Karen Brittain has always been entertained by her ability to imagine. Growing up in a rural area made everything in the outside world seem fascinating for her. She creates her own brand of mystique when she paints portraits of people, primarily women, whom she does not know. Her fascination is in re-inventing and re-creating characters for her paintings based on compilations of facial features, ethnicities, body types and time periods.
Her latest series, which is called “Sisterhood”, is a collection of fictitious female characters. She describes them as “visual assumptions”. They are for her a collection of daydreams, where in a visual sense, her characters come to life. By understanding and questioning the complexities and layers of sentiments women carry throughout their lives Karen contemplates the emotions, vulnerabilities, desires, hopes, risks, and fears that weave their way throughout our lives.
The sisterhood series is meant as an open invitation to the viewer to interact with the subject by imposing our own narratives. By interacting with the paintings in this way the artist invites self reflection upon the part of the viewer . What we see in her paintings might very well reveal something of ourselves.
Website: Karen Brittain Fine Art (KarenBrittain.com)
Gretchen Wood was born in New Orleans, LA in 1981. She enjoys using a playful if not almost classical approach to her paintings with an expressive use of color and application. She has been married for 16 years and together she and her husband have four children. Currently the six of them reside in Appleton, WI where she works in her home-based studio.
“My hope is that my work will remain a reflection of our culture, continually evolving, and creating a means to observe the beauty of the ordinary in a new and exciting way. Most of my work revolves around things found in nature, intended to challenge the viewer to question how they perceive their environment and their connection to it as both an observer and a participant. A lot of my focus and attention is directed at color and movement… the way it plays together to create life and depth within a piece.” – Gretchen Wood
Raised in the countryside of Kenosha, WI; Hector Acuna is an emerging artist working with oil and watercolor/gouache.
The studio paintings portray people, both fictional and non-fictional, in moments constructed to challenge definitions of society. Stereotyping, materialism, and family relationships inspire concepts for these bodies of work. Shifting between the artist’s candid family imagery to imagined portraiture as subjects provides room to discover conversations between developing paintings. Working “en plein air” informs and assists techniques used in studio work. Painting from life trains a painter’s eye by offering insight into understanding subtlety and the affect of changing light and color. The process of layering pigment offers opportunities for reflection and risk taking which reveal new directions for the artwork.
Hector earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where he exhibited on campus and held a solo exhibition at the Scarrabochio Art Museum. As a student his paintings were recognized by the University where he received three scholarships and six awards including the Hipstamatic Entrepreneurship Award of $5,000. As a senior his painting “Portrait of the Poet: Emmitt James” won first place in the Gamblin Torrit Grey Competition. Since earning his degree, Hector has began building his career as a fine artist selling his paintings to collectors throughout the US.