Meyer Vogl Roadtrip: Lake City, SC

Regarded as one of the Southeast’s most exceptional visual arts competitions, ArtFields takes place in Lake City, SC. For nine days, the small southern town is infused with music, tours, and visual art. More than 400 works of art are displayed throughout town — in renovated warehouses, local boutiques and restaurants, and art galleries. We made the two-hour drive a couple of weeks ago to check it out.

Here, some ArtFields favorites:

 

  

 

Read more about ArtFields — and how it’s revitalizing Lake City — in this ArtMag write-up.

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We Love Sandy Ostrau, and You Will, Too

On Thursday, April 19, Meyer Vogl Gallery will release several new works by Sandy Ostrau. In anticipation of the new paintings, we talked studio rituals, favorite artists, and perfect days off with the California artist.

Meyer Vogl Gallery: Tell us about your studio space!

Sandy Ostrau: My studio is in Mountain View, California. I share a space in a light industrial area with another artist. It’s about a 6.5 mile bike ride from my house, and I can take a bike route and path through my city of Palo Alto almost the entire way. It’s a lovely ride, and I try to ride as often as possible.

I work on several paintings at a time, which are in different stages of completion and rotated around the room, onto and off of my two large working easels. When they are not being worked on, they line the wall, hanging on nails so I can easily pull them down.  My son and husband made a nice palette cart that wheels around my studio conveniently. It’s big enough to keep big mounds of paint handy. I have a stock of brushes and palette knives to choose from. My favorites are the very worn out brushes that create great texture.

MVG: Any studio rituals? 

SO: I usually arrive at my studio mid-morning and start my day by mixing paint. It’s a great way to warm up and start thinking about the work ahead.  It’s a physical exercise as well, and it helps spur my creative thinking. I mix all of my colors; I don’t use paint straight from the tube. I always listen to music that has a good beat and energy.

 

MVG: Your perfect day off from painting: 

SO: A day spent at Sea Ranch on the Sonoma Coast or in Yosemite are pretty perfect! I enjoy hiking and running with my family and friends. I love the beach and have spent time on both the West and East Coasts. I also love a day spent visiting museums or galleries. I try to take a day each week for gallery or museum visits, usually in the San Francisco Bay area, but also on trips to New York or Washington, DC.  I also enjoy touring around Italy and try to visit every couple of years.

MVG: Fill us in on upcoming and recent exhibitions.

SO: I will be exhibiting all new work in Laguna Beach at Sue Greenwood Gallery this July. I’ll also be showing new work at Thomas Reynolds Gallery in San Francisco.

MVG: Beside Meyer Vogl Gallery, in what other galleries/spaces can we find your work?

SO: I am fortunate to show my work in several galleries around the country. I currently have work at Anne Neilson Fine Art in Charlotte, NC; Bryant Street Gallery in Palo Alto, CA; Peterson Roth Gallery in Bend, OR; Anne Loucks Gallery in Glencoe, Il; and Gallery North in Carmel, CA, to name a few.  I also have work in private collections in more than 12 different countries.

MVG: Have you recently discovered any artists whose work really excites you?

SO: Danny McCaw. I have seen his work over the years but have become reacquainted with it recently and really love how he abstracts the figure. The identity of the figure is unimportant and, to me, the energy is exciting.

MVG: Provide us with some background on one of your new paintings.

SO: I was particularly happy with Clear Sky with a Touch of Pink as it came together. The energy and dynamic relationship between the figures is highlighted very nicely, with the running fence along the edge of meadow; the serenity and calm of the sky creates a nice resting place for the eye as it moves away from the figures. I think the relationship between the figures is interesting too. Just enough ambiguity so the viewer can fill in the blanks and make it their own story. After several weeks of adding different layers of paint, the colors just suddenly came together.


Clear Sky with a Touch of Pink by Sandy Ostrau
40×40 oil on canvas

Save the date: An email with Sandy’s new paintings, including Clear Sky with a Touch of Pink, will be sent out on Thursday, April 19. To see a preview of the work, email katie@meyervogl.com.

