Tag Archives: painting

Linda Benton McCloskey at LaCigale

The Gallery at LaCigaleLinda Benton McCloskey will be the the October Featured Guest Artist at The Gallery at LaCigale, located at 451 Route 117, Mount Gretna, PA. There will be a guest artist reception on Friday, October 3, 5-8pm with live music performed by Matt Miskie. This will also be the first Oktoberfest in Mount Gretna.

"Kinship" by Linda Benton McCloskey, 12 x 9 encaustic on cradled panel

“Kinship” by Linda Benton McCloskey, 12 x 9 encaustic on cradled panel

After changing careers and researching family history Benton McCloskey discovered that Thomas Hart Benton (an American Regionalist Painter 1889 to 1975) was her great uncle. She has achieved Signature status with the Baltimore Watercolor Society, Pennsylvania Watercolor Society and Nautilus status with ISEA (International Society of Experimental Artists). Linda has also won numerous national and international awards and has been published in several international publications.

"Traces" of Kinship by Linda Benton McCloskey, 24 x 24 Oil and Cold Wax on cradled panel

“Traces” of Kinship by Linda Benton McCloskey, 24 x 24 Oil and Cold Wax on cradled panel

Linda is a member of the Mixed Media Art Group. View more of her work on the links below:

www.LindaBentonMcCloskey.com

www.MixMediaArtGroup.com

 

Meet Our Members – Tami Bitner

Tami Bitner - Mixed Media Art Group

Tami Bitner

Tami Bitner is a charter member of the Mixed Media Art Group. Whether she is using paint or wax, her goal is always to develop a rich surface that suggests a mysterious interplay between transparency, opacity, layering, and subtle textures. Read more about Tami and her work…

How did you get into this type of art?

I have always loved art, but while growing up never actually thought about being an artist.  I have always been fascinated by abstract and non-representational art and enjoy viewing those kinds of art more so than realism.  While painting realism in watercolor for several years, I was often at a loss over what to paint so I decided to try my hand at something non-representational.   It was very difficult at first to complete something passable, and frustrating to say the least.  For me, painting abstractly is much more of a challenge than painting realistically, but I think that is why it is so appealing to me.  You never know what you will end up with!  It is a conundrum of sorts – more liberating but at the same time challenging.  I am much more prolific now than I was when painting realism in part because I no longer fear the blank surface.

The great thing about it is if you don’t like something, you can always paint over it and the history only adds to the beauty and interest of the art!  I once read a quote that was very liberating for me – “We all have 1,000 bad paintings in us, so start painting.” Successful pieces will be few and far between, especially at first.  I had to learn to be okay with that.

Take Flight by Tami Bitner,  36" x 36" Mixed Media

Take Flight by Tami Bitner, 36″ x 36″ Mixed Media

Did you create art as a child?

As a child, I could usually be found doing something creative when I wasn’t playing outside, riding my bike, or swimming. I colored with crayons and markers a lot and played with play dough – even the homemade kind!  I loved the paint-by-number oil painting sets, drawing, doodling, and candle making.  I was also taught by my mother at a young age to crochet and sew.

As an artist we have many roles; which do you find to be the most rewarding and which the most challenging for you?

For me, the most rewarding aspect of being an artist is when someone I’ve never met before feels a connection to my work.  I love it when someone feels something about a piece rather than seeing something in it. .The most challenging aspect for me is the record keeping.  I would much rather be painting, so if I could have an art ‘secretary’, I would be very happy!

Hope by Tami Bitner, 24" x 24" Mixed Media

Hope by Tami Bitner, 24″ x 24″ Mixed Media

Why are you doing this type of work?

My early work experience and college education are both in accounting and information systems, both very left-brained pursuits.  I think this came naturally to me since I tend to be a bit of a Type-A personality and I have always liked working with numbers and things that had logical, concrete outcomes.  It had not occurred to me to pursue art until my first painting class taken on a whim turned out to be so much fun.  It was an afternoon acrylic workshop and the old Ben Franklin craft store.  I was hooked!

