Cats and Originals
works, recreations of
old masters highlight new exhibit
40 works by eight
area artists will be on display
(September 2011) Artists occasionally
have artists block, says painter Judith S. Lewis ruefully.
At a gathering of several artist friends it came out that several of
them were suffering from this unpleasant affliction. Lewis casually
suggested that as a way to get their own spark back they should each
select a work by a famous artist and paint a copy of it and the idea
quickly took off. What started as an exercise to get back to our
studios and back to work has now developed into an exciting exhibition
of area artists.
The happy results of this return to creativity will be on display when
the show Copycats and Originals goes on display at the West
Street Art Center in Madison. It is located at 301 West St. The exhibition
will run from Sept. 7-25 and will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., closed
Wednesdays. A reception and grand opening will take place from 1 p.m.
to 4 p.m. on Sept. 11. Eight area female artists will exhibit their
own versions of famed masterpieces of painting. Replicas of works by
artists such as Van Gogh, Rubens, and Picasso will be on display alongside
new, original works created by Lewis, Joy Cable, Marjorie Connor, Lee
Featherstone, Diane King, Carolyn Lopez, Dottie Shepherd and Lillie
Wingham. In all, approximately 40 pieces will be shown.
by Lela Jane Bradshaw
Lopez poses in her
In-Home Gallery, located
at 411 W. Second St.
As the artists were accustomed to painting original pieces,
working from anothers painting proved to be an interesting challenge.
For Lopez, Georgia OKeeffe proved a natural draw as both artists
favor painting flowers. In looking for inspiration, Lopez began leafing
through a book of OKeeffes works and focused on the watercolors
that OKeefe had produced during her career.
The reason I like watercolors is the freedom you can get and the
excitement you can get when the water and the color come together,
Lewis selected a painting with the same name as herself Klimts
Judith. This was a new experience for me, Lewis
said, noting that it gave her a chance to be a little bit experimental,
going outside the box. I think all of the artists have experienced that.
She continued, I learned from this experience that I could not
get into the mind of Klimt. I could never, ever be that person, I could
never be in his soul.
She also enjoyed discovering more about the technical aspects of the
artists work and was fascinated to uncover the differences in
Klimts brushstrokes in comparison with her own. She successfully
tackled the challenge of recapturing the vibrant gold color for which
Klimts work is famed. While she found her first attempts at the
effect a bit jarring, she soon learned that I could make it by
applying a glaze at which point the gold would become a
part of the painting rather than overpowering it.
Unlike watercolors and acrylics which dry quickly, oil allows more time
for reflection and correction. She believes that oil paint is very
forgiving you can create exactly what is in your mind with the
final product. There is a permanence that I love.
Lewis encourages the entire community to stop by the exhibit and enjoy
the fresh take on old favorites. She notes that while many adults may
be familiar with the artists and paintings used as inspiration, for
some children and younger people this could possibly be their first
exposure to some of the worlds masterpieces. Lewis hopes that
the show could inspire discussion of art history.
She also believes that the show could inspire a greater appreciation
of local artists in that it gives the community a chance to see the
quality of work being produced in Madison and southern Indiana.
Lopez is looking forward to the exhibit, saying the experience of combining
copies and originals means that we get to express ourselves a
little differently. And coming back to the theme of friendship
that set the experiment in motion in the first place she notes with
a smile, It gives us an opportunity to show our art together.
Back to September 2011