Tag Archives: Art Association of Harrisburg

A Family Affair in Capitol Rotunda

This article was written by Elaine Brady Smith

A unique group of artists will be showing their work at the East Wing Rotunda of the Pennsylvania Capitol Building beginning Saturday, October 4 through Friday, October 31, 2014. The husband and wife team of Robert McCloskey and Linda Benton McCloskey and Linda’s daughter, Ann Yeager Lawson, will join forces with their mixed media art in this family exhibit.

Robert McCloskey, a true patriot and retired social studies teacher, started painting for an evening out with his wife.  He has since turned into a dedicated to painter of the symbols of America and its many heroes. Robert’s paintings are mainly done in acrylic on parchment reproductions. He matches the subjects to the document and his goal is to convey his love of history and the proud heritage we share in this great country.

Freedom by Bob McCloskey 30 x 22 acrylic on paper

Freedom by Bob McCloskey 30 x 22 acrylic on paper

Lincoln by Bob McCloskey 30 x 22  acrylic on paper

Lincoln by Bob McCloskey 30 x 22 acrylic on paper

Linda Benton McCloskey discovered that she was related to Thomas Hart Benton (an American Regionalist painter) which further sparked her interest in painting. She has studied with many national and international artists. Linda is also an expert teacher of water media, collage, abstract design, cold wax & oil, and encaustic art. She is a Signature Member of the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society, Baltimore Watercolor Society, and Philadelphia Watercolor Society; and a Nautilus Member of the International Society of Experimental Artists. She has exhibited in numerous national and international juried shows, universities, cultural centers, galleries, and museums.  Her works are in numerous private collections and universities.

Grass Roots by Linda Benton McCloskey 48 x 36 acrylic

Grass Roots by Linda Benton McCloskey 48 x 36 acrylic

Razzle Dazzle by Linda Benton McCloskey 40 x 30 acrylic

Razzle Dazzle by Linda Benton McCloskey 40 x 30 acrylic

Ann Yeager Lawson discovered her passion for abstract art in 2009 and was was encouraged to take a painting class by a friend. She has taken many of her mother’s and other art classes to fuel her love for abstract painting. Ann paints primarily in acrylic and likes to include natural elements and mixed media to add interest. She has received awards for her work from the Art Association of Harrisburg and has been greatly influenced by her mother and other great contemporary abstract artists. Ann has shown her work in many group and solo shows in the South Central PA area.

Kaleidoscope by Ann Yeager Lawson, 27 x 34 mixed media on paper

Kaleidoscope by Ann Yeager Lawson, 27 x 34 mixed media on paper

Painted Lady by Ann Yeager Lawson,  27 X 37 mixed media on paper

Painted Lady by Ann Yeager Lawson, 27 X 37 mixed media on paper

To visit the Capitol Rotunda exhibit, enter the Capitol Complex from the Commonwealth Avenue Entrance, Harrisburg, PA 17120. Click here for more information on Capitol Tour schedules and hours.

You can view more of Robert, Linda and Ann’s work by visiting Mixed Media Art Group.

 

 

 

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Meet Our Members – Ann Lawson

After a bit of a hiatus, we are continuing with the Meet Our Members Interviews. First up for this year is Ann Lawson. Ann is a charter member of Mixed Media Art Group, and we just love her sweet, kind and cheerful nature. Her abstract mixed media art is colorful and always strikingly interesting.  Read on to find out more about Ann’s work and her creative habits…

Ann Lawson HeadshotHow did you get into this type of art?

The answer to this question is a bit comical in nature.  About five years ago this summer, I was invited to a fellow artist/friend’s open house.  She had a rock garden, and asked her guests to paint a rock for her garden.  Of course, I declined at the notion because I didn’t think she would want a rock painted by me.  However, she insisted, so I painted the rock.  My friend was so delighted by my painting that she got out her camera and actually started taking pictures!  I laughed because I thought she was simply being cheeky, but she was very happy w/ the results and encouraged me to join her in taking one of my Mother’s art classes.  I thought heavily about this because I had never painted anything except during those mandatory art classes in middle high school.  So I went to my first art class in the fall of 2009, and literally fall in love all over again every time I pick up a paintbrush.

Kaleidoscope by Ann Lawson, 27x34 Mixed Media--Acrylic, Charcoal and Pastels

“Kaleidoscope” by Ann Lawson, 27 x 34 Mixed Media–Acrylic, Charcoal and Pastels

Where does your creative nature come from?

