Ruth Ann Dexheimer – Impressionism October 14, 2019

Ruth Ann Dexheimer, docent at the Appleton Museum of Art led on a virtual tour of Impressionist works.

Ruth Ann Dexheimer used her prodigious collection of art posters of Master works to illustrate styles and trends around the time of the Impressionist period. Ruth Ann remarked that Arthur Appleton never purchased a Impressionist painting for his collection, but invested in several works by Bourguereau and the painters of his Salon. The style required the used of small brushes to achieve smooth textures, particularly skin tones. Although the Bourguereau paintings look realistic, they show idealized laborers with perfect features. Some local artists may have had the opportunity to learn this style from Jack Jackson, who taught at the Red Swan in Ocala.

The Industrial Revolution inspired artists like Barbizon and Turner to preserve on canvas the landscapes that were disappearing. Trade with Japan influenced artists in Europe when orders from Japan arrived wrapped in wood block prints.

Painters in the late 1800’s left the Salons to paint outdoors where light and color changed rapidly throughout the day. Painters depicted a scene, but also the feelings it evoked. Monet painted the same scenes in different light, using lines of paint to capture effects. The exhibit will feature some work by Monet.

Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt are featured in the special Impressionism Exhibit at the Appleton Nov 2 – Jan 5. Considered radical in their time, Degas’ paintings at the horse races and the ballet studio reflected a new trend in composition, mimicking photos that cut off parts of the scene. Mary Cassatt endearingly captured scenes from everyday life.

Renoir learned from salon painters like Bouguereau and from the Impressionists. He often included both styles in a single painting: salon-like detail for closeups and soft impressions of distant figures.

Titled “Across the Atlantic: American Impressionism Through the French Lens”, the exhibit will also feature American and Canadian Impressionists. Impressionism includes a broad range of artists and styles of painting; and the scope of one artist’s work often shows that the artist tried different styles. Ruth Ann urges us spend time in the galleries studying the works, and then explore some of these styles in our own paintings. Our own work will improve, inspired by the Masters.

Thank you, Ruth Ann, for this informative presentation that has surely deepened our appreciation of the special exhibit on loan to the Appleton Museum from the Reading Public Museum November 2, 2019 – Janurary 5, 2020.

Ruth Ann Dexheimer lecture about the Impressionism exhibit coming to the Appleton Museum.

Sharon Harris – Analog Drawing September 9, 2019

Sharon Harris presenting a hands-on session on Analog Drawing

Many artists carry their sketchbooks from place to place capturing little moments and recording visual glimpses of their activities.  Sometimes they can be found making non-recognizable little marks and “doodles.”  That’s me, I like to doodle, but years ago I was shown how to channel them from just being an ill-defined squiggle of lines into a visual tool to expose my subconscious feelings.  These are analog drawings where a dot, line, mark or value is used to represent (compare to or analogous to) a feeling or situation.   These sketches differ from the “doodle” in that they begin by being prompted by a feeling rather than the lines being picked through to find some meaning. 

So, as I have taught many of my drawing students, learning to channel your feelings into your personal visual language of dots, marks, lines and values can help you to discover your subconscious feelings and thoughts.  You can take this understanding and be more sensitive to how to use your visual language on a final artwork.  The analog drawing is non-objective, it is not representational, nor are you striving toward a final product.   It is just a fun tool to use to help you map your feelings in a visual form. “

Sharon Harris

Have you ever looked at a painting that depicted a serene setting, yet you felt tension and unease? In this hands-on program Sharon presented a valuable technique to develop the appropriate underpinnings of our paintings, a way to ensure that a painting conveys the desired mood and emotion.

Analog drawing draws from the right side of the brain, putting aside the analytical and allowing our feelings to guide the drawing tool, harnessing the power of line to capture the unseen qualities of the subject in an abstract drawing.  Line is the basic element of a sketch, but simple lines can be straight, curved, jagged; continuous, broken; vertical, horizontal, diagonal; thin, thick; light, dark. Placed within a simple 4” x 5” rectangle, these lines become a visual language.

Analog Drawing

Sharon encouraged us to keep a sketchbook and draw every day. However, instead of trying to sketch an accurate representation of what we see, it is easier to write notes, simple words or phrases about the subject, describing its qualities, and how the place, object or person makes us feel. Next, draw a roughly 4” x 5” rectangle and begin to draw lines to depict those qualities and feelings.

How does “sad” look? , “joyful”, “patience”? “anger”? “rigid”? “tranquil”, “powerful”?

That two-minute sketch suggests an underlying structure for the work you may develop later. The simple sketch will probably not be obvious in the finished work, but, paying attention to the analog drawing will help set the underlying framework for the desired mood and emotion that you want to share about this subject.

