Tuesday, January 20, 2015

What is 'Impasto' painting?

What is 'Impasto' painting? In fine art, the Italian word 'Impasto' (dough or paste) denotes a painting technique in which undiluted paint is applied so thickly onto the canvas or panel, often with a palette knife, that it stands out from t...he surface. When using this impasto technique, the artist often mixes paint on the canvas itself to achieve the required color.

Oil painting is most suited to the impasto method, due to the viscosity of oils and their thickness and slow drying time. First, it's raised surface causes light to be reflected in new ways that the artist can control. It was used frequently to mimic the broken-textured quality of highlights - that is, the surfaces of objects that are struck by an intense light. Second, expressionists (notably Van Gogh) used impasto to convey feelings and emotion. Third, impasto can convey a three dimensional impression. Baroque painters like Rembrandt, Hals and Velazquez used minutely and painstakingly worked impastos to depict lined or wrinkled skin, folds in robes, or the glint of jewelry. Lastly, the rough texture can draw attention to certain points or aspects of a composition.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

What is a monotype?

 A monotype is essentially ONE of a kind: mono is a Latin word which means ONE and type means kind. Therefore, a monotype is one printed image which does not have any form of matrix. On the other hand, a monoprint has some form of basic matrix.

The process of creating a monoprint or a monotype is the same, but when doing monotypes, the artist works on a clean and unetched plate; with monoprints, however, there is always a pattern or part of an image which is constantly repeated in each print. Artists often use etched plates or some kind of pattern such as lace, leaves, fabric or even rubber gaskets, to add texture. In this case, having a repeated pattern is a monoprint.

Monoprints and monotypes are created by manually adding (additive method) or removing (subtractive method) ink from a plate which is then printed using a printing press. Many effects can be achieved in monotypes that are not possible with any other technique.

During the second opening of Subtle Reality, held February 5, Christaphora Robeers will be demonstrating the process of creating a monotype. The demonstration will be held in the Gallery Flux Annex at 5:30pm.

More information on the process of making a print:
In the subtractive method you cover a surface (metal or plastic plate) entirely with color (usually with etching or litho ink), then you remove the ink partially or wholly to expose areas of the picture being made. This process can be carried out using brushes, toothpicks, cotton swabs, foam rubber, fingers, rags, etc. With the additive method, you start with a clean plate and apply the ink or watercolor media in various ways, but as etching ink is a fairly unmanageable substance it is hard to achieve the intended effect. If the ink is applied too thick, it will spread from the pressure when printed, forming a blot. If too thin it won't show up at all. When the picture on the plate is finished, it is run through an etching press with dampened rag paper to form a unique one of a kind print. Almost all the ink transfers to the paper so it is not possible to make more than one print, hence the prefix mono. However, when a decent amount of ink remains on the plate, it is possible to strike another print without even adding any more ink: this is called a ghost image of the original print since it is much lighter than the first one, but has its unique character.

Before cleaning the plate, it is also possible to add more ink or watercolor to the ghost image left on the plate. In this case, your second image, which is based mostly on the previous one, will be a monoprint and not a monotype, since its matrix will be the remaining color left by the previous print.

*All Monotype prints in Subtle Reality are 21x17 inches and priced $650.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Subtle Reality | Review by Charles Jos Biviano

Poetry in the Sky
6 January – 28 February 2015
Gallery Flux, Ashland, VA
Review by Charles Jos Biviano

Richmond art-goers were treated to an extraordinary exhibit Thursday evening, 8 January, at Gallery Flux. Entitled Subtle Reality, the exhibit showcased the recent work of Fine Artist Christaphora Robeers.

Christaphora Robeers hails from the culture-rich The Hague, Holland. As a sixth generation artist, she was schooled in the very best of Dutch academic tradition – and this comes through in the breadth of the exhibit. The show's offerings are vast with an inventory spanning the disciplines of bronze and mixed-media sculpture, collage, painting and printmaking, Her theme is timeless, developed from cinematic cues of the movie still. Each work represents a frame frozen in time expressing both a quiet strength and the simplicity of the moment.

