Category Archives: Paintings

Emma Amos

Philadelphia Museum of Art to Present First Major Retrospective Exhibition Dedicated to Emma Amos (1937–2020)

Emma Amos Retrospective PMA
“Godzilla,” 1966, by Emma Amos. Oil on canvas, 50 × 46 inches; framed: 51 1/4 x 47 1/4 inches. Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute Museum of Art, Utica, NY.

October 11, 2021January 17, 2022 

Morgan Galleries and Jane and Leonard Korman Galleries 150153 

In October, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will present the first major retrospective exhibition of the work of Emma Amos. As a member of the Black artist collective, Spiral, in the mid-1960s, an active participant in the Guerilla Girls of the 1980s, and a pathbreaking multimedia artist until her death in 2020, Amos made vibrant, witty, and passionate works that challenge, unsettle, and sometimes altogether reject the dominant visual codes of American life. Across her prolific career, Amos’s art explored the links among personal biography, history, and the politics of race and gender in America. Organized by the Georgia Museum of Art, Emma Amos: Color Odyssey surveys Amos’s body of work from the late 1950s to the 2010s for the first time, highlighting her bold approach to printmaking, painting, and weaving, and the distinctive combination of disparate materials and artistic techniques that she employed to produce works of unmistakable artistic and critical charge.

In an interview in 1991, Amos remarked, “Every time I think about color, it’s a political statement.” The exhibition will explore the rich implications of that claim, following the ways in which Amos’s works investigate aspects of identity and privilege while unsettling the lines between figuration and abstraction, craft and fine art, beauty, and power. Emma Amos: Color Odyssey will begin with the artist’s early years when, finding her way to New York by way of London, she would become the youngest and only female member of Spiral, which formed in response to the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. These early works reveal an artist beginning to connect an interest in abstract expressionism to problems of figuration and subjectivity posed by the realities of American racism, with Amos exploring the significance of color as it relates to the Black female body. This subject would go on to become a major focal point throughout Amos’s career as she began to engage more deeply with mediums such as weaving and printmaking and to participate in the feminist and multicultural debates of the 1970s and 1980s.

Emma Amos Retrospective PMA
“American Girl,” 1974, by Emma Amos. From the portfolio Impressions: Our World, Volume 1, 1973-1974. Printed by Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, New York. Etching and lift ground aquatint (edition of 35), plate: 15 3/4 × 19 13/16 inches; sheet: 22 1/8 × 30 inches.; framed: 27 1/2 × 35 1/2 inches. Purchased with the Lola Downin Peck Fund, 2018. Image courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2021.

The exhibition is organized chronologically and thematically, tracking how Amos pushed her painting, weaving, and printmaking practices and often combined these media to better represent the grace, beauty, and power of Black figures, from anonymous models to leaders such as Paul Robeson and Zora Neale Hurston. Color Odyssey follows Amos’s deepening critical investigation into the centrality of race and gender to the values of Western art, notably though the making of massive multimedia works that interrogate the power and authority of the artist. The Philadelphia presentation of the exhibition will give emphasis to the ways in which these thematic and political concerns pushed Amos to experiment widely with materials and techniques, particularly in print.

Highlights among the early works include the painting Godzilla, 1966 (Munson Williams Proctor Institute of Art) which features three front-facing seated women, one of whom is nude, another is seen clothed, and a middle figure appears faceless. Each figure is depicted with brownish limbs of various skin tones while the overall composition offers a rich arrangement of gestural forms placed in combination with flat, unmodulated swathes of contrasting color. The artist returns to the theme of the female trinity in 3 Ladies, 1970 (Philadelphia Museum of Art), a color etching, printed relief, and screen print in which lyrical gestural elements have given way to a sharp juxtaposition of graphic shapes that convey the artist’s virtuosity. This experimental, five-part composition underscores her ongoing pre-occupation with femme-centric themes. Among the notable works of the artist’s later production is Tightrope, 1994 (Minneapolis Institute of Art) which illustrates, in bold acrylic colors on linen with African textile borders, the monumental struggles Amos faced as an artist without the privileges afforded to white masculinity. In this monumental narrative self-portrait, Amos resolutely strides across a tightrope while donning a Wonder Woman costume that is only partially concealed under an artist’s smock. In one hand, she indignantly raises a T shirt emblazoned with an image of the naked torso of Gauguin’s Tahitian child bride while in the other she confidently wields a pair of paint brushes against a night sky.

