ARTisSpectrum Vol.36, May 2017

50 ARTisSpectrum | Volume 36 | Brenda Ness-Cooper T he paintings of Brenda Ness-Cooper possess a delightful, irresistible charm that draws viewers into the artist’s world. With bright, vibrant colors, simple lines, and a modern sense of perspective reminiscent of Japanese prints, Cooper captures locations near her home and abroad. “I think my paintings are unique because each painting tells a clear story of what was happening at the very moment that I captured the image on my paper,” she says. From Sydney to Venice to Santorini, Cooper’s paintings offer a blissful narrative of travel and escape. She sketches her distinctive watercolors first on paper, then completes them on Aquabord, a watercolor art board with a paper-like surface that can then be sealed and hung without glass, allowing the watercolor pigments in Cooper’s work to appear particularly luminous, as kissed by the sun as many of the places Cooper loves to depict. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Cooper took up painting after working as an English teacher in New York City schools for 34 years. She hopes her pieces will inspire people to visit the locales she paints, or at the very least enjoy them through her artwork. T he paintings of Menno Vos are propelled by his interest in other people and his curiosity about their cultures and the places they live. An inveterate traveler, Vos got his start in art travel photography. He studied the principles of composition and color, and had his photos published in more than ten travel magazines. In 2013, however, he was invited to participate in a workshop for abstract painting, and hasn’t looked back since. Vos’ paintings, like his photographs, are inspired by his travels; but unlike photography, Vos finds the process of abstract painting liberating and unrestrained, allowing him to create without limits. He brings his understanding of composition and balance to each piece, producing works full of rich, saturated color, a sense of depth, and just a hint of the mysterious. “My paintings always come from the heart and show who I am and what I love in life,” Vos says. Vos lives in the Netherlands, where he’s a member of the art collective PS20 and the co-owner of a gallery in Apeldoorn. Never one to stand still, Vos plans to continue experimenting with new artistic formats and mediums, such as ink, in the future. The Boat Shed Watercolor on Board 20” x 16” Menno Vos New York Acrylic on Canvas 40” x 40”