Happy July 4th: Presenting Some Art to Celebrate the Holiday

Happy July 4th!

It is hard to believe that the year (2015) is half over. Where does the time go? As has been my custom, I present my annual July 4th trip to the virtual art museum. Actually none of us need leave our desks, homes, or go anywhere to visit these artworks. And of course there is no admission fee for this virtual museum.

There is no overriding theme for my selections, and except for a couple of July 4th graphics – the art does not truly pertain to Independence day. Generally, I bring you art that has simply caught and attracted my eyes. Some art work will be included because of the bold and striking colors, or the design. Others because they show some activities that you or I might find ourselves involved with over this weekend. Or places that we might visit. And still others because I simply like both the look and feel of the art, and that the paintings display beauty as well as invoking thoughts of happy times.

I’ve included landscapes, figurative, impressionist, classic realism. Most are oil paints but some have been created by water colorists. Enjoy.

We will lead off with a trio from Terri Kelly Moyers. Terri grew up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and now lives in Sante Fe, New Mexico. Whether she’s painting a portrait or a landscape or a cowgirl riding a horse, Moyer’s subjects are things that she sees beauty in, and things that create an emotional response.

She has said “I want to share what I see with other people and help them have the same pleasure I have. Each artist interprets and edits things in a different way, infusing his or her work with a different quality or emotion.”

The first from Moyers is called Morning Exercise – Santa Anita. I know that many folks will attend race tracks and enjoy horse racing today. This image portrays what takes place in the hours of the early morning before the tracks open to the general public. This is when the track grandstands are empty and the people at the track are mostly trainers, grooms and handlers, exercise boys or girls, horse owners, and clockers.

This next one from Moyers is called El Tejido Del LaFamilia. For me, it is the details that you will notice as you look closely. The sun light that brightens a part of the face of each of these women, the red sashes on two of them, the pearls, and most of all – the exquisite sense of family.

The next one from Moyers ostensibly has nothing to do with family. It is just a woman and a pair of equine friends. The title is When Summer’s in the Meadow. I wonder what has caught this young woman’s attention. Of course that shall remain unknown, and that simply adds to the charm of this painting. Take note of the detail of the woman’s dress as well as the flowers and high grass.

Switching gears, location, and even styles, our next art on display is by Ralph Oberg. This artist is from Colorado and is considered a Master of Plein Air. He believes in painting ‘on location’ to get a better sense of the colors and values of the natural world. Let’s have a look at three of his best.

Of course the mountains are as on location as one can be. This painting is called The Alpine Guide. It is certainly appropriate to describe this painting as breathtaking. Want more mountains?

How about this one by Oberg called Nearing the Pass. I love the fact they are at or above the tree line. I’ve been in a similar place – called Independence Pass in Colorado. And while the air is sparkling clear, there’s a decided thinning to the air. Oxygen is present of course, it just seems harder to make use of it. One other factor – we didn’t walk up, we drove in a car.

Far below the tree line, where there’s soil and trees, and places for a cabin or a makeshift homestead in the form of a tent, Oberg gives us this one to admire. It is called Camp Chores. This painting is so expressive of another time and another place. It may have been July 4th, or some other day, but this camper had to attend to his chores, which undoubtedly meant watering the horses. Can you tell what kind of a day it is – maybe, maybe not. But one thing is certain. If we look at the way the campfire smoke curls ever so slightly, we can tell that the air is still and free of wind.

Leaving the country side, or the mountains, let’s now have a look at some city scenes.

Struggling on a rainy day in San Francisco is not newsworthy. And such an occurrence may not be a favorite memory, but San Francisco artist Jonathan Ahn has made foul weather, in the city by the bay, memorable enough to be included in this visit to our 4th of July virtual museum. The first Ahn painting (below) is called From Broadway to the Bay.

Look carefully and you can see the outline of the Bay Bridge just off-center near the top of the painting.

Next, from Jonathan Ahn is a typical San Fran setting – rain and hills. He calls this one Descent. Below is a third from Ahn –

This painting is called Market Rush. I like the way the reflected beams from the vehicles’ headlights are all uniformly at the same angle. And our last one from this artist is what people do on July 4th or any other time of the year, in fair or foul weather, and simply because they choose to.

He calls this one Lunch Chat at the Bell Tower. Obviously it is not a rainy day as the light outside is too bright. I love the way the window is bisected, and with the corresponding horizontal plane where the wine carafe, the glasses, the elbows, and the plants on either side give the work a geometrical design to what is clearly intended to be a romantic setting. Take note of the reflection on the table top on the right side.

Across the broad expanse of the United States, we have a city scene in New York. Though I lived in Manhattan for many years, I can’t say with certainty that I ever visited  Bryant Park on July 4th. However, thanks to artist Ken Wallin, from St. Simons Island, Georgia – we have this painting called Bryant Park NYC.

Delightful isn’t it?

And just about 2 plus blocks from the east end of Bryant Park, that is walking east on 42nd Street, we soon arrive at Grand Central Station.

This one is called Penumbra. The artist is Michele Usibelli who has her art studio in Woodway, Washington. Michele has said, Like all artists, I feel like I was born to create and was drawn to art from as early as I can remember. After earning my degree in architecture from the University of Washington, I combined my professional life with my love of travel, working in locations throughout the world. My extensive travels and life experiences provide the solid platform from which my artwork is created.  It is my primary goal to have each artwork I create resonate with energy and the poetry of light.

Continuing with a pair from Usibelli, we shall leave the city and head for a small lake, river, or pond somewhere. Did you bring your fishing rod and reel?

Fly Fishing Middle of Salmon River

Fly Fishing Middle of Salmon River

The Drift Boat

The Drift Boat

Staying with the water setting, as well as the fishing, next up is a painting from Donny Finley who grew up in Millerville, Alabama. He calls this one Late Summer.

Even though, we are nowhere near the end of summer, or the last part of the summer, this painting brings to mind tranquility, and innocence, as well as enjoyment.

Our next is from Heidi Press.

The title is Clear and Cool, and this title is fitting as well as a perfect description of the art.

For another painting with a small blond-haired child, how about this one from Israel Holloway. It is called Generations.

Then there’s the beach. Check out this watercolor work from an artist living right here in Sarasota. The work is called Day at the Beach. The artist is  Vladislav Yeliseyev.

Okay, the next two are included not because of the subject matter – instead I like these because of the strong colors.

Bluffs Above the Rio Grande by Billy Shenck

Bluffs Above the Rio Grande by Billy Schenck

Palms in Sunrise by Dennis Ziemienski

Palms in Sunrise by Dennis Ziemienski

Our last two paintings will be by the artist whose works began this post – Terri Kelly Moyers.

Sante Fe

Sante Fe

Summer's Passing

Summer’s Passing

Both of these are extraordinary. In both, notice how the light falls on a side of the model’s heads, thereby making a part of their hair illuminated. Also note that while red is not the dominant color in either work, it still creates a strong impact. Bravo.

Thank you readers for joining me in this celebration of July 4th – Independence Day. I’ve selected all the artworks above because they appeal to me. And I hope they appeal to you. My appreciation is offered to the artists for their skills. My next art post will be on Thanksgiving.

For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, you may have noticed that I generally include paintings made by Steve Hanks. Mr. Hanks died on April 21st, 2015. He has been called America’s best water-colorist. He will be missed.

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