I drove up to 25th Street in Ogden and found a small art gallery called Bella Muse. Artists Elizabeth Robbins and Shanna Kunz both use this space as a place to display masterpieces as well as a studio to work on their own artwork. The building is kind of hidden between a coffee shop and office building-I didn't even notice it until I was standing under the sign. I noticed that the artwork was mostly focused on either the affects of nature or the stories of other people.
Adrian Van Suchtelen: Coat of Arms
Artist Adrian Van Suchtelen used both conté crayon and ink wash as his mediums to create his “Coat of Arms” piece. Conté crayons are compressed graphite/charcoal mixed with wax or clay. This medium helps to create texture in the coat, tin cup, etc. Ink wash is a diluted ink that affects tonal contrasts. In Suchtelen’s work, the wash is used to shade and darken the background, giving the art a three-dimensional effect. I noticed that what I thought was another coat on the right is actually a work apron. There is a rusty tin cup hanging from a nail, a faded drawing of someones coat of arms, and a small moth. Coats of arms were commonly used back in medieval times as a “family logo” that represented the achievements of the individual, state, etc. to whom the arms were granted. This visual indicates that the individual who owns the worn out coat and apron comes from an ancestral background of greatness, but is choosing to work and become his own person. I believe that the overall message of this artwork is that the accomplishments of an ancestor don’t pre-determine your own success/greatness; you have to do the work in order to achieve your own goals. This is emphasized by the coat of arms being the faintest, most washed out object in the drawing.
Elizabeth Robbins: Untitled Horse Painting
This artist used oil paint to make this painting of the Native American, Chickasaw Nation War Horse. I noticed that the main colors used on the war mask were orange and blue, which are complementary colors. I also realized that there are horns attached to the mask, most likely there to make the horse seem more intimidating. Because the background of the painting is black and the light brown horse is contrasted against it, the focus is drawn immediately to the horse. The horse is realistically painted; it’s not stylized. This painting seems to be foreshadowing an upcoming war. The horse’s eye seems droopy and half-closed, like its tired of going into battle again. There is lots of detail in the face and mask of the horse. The rest of the horse is blurred and doesn’t have as much intricate design (probably to create an emphasis on the horse’s face).
Dean Bradshaw: Aspen Delight
Bradshaw used oil paint and the technique of impasto to create his painting. He brushed thick layers of paint in order to create texture and detail. I enjoyed looking at this painting because I loved how Bradshaw blended the colors together. As I looked closer, I realized that the artist had used colors like blue and purple to create shadow. Nowhere in the piece was solid black ever used. The artist used the principle of unity and variety; the painting is very chaotic with its varying use of bright colors and overlapping paint, but it is unified at the same time by the repetitious use of similar tree trunks. This piece was probably my favorite overall because it had striking colors and a rough texture to it, different from most of the other art displays.
Elizabeth Robbins: Brooke
This charcoal drawing is a portrait of Robbin’s daughter, Brooke. She shaded both light and dark in order to create texture and shadow in the girl’s face, neck, and hair. These different values in color make the facial features realistic. Moving from the top to the bottom, the lines gradually get less and less complex and more simplified to the point where the girl’s shirt and end of her loose braid seem more stylized than realistic. The focal point/emphasis seems to be the eyes because they are more darkened and detailed than the other features of the girl. They were the first thing my eyes traveled to. The girl’s face isn’t showing any emotion, which made me kind of wonder what she is feeling/thinking. I like how the artist left it up to the observer to decide the overall tone/mood of the drawing. To me, the girl seems to be depicted as youthful and innocent looking. She looks very pure-minded.
Adrian Van Suchtelen: Pastorale
Suchtelen used intaglio and chine-collé to create his print Pastorale. Chine collé is a technique in printmaking that allows finer details to be pulled off the plate. In Suchtelen’s print, this is definitely the case. Individual blades of grass and delicate petals of flowers are clearly visible when observed. This print feels very monochromatic. Different shades of green appear everywhere, even in the reflection of the water. The artist used the visual element of one-point perspective. The vanishing point is located where we lose sight of the stream as it curves around the bend. Everything in the print seems to be a line leading our attention back to the point of the water. This art piece evokes feelings of peace and serenity. The colors and natural elements depicted create a very soothing atmosphere.
I learned so many new things from visiting the Bella Muse Art Gallery. I was able to see that artists develop their own certain styles and tastes based on their personal experiences. Some artists prefer to engrave small intricate details while others prefer to create more abstract subjects. I also learned that every artist has a purpose and that it sometimes takes awhile for someone to determine it.