Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Laura N. James, praying out loud

With an Antiguan heritage and a love for detail and storytelling, in the year 2000, Laura N. James made a spectacular group of paintings for a Book of Gospels , for the Roman Catholic Church. There is a diverse cast of characters represented, of all shades and nationalities, and the artwork is gorgeous! But this young New Yorker also paints Jazz figures which seduce the eye with their colors and movement, and her series, "Nannies and Other Mothers" grabs at your heart. Women who leave their own families far behind to come to the United States to care for the children of others is a powerful and often neglected subject. She handles it with a grace and compassion for all involved and the paintings are luscious.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mary Shelley, adrift in beauty

Folk art at it's best is carved by New York State's, Mary Shelley. She is a self-taught, visionary artist whose work fits into several other catagories.....Naïve, Americana, whimsical, Outsider, primitive and carved craft. If fact the work is simply glorious. She manages to paint a picture story of ordinary events and she brings the wood to life with each cut. Her themes range from waitresses, diners, animals, farms, and regional life, to events on the sea, which are my personal favorites. In the Summer months you can meet her at the Ithaca Farmer's Market, carving her latest masterpiece. She is an American treasure!