The Art of Arranging 

In celebration of Bloom Boom Boom!, we hosted a flower-arranging workshop at the gallery on Sunday, March 4. Thanks to the lovely Alex Lindstrom for teaching us how to arrange the heck out of some Spring blooms.


 
  

Painting the Presidents

The art world has been electrified by Kehinde Wiley’s presidential portrait of Barack Obama for the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, which was unveiled last month. Presidential yet contemporary, it portrays an engaged Obama, in front of symbolic greenery.

So we thought we’d share some presidential portrait history. Did you know this is not the first portrait of a president to be considered outside-of-the-Presidential-portrait-box? In the past century, other presidents have been painted in contemporary fashions.

Barack Obama by Kehinde Wiley
oil on canvas, 2018
Kehinde Wiley is known for his vibrant, large-scale paintings of African Americans. The flowers in the background have a significant meaning: the chrysanthemums are the official flower of Chicago, the jasmine represents Obama’s home state of Hawaii, and the African blue lilies pay homage to his late Kenyan father.

John F. Kennedy by Elaine de Kooning
oil on canvas, 1963
Elaine de Kooning, known for her gestural portraits, first created this painting of JFK for the Truman Library. On figurative portraiture, Kooning said, “when I painted my seated men, I saw them as gyroscopes. Portraiture always fascinated me because I love the particular gesture of a particular expression or stance…Working on the figure, I wanted paint to sweep through as feelings sweep through.”

Bill Clinton by Chuck Close
Oil on canvas, 2006
Chuck Close begins all of his paintings by taking a photograph of his subject; in this case, an image of President Clinton from a photo session in August 2005 for a New York magazine cover. He then created grids on both the canvas and the photograph to replicate the information contained in the photograph with a series of abstract geometric shapes. Close suffers from prosopagnosia (face blindness), in which he is unable to recognize faces. By painting portraits, he is better able to recognize and remember faces.

Richard Nixon by Norman Rockwell
Oil on canvas, 1968
Norman Rockwell admitted that he had intentionally flattered Nixon in this portrait. The reason he did, Rockwell said, was that Nixon’s appearance was “troublesomely elusive,” and if he was going to err in his portrayal, he wanted it to be at least in a direction that would please him. Many of his works appear tend toward idealistic or sentimentalized portrayals of American life.

Not Presidential, But our Portraits…

Meyer Vogl Gallery represents several figurative artists whose work is fit for a President (in our opinion!).


Blue by Paul Ferrari
24 x 30 oil on canvas


Summer Breeze by Diane Eugster
30 x 20 oil on canvas


Luke by Paul Farrari
26 x 20 oil on canvas


Les Sœurs II by Carrie Beth Waghorn
44 x 30 Japanese ink on linen

 

Artist Spotlight: Carrie Beth Waghorn

Carrie Beth Wahorn is a contemporary artist specializing in monochromatic renderings of the female form. Both raw and expressive, her work invokes an unadulterated sense of feminine beauty and vulnerabilty. She currently paints from her sunny studio in Charleston and will be in our upcoming group exhibition, Bloom Boom Boom! 


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Ervin

MVG: What is it about females — their faces and their forms — that draws you in? 

CBW: My inherent fascination with the female form began in college via my art history classes. We studied the ideal female form throughout history, and it was fascinating to see how the ideals of beauty differed according to different time periods. One of the most primitive carvings of a woman is a full figured bust — I believe its titled “VENUS of Willendorf,” one that symbolized fertility and strength. When I look at females, I primarily am attracted to bodies that don’t follow the status quo of what is considered to be ‘normal’ beauty. Instead, I love women with contrasting or striking features, like a plethora of freckles or hips like Beyonce. I love all shapes, sizes, and lines. All women are works of art.

MVG: Why ink as your medium of choice? 