The sketchbook is an artist’s journal. Look back through your sketches and analog drawings for inspiration. You might decide to elaborate on one “doodle” just as an abstract work.

Analog Drawing

More thoughts… Portrait orientation of the frame creates more power and tension while the landscape orientation is peaceful, restful.

Consider too… Placement of the subject on the left, facing right, looks to the future, full of hope and promise. Placed on the right facing left, the subject looks to the past, perhaps celebrating achievements.

Thank you, Sharon, for sharing this valuable tool of Analog Drawing that will help us capture feelings in visual language of our art work, and for giving us a new perspective on keeping a sketchbook.

OneBlood Exhibit – Sept 4- Nov 6, 2019

Article and Photos by Debbie Orrison Janssen, OneBlood Exhibit Chairperson

The September OAG art display at OneBlood had thirteen lovely art pieces submitted by six artists. The theme was “Slice of Orange“. The staff and patients continue to express their appreciation of the beautiful art that the Ocala Art Group shares during each show. This show will be on display until November 6th. These artists have shared art during this show – see photos:
Joyce Cusick – Withlacoochee Autumn, Palms on the River
Barbara Fife – Bird of Paradise
Heather Doherty – Six Tangerines, Now Drop the Color, Rainbow of Light 
Debbie Orrison Janssen – Asiatic Lilies, Pomegranates
June Holly Reichenbach – Sunset Paddle, Brittany
Sue Primeau – Lone Journey, The Hideaway, The Gift

Jan Vermilya – Pastel Demo August 12, 2019

Jan Vermilya has recently moved to Ocala from Homosassa, and we eagerly welcome her to our Art community. After our August 12, 2019 meeting at “The Brick”, Jan was our featured demonstrator. She shared her wealth of experience and her techniques of painting realistic fog in landscapes: morning fog, evening fog, fog reflecting so delicately the colors of a rosy sunrise or the oranges of sunset; coastal fog, mountain fog, the ground fog we see so often in Florida hovering over pastures. Fog swept by winds or teased by breezes.  Jan finds great pleasure in painting miniature landscapes with atmospheric effects, and her small works in pastel are incredible!

Jan described her art process, how she gathers ideas, selects materials, achieves desired effects with pastels, and frames her work for the gallery. Her camera is always with her! Jan recommends a substrate of sandpaper and she prefers UArt. Beginners may want to use 400-500 (medium) grit as it will hold several layers of pastel. Colored paper for pastels can be used or any surface with a sanding ground applied in two light coats, first across, dried, then down. Choose an appropriate foundation color or black for a high contrast painting.

Jan uses soft pastels. When a sketch is needed, she draws or paints the general features and then fixes that layer with 90% rubbing alcohol. As layers of pastel are added an old brush can be used to lift out excess pastel and a blender can soften edges. Found tools such as packing “peanuts” or “noodles” can be dragged over a patch of fog to spread the pastel for a wispy and ethereal look.

In the photos below Jan shows on one “canvas” several methods that can be used to represent different kinds of fog.

When finished, Jan turns the piece over a waste basket and taps it to release excess pastel that hasn’t bonded to the substrate. The art is ready to frame, without a mat, pressed directly against the glass.

Thank you, Jan, for opening our eyes to observe the many nuances of atmospheric effects and for giving us the inspiration and a little courage to try to capture those effects in our paintings.

Jan Vermilya Pastel Demonstartion

OneBlood Exhibit July-August 2019

Article and Photos Contributed by Deb Janssen, OneBlood Exhibit chairperson.

The July art show at OneBlood had eight art pieces submitted for display by five artists. The theme was “Sky Blue”. The staff and patients continue to express their appreciation of the beautiful art that the Ocala Art Group shares during each show. This show will be on display until September 4th. These artists have shared art during this show – see photos:

Joyce Cusick – Lands End, Ft. Island Beach

Heather Doherty – Sunflowers at Beynac, Out of this World

Barbara Fife – Serenity

Debbie Orrison Janssen – Marsh Life

Sue Primeau – Flamingo Bingo, The Gathering

Orlando Area “Art-Venture”

OAG members carpooled to the Orlando area for an “Art-Venture” on July 8, 2019. First stop was a morning boat tour of the beautiful vistas on the Winter Park Chain of Lakes. Several art museums, renowned Rollins College, and many points-of-interest rim the lake shores, beckoning us to return another day.

Lunch was at the Cheesecake Factory in Winter Park where the extensive menu listed choices to satisfy every palate. We simply had to finish, as you must have guessed, by ordering a slice of decadent cheesecake!

Jan Kiszonak, June Reichenbach, Barbara Fife, Terry Avick

Last stop on the itinerary was the Orlando Grand Bohemian Hotel. Aptly named, this opulent hotel is legendary for its collection of fine art, lavishly displayed throughout, in every room, hallway and nook! We enjoyed a private guided tour provided by the very knowledgeable gallery manager. The photos cannot begin to share the art-immersion experience of the Bohemian.

