ARTisSpectrum Vol.30, November 2013 - page 82-83

ARTisSpectrum | Volume 30 |
ARTisSpectrum | Volume 30 |
erhaps it is because of her scientific training that
developed an interest in painting the human
figure. A British artist who has worked in both veterinary
sciences and molecular biology, O’Donovan began her “self-
obsessed” love affair with art as a small child. Her mature
works are oil paintings, whose style is primarily influenced by
figurative artists Jenny Saville and Lucian Freud .
O’Donovan prefers working with oil paints because they
allow her to build up layers of pigment, almost as if she was
sculpting the musculature of her subjects on canvas. Her goal
is to capture the human body honestly, and she disregards
classical beauty entirely in her work. Reflecting on this
characteristic, O’Donovan says that this is “probably a kick
back against the social pressures of achieving the perfect
Although Lucy O’Donovan’s work is deliberately unidealized,
it can still be said that from a technical standpoint, she is a
perfectionist, constantly experimenting with new styles and
the best method for rendering skin. “It is always a battle to
manage the colour and texture of the oil... which I feel is never
quite achieved,” she says. Because of this process, one can see a wide variety of techniques and approaches in her work.
Guidance Oil on Canvas 15.5” x 15.5”
Lucy O’Donovan
hen I paint,”
Gabriele Stewart
says, “I am starting with
line, adding color, layering color, scratching, using crayons,
fiber paste, sometimes newspaper, and whatever else is around.”
Experimenting with new ideas and materials is a major focus
of Stewart’s work and that openness gives her canvases a vital
energy. Her paintings offer an exhilarating mixture of spontaneity
and control, creating a world in which both a sense of adventure
and the steadying influence of the artist’s hand can be felt.
Stewart says that she often listens to music while painting, and
there is a strongly musical feel to her images. Scratches and free-
form lines swoop across her paintings, creating rhythms that are
unpredictable, yet elegantly proportioned. The viewer’s eye is kept
in constant motion, always drawn toward a new area of interest.
The artist’s approach to color and texture further develops
that sense of contrast and discovery. She says that she likes to
let her colors “compete against each other,” and striking color
combinations animate all of her images. Equally impressive is the
range of textures she employs—from rough patches of paint to
light washes of pure color. Calling herself a “risk taker,” the artist
successfully makes all of the daring contrasts in her paintings pay
January Acrylic & Mixed Media on Canvas 24” x 20”
Gabriele Stewart
hiho Yoshikawa
’s airy landscape paintings are an
updated, deeply personal take on Impressionism.
Chiho’s subject is natural light as it falls across a
range of terrains, including fields, waterfalls, bodies
of water large and small, and even urban centers.
Forms and lines are rendered imprecisely, and colors
appear more vibrant than in real life. Using a broad,
energetic dappling motion with her brush, the artist
builds up lime greens and brick reds to represent
tranquil grass and tree trunks.
But Chiho exaggerates her tones and scale in service
of a larger truth, which is her depiction of sunlight.
Within the boundaries of these painted, heightened
worlds – that is, within the stretchers of a canvas –
the light moves with a tangible reality. It speckles
swaying meadows, bounces off water sprays, and
dims to blue and purple beneath tree canopies
with a sensitivity that draws the viewer in to these
improbable places. Chiho describes her painting approach as a “blend” of her outer perception with her inner thoughts
and emotions. This merge is evident in her idiosyncratic, intimate portrayals of the natural world.
Chiho was born in Japan and has traveled extensively in search of inspiration for her work. She currently lives in Canada.
Sunlit Flowers Acrylic on Canvas 11” x 14”
Chiho Yoshikawa
amantha Perreaz
, the multimedia artist also known as
SAM, creates fascinating work that mixes materiality with
probing figurative imagery. Though her methods vary widely,
SAM most frequently uses acrylic paint and tissue paper in
combination to create a piece. She begins with a composition
showing a single central image, anything from a stylized
human body to a simple graphic shape. Then SAM builds
atop this blueprint by using her materials, including paint, as
sculptural elements. Tissue paper is manipulated in service of
the larger shape it creates: it’s crinkled up to create lines, swept
into corners, or fluffed outward to fill up a large space. Paint
is scraped, layered, and allowed to infuse the delicate tissue at
its deepest level.
These experiments with texture make for highly atmospheric
work which SAM considers to be multi-sensory, involving
smells and sounds. With organic, flowing shapes and tissue
that practically still has fingerprints on it, the aesthetic is
proudly handmade. And though the imagery is simple – a
heart, a bunch of flowers, a figure – color and shadow create
emotional and symbolic layers.
SAM was born in France and today lives in Geneva. Her artist name, SAM, is both a nod to her nickname and the anagram
of Swiss Art Modern, her professional website.
Poppies Paper & Wire 31.5” x 31.5” x 16”
Samantha Perreaz “SAM”
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