CBW: If there is one thing you should know about me it is that I am obsessed with contrast. Also I am terrible at decision making. India ink has such a rich feeling to it, each line feels like a triumph. Being an expressionist AND a minimalist, it’s important for me to have a medium that reflects both; as a fluid, it absorbs quickly and it is permanent. I find that when working with this medium, I am forced to be confident in my brushwork and bold with each stroke — this is a stark contrast to my sometimes timid, overanalyzing, indecisive self. With ink, there is no erasing, no re-working, or changing. What’s done is done. In this way, I can be fearless with my paintings.

MVG: Any in-studio rituals that get you in the mood to create? 

CBW: Some of my rituals are private, though I can say whenever I can properly align my energy it feels as though I am coming home to myself. The deepest most intimate part of my existence occurs when I paint. There is a bit of music and writing, a bit of pacing back and forth, and some odd gestures that release anxiety. My body finds the natural urge to move freely and fall into yoga poses based on my thought process(es). It is all very much a free flow which I hope emanates through the fluidity in my work.

MVG: Artist(s) you idolize, living:

CBW: Oh man … I like a LOT of people… I admire artists for different reasons, some for their work and some for their fearless approach or genuine presence — I can say that I’ve always been a fan of Dorothy Shain for her creative tenacity. I recently discovered Laura Deems and am smitten; her work reminds me of Tim Hussey, who is another contemporary favorite. I can honestly say that we are so lucky to live in a city with artists that I genuinely like — Chambers Austelle and Sara Pitmann. Another recent favorite are the art deco faces, and especially the pottery, of Paige Follmann.

MVG: Artist(s) you idolize, dead: 

CBW: Matisse, Picasso, and ultimately Toulouse Lautrec. There is something about seeing Renoir in person that makes me just want to stare in awe for hours, though I am partial to the more whimsical colors of Toulouse and the unfinished lines of Egon Shiele.

MVG: Perfect Charleston day: 

CBW: A perfect day for me includes waking up well rested, interpreting the previous night’s dream, sipping coffee whilst naked in the sun with my cat, a bike ride (NOT during the month of August), painting with the sunlight in my studio, coffee with friends, and a home-cooked meal (followed by a sweet treat from Saffron Bakery).

MVG: Anything exciting on the horizon you want to let us know about?

CBW: WORLD INK PROJECT. Who wants a romper??!!! I am SO excited to be pairing up with local creatives to transcribe my artistic ideals onto clothing. I just hope I can be ready…

   

Look for new work from Carrie Beth in March, as part of Bloom Boom Boom!, a group floral exhibition.

10 Favorites from 2017

2017 was a wonderful year for art! Here are 10 of my favorite pieces of artwork from the gallery in 2017. Some are available; some found happy homes; all excite me incredibly. — Katie Geer, gallery director

Afternoon Light by Laurie Meyer
36×48 oil on linen
SOLD

You Be Me and I’ll Be Me by Marissa Vogl
48×48 oil on linen
SOLD


Summer Breeze by Diane Eugster
30×20 (38×28 incl. frame, handmade by the artist’s husband) oil on canvas
AVAILABLE 

Blooms in Blue by Nancy Hoerter
18×24 oil on board
AVAILABLE


Along the Harbor by Sandy Ostrau
30×30 oil on canvas
SOLD


Sherbet and a Touch of Cayenne by Susan Altman
30×20 oil and oil stick on canvas
SOLD

Sisters by James Richards
24×30 oil on linen
SOLD


Quiet Night by Anne Blair Brown
24×24 (29×29 incl. frame) oil on linen
AVAILABLE


Apron and a Kiss by Jay Miriam
(Part of the Bicoastal group show, curated by Lara Björk)
54×48 oil on canvas


Pansies by Quang Ho
18×18 oil on canvas
SOLD

Here’s What We Want for Christmas & Hanukkah (In case anyone is asking…)

Katie’s pick:

Crazy Good by Laurie Meyer
36×48 oil on linen

“It’s called Crazy Good because that’s what I said (or, actually, shouted) when I first saw it. It should actually be called Incredibly-Amazingly-Awesomely-Best-Painting-Ever Good! It’s a must-see in person.” — Katie Geer, gallery director

Sara’s pick:

Couple by Sandy Ostrau
12×12 oil on canvas

“I love how Sandy uses color-blocking with these beautiful, textured shapes of different colors. It’s stunning and fun, but it doesn’t detract from the subject of the painting, the couple. Her use of texture is one of the most incredible elements in her paintings.” — Sara Burd, gallery associate

Marissa’s pick:

Ticket to Ride by Diane Eugster
20×16 oil on canvas

“She reminds me of myself in my 20s, when I left Montana to live in Vermont. From there, I got the bug to travel the U.S. and live in many other areas. I’ve lived in Phoenix, Denver, Vermont, Montana, and am now settled in Charleston. I’d love to sell my home and travel for a few years … maybe when my kids are grown.” — Marissa Vogl, artist and owner

Alex’s pick:

Impetus by Carrie Beth Waghorn
20×15 India ink on French cold press paper

“I love the versatile and simple look of Carrie Beth Waghorn’s work. Her use of black and white and the gold frame accentuate her modern figures. Perfect for any center piece or gallery wall!” — Alex Lindstrom, gallery associate and graphic designer

Debbie’s pick:

Crimson Field by Sandy Ostrau
36×36 oil on canvas

“There is a simplicity to Sandy’s work yet enormous depth. I appreciate Sandy’s unique style!” — Debbie Kelley, gallery associate

Jenna’s pick(s):
 

Lavender Spritz, Sangria Set, and Hint of Lime by Anna Sims King
oil and oil pastel on linen, 16×20 each

“My absolute favorite piece, or pieces, in the gallery right now is Anna Sims King’s trio of abstracts. They are stunning on their own, of course, but each one complements the others. Their names hint at the dominant color in each piece — vibrant hues that play off each other and suggest glowing sunsets or sunrises over our local landscape. I can picture this trio in a home on a white wall, inviting the collector’s eye to travel from one coastal scene to the next. Anna Sims King is magical!” — Jenna Ohlendorf, gallery associate

Laurie’s pick:

Beach Madonna by James Richards
40×30 oil on linen

“When I look at this painting, I see something new and surprising each time. The reconstruction of figures is exciting and full of kinetic energy.” — Laurie Meyer, artist and owner

Here’s What Your Loved Ones Want for Christmas & Hanukkah 

Consider gifting a gift certificate to Meyer Vogl Gallery this year! Gift certificates can be put toward any artwork in the gallery or toward a commission by select artists. It’s a win-win, guys! Email katie@meyervogl.com or call (843) 805-7144 to purchase.

Small paintings make good gifts, too. View available small works here.

 

What’s in an Artist’s Signature?

Did you know that researchers believe you can read into a person’s personality just by the way he signs his name? Graphology, or the study of writing and signatures, explains the hidden meanings behind our John Hancocks.

That got us thinking … what would researchers say about the Meyer Vogl Gallery artists’ signatures on their paintings? Here’s a look at the research:

Direction/Slant

A signature with a right slant reveals a writer with an outgoing, bubbly persona.
A left slant signature can mean that the writer does not push himself forward.


 Laurie Meyer’s signature slants to the right (no surprise here!)

Content

Writing your full name in your signature often reveals a more relaxed, informal approach to life. Think of it as the writer wanting to be on a first name basis, while using just an initial for the first name means that the writer wants to keep things formal.


Anne Blair Brown signs her full name. 


 James Richards‘ signature. Full disclosure: we actually find him to be pretty informal.

Legibility

Illegible signatures can mean that the writer wants to keep an air of mystery or hide their identity, while legible signatures can mean that the writer feels their identity is important and should be known.