Emma Amos Retrospective PMA
“All I know of Wonder,” 2008, by Emma Amos. Oil on canvas with African fabric borders, 70 1/2 × 55 1/2 inches. Collection of Mary Ryan, Courtesy of Ryan Lee Gallery, New York.

The organizing curator for Emma Amos: Color Odyssey is Dr. Shawnya L. Harris, Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Curator of African American and African Diasporic Art at the Georgia Museum of Art. “Coming of age during the countercultural movements of the 1960s and straddling various artistic movements from abstract expressionism to pop art, Amos reckoned with issues of race, class, and gender roles that emerged in the development of her style,” Dr. Harris said. “Her imaginative and sometimes satirical take on cultural difference shifted and grew richer over the decades, merging various media and blurring categories of fine and applied arts as a form of resistance.”

At the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the exhibition is curated by Laurel Garber, the Park Family Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings, with the assistance of Theresa A. Cunningham, Margaret R. Mainwaring Curatorial Fellow. Garber, who wrote the catalog’s essay on Amos’s prints, added: “The sweep of Amos’s career opens a window onto an artistic practice that is guided by a rich creative and political engagement in American life. Her work is at once approachable and challenging, inviting reflections on identity, beauty, and femininity. Throughout her career, Amos worked in a wide range of printmaking techniques, including intaglio, screen print, monotype, and collagraphy, and we will show the broad range of innovative editions, monoprints, and other printed works on paper so that visitors can fully appreciate the interconnectedness of her vision across media.”

Catalogue

Emma Amos: Color Odyssey is accompanied by a major scholarly volume of the same title, edited by Dr. Shawnya L. Harris, and published in hardback by the Georgia Museum of Art (ISBN: 9780915977468). This catalogue includes an introductory essay by Dr. Harris and contributions by the artists Kay Walkingstick and LaToya Ruby Frazier, each of whom offers a personal reflection on Amos. Lisa Farrington, Associate Dean for Fine Arts, Howard University, discusses Amos’s place in the history of women artists. Phoebe Wolfskill, Associate Professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, focuses on the performativity of race and gender in Amos’ work. Laurel Garber explores the artist’s career-long printmaking practice and her collaborations with master printers. The book is available at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Store and may be purchased on site or online via Philamuseum.org.

About Emma Amos

Emma Veoria Amos was born in 1937 in Atlanta, Georgia. Her family owned a drug store established by her father and grandfather, the first Black pharmacist in the state. She attended Antioch College in Ohio, graduating in 1958 with a degree in fine art before moving to London where she earned a diploma in etching at the Central School of Art in the next year. Arriving in New York in 1960, she joined Spiral, the artist activist group which included Romare Bearden, Hale Woodruff, Norman Lewis, and Charles Alston. In 1965, she earned her master’s degree in education from New York University and later taught at the Dalton School in New York. She also held positions as a textile designer and served briefly as a host of a television show about craft. Amos was an important member of Heresies, a feminist magazine founded in 1976 by Joyce Kozloff, Miriam Shapiro, Lucy Lippard, and others. As a member of the Guerilla Girls, Amos protested art world injustices including the unequal representation of women in the arts. In 1980, she began a teaching at Rutgers University, where she would become Professor and Chair of Visual Arts at the Mason Gross School of Art. She retired from Rutgers in 2008. The artist moved in 2019 to Bedford, NH in 2019 where she died the following year. Emma Amos: Color Odyssey premiered in January 2021 at the Georgia Museum of Art and traveled to the Munson Williams Proctor Institute in Utica, NY (through September 12, 2021) before its final stop at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Support

The exhibition is organized by the Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia. This program is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, University of Georgia. At the Georgia Museum of Art, additional support was provided by the W. Newton Morris Foundation and the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art.