How do you begin a piece?

I love to build up a lot of layers of history in my work.  I begin an abstract piece by laying down a medium tone, neutral color to cover the entire canvas or wood so that when I scratch into the paint with various tools, I never get back to bare surface.  Next, while listening to some good music, I use different brushes, tools, techniques, and colors to make marks of all different shapes and sizes on the canvas.  After the piece dries, I will repeat this process several more times before I define areas of emphasis.

Inferno by Tami Bitner, 8" x 8" Encaustic Monotype

Inferno by Tami Bitner, 8″ x 8″ Encaustic Monotype

How do you know when a piece is finished?

Is an abstract ever finished?  It is more a sense of contentment that I feel when a piece reaches a point where I can’t think of anything else I would change about it.  When I reach that point I will hang the piece somewhere in my house where I will see it frequently.  After living with it for days or weeks, if nothing bothersome jumps out at me and I love looking at it, I will put my signature on it!  I tend to think of it more as moving on to the next project more so than ‘finishing’ a piece.

What are your favorite tools?

I have a variety of well-worn brushes that I love to work with even though many of them show a lot of wear and tear.  They become like old friends and seem to be the ones I always pick up first.  I also enjoy working with cheap foam brushes, Catalyst scraping tools, and really anything that will make an interesting mark in paint.

Oasis by Tami Bitner, 24" x 24" Mixed Media

Oasis by Tami Bitner, 24″ x 24″ Mixed Media

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

My favorite color in life and in art is black and can be found in every painting I do, even if it is a little dab added to another color just to tone it down a bit.  In my opinion, black makes everything on the canvas pop and it harmonizes with everything.  I prefer to mix my own black using strong shades of red, blue, and green.  In this way, I have the ability to make the black tend toward another color ever so subtly.  I think this makes a more interesting color than taking black straight out of a tube.

What do you want the viewer to see in your art?

I want the viewer not so much to see the art, but to feel the art.  Every artist leaves a bit of their heart and soul on every work and when that resonates with someone, it is very gratifying.  Sometimes it is the color palette or composition that draws someone in, other times it is the design, pattern or texture. It is different for everyone which is why I love non-representational art.  It allows the viewer to see what speaks to them.

What do you do differently from the way you were taught?

I break the ‘rules’. I am now comfortable enough with myself as an artist to be able to do this!  When I first started painting it was important for me to keep them in mind and try to follow them to a large extent.  I guess there was a bit of fear of being criticized by those with more experience than me.  I think it is important to understand the elements and principles of design and composition, but to me they are suggestions.  Aren’t some rules meant to be broken?

Shades of Grey II by Tami Bitner, 24" x 36" Mixed Media

Shades of Grey II by Tami Bitner, 24″ x 36″ Mixed Media

Describe your dream studio or creative space:

My dream studio would be somewhere in the Caribbean and would have a well designed contemporary yet comfortable minimalist gallery space in the front room – very neat and tidy, but would connect to a large, wide-open work space with high, large windows all around.  One side would face the ocean and the other side would face the mountains.  There would be paint spattered about on the walls and floors with words of inspiration and motivation written all around.  Plenty of wall space would be necessary to have multiple, large pieces in progress at the same time.  It would also have separate areas for both encaustic and cold wax to remain set-up all the time and it would have every color made by Golden from liquids to heavy body.

What is your favorite piece of your own work?

My favorite piece of my own work is an encaustic on a 16” x 16” cradled birch panel entitled Ride, Captain Ride.  It represents a loose interpretation of a single wave and is done in many shades of blue and teal with some black and white as well.  It has generated a lot of interest when I have had it out in shows and has won several awards, but I haven’t been able to part with it yet.  I often paint loose beach scenes and waves that I love, but this one is special for some reason.

Where do you hope to be five years from now with your art?   

Five years from now, I hope to be pursuing art on a full-time basis and working on larger pieces in encaustic and cold wax and oil as well.  I just completed a 4’ x 5’ commissioned piece in oil that was so much fun to do.  Until this piece, 48” x 48” was the largest size I’ve worked on.  It is very fun and energizing to have so much surface to paint on, especially on a non-representational piece.  In contrast though, I still occasionally like to paint realistic watercolor miniatures in the 2” x 3” range.  It is a completely different feeling and thought process to transition from one style to the other but I think it is what keeps me from getting bored!

Tami is currently an exhibiting artist at the Gallery@Second, 608 N 2nd St, Harrisburg, PA 17101 and she will be at the Lititz Outdoor Fine Art Show on July 26th.  She is also opening a studio at The Millworks in midtown Harrisburg this fall.

You can see more of Tami’s work on her website http://www.tamibitner.com and at Mixed Media Art Group.

 

 

 

 

 

Ann Lawson at Franz Fox Studios

Cotton Candy by Ann Lawson

“Cotton Candy” by Ann Lawson. 24″ x 28″ mixed media

Franz Fox Studios and Gallery, 136 North Prince Street, Lancaster, PA 17603 will be featuring guest artist, Ann Lawson for the month of November. There will be an artist reception on Friday, November 1 from 5 pm until 9 pm  Ann is a fine arts painter who works predominantly in mixed media abstract art. 

Ann speaks about her art: “I discovered my passion for abstract art when I was encouraged to take a class after a friend of mine saw a rock, yes, a rock, I had painted for a garden in 2009.  I took my Mother’s art class and fell in love with abstract art.  I paint primarily with acrylic and mixed media elements, including charcoal, pastels, modeling paste, tar gels; anything that can add texture to my canvas.  I will also incorporate items from nature like bark, leaves, and even salt to add interest.”

Ann lives in Harrisburg with her three children and works full-time as an executive assistant. She is also an active member of the Mixed Media Art Group.

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!

Members in the News

"Sunscape" by Ann Yeager Lawson, 24" x 24"

“Sunscape” by Ann Yeager Lawson, 24″ x 24″

Ann Yeager Lawson has art displayed at WLAN, “We Love Art Now” Gallery, 252 North Queen Street, Lancaster PA. Her piece shown left, is part of the exhibit which will run through April 28th.

Heavy Metal by Thom Kulp

Heavy Metal by Thom Kulp

Thom Kulp and Robert McCloskey are participating in the York Art Associations Spring Members Exhibit, 220 S Marshall St  York, PA. The show will be on display through May 18th.

Tina Berrier with her 3rd place winner!!!

Tina Berrier with her 3rd place winner!!!

Tina Berrier and Judy Kelly have been accepted to the Mechanicsburg Art Center Juried Show, 18 Artcraft Dr, Mechanicsburg, PA, which opened this past Friday, April 12th. Tina won a 3rd place award for one of her entries to the show which will be on display until May 3rd.

Joan Maguire at City House Bed & Breakfast

Joan Maguire at City House Bed & Breakfast

Joan Maquire will be the featured artist in Third in the Burg at City House Bed & Breakfast, 915 N Front St  Harrisburg, PA on April 19, 6-9pm.

Doug Tomlinson at the Capital 10 Miler

Doug Tomlinson at the Capital 10 Miler

Doug Tomlinson and Susan Darling recently participated in the The CAPITAL 10-MILER in Harrisburg, PA, a run/walk event that benefits many arts organizations of the capital region. Doug ran the 10 miles, while Susan walked it! Way to go! Support the Arts!!!

Mathematically Abstract by Tami Bitner

Mathematically Abstract by Tami Bitner

Tami Bitner was the featured artist in Harrisburg Magazine for the month of April. You can read Tami’s article online here.

We are proud of the accomplishments of our artist members of M & M Mixed Media Art Group!!! Read more about our members on the Mixed Media Art Group website.