 Quang Ho‘s signature is pretty illegible, if we do say so ourselves.

Size

A larger signature means the writer is confident!


Susan Altman‘s signature is large and in charge! 

A medium-sized signature usually translates to modesty and a balanced sense of value.


Marissa Vogl’s signature tends to be perfectly “medium-sized.”

Lastly, a small signature signals that the writer is successful.


Can you spot Sandy Ostrau‘s small signature?


Bill Davidson‘s signature is pretty tiny, too.

Thanks to gallery associate Sara Burd for researching signatures. 

Where The Art Lives

We love to see where our work ends up. Here’s a peek at a few gallery pieces that found happy homes:


oil painting by Sandy Ostrau (in center of photo)

  

  

Above, works by Marissa Vogl and Laurie Meyer (and probably our cutest client ever, Janey Deas)

If you have artwork from Meyer Vogl Gallery in your home, send us a photo! Photos can be emailed to katie@meyervogl.com. Or — better yet! — upload the photo to Instagram and tag us @meyervoglgallery.

Lara A. Björk’s Art World

Björk is a private art advisor and the founder of Von Rudebeck Art Advisory in New York City. For the past decade, she has worked closely with leading contemporary art galleries, auction houses, private dealers, and institutions to establish relationships with a broadly spanning network of artists, collectors, art insurers, shippers, appraisers, framers, conservators, experts, foundations, and scholars.

 

You work in New York City as an art advisor. Can you tell us a bit about what that entails?

Being an art advisor is about being able to see art through another person’s eyes, temporarily putting one’s own taste aside. I build and manage private art collections for clients all over the world, so I am constantly traveling to fairs, galleries, studios, and auctions. My research is endless, and I have to see a lot of art and do a lot of pavement pounding to learn about new artists. Then I present my findings in a concise, easily digestible manner. 

Seeing artwork in person is totally different from seeing it via jpeg, but there is also more to art than just the aesthetic appeal. For example, to me, it’s important that the artists’ careers are being properly managed by reputable galleries. 

How did you go about selecting the artwork for Bicoastal?

I have watched these artists’ careers evolve and develop beautifully in recent years. Katie and I wanted the work to be contemporary but still meld well with the local and regional artwork found in Charleston. We also wanted to keep the price point approachable.

The photographers we chose have very interesting methods and practices, and the painters have a fresh approach to painting, whether figurative or abstract. We were also so pleased that Jay Miriam came to Charleston for the opening! Coming from Brooklyn, she wasn’t sure what to expect and wound up, as we all do, completely falling in love with the city.

Why Charleston as the location for the show? 

My family has had our house in Charleston since I was a baby. I spend probably a month here every year, and I have grown more and more curious of what the opportunity may be in terms of art collectors and the appetite for contemporary art. Going into the show, I fully realized that the work is very different than what one may expect walking into a Charleston gallery. But Charleston is a sophisticated, culturally rich, and diverse city, both in terms of locals and visitors, and the show has been very well received. The positive feedback has been very encouraging.  

Your mother is an artist. How has this helped shape your career and involvement in fine art? 

Being heavily involved in my mother’s career as an artist has very much informed my approach to my advisory work and to the art world in general. Knowing and seeing an artist’s struggles and successes firsthand has given me a sensitivity to the artist behind the work (which many people on the commercial side don’t experience and sadly become detached from). Understanding this very important other side of the business keeps me connected with the real reason that we love and buy art  for the sake of great art and to support the artistic expression. 

Gallery recommendations when visiting NYC:

CANADA 
Martos 
Karma
Gavin Brown’s Enterprise 
Marinaro
Nathalie Karg

Gallery recommendations when visiting LA:

M+B 
David Kordansky
Susanne Vielmetter
Moran Bondaroff
Various Small Fires
Hilde
Honor Fraser

An Artist’s Stroll Through Radcliffeborough

Laurie Meyer tells us about the moments that inspired her to paint several of the works from North of Calhoun.

