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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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Benton McCloskey and Goldbeck headed to BWAC in NYC

Circle Series #6 Change 1

Circle Series #6 by Linda Benton McCloskey

Linda Benton McCloskey and Christine Goldbeck are among the 15 Daily Painters of Pennsylvania (DPP) whose work will show at Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coaltion (BWAC) in Brooklyn from Sept. 22 through Oct. 21. The show is open to the public weekends from 1 to 6 p.m. An opening reception is scheduled for Sept. 22 from 1 to 6 p.m.

Goldbeck, who owns Arts on Union, an arts gallery and studio in Middletown, PA, is painting a summer water series in acrylics for the exhibition. Two of the paintings are representational landscapes while the others are abstractions of the colors and textures of water in the summer, at different times of day.  An avid walker and biker, Goldbeck is influenced by nature and likes to work with the colors and textures she sees while on her journeys.  What usually begin as a representational landscape often ends up as an imaginative abstract that has elements of Impressionism and Abstract Expressionism. Trees, water and flowers are subjects for her paintings.

Benton McCloskey  begins a new work without a preconceived outcome in mind.  She simply begins painting and then intuition, love, desire, and experience take over.  When she is in this dream-like state, she gives way to the process and eventually begins to see and respond to shapes, forms, and movements.  Benton McCloskey then develops them further…regardless of the result, the painting takes her to a new and unexpected destination.

After changing careers and researching her family’s history, Benton McCloskey discovered that the American Regionalist Painter Thomas Hart Benton  was her great-uncle. Benton McCloskey’s 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.  Since she enjoys varying her palette of colors and approaches, her recent non-objective works are mostly watermedia, encaustic and cold wax with  texture and color.  Diversity and choice intrigues her and is evident in her work.

Mechanicsburg artist Mary Beth Brath founded DPP in the fall of 2009. The DPP is an online blog group of professional visual artists that paint on a daily basis and reside in Pennsylvania. Members must be juried into the group and there is a monthly fee. Members are all gallery represented. Most have been published and have won awards for their work. Many have attained Signature Memberships in National and International Organizations. The group has 48 members.

The website brings the human element to viewing original art online.  Artists discuss techniques, materials, announce awards, exhibits and share the stories behind the paintings.  A personal blog page can be difficult to maintain since first priority is “in the studio.”  In a group blog, everyone works together to keep the site fresh and exciting for viewers and followers. Since the site is so active, it remains high on the search engine and gives the artists a strong online presence. Curators, gallerists and collectors have a location to view the work and read about the accomplishments of the group. Each June, the group exhibits in the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building East Wing Rotunda. Visitors traveling from around the world stop to take pictures with the artwork. The show is anticipated by the legislators, Capitol employees and the public.

Summer on the Water 5

Summer on the Water 5 by Christine Goldbeck

Goldbeck’s paintings and photographs are in state, national and international corporate and private collections. She holds a Master of Fine Arts-Interdisciplinary Arts (MFA-IA) degree from Goddard College. In addition to classes and workshops at Arts on Union, she also teaches digital photography at the Art Association of Harrisburg, and photography and experimental mixed media painting at the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen in Lancaster, PA. Goldbeck is a  juried member of the Guild.

Benton McCloskey has studied under international artists such as Gerald Brommer, Mary Todd Beam, Steven Aimone, and Katherine Chang Liu.  She is a member of local art groups and a teacher of experimental water media, collage, abstract design, cold wax & oil, and encaustic.  She is also a Signature Member of the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society, and Baltimore Watercolor Society, plus has earned her Nautilus Membership in the International Society of Experimental Artists.

M & M’s in Gallery Walk


This Sunday, September 9, from 11:00am till 6:00pm the Mixed Media Art Group (M & M’s) will be participating in the 24th Annual Harrisburg Gallery Walk in Harrisburg, PA.  A variety of mixed media art and photography from our members will be on display at the Pine Street Presbyterian Church, 310 North 3rd St. (side entrance, Third & South St. into the “Gathering Place”

Gallery Walk is a long time tradition in Harrisburg, sponsored by the Art Association of Harrisburg.  The walking tour includes 21 locations in galleries, restaurants, and businesses throughout the city. You can obtain complete tour information and locations by clicking here.