Thank you, Terry Avick for planning this great road trip. We look forward to the next opportunity for a day-trip to another art destination in Florida.

Creative Process – June 10, 2019

President Sharon Harris Introduces Guest Lecturer David D'Alessandris
OAG President Sharon Harris introduces Guest Lecturer David D’Alessandris

Surrounded by his own art works, an MCA gallery exhibit, and a backdrop screen showing David’s website, David D’Alessandris exhorted OAG members to be ACTIVE in the organization to revitalize OAG, and to keep re-inventing ourselves as artists: experiment with new materials, be open to inspiration at every turn. David D’Alessandris, Artist, Educator, Juror, Lecturer, and Advocate for the Arts, lives and breathes art! Thank you, David!

A few more thoughts from David’s presentation:

Drawing is fundamental to all art forms. Keep sketchbooks… sketch Everything!
Reinforce your creativity… buy canvases in 3s.
Develop Your style.
More is never enough!!!


Always keep in mind it is not about getting ribbons BUT getting to show your work.

Rejection comes with the program, sometimes you can win a prize in one show and with the same piece be rejected in another. IT IS ALL SUBJECTIVE

Read Show entry forms carefully, follow the rules and take into account the gallery or venues directions.

Do not throw in the towel, learn from your experiences, your wins your loses your successes and your failures.

Take workshops if they apply to your genre. You’re never too old to learn.

Go to lectures and critiques, these are most helpful.

PRACTICE, practice, practice, this could not be more important. Keep journals and sketch books. Document your ideas and thoughts. Take pictures of your subject matter, use these as inspiration….BE ORIGINAL.

Visit galleries and museum’s when out of town, there is nothing more rewarding than to see what other communities are doing in their art worlds.

Hang with fellow artists, share thoughts and ideas, possibly do collaborative pieces, learn together, share together.

BE ACTIVE in your ART organization!

David D’Alessandris, Handout
David D'Alessandris Bio

“That’s Life” Exhibit May, 2019

The Ocala Art Group Exhibit hosted at “The Brick” gallery was judged by Frank Zampardi of the Villages. Thank you to Leona Asta and Lynn King, Chairpersons for the Exhibit. Thirty-one artists participated showing 54 pcs. of art:  5 in 3-D and 49 in 2-D. Our Judge deliberated for more than 4 hours and gave the following awards: 1 ribbon for 3-D, and the rest for 2-D in 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 3 Honorable Mention. Award Winners are listed below. We hope you enjoy the slideshow of photos taken by Mac Harris at the Reception and Award ceremony.

   BEST OF SHOW FOR ALL MEDIA:  Alexander Turnbull for “Reflections”….Pastel

    FIRST PLACE IN 3-D: Nancy Wall for “Terror of a Homeless Night”…Clay

    FIRST PLACE in 2-D:  Victoria Peterson for”Aloe” ….. Colored Pencil

              SECOND PLACE: Barbara Wensel Severns for “the Actress” …Pastel

              THIRD PLACE: Cindy Vener for “Confluence”…… Oil/Cold Wax

Honorable Mention:

                      1.    Sharon Harris for “Dead End”… Acrylic;

                      2.    Sharon Repple for “Florida Nature Coast”…..  Acrylic

                      3.    Harriet Dobbin   for “The Hunt” …Pastel

OneBlood Exhibit – May-June 2019

Article and Photos Contributed by Deb Janssen, OneBlood Exhibit chairperson.

The May art show at OneBlood had nine art pieces submitted for display by five artists. The theme was “Mellow Yellow”. The staff and patients continue to express their appreciation of the beautiful art that the Ocala Art Group shares during each show. This show will be on display until July 3rd. These artists have shared art during this show – see photos:

Debbie Orrison Janssen – “Asiatic Lilies” and “Just Peachy”
Heather Doherty – “Lemons and Daisies” and “Peachy Keen”
Joyce Cusick – “Private Garden” and “Rawlings Grove”
Sue Primeau – “Taking Flight” and “Happy Hour”
Barbara Fife – “Queen’s Confidant”


May 8, 2019 Luncheon Event

OAG members and guests met at Chili’s Restaurant Wednesday May 8th at 12 noon for installation of officers for 2019-2020, lunch and social gathering.
Artists were invited to bring a small piece of art  (painting, card, sculpture, etc) for an exchange with fellow artists. We drew numbers again to make a personal selection from the trove.
Photos below! Click to see larger images…

Close-ups of Artworks for Art Exchange at the OAG Luncheon May 2019
Artwork Exchange at OAG Luncheon – May 8, 2019