I have always been very creative.  As a child and teenager, I did counted cross-stitch, wrote poetry, made latch hook rugs, and starting cooking at a very young age. Today, I am constantly creating, whether it’s painting canvasses, making one of my own culinary creations or adding to my garden.  I can only deduce that my creative nature comes from my family, a/k/a, the ole’ gene pool.  My mother, Linda Benton McCloskey, used to dabble in realistic art when raising her family, and today she is an accomplished artist who teaches workshops and classes all over the East Coast.  She has won countless awards and accolades.  Adding to that, a few years ago we found out that Thomas Hart Benton is an uncle on the maternal side of the family!   We were happy to find out why we both like to paint so much.

What are your favorite things about your work?

This is a loaded question because I could go on for days answering it.  For starters, my first favorite thing is probably picking my color palette.  Color is the ultimate treat to me; it motivates, inspires and moves me.  I am literally drawn to color–its saturation, contrasts, translucency, and the ability for the paint to be mixed with other paint and bear new colors.  I named my first solo art show “The Language of Color” due to my love for color.  Another favorite thing about my work is the feelings that a finished piece can convey.  A painting can go from three shapes into an explosion of lines, colors and light.  It amazes me at times how paint can impart such feelings of emotion from both the creator and the audience.

Out of Africa by Ann Lawson, 12x12 Acrylic  Mixed Media with Eggshell

“Out of Africa” by Ann Lawson, 12 x 12 Acrylic Mixed Media with Eggshell

Why are you doing this type of work?

I don’t really call this work because it’s more of a hobby, not a profession.  Or as I like to say, I have a full-time job that pays the bills, but my calling is in my paintbrushes.  Painting literally brings me satisfaction, peace and joy.  When I am finished with a painting, it’s almost as if it takes on a life of its own; they become my children in a strange sense of the word.  When I sell a painting, I am absolutely elated, but a part of me goes with each and every one of them I sell.  I hope to one day retire and paint full-time while teaching and traveling meeting other artists along the way.  Now that is what I would call a “joyful retirement.”

Is there any time of the day that you find you are the most creative?

Considering I work full-time during the day, I truly have no choice but to create in the evenings and on the weekends.  However, I do find that I am truly more creative in the daylight hours.  I love to go outdoors on my deck to paint on a beautiful, yet non-windy day.  The sunshine beckons me to go outside, and when I’m alone with my paints, beautiful things seem to emerge.  I love to put my headphones on and dance with the music and my paintbrushes.

Birds of Paradise by Ann Lawson, Ink on paper

“Birds of Paradise” by Ann Lawson

What patterns emerge in your work?

I’m an aficionado of circles!  All types of circles—big, small, narrow, wide, long, short, tall, etc.  I always try to put at least one circle in all my paintings, but most of them yield far more than one.  They may be hard to spot as I do strictly abstract work, but they are there.  If I have to pick a “pattern,” I would probably say I do a lot of organic work these days.  When I first started painting, I did more geometric work—lots of squares and line work.  Now my paintings are harder to define and more organic in nature.

What are your favorite tools?

Ah, tools, aren’t they grand?!  To narrow it down to my a few favorites, it would have to be my paintbrushes, my brayer, squeegees, rug catchers, skewers, pastels, charcoal, graphite, and on and on and on.  I realize a few of those are technically called “supplies” but I can’t live without them.  Oh, and lest I forget, my hands and eyes!

Sundance by Ann Lawson, Mixed Media on canvas

“Sundance” by Ann Lawson, Mixed Media

What is your favorite color? And do you use it often in your work? 

My favorite color is probably spring green.  It is a bright, cheery, almost (but not quite) neon green that you see in fresh grass and on blooming trees at the very first sight of spring.  It’s absolutely gorgeous and makes everything look fresh, bright and alive.  The color contrasts beautifully with any other color I choose.  I use it sparingly because it is a very bright color, but during the spring and summer, I use it more often because it’s so refreshing.

If I am allowed to have two favorite colors, my second favorite would be black.  Black is very grounding and neutralizing to a palette. It makes the colors around it up almost jump off the canvas.  It’s calming, yet bold, and can be mixed with any other color to darken that other color.  By adding a little or a lot, you will end up with a vast number of colors to choose from.  Black is a necessary color in each and every painting regardless of the artist, medium or content of the painting.

What do you want people to take away with them from your art?

It is my hope that my works take you to different places each and every time you look at one of my pieces.  To me, the beauty of abstract art is that each piece is interpreted differently by the observer.  Through color, lines and shapes, my works have one goal in mind:  to arouse the viewer to come back again and again.

Blue Moon by Ann Lawson, 54 x 75 Acrylic and Pastel on canvas

“Blue Moon” by Ann Lawson, 54 x 75 Acrylic and Pastel on canvas

Who are your favorite famous artists?

Some of my heavy influences are many of the modern and post-modern expressionist artists of the 60′s and 70′s, primarily Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Jane Plum and Mark Rothko.  Although she may not be famous, by far my biggest inspiration is my Mother, who is an accomplished artist herself and continues to motivate me beyond belief.

