Friday, February 25, 2011

Artist Exchange: Laurene Krasny Brown

At the Fine Arts Work Center Residency event held on February 16 at the Copley Society of Art, fine and applied paper artist Laurene Krasny Brown spoke of her recent artist residency at the Apothiki Art Center in Paros Cyclades, Greece. The residency lasted for six weeks, and was funded by the Leighton International Artists Exchange Program, a project of the Kansas Artists Coalition. 
Street Outisde Apotheki Studio
Krasny Brown immersed herself in the culture, allowing Greek life and history to find its role in her art. She states: “When you travel, for me, your attention is always heightened. You see more, you hear more. And it is so hard to sustain that in everyday life, that attentiveness. The idea that I could have that sensitivity and use it and just be able to focus on my work and sort of part the waters of my life for a bit and not have a lot of other life responsibilities and be able to do this work – it seemed to me such a luxury and such an opportunity.”
In Greek, the work apothiki roughly translates to the ‘storage of precious things.’ Even before arriving in Greece, Krasny Brown began working with this theme, preparing a series of lithographic monoprints of ancient Greek amphorae to amend while she was there. The paper piece Amphora Archaeology was created as response to the experience of viewing ancient Greek pottery in the museum with the pieced-together shards. 

Amphora Archaeology
In addition to sacred and venerated vessels, Krasny Brown also turned her interest to working with common vernacular objects. “Once I got to Athens I was not only thinking about the storage of precious things, but I also started thinking of the storage of not so precious things… coffee filters, tea bags, endless, endless things.” Paper Bags Clothesline is a set of six blue plastic bags, flattened out nicely, and hung upside down. She explains that “To me they were really beautiful …it’s the story of not so precious things.”

Plastic Bags Clothesline
In the past, Laurene Krasny Brown has worked as a children’s book author and illustrator, a developmental researcher, counselor, and teacher, but now the call to make fine art is her chosen passion, and she pursues it fervently. She finds inspiration from revered artists such as Matisse, Alexander Calder, and Sol Lewitt, in addition to recognizing artistic expression found in home-made goods, such as folk art, hooked rugs, or woven baskets. Visit her website,, for more information on the artist. 

Clips from Krasny Brown's Artist Exchange talk can be seen here:

Laurene Krasny Brown: FAWC Artist Exchange Feb. 16, 2011 from Copley Society of Art on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Artist Exchange: James Kubiatowicz

“I use a very limited palette; it’s kind of a derivation of Zorn.” So said James Kubiatowicz at the Copley Society’s recent Artist Exchange, referencing Anders Zorn’s tendency to use only red, yellow, black, and white oil paint.

                         Carbonara, oil on canvas, 14 1/2 x 17 1/2

As seen above, Kubiatowicz’s works take on a certain elegance from the subdued hues of the restricted palette, though he doesn’t rigidly follow the Zorn formula. Joking around with the audience, speaking extemporaneously, the artist made it clear that “rigid” isn’t exactly an apt term for himself or his art. He was there to discuss his recent 30-day artist residency in Provincetown, which followed the decision of the Copley Society Art Committee to award him the Fine Arts Workshop Fellowship. Reminiscing about the experience, Kubiatowicz noted that “it’s the community of Provincetown, colorful, unique personalities,” that made his stay memorable. He also disclosed that of the 30 canvases he took with him, he completed 20, noting that although his subject matter didn’t change, he became looser in his painting, which can certainly be seen in the following work, one he submitted to the Copley Society’s 2010 Holiday Small Works show.

                                              The Gathering, oil on linen, 14 ½ x 12

Clips from Kubiatwicz’s talk can be seen here:

Laurene Krasny Brown spoke next, giving an overview of her artist residency in Paros, Greece. Check back with us on Friday for a description and video clips of her inspiring presentation!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Béatrice Dauge Kaufmann

“Her palette – and my reaction to it – struck me: I almost wanted to eat it. I felt like a kid staring at a cartoon of creamy colors at an ice cream stand, trying to decide which delicious ones to taste.”
 - Linda K. Pilgrim, ArtScope, 2009.

