Tag Archives: mixed media art

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.

 

 

 

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 in Harrisburg Magazine

Robots2012_003Our congratulations go out to M & M member, Judy Kelly who was recently featured in the Gallery Space section of the March, 2013 issue of Harrisburg Magazine. Judy, aka “Robot Girl” was interviewed by Scott Campbell for her whimsical assemblages that resemble miniature robots. Judy is a charter member of the Mixed Media Art Group and exhibits her work regularly with the group.

You can read the online article by clicking here and see more of Judy’s robot assemblages on the Mixed Media Art Group website.

Tina Berrier at Metropolis Collective

Holi by Tina BerrierM & M member, Tina Berrier will be showing her work at the Metropolis Collective, 17 West Main St., Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania 17055. The show “HOMEGROWN” opens this Friday night March 1st, from 6-10pm. Come see the contemporary art of your friends and neighbors featuring the over more than 50 Pennsylvania artists!

The Metropolis Collective features works created by artists who were born in or currently reside in Pennsylvania. The exhibit represents a long list of under represented, emerging, and established artists from across the state. The show offers a diverse look into the contemporary art community within Pennsylvania and the art that is being created in our own “backyard” by our “neighbors” using a wide variety of mediums and styles.

You can view more of Tina’s work on the Mixed Media Art Group website by clicking here.