In Philadelphia, Emma Amos: Color Odyssey is made possible by the Kathleen C. and John J. F. Sherrerd Fund for Exhibitions, the Lenore G. Tawney Foundation, and Emily and Mike Cavanagh.

Credits as of July 19, 2021.

Social Media @philamuseum

Like DoNArTNeWs Art News Blog by DoN Brewer on facebook

Follow the new DoNArTNeWs.com

Follow DoN on Twitter @DoNNieBeat58

DoN Brewer on Pinterest

@donniebeat on Instagram

Affiliate Marketing [disclosure page] Shop on-line and help support DoNArTNeWs

Donate via safe and secure PayPal in the sidebar.

Pandemic

Kassem Amoudi is a Palestinian Jordanian American artist who came to the US in 1983. He got his MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and now teaches there. The first time I remember seeing one of his paintings was at the Woodmere Art Museum. Like a philosopher Kassem thinks in terms of dualities, pairs of things that complement one another. He told me about one of the greatest of these pairings. – John Thornton, arts videographer

Artists in the Time of Pandemic, Kassem Amoudi

One of the paintings I will show at Cerulean Arts Gallery from the Stripes series. It is a 48×48 Acrylic. The show starts May 5th with social distancing and masks. The opening will be a Virtual tour and talk on Saturday the 8th at 2 pm. You can register for it at the gallery website when they add it. It hasn’t been posted yet because there is another show right now. — Kassem Amoudi

Cerulean Arts Collective, Kassem Amoudi

Cerulean Arts Collective

I will be One of the panelists at this webinar at Woodmere Art Museum May 6th at 7.
Please click the link to register.
Closing Reception (virtual): Group ’55 and Midcentury Abstraction in Philadelphia
Presenters: Bill Valerio, Woodmere Director & CEO; Patricia Stark Feinstein, Curator of the Samuel L. Feinstein Trust; Barbara Wolanin, PhD, Curator of the Group ‘55 exhibition; Kassem Amoudi, Artist
Join Woodmere in celebrating the art and artists of the Group ‘55 exhibition through an online closing reception. The online program will feature a new film on the exhibition, along with a conversation between Bill Valerio; Patricia Stark Feinstein; Barbara Wolanin, PhD; and Kassem Amoudi. Group ‘55 and Midcentury Abstraction in Philadelphia is on view through Sunday, May 9.
This event will be held online via Zoom, and registration is required. Participants will receive event information via email upon registration.
Free | 7pm | Click here to register.
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_aCKZqyA-R-WFIqoOgyrUEQ

Kassem Amoudi, Cerulean Arts Collective

Thank you to Kassem Amoudi and John Thornton for the content of this post.

Like DoNArTNeWs Philadelphia Art News Blog on facebook

Follow the new DoNArTNeWs.com

Follow DoN on Twitter @DoNNieBeat58

DoN Brewer on Pinterest

@donniebeat on Instagram

Affiliate Marketing [disclosure page] Shop on-line and help support DoNArTNeWs

Donate via safe and secure PayPal in the sidebar.

Kuerners

Kuerners Farm

Dear Artists,
I am so happy to announce that we plan to resume programs at Kuerner Farm beginning in July with a few minor changes made to ensure everyone’s safety. Plein air and photography opportunities will begin this summer, and classes with Karl J. Kuerner will resume in mid-September. Please see links below for information and to register.


“Evening at Kuerners” Plein Air

Kuerner Farm Photography Evening

Kuerner Farm Plein Air Days

Drawing & Painting with Karl J. Kuerner

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Laura Westmoreland

Associate Educator

Adult & Community Programs

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Like DoNArTNeWs Philadelphia Art News Blog on facebook

Follow the new DoNArTNeWs.com

Follow DoN on Twitter @DoNNieBeat58

DoN Brewer on Pinterest

@donniebeat on Instagram

Affiliate Marketing [disclosure page] Shop on-line and help support DoNArTNeWs

Donate via safe and secure PayPal in the sidebar.

