ARTisSpectrum | Volume 29 | artisspectrum.com
ach time I set out to paint a scene,”
Brenda Ness-Cooper
says, “the challenge for me is to capture the beautiful
image that I see in my mind.” The images that Ness-Cooper
captures depict a variety of locales — from the American
Southwest to the Mediterranean coast — but the artist creates
a unified world. “Each painting,” she notes, “tells a clear story
of what was happening at the very moment I captured the
image.” The clarity of her scenes comes from the carefully
planned elements of her technique. One is a precise sense of
line and composition. Then, within the elegant frameworks she
sets up for each painting, the artist renders a variety of textures.
Working in watercolors, she mixes the delicacy and lightness
of that medium with intense colors to bring her images to life.
The quality Ness-Cooper gets from her watercolors is the
result of a meticulous process that combines nicely with the
spontaneous, open air impression of her works. Starting by
creating sketches on paper, she works through the possibilities
of each image before rendering it on Aquabord, a watercolor
art board that she says allows her to “produce paintings with
vibrant color on a paper-like finish” — images that change the
boundaries of what watercolors can do.
Paradise Watercolor on Board 20” x 16”
Brenda Ness-Cooper
red Mou
’s airy acrylic paintings combine flowing, organic subject
matter with exact, mathematical techniques. Mou’s unique
background — he was trained in architecture, and is inspired by the
natural world — has led to a body of work full of juxtapositions and
thoughtful contradictions. His interests are wide, from lifelike portrayals
of people and animals to symbolic representations of wind and water.
But even the most grounded subjects are transformed into beautiful,
textile-like tableaux in Mou’s hands. The palette is gentle and malleable,
with one color often bleeding into the next, and blank space on the
canvas is effectively used as just another compositional element.
Mou compresses depth and embraces the artist’s tool of a universal,
impossible light. He filters his subjects through repetition, abstraction,
and close-up to conjure an atmosphere: the ocean becomes a collection
of stylized jellyfish, or a woman is represented as just a face among a
cloud of fabric ruffles. In these unreal visions, Mou reveals the joy of the
Fred Mou was born in Switzerland and has traversed the terrains of
Europe, Asia, Africa, America, and the Middle East for inspiration. He
hopes to express what he calls “my optimism” in his work.
Miss Liberty Wants to Fly
Acrylic on Canvas 55” x 47”
Fred Mou
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