The other exhibition sites to visit on Gallery Walk include:

The John Harris/Simon Cameron Mansion
St. Stephen’s Mission Gallery
Penn National Insurance
Whitaker Centre For Science & The Arts
CASA Gallery @Capital Area School of the Arts
The Gallery at Walnut Place
Gallery@Second
Mangia Qui & Suba
The State Museum of Pennsylvania
Susquehanna Art Museum
Historic Harrisburg Resource Centre
Midtown Scholar Bookstore
Fenetre Gallery at HACC Midtown
North Gallery
Little Amps Coffee Roasters
The Governor’s Residence
Mitrani at Home

September Classes and Workshops Offered by M & M

M & M members will be offering a wide variety of classes and workshops beginning in September. There is definitely something for everyone!!! We appreciate your support for the following classes and workshops:

Linda Benton McCloskey will be offering Cold Wax and Oil Workshop at the Mechanicsburg Art Center beginning September 7. This 2 1/2 day workshop will explore the diversity of cold-wax medium with oil paint, pigment sticks and powdered pigments. Cold-wax medium is wonderful for oil painters (and abstract painters) to experiment with, using non-traditional tools to achieve texture and finishes similar to encaustic but without the heat. This exciting medium is gaining widespread popularity, and opens doors for oil painters and abstract artists to explore new techniques and surface effects.

Thom Kulp will offer Experimental Mixed Media at Art Association of Harrisburg.  Using a mixture of experimental media, students will develop paintings in layers of materials and exciting new techniques. A variety of methods will be demonstrated throughout this 8 week course for developing expressive color and texture by pouring, layering, spraying, and stamping methods. This class is designed for both abstract and representational artists.

Elaine Brady Smith will begin a 10 week Collage Class at the Art Association of Harrisburg. This class is for all levels of experience and will cover the basics of collage and how to combine the elements and principles of design to make your collage work stand out. In addition, learn how to make decorative papers for use in collage and mixed media art.

Christine Goldbeck will offer 6 weeks of Basics of Digital Photography beginning September 15th at Art Association of Harrisburg. New and intermediate photographers will develop and improve their skills in pixel-based photography. through demonstration and hands-on experience, the course will cover important creative and technical principles. Students will learn about composing, editing, storing, and outputting(printing/website) digital photographs and more.

Encaustic Workshops will be offered by Linda Benton McCloskey and Elaine Brady Smith. Elaine will offer a one day Intro to Encaustic Art at the PA Guild of Craftsmen on September 22. The class will cover how to make your own medium, substrates, fusing methods and tools. Demonstrations are given on various techniques such as:  applying color, making marks with tools,  incising lines, imbedding objects, adding collage and transfers.

Linda will offer a 2 1/2 day Basic Encaustic Workshop beginning September 28 at her home studio at 600 Yale Street,  Harrisburg, PA. You will learn all the basic encaustic painting techniques such as layering, fusing, texture, line, scratching back, stamping, stenciling, transfers, etc. Contact Linda Benton McCloskey for more details.

Ann Lawson and Linda Benton McCloskey at Jaxsnaps!!!

The mother and daughter team of  Linda Benton-McCloskey and Ann Yeager Lawson are currently exhibiting their art together at a new gallery in Lancaster, PA!  Jaxsnaps has just opened it’s doors in the busy downtown Lancaster art scene. The Butterfly and Dragonfly themed show will be exhibiting their work until August 31, 2012.
Ann has entered two pieces of acrylic mixed media art titled “Painted Lady” and “Square Root” (seen above), and Linda has entered one piece of acrylic mixed media art titled “A New Beginning” (seen below).
The gallery is located at  1252 North Queen Street, Lancaster PA 7602 (717) 945-9651.  Owner:  Jacqueline Wilson

Susan Darling to Instruct “Corks and Collage”

Susan Darling will be instructing a one-day collage workshop entitled “Corks and Collage.”

The workshop will take place at the Lynden Gallery on Saturday, August 18th from 3:00pm to 6:00pm.

The Lynden Gallery is located at 117 South Market Street, Elizabethtown, PA  17022

This is the 3rd time for this event. Bring a bottle of wine and collage materials to share for an evening of creative fun and conversation.
Cost $35 – reservations suggested, but not required. For more information call (717) 367-9236

David Henry at AAH Summer Soiree

M & M artist member, David Henry will be exhibiting his landscape paintings at Midtown #2 of Art Association of Harrisburg’s Summer Soiree’s.

Summer Soirees are annual indoor-outdoor gatherings at beautiful local homes and serve as showcases for talented artists and their work.

The event will be Saturday, August 18, 5-8 PM at  802 Green Street, Harrisburg hosted by Kevin Hancock and Kevin Sheets. The house is a 3 story mid-19th century home with a patio.

In addition to David’s work, the popular plein air artists Brian Eppley, Jonathan Frazier and Steve Wetzel will display their paintings. The music of Jazz musician Jimmy Wood will augment the ambiance. Farm-to-table summer dishes and sangria will complement the art and music!

Tickets are $40 per person and can be purchased through the Art Association of Harrisburg website or by calling 717-236-1432.