Inside You IV,  oil on canvas, 12 x 12

Beatrice Dauge Kaufmann, originally from Switzerland, paints works inspired by Northeastern seascapes with optimism, withholding the usual grey hues of skies and seas to make way for brilliant blues, deep shades of periwinkle, pastel oranges, and touches of white. Over and over again, Dauge comments that her color choices are simply what she sees. In the video ‘Bleu', which accompanied her 2007 Red Room exhibition by the same title at the Copley Society of Art, Dauge describes her color choices in capturing the Cape Cod region, Maine, and Boston landscapes. She states that, "I go to a place and capture the lights and the emotions that touch my soul," and she then uses those emotions as the driving forces for her color choices.

Dauge excels in the abstract format. The lack of formal structure allows her free experimentation with colors, forms, and textures. Dauge lets her feelings lead, challenging herself to push the colors until she lands on something striking. And then, as with a poem, a piece of music, or any form of art, Dauge takes a step back to evaluate, to see how the colors and forms interact to create the entire piece. One stipulation for her is that the eye must continually travel around the piece and should not get bored. Dauge experiments with texture and layering shapes to create spacial depth in her works. Each piece is left without a frame, for it is important for her that her pieces can “breathe and interact with the space around them."

Dauge feels intently that art is and will always be a part of life. She creates to express her feelings and to remain in contact with the emotions, both negative and positive, that color our world. In the end, what brings her meaning is “touching the soul and the imagination of those who see my work, making them think, dream or share in an emotion.”

Visit her website at

Friday, February 11, 2011

Lynette Shaw

The Copley Society of Art is proud to exhibit the work of abstract expressionist painter Lynette Shaw in our New Members' Show 2011. Born in New York in 1956, Shaw holds degrees from the Academie des Beaus Arts in Paris and Tufts University, and a diploma in painting from the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts. Public collections of her work can be seen in more than 12 locations in and around Boston, such as the new location of Louis Boston on Fan Pier and the Federal Reserve Building. She has been exhibiting since 1980 in the greater New England area. We are pleased to have Lynette Shaw as one of our new members at the Copley Society of Art.

In her younger years, Shaw was smitten with Picasso, visiting and revisiting an exhibition of his work at the Museum of Modern Art with her mother. As Shaw describes in a video produced by Dan Driscoll, she knew that she was a painter by the time she entered the first grade. Process plays a dominant role in Shaw’s work, and she allows herself to be open to the difficulties and supposed ‘mistakes’ that happen along the creative way. While pouring buckets of paint over sprawling expanses of fabric unfurled upon a Nantucket beach, Shaw confesses that the beginnings of a painting can be quite difficult, but that once the process begins, that is when the ‘magic happens.’ Her advice to young artist rings true: be passionate, have faith in both your work and yourself, and remember that, as Shaw's mother always said, “Talent is nothing without hard work.”

Shaw was recently featured in the Winter 2011 edition of Boston Home. The magazine's article The Rescuers focuses not on Shaw’s expansive canvases, but rather on her Federal-style carriage house and garage turned artist’s home and studio. The reconstruction processes included the relocation of floors, the addition of stairs, utilizing the preexisting stone foundations as wainscoting, and even importing a European fireplace to adorn the interior space of her new studio. Later, on the recommendation of Newton-based designer Susan Corson, modern elements of design were incorporated into the space by refurbishing various pieces of furniture and including several of Lynette’s own canvases in the design layout, creating fresh and striking spaces within the home’s traditional architectural framework

On display in the New Members’ Show is Shaw’s piece Midnight Dream, a large work on unstretched canvas. Shaw originally began her painting career working strictly with abstraction, but, as seen in this piece, began to incorporate a horizon line after spending time living in Nantucket. In this work, Shaw sets small areas of glimmering gold against a matte expanse of varying hues of grey, creating an energetic and engaging composition.

Come by and see Lynette Shaw's work exhibited in the New Members' Show here at the Copley Society of Art! The show will run through February 25th, 2011.

Visit her website at