What can always be found in your work space?

There are quite a few favorite items found in my make-shift studio in my humble home.  For starters, I like to keep a variety of canvasses in different sizes and depths.  I generally work on 3-4 pieces at a time because I like to allow each layer to dry while working on another.  I also keep plenty of tools on hand.  I generally paint more with tools than paintbrushes.  I use forks, spatulas, napkin rings, match box cars, squeegees, chopsticks, salt, lids, and bark, anything that will add texture and/or give me a different stroke on the canvas than a brush can do.  I find that people are more drawn to these paintings due to the variety they see in the painting itself.

"Cotton Candy" by Ann Lawson, 24 x 30 Acrylic on canvas

“Cotton Candy” by Ann Lawson, 24 x 30 Acrylic on canvas

How do you share your art with the world?

I have several ways of sharing.  I have a website:  www.annlawsonart.com, where I continually add my shows, exhibits and new works.  I show and share my art at galleries, restaurants, and art schools.  I take art classes at a local level which gives me the opportunity to meet new artists, new techniques and the opportunity to grow as an artist.  I also meet regularly with this wonderful art group adeptly named “Mixed Media Art Group a/k/a M&M” where I am exposed to a variety of wonderfully, multi-talented artists whom share their artwork and techniques at each monthly meeting.

My paintings are also hanging in my office which is located in a public building where individuals from all walks are able to view my works.  I am a very lucky gal!

"Icy Hot" by Ann Lawson, 24 x 30 Mixed media on paper

“Icy Hot” by Ann Lawson, 24 x 30 Mixed media on paper

What are your goals for the future of your art? 

While I am still working my desk job, my current goals are to continue to take art classes, in a variety of forms and mediums, so I can continue to blossom as an artist and perhaps even get certified to teach someday.  After retirement, I hope to have a studio big enough to teach classes and travel during down time to workshops throughout the country meeting new artists along the way.  I want to soak up as much as I can because the art world is a very big world indeed.

Ann is currently exhibiting her art at Burick Center for Wellness and Health, 2005 Technology Parkway, Suite 350, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050, 717-730-5000, through April 25, 2014 and April 5 -30 at The Garden Gallery/Haverstick Studios and Gallery, 10 North Hanover Street, Carlisle, PA  17013, 717-249-1721 with an opening reception on April 5.

View more of Ann’s work on Mixed Media Art Group website.

Judy Kelly at AAH Invitational

Mixed Media Art Group member, Judy Kelly, aka robot Girl, will be showing her amazing robot assemblages at the upcoming 5 Artist Invitational Exhibit at the Art Association of Harrisburg. The exhibit opens Friday, December 6th, with an artist reception from 5 pm – 8 pm. Judy’s robots will be on display along with 4 other artists until January 2, 2014.

Judy Kelly -Robot GirlJudy is a mixed media, collage, and assemblage artist from Harrisburg. She began making her robots just a few years ago, out of a passion for her love of small and interesting objects. She scours local flea markets for materials and it is there that one of the dealers dubbed her “Robot Girl”. Judy Kelly - Robot Girl

You can see more of Judy’s work on the Mixed Media Art Group website.

M & M’s Exhibit in 25th Gallery Walk

2013 Harrisburg Gallery Walk banner

Mixed Media Art Group will be exhibiting during Harrisburg’s 25th Annual Gallery Walk at Pine Street Presbyterian Church, 310 N Third Street, Harrisburg, PA on Sunday, September 8, 11am-6pm.

Members Tami Bitner, Joan Maguire, Christine Goldbeck and Bob McCloskey will be demonstrating their painting skills outside and you can visit with other members and view some outstanding artwork inside! It’s a guaranteed great stop on the tour of Harrisburg’s finest galleries!!!

For more information view the Art Association of Harrisburg website where  there is a printable pdf map, which includes all the locations on Gallery Walk.

And don’t forget that many of our M & M members will also have art on display at the Art Association of Harrisburg for the Annual Membership Show, with “Literary Allusions” theme. We look forward to seeing you at both locations!!!

You can find more information about our members at www.mixedmediaartgroup.com.

Ann Lawson Showing at The Ware Center

Ann Yeager Lawson

Ann Yeager Lawson

Ann Lawson will be showing her art at The Ware Center, Millersville University, 42 N Prince Street, Lancaster PA. The exhibit opens Friday, September 6, with a reception from 6-8pm on the third floor of the Ware Center in the Grand Salon. The gallery will remain on display until Sept. 29.

