Friday, July 13, 2012

Co|So Events:: Jeanne Rosier Smith Demonstration

Summer at the Copley Society of Art is characterized by bright, vivid colors, and exemplified in the work of Jeanne Rosier Smith. This Sunday, July 15th, the pure colors in the medium of pastel will be explored by Smith in an artist demonstration from 1-3 pm.  Three of Smith’s works are presently on view as part of the Summer Members’ Show: New England Perceived and Co|So Artists’ Small Works: Juxtapositions. Before switching careers and discovering her love of pastels twelve years ago, Smith lived another life in the written word, receiving both a Master’s and PhD in English.  Of her preferred material she says: “[t]he velvety richness, the pure color, the directness of pastel seduced me.”
Jeanne Rosier Smith, On the Cusp, 24 x 28, pastel
Her mastery of the medium is apparent in her work On the Cusp, which was awarded Juror’s Choice Fourth Place by jurist Jonathan Fairbanks.  The range of saturated cool tones Smith uses to depict a single wave gives the water a gem-like quality, while the cool, white sea foam surrounding the wave enhances the realist quality of the image.  Inspired by time spent on the coast of France in Nice, On the Cusp is part of a series that explores the crashing and curling of waves. Smith submerges us into the wave as it is literally on the cusp – the last moment of calm before it crashes. Her wave is imbued with a sublime quality that presents the viewer with the immenseness of nature. Her expert draftsmanship realistically captures the turbulent water as it crests and falls. The roughness of the water depicted directly contrasts with the soft smoothness of the pastels used to create it. Smith explains this complexity: “The feeling of motion and sound captured in an image fascinates me.  The splash and spray of wet mist with a dry medium is a continual challenge and delight.” 

Jeanne Rosier Smith, Rosy Red, 11 x 13, pastel 
Smith’s smaller works Pomodori and Rosy Red, which are currently on display in the lower gallery, again expose the viewer to the vibrancy of pastels.  Smith claims to “think in colors,” a fact made apparent in both works.  Rosy Red depicts an apple on a windowsill, the realism of the work highlighted by the texture of the pastel. The intricate details of the apple are emphasized by the nondescript background– this in turn allows the colors in the fruit and its leaves to pop and become the focal point. In Smith’s work Pomodori, she once again employs a rich red pastel to depict the ripe, fresh fruit in a bushel of tomatoes. She utilizes the vibrancy of the medium to emphasize the contrast between light and shadow, thus extracting a full array of colors from the fruit. Pomodori and Rosy Red are so well executed that the viewer can imagine what the subject of each work would taste like, making these paintings good enough to eat!

Jeanne Rosier Smith, Pomodori, 11 x 13, pastel
Join us on Sunday, July 15th from 1-3 pm at 158 Newbury Street when Smith gives insight into her process during her demonstration of pastel. This event is free and open to the public!

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