1. Once a Dentist Office (Always a Dentist’s Office)

“This tiny white structure has caught my eyes for years, as it is located on Radcliffe St., near Jasper St., where we own property. The aqua trim on white wash seems to beg attention.  While on our photoshoot of the neighborhood, Katie and I had a memorable conversation with residents of the house next door.  They were proud to tell us that this historic structure was once a dentist’s office.

2. The Porgy House

“The green house caught our attention, and the diamonds painted on the clapboard told the story.  This was a Porgy House, one of several residences in Charleston that have important African-American history.   In the last act of the opera Porgy and Bess, houses with African designs are noted. In 2016, Porgy and Bess was performed along with the art, costume and set design of Charleston great Jonathan Green. We met the owner of this home as she weeded the garden in front.  We learned that the white house next door has been inhabited for 93 years by the same Charleston native!”

3. Five Loaves on Cannon

“On a quiet Sunday morning, Cannon Street was bustling with business!  Cafes, bakeries, and beads —   Birlants, Beads on Cannon, Sugar Bakeshop, the gorgeous Cannon Green, a recently restored home, now a BandB, and the iconic Fives Loaves Cafe are evidence that Cannon is no longer off the beaten path.”

4. Hour-Long Wait

“This staple southern-style restaurant is located at the corner of Rutledge and Cannon.  I’ve always been drawn to tall pink structure, and humbled to recreate the iconic mural by David Boatwright. Hominy Grill is known for it shrimp and grits, and I’ve never passed by when there wasn’t a line of patient people waiting to order them.”

What’s Happening at Meyer Vogl?

Through May 19
North of Calhoun: New Works by Laurie Meyer 

Artist Laurie Meyer is paying tribute to the neighborhoods north of Calhoun Street, specifially Radcliffeborough, Cannonborough, Elliotborough, which are currently undergoing rapid transformation. She’s bringing the soulful neighborhood to life by capturing the historic architecture, the restaurants, the people, and more.

Read a review of the show in Charleston City Paper here.


  

May 26 – June 11
Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Exhibit

Spoleto season is upon us!  Marissa Vogl and Laurie Meyer will return to their tents at Marion Square for 17 days. Be sure to visit them and see new works painted for the exhibit.


Home Away From Home by Marissa Vogl
12×12 oil on canvas

 

Southern Son: Works by James Richards

Carriage Tour, II
48×48 oil (54×54 framed)

Born and raised in rural Georgia, James Richards spent the days of his youth exploring the farms, fields, and forests of his hometown.  Driven by a passionate connection with nature and a deep sense of obligation to relay his vision in the most truthful manner possible, he began painting at a very young age; by the time he was a young adult living in Athens, GA, he had already won numerous awards for his pieces.

James has spent years studying the nuances of paint and developing a keen sense of understanding and control over the medium.  He is now regarded as one of the top oil painters and instructors in the country. 

Many of the works in this show are from the Georgia native’s visits to Charleston and its surrounding coastal towns. 

 
The Basket Weaver
24×30 oil (34×40 framed)
Beach Madonna
40×30 oil (44×34 framed)
Coastal Clutter
12×16 oil (20×24 framed)
Old Mount Pleasant Morning
12×16 oil (20×24 framed)
Child’s Play
36×48 oil (40×52 framed)
Summer Fun
30×40 oil (34×44 framed)
Chillin Out
5×7 oil (11×13 framed)
Shrimper’s Sunset
10×8 oil (16×14 framed)
Sisters
24×30 oil (34×40 framed)
The Sunbathers
16×20 oil (22×26 framed)
French Cafe
24×24 oil (30×30 framed)

Artist Spotlight: Ed Vogl

Each bowl by Ed Vogl is made of hundreds of individual pieces of wood and takes over a month to create.

The Fishhook, for example, has 318 pieces of purpleheart, maple, bloodwood woods.

The Montana woodworker enlightens us on his labor of love.