“The Language of Color” is her first major art exhibition. Lawson explains, “The beauty of my abstract, contemporary art is that each piece is interpreted differently by the observer. Through color, lines and shapes, my works have one goal in mind: to arouse the viewer to come back again and again.”

"Elements of Nature", watrcolor by Ann Lawson

“Elements of Nature”, watrcolor by Ann Lawson

Ann Lawson at Ware Center 2013Some of her heavy influences are many of the modern and post-modern expressionist artists of the ’60s and ’70s, primarily Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Jane Plum and Mark Rothko. By far, she says her biggest inspiration is her mother, Linda Benton McCloskey, who is also an accomplished artist.

Ann will also be exhibiting with Mixed Media Art Group at Harrisburg’s Annual Gallery Walk at the Pine Street Presbyterian Church, 310 N Third St, Harrisburg, PA on September 6, 11am – 6pm.

Both events are free and open to the public. You can view more of Ann’s work at www.mixedmediaartgroup.com and on her website www.annlawsonart.com.

 

Linda Benton McCloskey at Gallery @ Second

Gallery at Second, Linda Benton McCloskey

Linda Benton McCloskey will be exhibiting her art at Gallery@Second, 608 N Second Street, Harrisburg, PA. The exhibit, which also features the work of artist Debra Tritt-Kreiger, opens September 5 and will be highlighted during Harrisburg’s Annual Gallery Walk on September 8, 11am-6pm. You can visit the gallery to see the show through October 12 and there will be an artist reception at the Second Street gallery on Friday, September 20 from 6-9pm.

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire, watercolor by Linda Benton McCloskey

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire, watercolor by Linda Benton McCloskey

Linda will be showing new works in oil and cold wax, encaustic and mixed media. Her creative concept is that a new work begins without a preconceived outcome in mind.  A painting simply begins and then intuition, love, desire, and experience take over.  When in this dream-like state, she gives way to the process.  Eventually shapes and movements are developed further….regardless of the result, the painting takes her to a new and unexpected destination.

Benton McCloskey states, “My art is influenced by the impulsive approach of the abstract expressionists de Kooning, Motherwell, Kline, Mitchell and Hofmann.  Discovering creative ways of expression and keeping traditional rules of painting out of the picture are priorities.”

Moon Dance, oil and cold wax by Linda Benton McCloskey

Moon Dance, oil and cold wax by Linda Benton McCloskey

Linda will also be exhibiting with Mixed Media Art Group during Harrisburg’s Annual Gallery Walk at Pine Street Presbyterian Church, 310 N Third Street, Harrisburg, PA on September 8, from 11am-6pm. Click here for more information.

You can view more of Linda’s work on the Mixed Media Art Group website and on her website www.lindabentonmccloskey.com.

Summer Fun for M & M’s

Even during the heat of the summer, our M & M’s are busy creating new work and exhibiting throughout South Central Pennsylvania. Here are some highlights from our summer activities:

Judy Kelly at AAHJudy Kelly won 1st place for Mixed Media at the Art Association of Harrisburg Annual Student show in July.

Tina Berrier at AAHTina Berrier won 2nd place for Mixed Media for her piece Dolce, at the Art Association of Harrisburg Annual Student show in July, 

Thom Kulp at LGBT ExhibitThom Kulp was one of the featured artists at the LGBT Center’s 2nd Annual Colors of Pride show July 20.

Lititz Best of Show Linda Benton McCloskeyLinda Benton McCloskey won best of show at the 47th Annual Outdoor Show in Lititz Springs Park on July 27.

Tami Bitner at Gallery at SecondTami Bitner also displayed at the 47th Annual Outdoor Show in Lititz Springs Park on July 27 and won 2nd place for Mixed Media (for the piece she is holding in this photo).

And we have new work by other members to brag about. Have a look at some of our new creations:

General Grant by Robert McCloskeyGeneral Grant, acrylic painting by Bob McCloskey

Red Dogwood by Rick SnizikRed Dogwood, Metal leaf and acrylic on panel, 12″ x 12″ by Rick Snizik

Sand Dollar by Joan MaguireSand Dollar, Scanography by Joan Maguire

Tatiana by Mary Kandray Gelenser

Tatiana, mixed media by Mary Kandray Gelenser

WilliamHBagg

William H Bagg, encaustic collage by Elaine Brady Smith

Elements of Nature by Ann Lawson

Elements of Nature, watercolor by Ann Lawson

Around We Go by Lynn Kennedy Putt

Around We Go, mixed media by Lynn Kennedy Putt

Flowers at the Pond by Christine Goldbeck

Flowers at the Pond, digital painting by Christine Goldbeck

Rainy Day Daffodils by Sue Blosser

Rainy Day Daffodils, photography by Sue Blosser

View more work by M & M, Mixed Media Art Group on our website!