: www.mixedmediaartgroup.com