Two Sisters
Robeers' sculptures explore a viewer's perception of space, light, and shadow and how they interface with the dimensionality of time. Her cast solid bronze Two Sisters displays a spiritual level of personal solitude whose theme is based on strength. The landscape paintings are explorations in the relationships between land, sea, and sky. Her great oils: The North Coast, Isle-of-Scilly, Coast At Sunset, and White Light On The James are masterworks. Their textural layering of opaque and transparent glazes beckon the viewer into choosing what is land or sea. Turner-like atmospheric effects unite this body of work. As with the oil paintings, the Artist's Monotype printmaking continues this same exploration of Earth and Sky. Quickly sketched land studies in graphite serve as the anchor for each print while lost edges and undefined borders of transparent color enable the viewer to participate in the 3-D quality of each piece.

Subtle Reality sings with one voice. The exhibit displays Robeers' Art at its best – simple, quiet, yet very strong.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Subtle Reality | January 8 - February 28, 2015

The North Coast, 12" X 36", $1,900.00
Christaphora Robeers

Christaphora Robeers is a Dutch born fine artist currently living and working in the United States. Her work has been shown both locally and around the world in a number of galleries, museums and fine art shows. She specializes in medium to large oil paintings but is well versed in a variety of other mediums and techniques. She has spent her life dedicated to researching and exploring traditional and contemporary artists and techniques. Making color the focus in her work, she captures the beauty of the world around us.

The scope and versatility of Christaphora Robeers’ artistic vision has been recognized at dozens of national and international exhibitions, including the European Fine Art Fair, the International Pastel Show and as an Artist Signature Member of the Virginia Watercolor Society. Christaphora's work is on display in museums, schools, government buildings, corporate offices, galleries and homes in the United States, Canada, Taiwan, and throughout Europe. 

The Moors, 21" X 21", $1,800.00
Dedicated to arts education, Robeers has inspired and instructed others through artist-in-resident positions with a number of Virginia organizations. For over twenty years, she has participated in the Artist-in-Education program with the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and she has served as coordinator and curator for an international children’s exhibit between schools in Venlo, Netherlands and Richmond, Virginia. Robeers has also led international workshops in Italy, France, Scotland, Norway and England.

Artist Statement
Old and foreign film making is the inspiration for my current group of paintings. Their simplicity in content and mastery of cinematography is fascinating to me. The slowing down of the camera work gives me a richer visual experience. It provides me with and opportunity to engage and reflect.

Penny Hill, Oil on Canvas, 18 x 24 in, $1,900.00
In 2013 I began a series of paintings that translated this concept into my own visual images. I simplified the subject matter. Limited the palette to a few colors or one color surrounded by neutrals. I blurred out the subject matter and kept the implied texture to a minimum.  I am able to get this result with mixed media which includes mixing my own paints.
The slow build up of the layers of paint resulted in paintings that have and interesting panorama. They are an honest expression of my encounter with a variety of landscapes. Most were started on location and were finished in the studio.

I continue to explore this process in depth. The understanding of simplification is becoming more complex while the imaging making has taken on a quiet and strong voice.        

Poetry in the Sky, 23" X 23", $2,900.00
“My painting dialogue has always concentrated on color. Color is light, 
and light represents and supports life. They are a spiritual 
memory of the past and of the future.”
The Sound, Oil on Canvas, 39 x 39 in, $6,500.00
About the Show
Christaphora's work in her solo exhibition, Subtle Reality, includes mixed media, oil paintings, bronze sculptures, and monotype prints. The show will be on exhibit from January 8 until February 28. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, January 8 from 5:30-8:00pm. At the reception, the artist will hold a short lecture describing her work and career as a nationally and internationally recognized artist. We will also be hosting a second opening for the show, where the artist will preform a demonstration of her work. The second opening will be on Thursday, February 5, from 5:30 to 8pm.