March 6, 2012

An Integration of Arts

Painting by Jane Vernhes
In keeping with a blog focus on visual arts this week, we turn now to a WICE artist who has one foot in the painting world and one in the photography world (or shall we say an eye here and an eye there). Jane Vernhes took Jan Olsson's painting class, which focused on using photographs as inspiration and/or as a reference document. She also took the Introduction to Digital Photography Class with Meredith Mullins to add to her knowledge of photography—how to capture a moment or a pose or a certain quality of light. The techniques she learned in both classes are making a difference in how she sees the world and in how she paints it.

The photograph shown below was Jane's record of a scene from her window that struck her as beautiful—the spring color and misty morning light of her garden. The technical limitations of the camera's contrast range prevented the correct exposure of both the darker inside of the house and the bright outside light of the garden. Plus, there were a few distracting elements in the foreground. In Jane's own words, the photo needs some work.

Photograph by Jane Vernhes
But painters begin with a blank canvas and can use a photograph to inspire their work or to help them remember a mood or a palette of colors. In her painting class, Jane learned that having the confidence to use composition and color spontaneously was important. You can change the palette to create more harmony among the hues. You can simplify foreground or background to limit distractions. She painted the garden in more saturated tones and simplified the interior to create a lovely rendition of what she felt that misty morning.

Jane is a long-time resident of France, arriving in 1973 from Scotland to finish her studies in Ecology and work for UNESCO. Now enjoying retirement, she spends time doing exactly what makes her happy—gardening, cooking, walking in the country, and painting. For her, painting is an expression of her love for life and the allure of nature. To communicate these feelings and this beauty to others is one small way to make the world a better place.

The Artist ... Jane Vernhes
If your feet are in the painting world, join the new acrylic and mixed-media painting course that begins on March 13. For more information, click here. Or, if your feet are in the photography world, join the new Mastering the Art of Photography course that begins on March 13. For more information, click here. Or, keep a foot in each and take both courses. Photography in the morning and painting in the afternoon. (Also coming up on March 31 is a one-day Creative Photography workshop. For more information, click here.)

Posted by Meredith Mullins