DoNArTNeWs – celebrating twelve years reporting on Philadelphia artists and art.

July

Pygmalion, Roberta Gross, Shapes and Colors of Summer in July, The Plastic Club

Shapes and Colors of Summer in July
ONLINE MONTHLY EXHIBITION AT PLASTIC CLUB

The Plastic Club’s building is closed, but the Club is resuming its regular schedule of monthly shows with an online exhibition devoted to the shapes and colors of Summer.

The Summer show opens Wednesday, July 1. The art can be viewed on the Plastic Club‘s website (www.plasticclub.org) then. There will also be one of the Club’s “Third Sunday” online Salons with discussion about the exhibit on Sunday, July 19, from 1 to 2 PM.

Entries can be realistic or abstract, based on reality or your imagination, or any combination of these approaches.  Any medium is accepted. Physical artwork must be submitted in the form of a photograph or video. A reasonably clear cell phone photo or video should suffice. As always, original digital imagery, photography and video are also welcome.

Due to the building closure, we have devised a simple method to submit your photograph, image or video along with your contact information. For detailed instructions, see the “Call for Submissions” on the Exhibitions Tab of the Club’s website, www.plasticclub.org.

A lottery will select three entrants to win a prize: four free workshop sessions when the Club re-opens.

The Plastic Club, located on historic Camac Street, was founded in 1897 by a group of women artists to promote the arts to the public and support artists both in the Philadelphia community and beyond.

The Plastic Club, 247 South Camac Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107

Thank you to Bob Moore for the content of this post.

Like DoNArTNeWs Philadelphia Art News Blog on facebook

Follow the new DoNArTNeWs.com

Follow DoN on Twitter @DoNNieBeat58

DoN Brewer on Pinterest

@donniebeat on Instagram

Affiliate Marketing [disclosure page] Shop on-line and help support DoNArTNeWs

Donate via safe and secure PayPal in the sidebar.

DoNArTNeWs – celebrating twelve years reporting on Philadelphia artists and art.

Watercolor

MostCraft

Mostcraft is reader-supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

Cover Image: Amazing Watercolor Techniques You Have to Try

PAINTING

Amazing Watercolor Techniques You Have to Try

by Candace Osmond

Watercoloring isn’t just a thing for the artists: it is straight-up therapeutic regardless of whether you have any talent or not (by the way, did you know that talent can be learned?). But if you’re serious about learning a thing or two about watercoloring, even if it’s just for creating better projects for your own personal satisfaction, here are some watercolor techniques you have to try.

Underpainting

Vintage style monochrome illustration of young pine-tree forest. Watercolor sepia painting

This technique basically describes a monochrome wash that allows you to create the painting’s first layer. Then, you will add more layers of transparent washes over this initial one, creating luminous effects that seem very real.

You can use shades of green, blue, or purple to help you get started. Paint within the outline of your subject, making sure that you use light brush strokes and take into account shade and light as well. The entire technique is based on using a single color, which allows you to focus on the shape a little bit more.

Make sure that you use a soft brush for this technique. When you’re done underpainting and want to move on to creating the next layer, make sure you leave it to dry first. This will prevent muddy colors.

Watercolor washes

Watercolor ultraviolet, purple and pink abstract background with washes

There are basically two types of watercolor washes, dry and wet:

  • If you want to create a dry wash, you will have to use a round or a flat brush and an angled surface (if you have an easel, absolutely use it for this technique). Choose a color that you like and mix it with plenty of water. Soak your brush in the color as much as you can, then use it to draw a steady horizontal line on the top side of your canvas/paper. There will be water dripping to the bottom edge of your line, so you’ll have to quickly dip your brush in color again and use it to make another stoke below the first one. You want to make sure that the top edge of the second line and the bottom edge of the first line overlap. You want to repeat the process until you’ve reached the bottom side of your paper. When you finish your final stroke, blot the brush on a piece of paper towel. With the dry tip, absorb any excess water that might have dripped to the bottom edge of your last stroke. Leave the paper to dry before removing it from the easel.
  • Wet washes are a bit more interesting to make. While very similar to dry wash, in this particular case you will have to moisten the paper before creating the strokes. To do that, dip a clean brush in water and brush the entire surface of the paper/canvas. When you’re done, simply create the lines of color, just like you did for the previously-shown technique.

Watercolor layers

Abstract watercolor background with yellow, blue, red layers

Let’s assume that you’ve painted a basic item, like a fruit. You will have to leave the paint to dry, and then you can add layers that will add dimension to your painting, but also color variations. Leaving the painting to dry before adding layers will prevent colors from blending together.

Simple paint the second color on top of the first one, but make sure that you avoid using too much water, or else the base layer will get moist and the colors will blend. If you want your second layer to have less severe lines, simply dip the brush in water and use gentle stroke to feather the line.

Watercolor blooms

You might have experienced these wet paint spreads that look like really abstract flowers. Those are called watercolor blooms, and they’re actually a pretty cool technique that you might want to know about, for future references and projects. What actually happens is that the original pigment spreads out when you use wet paint on a damp wash.

Watercolor garden and wild red flowers. Watercolor Floral bouquet illustration

If you want to know how to make these, it’s pretty simple. Create a colorful wet wash and leave it dry for a few minutes. Grab your brush and soak it in water. Touch the paper with the tip of the brush, allowing the liquid to create the blooms.

Pigment removal

Yes, it is actually possible to remove pigment from the painting, which can help correct a mistake or help you add more white space to your painting. The technique you have to apply depends on the state of the watercolor:

  • If you want to remove wet watercolors, you will have to blot your brush and use it to lift color from the paper. What happens is that the damp brush will absorb a lot of water, so make sure that you remove it quickly to make sure it picks up the color from the painting. Some prefer to use a paper towel to remove the color, but that won’t render the best results in all cases (works best when you want less controlled white space).
  • Dry watercolor is a bit more complicated to remove because you’ll actually have to use an eraser to do it. First off, water the area and then use a dry brush or a piece of paper towel to lift the color. Then you should be able to finish the job with an eraser.

Gradients

Top view of female hands drawing papaya with watercolor paints and paintbrush on yellow table

Gradients will always be the kings of colored PowerPoint presentation backgrounds, so why not learn how to paint them as well? Needless to say, color blending and gradients add a stunning visual effect to your paintings.

To master this technique, you will have to add watercolor to a wet paint surface. Right next to it, you can add a different color or perhaps a more intense version of the hue. Since the paints are both wet, they will likely blend in together to create the gradient. The wetness of the paint will determine the gradient result.

Feathering

Gradient works differently when you’re starting off with an intense color and want to end up with a more transparent one. Adding more color won’t do it. Instead, you’ll have to add water. This technique is called feathering, and it goes like this: you will have to start by adding strong color to your painting. Then, by using a wet brush, diffuse that color in order to create the gradients effect.

Lines

watercolor striped lines background

Lines are an important part of every painting, but that really depends on the style you’re going for. You can easily create lines using watercolor because you can control their shape and thickness when you have the right set of brushes. To practice this technique, create a bunch of lines that are placed next to one another.

If you’re looking to obtain the hatching or cross-hatching effect, you can either make these lines perpendicular or parallel to each other. Those of you that want to obtain clear lines, can use a pointed brush with color and just a little bit of water. The amount of water you use will determine if your lines are crisp or flowy.

Splattering

Collection of colorful abstract watercolor backgrounds

This is a really fun watercoloring technique to try because it allows you to get messy. They can help create paintings filled with energy, but it’s also a technique that’s more difficult to control compared to others where you basically just draw using your brush. There are three ways to obtain the splattering effect:

  • The tapping method requires that you fill your paintbrush with pigment, and then gently tap the brush above your paper. This technique is useful for those who want to cover a lot of ground with this particular effect, but it does make paint difficult to control.
  • The flicking method is all about getting your hands dirty. You fill your paintbrush with pigment and hold the brush so that its tip points at the paper. Using your other hand, run your fingers on the edge of the brush. As you do so, your finger will pull back the bristles, and the paint is launched onto the canvas when the bristles are released.
  • For a more controlled result, you can always use a stencil. Grab a piece of paper and then cut shapes inside it. Place the stencil over the canvas and splatter the paint using either one of the two techniques mentioned above.

Stippling

Abstract stippled texture. Love heart.

Stippling is the creation of several dots of paint in a concentrated area. The texture itself is fascinating and can be used for drawing leaves on tree branches, for instance. There are two approaches to this technique: you can either create overlapping dots for a freeform effect, or you can have a neat and tidy group of freshly-painted dots.

Depending on what you want the final result to look like, you can use a wet brush for a looser look, or so with a dry one that clearly points out the dots. Also depending on what you’re looking to stipple, make sure you use a brush that’s of an appropriate size.

Scumbling

This technique is defined by a series of brush strokes and irregular motions that can be used to make layers and lines of paint. It is the equivalent of scribbling if you will. Practicing this technique is all about simply drawing without trying to follow any rules or patterns.

Sponging

Using a sponge to paint can actually render some very interesting and cool results. This is an even better method to try if you want to create dense tree foliage, for example. All you have to do it drip the sponge in paint and then press it against the paper.

Using tape

Hand removing masking tape also known as sticky tape

Creating clean edges can be very complicated if you’ve yet to master a steady hand in your watercoloring endeavors. Not to worry, there is a trick that can help you and it is called tape. You can simply add tape to create the imaginary edges of your object, or even at the edges of the painting itself

You can use this technique any time you want to create hard edges, but you’ll have to make sure that the tape you use isn’t going to rip the paper apart when you’re trying to remove it. To prevent that from happening, you can buy painter’s tape. Make sure that you only remove the tape once the painting is dry, otherwise, you’re bound to end up with less elegant edges.

Darker details

Once you’ve moved on to more complicated projects, you’ll find yourself wanting to create dark details to finish off your work. That is precisely the trick that will get you the best results: leave the darkest colors and details for the end of the project.

Keep in mind that watercolor painting is a lot about using transparent medium, so your edges will be light until you’re ready to finish things off with dark curves, lines, and details.

Backwashing

Abstract acrylic and watercolor painted background. Texture paper.

This technique is perfect for many different drawings, and especially when you’re looking to draw water-like effects. Similar to blooms, backwashing requires that you use a wet wash of color and a tilted surface. You want your color to drift to one side of your painting, after which you can lie the paper flat. The effect will cause the water to sleep upwards as the water dries, creating a stunning visual effect.

Conclusion

If you’ve decided to try a bunch of these new watercolor techniques, keep in mind to stock on some of the prerequisites that will make your life easier, such as erasers, pencils, and paper towels. When you have everything close to you, it will be much easier to fix mistakes if it comes to that point.

Mastering watercolor techniques isn’t just about practicing your skill, but also about working with a variety of different brushes and quality paints, so make sure you stock up on those as well.

Amazing Watercolor Techniques You Have to Try - Info

Related Posts

Arteza Watercolor Pencils Review

Arteza Watercolor Pencils Review

A detailed breakdown and overview of the Arteza watercolor pencils and how they can benefit you as an artist. 0READ MORE

MostCraft Icon

Whatever your craft, do it well.

Discover

Company

Thank you to Nicole Garcia of MostCraft for sharing the content of this post. Thank you to Candace Osmond, the author, for the fine writing. Thank you to Mostcraft for sharing their content with DoNArTNeWs. www.MostCraft.com

© MostCraft. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com25SHARES

AN ELITE CAFEMEDIA HOME/DIY PUBLISHER

Like DoNArTNeWs Philadelphia Art News Blog on facebook

Follow the new DoNArTNeWs.com

Follow DoN on Twitter @DoNNieBeat58

DoN Brewer on Pinterest

@donniebeat on Instagram

Affiliate Marketing [disclosure page] Shop on-line and help support DoNArTNeWs

Donate via safe and secure PayPal in the sidebar.

DoNArTNeWs – celebrating eleven years reporting on Philadelphia artists and art.