The Fishhook 

Process. As with any project, it starts at the drafting table. Measurements must be exact. The lumber is selected, then ripped to rough widths. The lumber is then surfaced on four sides, cut to length and size, then sanded. Each little piece will be handled about a dozen times. These pieces will be glued into rings and clamped until dry, then back to the drum sander, sanded to a fine grit; then the rings will be stacked into their correct order before gluing them together, and then being put on the lathe for turning. This process takes about one month+ per bowl.

The wild world of wood. The woods come from all over the world. Not all wood reacts the same way, so they have to be somewhat compatible in characteristics before they are cut and glued together. The finish has to be taken into consideration — not all woods take a finish the same. Turning and sanding can be extremely difficult, especially with the denseness of wood. Tools must be extremely sharp to allow for even and clean turning. Wood expands and contracts; different climates have a different effect on wood.

‘Always at the drawing board.’ This all started out as a hobby, but now that I am retired it’s turned into a part time job! Living in Montana when it’s 30 below zero and there’s 2 feet of snow on the ground, you need to have something to do. I am always “at the drawing board.” I am always scoping out my stock to come up with something different, again — what pattern do I want and what woods to use? I have created many items that have been given as gifts, this is what I do — and sometimes a brainteaser is what I need.

View Vogl’s bowls here. To inquire about purchasing a piece, email katie@meyervogl.com.

Wedding Registry at Meyer Vogl Gallery

Sure, everyday china and blenders are lovely wedding gifts … but have you ever considered giving the gift of art? Or adding artwork to your wedding registry?

Here’s how it works at Meyer Vogl Gallery:

1.) We’ll create an account for the happy couple (for example, Amber Martinsen and her hubby-to-be!).

2,) Friends and family looking to add gift credit to that account can call us at the gallery (843-805-7144) or email us at katie@meyervogl.com.

3.) Let us know how much you’d like to give. Gift credits can come in the amount of $50, $100, $200, $500, $1,000 or more.

4.) We’ll send you a physical gift certificate that you can give to the couple, or we can send it to them for you.

5.) Wedding bells! Hooray!

6.) The newlyweds get to use their credit towards a piece of artwork that will last a lifetime.

 

Winter Marsh by Marissa Vogl  18x24

Artist Spotlight: Sandy Ostrau

The California artist will be exhibiting her work in Meyer Vogl Gallery’s show, Raw, in March.


Crimson Field by Sandy Ostrau
36×36 oil on canvas

1. What is it about painting figures in a landscape that delights you?

Once you add a figure to a landscape it becomes the focal point. I like to play with composition to make it intriguing and unexpected. I like the elements to be just a little bit off balance so the painting will be even more interesting to the viewer. I also feel that placing a figure in the landscape pulls the viewer into the piece in a more intimate way. It’s a challenge to introduce a figure but not give away too much information about who that figure might be. I want the viewer to invent the story. I want to provide a prompt, not the whole story.

2.How do you decide what to paint next? Are you inspired by everyday scenes, particular moments, your travels?

I am often inspired by the landscape and city scenes around me. I spend a lot of time outdoors and the colors and shapes in nature are endlessly inspiring. Whenever I travel or even when I am in a cafe or restaurant at home I bring a sketch book and sketch the scenes and scenery I encounter. These sketches will then be used in my paintings whether simply a tree or an entire scene with multiple figures.

3. Artist you idolize (alive): Raimonds Staprans

4. Artist you idolize (not alive): Nicolas De Stael

5. Biggest challenge as an artist:

It’s a job that never quits, so my mind is constantly revolving around what to paint next or what I am working on in my painting. It keeps me awake at night sometimes.

6. If you weren’t a professional artist, you’d most likely be: An architect

7. Have you ever painted yourself into one of your figures in a landscape painting?

They always say every painting is autobiographical, but I don’t think I put myself into my work. I actually aim to create figures that are not identifiable at all. I like them to be anonymous and to represent whomever the viewer sees in the work.