Different strokes 

'Go Hawaiian,' 'Fish,' 'Bad Girl' in watercolor show at ASI.

'GO HAWAIIAN': At the Arkansas Studies Institute.
  • 'GO HAWAIIAN': At the Arkansas Studies Institute.

I have a watercolor confession to make. I am not a fan of the accidental made intentional. I like watercolors that are controlled by the artist, rather than the other way around. This makes me picky. Sometimes I'll skip a watercolor exhibit.

But I didn't skip the "Mid-Southern Watercolorists" 40th annual juried exhibition at the Arkansas Studies Institute, and I was well rewarded. These artists have won the war with their medium and the River Market district gallery highlights just how different their battle plans can be. Dean Mitchell — a great watercolor artist himself whose work can be found at Hearne Fine Art — was the judge.

Jacquelyn Kaucher won the Arvest Bank Gold Award for her large and tricky "Fish," a batiky composition of loosely drawn and tightly composed fishes, with the judicious use of bits of sparkling something representing the glint of scales. It's huge, painted on a scale (no pun intended) not easily achieved in watercolor.

I kept going back to a smaller watercolor by Margaret Harrell of Mountain View. Harrell uses watercolor like acrylic, overpainting with highlights and using a woodcut-like stroke. A man on a horse is passing a building; his reflection in a window precedes him. I'm not horse-crazy, or cowboy-crazy, or cinderblock-building-crazy, but I really like this painting because of Harrell's technique.

I'm not sure why a Michigan artist is in the Mid-Southern Watercolorists show, but I was glad to see Fredrick Bidigare's "Bad Girl" (which I believe is erroneously titled "New Day" in the free catalog that comes with the show), an image of a shadowy woman yielding a knife. A block of red in the lower right-hand corner and a jag on her face and the end of the knife are juxtaposed with the otherwise gray and black composition. I love how Bidigare has suggested movement in her arm.

There's not a single random flow of color in Htun Tin's "Go Hawaiian," a super painting of storefronts on a sun-bathed city street; this California artist is as skilled in light, shadow and hard-edge landscape as juror Mitchell.

There are many notable works in the show — Sue Harvey's "Burst of Summer," which escapes the floral genre by shoving the lillies into one corner and letting them trail off into abstracted blooms; Joyce Hartmann's "At the All You Can Eat Buffet," a pen and watercolor illustration; Barbara Edward's "Carolina Wrens," a Diebenkorn-meets-bird done in paint thick enough to scrape; Ron Licklider's "Flapper," a portrait in washes of color. You can preview the work on the MSW website, midsouthernwatercolorists.com.

The third Friday of the month draws nigh, which means galleries in the Argenta neighborhood of North Little Rock are gearing up for a night of ArtWalk fans. Here's the July 16 roster: At Greg Thompson Fine Art, ASU professor Roger Carlisle is showing his work in a show called "Light in the Landscape." Ketz Gallery features the work of neopointillist (my moniker, not necessarily one he'd chose) Tim Jacob, and pastel artist Virmarie DePoyster will demonstrate how she works at the Thea Foundation and the 2nd floor THEArtists Studios will be open for a meet-and-greet. Look for other artists up and down Main Street as well.

On Saturday, July 17, Gallery 26 will host an opening reception for artists Becki Lamascus and Katherine Strause, who are showing paintings and mixed media work there through Sept. 14. Lamascus' work plays with the nasty, brutish and short facts of life with a touch of humor; Strause touches on our common history in her work inspired by old photographs. The reception is 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; the Winston Family Orchestra will play.

Speaking of DePoyster, a note on her blog pointed us to an exhibit at the South Arkansas Arts Center in El Dorado. The 2010 Annual Juried Exhibit was this year judged by David Houston, chief curator at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans. He chose 38 works (including one by DePoyster) from 347 entries from artists in Arkansas and Louisiana and states on the East and West coasts as well. An award ceremony and reception is Saturday at the SAAC.




Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • Pennebaker's 'Ozark Topography' is fountain choice

    Glass artist Ed Pennebaker's 13-foot-tall sculpture of tall, multicolored glass panels was chosen for temporary installation in the Carrie Remmel Dickinson Fountain in front of the Arkansas Arts Center.
    • Oct 17, 2016
  • 100 years of women's shoes at Esse

    The exhibition "A Walk in Her Shoes" will take visitors on a stroll through 100 years of women's footwear, from laceups to platforms to stilletos, when it opens Tuesday, Oct. 11, at Esse Purse Museum, 1510 Main St.
    • Oct 10, 2016
  • The 28th gear: Spokes remodels shop to add coffee bar, will open cafe on Rebsamen Park Road

    F3 Velo LLC, a newly incorporated Little Rock business, has partnered with Spokes Little Rock bicycle shop in two ventures that will offer a jolt for cyclists and others: A coffee bar in Spokes at 1001 Kavanaugh Blvd. (at Stifft Station) that will take up a third of the shop after a remodel, and a cafe and coffee bar at 1509 Rebsamen Park Road, in the building formerly owned by Marshall Clements.
    • Oct 3, 2016
  • More »

Most Shared

Latest in Art Notes

Visit Arkansas

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge opens veterinary clinic

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge opens veterinary clinic

Eureka Springs non-profit will provide on-site veterinary care to its more than 60 exotic and native large animals.

Event Calendar

« »


2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Good Weather

    Lakewood pop-up gallery makes a home for art in limbo.
  • Lessons learned

    Picture Bret Bielema pole-vaulting for a minute. Then, once the laughter subsides, hear me out with this absurd analogy.
  • White Water hosts a big Mississippi Blues Show

    Also, Red Octopus at the Public Theater, Alcee Chriss III at First Presbyterian Church, Harvestfest in Hillcrest, the Arkansas Times Hog Roast, Wildflower Revue at South on Main and Made By Few in Bentonville.
  • Ken Bonfield comes to The Joint

    Also, Guts Club plays Vino's.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Lessons learned

    • I think you meant to write, 'Consider for a minute Bret Bielema pole vaulting.' As…

    • on October 20, 2016
  • Re: Good Weather

    • Great article, true words!! Good Weather is an amazing place.

    • on October 20, 2016

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation