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Winter Warmup!

Read up on the local artists as they respond to the "Winter Warmup" theme for the start of 2024.

Mark Altrogge -

  • Golden Skies of Vinegar Hill (oil on panel with gold leaf)

  • Pines of Gold (oil on panel with gold leaf)

I decided to warm up my winter by painting on gold leaf. The gold leaf adds warmth to a painting as it reflects light, and gives a painting a different look from different angles. I hope the paintings will warm up rooms they are hung in.

Linda Burkett -

  • Winter’s Promise (oil on canvas)

My Winter Warm-up is inspired by the relentless human spirit. Each bleak winter season stretches our faith into enduring hope. In the bracing, bitter cold of the gray, silent winter is the challenge for the soul to reach forward, beyond what is seen into what will be. Only in the deliberate journey through the crackling footfalls that break the snow’s icy surface, surrounded by heavy-laden pine branches and bleak, bare trees, does a glimpse of the promised warmth arise. In the far skies, the searching eye strains and then sees the glimmer of winter’s abatement in the first tinges of the coming Spring. Take heart waning soul! The new season is just beyond our horizon.

Bonnie Chovanec -

  • Barred Owl (acrylic on palm bark)

  • Red Fox (acrylic on palm bark)

  • River Otter (acrylic on palm bark)

Step into a Pennsylvanian Winter Wonder Woodland where love is in the air. Especially for the Barred Owl, the Red Fox and the River Otter. It’s mating season and these three beautiful creatures are on the prowl.

The male Barred owl dances along the branch, extending his wings to span 50-60 inches as he calls his love with gurgles, cackles, hoots and calls.

The female Red Fox is relentless in advertising her availability, marking territory with notoriously “fragrant’ drops up to eight times per minute. the vixen is quite the flirt.

The River Otter is back in Southwestern PA! After a near eradication, a concerted effort was made to build up the population. Prime mating time is February and begins with chasing, rolling and sliding, for days.

Finally the coupling takes place in the water and two months later, the population increases by two to four pups. All three pieces use the hardened stem of a palm tree (Palm bark) as media for the acrylic painting. I find that it makes the subject all the more interesting. They travel from Georgia, Florida and Arizona, are cleaned,

dried, sanded and washed before being transformed into art from my mind’s eye. A final coat of protective spray is added as the finishing touch. You may spy a tiny ladybug or fish added in honor of our grandchildren - “Lydie-Bug” and “Guppy Goose”. Enjoy!

Joy Fairbanks -

  • Strike Up A Conversation (collage with matchbooks and cigarettes)

This collage of collected memorabilia may bring warm memories to you as they often represent places we met with friends. Perhaps as you left, you may have “pocketed” one of these matchbooks as a memento. They are something of a tribute to the graphics skillfully applied in such a small space. Often phone numbers were written using the inside as a notepad, just one more way we connect with people. Do you recognize any of these places? Can you detect the French cigarettes?

Jolene Joyner -

  • Tea With Lemon (oil on canvas)

  • Dreams of the Ocean (oil on canvas)

These paintings transport me to warmth-giving activities of our winter hibernation. Cupping one’s hands around a steamingly delicious cup of tea with bracing lemon, or casting one’s memory to a warmer time of year.

Cindi Kordell -

  • Song of Solomon (calligraphy with acrylic paint)

  • Light a Candle (calligraphy collage)

Light a Candle. I’ve always been drawn to this verse, but it seems especially relevant in today’s world. Candles represent light, hope and warmth -- and I was compelled to convey this message for The Artists Hand Winter Warm-Up Exhibit. I chose warm colors and lots of gold, gold, gold(!!!) for the collage work to illuminate a feeling of light -- in an

intentional NOT SO SUBTLE manner! I lettered the verse with a variation of Roman Capitals, and it just felt appropriate to capitalize every letter to articulate the urgency of the request for light, warmth and hope -- almost a vivid cry to dispel the darkness.

May the spirit of light, hope and warmth shine in our days ahead.

The Song Of Solomon. This verse from the Song of Solomon really spoke to me as I considered a piece for the Artists Hand Winter Warm-Up Exhibit. As a calligrapher, I am innately drawn to contemplate various writings -- whether it be prose, poetry, quotes,

lyrics or sacred scripts, and I have an unstoppable yearning for BREATHE LIFE to the words through the Art of Beautiful Writing. I chose the dense style of Textura Blackletter to create the calligraphy, thus representing the darkness of winter. Elements of gold were incorporated throughout the piece to offset the darkness and to represent light

and hope. Warm colors were used for the collage work -- to symbolize the coziness of winter and the hope of the coming of lighter and brighter days soon ahead. As Alphonse de Lamartine so eloquently stated: “Letters are symbols which turn matter into spirit.”

Barb Kubala -

  • Wool Wrap (wool garment with felting)

Lately I’ve been interested in doing puzzles. Looking at colors, shapes and seeing what goes together. I spent the winter surrounded by “things.” Things in my fiber studio that needed to evolve into what they would become. My response to material is intuitive and this garment evolved in my looking at it each day. It is pure design. I enjoy the contrast of black and white, playing with shapes, contrasts and textures.

Greg Langham -

  • Here and Now (oil on canvas)

  • The Silly Goose (oil on canvas)

When I was young, around here, snow on the ground lasted all winter. High drifts and consistently cold temperatures were the norm. But now (painting #1 “Here and Now”) our landscape is most often devoid of snow. There has been no deep freeze of any length. Water table stabilization and the frozen extinction of virus, has not taken place. The wildlife are confused by all this.

The Silly Goose (painting #2 - “The Silly Goose) is also confused. When her pond began to glaze over, she flew South. But then, when encountered an unexpected cold front. Returning Northward, she found a clear pond, she landed. Honking, slapping at the water and plants, she had found her refuge. But, would this place remain stable? Or, would she change direction again? Is warming a good thing? Maybe so, maybe not.

Rhonda Luckey -

  • RUMI’s Flute (acrylic)

  • Bog Queen - a trilogy (Eco prints on cotton and silk, stitching)

  • Triskelion (block print, botanical mono-prints, stitching)

This winter I have been swept into the ever-moving cycles of existence -winter equinox - new moon - frozen earth. Life is burrowed in the darkness, waiting for the light to draw it to the surface. Each piece accompanied me during this time of hibernation and recovery.

In this season of epiphany/these expressions echo an enduring warmth, which I long to see reflected in the eyes of another.

RUMI’s Flute

beckons me to hear its moan

grieving what has been lost,

yet a prayer to remember.

Bog Queen - a trilogy calls to mind Seamus Heaney’s poem:

“...My sash was a black glacier

wrinkling, dyed weaves

and phoenician stitchwork

retted on my breasts’

safe moraines.

I knew winter cold

like the nuzzle of fjords

at my thighs-

the soaked fledge, the heavy

swaddle of hides.”


is the Sufi whirling dervish,


at its center,

there is calm.

MaryAnne Lupinetti -

  • Purple and Rust Wrap/Shawl (cotton and silk garment with couched stitching)

Shawls have always been a favorite of mine, so much so, that I can say they are a specialty. Over the years I have made shawls for myself, for my family, and for many friends. I make at least one new shawl each year to wear over my shoulders most days. I feel that a shawl completes an outfit and gives it a finished look, as well as being a functional article of clothing. When I began to design this piece, I imagined wearing it to complement a special outfit, but when it was finished I knew that this shawl could be worn not only as a dressy piece, but also as a casual shawl with a sweater and a pair of blue jeans. I wanted to create a two-tone effect, so I chose purple and rust for the front. I gravitated toward those colors, because purple represents creativity, wisdom and peace, while rust represents earthiness and stability. the lining has an iridescent sheen reflecting the combination of both colors on the front. The couched yarns along the bottom and partially up the sides are tacked down with silk threads to create a soft flow of movement. Finally, as I reflect on this piece, I can say that it captures the Winter Warm- up theme.

HK Miller -

  • Salina Silence (oil on linen panel)

  • Old Canoe Grant (oil on linen panel)

  • Michelin Trees (oil on canvas panel)

“Salina Silence”

Hey Boomers...remember all of those schools that were built in the 50s; 60s that looked like

Miami motels? Now they’re all walk-in Medical clinics or gyms for old farts! Ahh...they were great back then.

”Michelin Trees”

There comes a time in the middle of February when we just ache to see that beautiful Spring foliage on the trees. Here’s hoping that this painting brings warm Spring memories.

“Old Canoe Grant”

I almost titled this painting “Birch Bark______, Ulysses S.______”... get it?

Cora Smith -

  • Melancholy Moon (acrylic on canvas)

Irene Tabish -

  • Onion Soup Bowls (ceramic)

When the cold sets into your bones and the color of winter becomes piercing blue-gray cold, too, then it’s time to make soup. Steaming Soupe à l’Oignon Gratinée. ½ cup unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 4 cups sliced onions, 5 cups beef broth, 2 tablespoons dry sherry, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste, 4 slices French bread, 4 slices provolone or gruyere cheese. 2 slices Swiss cheese, diced, ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Colleen Wakefield-

  • Wall on Fire (digital photography)

  • The Nurturing of Mother Sunflower (digital photography)

Wall on Fire---In the mist of winter, the evening sun glowed through the front door, warming the gold and red sequined blanket that hung upon the old rocking chair. The reflection shimmered on to the wall like little balls of fire. What a spectacular backdrop for an old carnation that no one wanted! Some photoshop post processing. Manipulations of shapes and colors in photoshop.

The Nurturing of Mother Sunflower---It was a gloomy winters day as I was driving around aimlessly as I often do, just dying for sunshine! I saw Mother Sunflower shining behind the cold, frigid farm. It was like a mirage! I suppose she was here for a short while to project her

loving, warmth onto the Indiana, Pa farm and to remind me that Spring and Summer will be here soon! Layering and blending of two photos with some color manipulations in photoshop.

Elle Woods -

  • Triplicity (acrylic on illustration board)

  • Infinities’ School of Dance (acrylic on illustration board)

In the realm of artistic expression, I find my voice as Elizabeth Woods, yet my creations bear the signature of Elle Woods. this duality serves as a bridge between the personal and the shared, a journey into the exploration of human connection through the medium of ink and acrylic on board. An exploration of identity, who I am as an artist, a person, a soul, and the intersections where all these identities meet. This series of work emerges as a vibrant tapestry of experimentation and spontaneity created this winter season. Each piece is conceived as a warm-up exercise, a lively prelude that invites me to push the boundaries

of creativity and connection. the process becomes a dance with the unknown, an exploration of how many people and emotions I can bring to life on my canvas.

Through the dynamic interplay of ink and acrylic, I seek to capture the essence of the human experience - the diversity of emotions, the intricacies of relationships, and the kaleidoscope of individual stories. The fluidity of the medium mirrors the fluidity of life, allowing me to express the complexities and nuances that make each person unique. I started each piece with ovals drawn randomly and then from there the people emerged.

I immersed myself in this artistic warm-up, and invite the audience to join me on a journey of discovery. The imagery of people becomes a language, speaking the unspoken and unraveling the threads that connect us all. In this collection, I aim not only to create art but to foster a dialogue -- a conversation between the image and the observer, where interpretations and emotions intertwine. Elle Woods becomes more than a signature; it becomes a vessel through which I navigate the uncharted waters of creativity. Each stroke is an invitation to engage, to reflect, and to find resonance in the shared human experience. Join me in this warm-up., where the images become a playground for connection, and the boundaries between artist and audience blur into a shared exploration of the beauty within us all.

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