Lisa Forster Beach, VWS, NWS / Annelein Beukenkamp, VWS, NEWS
Gary C. Eckhart, VWS, NEWS / Robert J. O'Brien, AWS, NWS
THE GALLERY at Central Vermont Medical Center THROUGH JUNE 2
Berlin, Vt – These accomplished and celebrated artists – Lisa Forster Beach, Annelein Beukenkamp, Gary Eckhart and Robert O'Brien – are signature members and award winners of the Vermont Watercolor Society which was founded in 1995 and has more than 240 members. Their mission is to promote "the awareness and appreciation of watercolor" to both its membership and the public.
Lisa, Annelein, Gary and Robert are obviously successful in doing so. While they share an affinity and love for watercolor it is evident that each has their unique vision and painting style. This exhibit beautifully demonstrates their originality in viewing and interpreting the physical, psychological or spiritual world. They present the unmistakable Vermont landscape, it's vernacular architecture, barnyards and gardens as well as still lifes and abstractions. Some paintings are boldly colorful, loose and flowing, while others are more somber and predictable; some are playful, others more precise in their representation. All are expertly interpreted with brush and watercolor in hand.
Lisa Forster Beach responds with watercolor to her environment, her experiences, impressions and perceptions – both seen and felt. Whether her paintings are realistic, impressionistic or abstract, her concentration and interest focuses on good, strong design and composition. Her layering of paint represents the layers of her consciousness. The four abstract paintings shown here – layers of bold and brightly colored numbers and letters – exude a strong and unavoidable energy and are her emotional response to and commentary on the constant bombardment social media and personal identification systems impose on us.
Annelein Beukenkamp claims her watercolors and approach to painting constantly evolve. People, places, petals and portraits inspire her to push pigments with brushes and water to play on crisp white paper. “Watercolor can surprise, delight, frustrate and intimidate, but mostly it inspires me to dip into my palette and interpret the world in kaleidoscopic hues." Her childhood, spent in the Netherlands, inspired a true love and appreciation for flowers. She paints many varieties in a style that makes color a priority and strives for loose brush-work that combines hard and soft edges, bright and neutral hues, light and dark values. Whatever Annelein chooses to paint – flowers, roosters, her fellow man or still lifes – she does so with perfection
Gary Eckhart expertly captures the rural beauty and rustic quality of Vermont. His goal is to present his subject so that others "will look at it with new vision. I want my work to be visually soothing and comforting while creating strong emotional responses of a simpler, more bucolic life." Eckhart considers his work to be representational, not photo-realistic.
He begins each painting by doing a small value sketch before he carefully and precisely draws his subject on archival watercolor paper. He then applies numerous delicate layers of glazes – both staining and non-staining permanent watercolor pigments. He remains true to the shapes, textures and patterns that initially inspire him. His work is as gorgeous as it is meticulous.
Robert O'Brien has painted with watercolor for forty-five years. His main objective is to create light through the use of shadow. "In painting ordinary images, I find a fascinating interplay between the light and shadow. The transparency of this medium helps in bringing shadows alive while allowing the light to glow." He finds beauty in the ordinary, subtle reminders of everyday rural life and is driven "to capture the vanishing landscape before they disappear forever as a result of the steady hand of progress." In the paintings seen here he focuses so intently on a particular subject he gives it an almost abstract quality yet he never wavers from his astute attention to composition and value. His goal is to transform mundane, everyday images into beautiful works of art. His success is clearly evident.
Lisa, Annelein, Gary and Robert are also associate and/or signature members of other National Watercolor Societies and are also teachers of this unpredictable medium. More information on each is available on their websites (see below).
Please contact the artists directly to purchase their paintings:
Lisa Forster Beach NWS, VWS / Stowe, VT / (802) 253 8393 / firstname.lastname@example.org