Artist portraits by Bianca Cordova
Lancaster is bursting with creative by people, some who are well-known and others just waiting to break out into the gallery world and become part of local everyday conversations. Fine Living Lancaster made a contest for Lancaster artists to feature their work in the magazine. Out of the many submissions we received, we have chosen who we feel are well-deserving of a helping hand into the world of recognition. Some of these individuals have been painting and drawing for decades and some are in the beginning stages; the vast amount of talent these human beings exude is brilliant. Each artist we have chosen is so different from the next, each with their own story and their own passion for what they create. We hope you feel inspired as you flip through these pages.
Jenny Germann uses an exceptional technique to create her artwork which she says documents her life. First, she uses a pyrography machine and torches in order to capture her vision and create distinct line qualities on a wood base. After the woodburning is finished, she adds color with inks, watercolor or acrylics. Her personal experiences and captivating perspective are evident throughout each piece. Focusing on natural elements, hazy memories and her physical surroundings, Jenny is able to use her art as a form of self expression which represents places she finds both inspiring and emotionally challenging. “That is where I find my daily moments of peace and reflection,” Jenny says. She is very excited about her first gallery showing in May of this year at the Red Raven Art Company.
Katie Joy Nellis
Katie Joy Nellis’s paintings, specifically her portraits which are both complex and emotional, will take you on a journey to the inner soul of the person pictured. Although Katie’s favorite medium is oil on wood, she also works with watercolor, ink, graphite and charcoal on paper. “I want viewers to feel invited to linger, absorb and respond to the work, not just give it a cursory glance. We humans are in desperate need of a space to encounter beauty and work through pain. I hope my paintings can help create that space.” Layers of texture and color stretch across her work in a dreamy, abstract manner. An artist of many talents, Katie is inspired by the world of wonders and the people in it, including stories, music, prayers, dreams and the enormous range of insight and emotion available in life.
April Alayne finds inspiration in a variety of natural sources. Combining facial expressions with organic elements, such as floriography, is her area of expertise. April uses a .05 mechanical pencil but has recently started using a .03 and .09. Each piece is finely detailed, even down to the strands of hair or the freckles on one’s face. Using such a basic tool like a mechanical pencil lends an element of simplicity to her work, keeping it honest. April has always found herself drawing. “I will see or feel something interesting and then something will just spark in me and I have to get it out.” She’s found herself literally jumping out of bed to sketch an idea or scribbling an idea down on a napkin at dinner. One can’t help but sense the beauty and grace in each twirl of hair and elegant placement of flowers or antlers in the portraits April creates.
Inspired by artists like Rembrandt, Thomas Eakins, Chuck Close, Andrew Wyeth, Andrew Salgado and Andy Warhol, portrait artist Todd Geiger would spend days in museums studying the old masters if he could. His style includes a process which he follows to create each painting. First, he paints his background. Many times he will layer textures on the background (like doilies or lace) and paint over them, creating an almost wallpaper effect. Then, he chooses the photo of the person he will paint and draws them onto the background, filling in the lines with basic flat colors. He adds more color to create shape and depth and finishes with highlights. As with many professional artists, learning how to paint faces did not come easily to Todd. “Ever since I was little, I wanted to be able to paint and draw people. I struggled and struggled until I finally understood how the human body and face worked.” Contrast, color and line work are key in his paintings, giving it a very recognizable style.
For access to the full article, reference page 49 of Issue 34 pdf.