Monthly Archives: July 2020

Warm Waters: Judith Judy

Jul 8, 20

Judith Judy is a Northern Virginia-based oil painter who composes imaginary landscape scenes using soft forms and light, transporting viewers to memories of places they’ve visited or dreams of places they haven’t. In a review of Judith Judy’s work, Mark Jenkins, art critic for the Washington Post, wrote: “Her warm, radiant landscapes aren’t modeled on particular places. Indeed, they seem designed as portals, visual entrances into the world of light. Soft-textured trees and grass define the foreground and vaporous sky the background, but the action transpires between the two, on the plane where sunlight bleeds into a rich, indistinct glow.”

Judith’s work is displayed all over the world, including the Lithuanian National Museum of Art and numerous galleries in France, Italy, and the U.S.

Far From Home, 24×48, available

What is your biggest inspiration as an artist? 

To quote Chuck Close – “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.” I am a process painter, however, artists who have influenced me include George Inness, Turner, Peter Doig to name a few.

What places around the world most influence the landscape scenes you imagine? 

I grew up in Maryland and spent much of my childhood at my grandmother’s cottage on the Chesapeake bay and coastal waters. We currently have a home in the back bay area of coastal Delaware. Wetlands and marshes are part of my DNA.

Misty Morning II, 36×36, available

How do the scenes you create come to be? Do you start with a specific vision or let the process inform your choices?

I usually start a painting with a vague or general idea, but the painting will evolve in its own way. It is a process where I put some paint on the board and then react to it, layer by layer, until I get a satisfying result.

Your style consists of soft lines and muted light; have you ever experimented with other artistic styles such as bold abstractionism? 

I have a secret painter’s life painting figures, mostly faces. These paintings are completely different from my landscapes in style and process. They are a fun exercise and I am fascinated by the subject.

After college, you spent several years in a business career before painting professionally. What inspired you to pursue business after studying art in school? 

The business career was for practical reasons and I was good at it. It was only natural to return to art when circumstances were right.

You have artwork in collections and exhibitions around the world. What is your favorite place you’ve traveled to? 

Italy for the food and art. Spain because we recently traveled there with family… and the food and art.

Blue Sky and Clouds, 12×12, available

If you could get coffee with any artist, alive or dead, who would it be and why? 

Picasso, and not only because he was a creative and fearless genius, but because we actually had a mutual acquaintance. I met Marcel Salinas in 1992. He was already a man in his 80’s. He was a painter, but more importantly, he was a master lithographer. When Picasso decided to have his series of paintings Portraits Imaginaires interpreted in lithography, he personally chose Marcel to do it. Picasso was so impressed with Marcel’s work he insisted that his name be included whenever any of the prints were shown. Marcel was a dear friend. I would visit with him and he would share with me his vast knowledge of art and art history. He was a treasure.

What music or podcasts are you currently listening to? 

When I paint on Fridays I listen to Science Friday on NPR. Sometimes I will turn on a Turner Classic Movie that I have seen before just to listen to. It is just enough to keep me from overthinking the process and just let it happen. Otherwise I am listening to the Beatles, Keith Urban, Jon Batiste, opera, and many others.

With our theme of WARM WATERS, where would you travel right now if you could go anywhere? 

We had a trip planned to Iceland this year. That, of course, has been postponed until next year. I am looking forward to experiencing Iceland’s unique landscape.

Hillside Stream II, 36×36, available

To learn more about Judith and to see what work we have available in the gallery, click here.

–Julia Henegar, gallery intern

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Warm Waters: Daniela Schweitzer

Jul 7, 20

Daniela Schweitzer is a Los Angeles-based artist classically trained with a focus on figurative and non-representational abstract paintings. Daniela draws inspiration from the energetic, vibrant colors of her upbringing in Argentina. She uses bold colors and brush strokes in her gestural paintings that tell real and imagined stories inspired by the simplicity of everyday happenings and the importance of human connection.

Renowned art critic Peter Frank asserts that, “No matter how recognizable a particular subject might be in a Schweitzer painting, its identity serves as experiential armature for a vision whose breadth leaves the
particularities of the subject well behind.”

Daniela’s paintings draw upon the emotions of herself and her subject to express narratives that evoke in viewers memories and images saturated with the same feelings. Through her work, Daniela shares with us the joy of painting and transports us to peaceful moments.

What is your biggest inspiration as an artist?

I am inspired by people around me the simple beauty of everyday stories and events. Those small, unperceived movements or gestures, the dynamics and body language of a conversation between two friends, the daily casual interactions between people, a peaceful instance that goes unnoticed to others; these moments inspire me. My surroundings also play a big role in my art. The changing blues and breezes of the ocean by my Southern California studio, the crashing waves, the beautiful light, and the colors and beauty I see during my travels shape my creativity. My figurative abstractions don’t emphasize classical figure painting or portraiture but rather reflect an appreciation for human existence and the feelings of the people around me. The gestural part of my art resides more in the core of emotions and feelings toward the subject.

A lot of your art is influenced by the vibrant colors of South America, where you were raised. How does life in Argentina compare to your life in Los Angeles?

Argentinian culture emphasizes the simple things in life like the daily routine of having “mate”– an afternoon or midmorning social shared tea, or a traditional “asado”– the argentine barbecue shared with family and friends. Family and friendships are very important. Interactions are casual and parties and gatherings often occur spontaneously. You can show up at your friend’s house without previous planning. Dinner is very late, so there is more time for social interaction during the day, but social life continues after dinner too. Life goes at a slower pace, which gives me more time to reflect on my surroundings and appreciate my time with friends and family. What I love about Los Angeles is its diverse culture, warm weather, and scenic landscapes– especially the beaches near my home, which connect my background and experiences to my paintings. Social life with friends is very important to me.

What artists have most influenced your work?

When I moved to California about 25 years ago, I became inspired by and began to study the midcentury Bay Area Figurative Art Movement. I was then and still am particularly drawn to Richard Diebenkorn’s paintings and his loose brushstrokes. I appreciate that he painted figurative and nonrepresentational abstracts simultaneously, which is something that I have also done throughout my career. I love the works of Joan Brown, David Park, Nathan Oliviera, and Elmer Bischoff, who were involved in that same movement. When I was still living in Argentina, another art movement with a similar concept of abstract expressionism inspired much of my process: the “Figuración Nueva” or “New Figuration” group of the 1960s. Their work in permanent exhibitions in Buenos Aires museums inspired much of my transition into abstract work during my early years. I especially appreciate the work of Luis Felipe Noé and the abstract figuration style of Argentine artist Enrique Sobisch. Additionally, the loose and explosive strokes of abstract expressionists such as Elaine de Kooning, Willem de Kooning, and Joan Mitchell influenced my art journey.

I am also inspired by the European masters. I adore Joaquín Serolla’s massive paintings of beach scenes bathed in vivid light. My biggest and earliest inspiration is probably Matisse, whose colors have inspired me to be bold in my palette choice.

What made you decide to pursue a career in medicine while continuing your artistic endeavors?

Drawing and painting was a part of me from a very early age. I remember studying anatomy in my art classes at a traditional art academy when I was around 11 years old. We would study the names and shapes of muscles and how they join with bones to build the body’s physique. Then we would bring that perspective into our live drawing classes with models. We would draw arms, hands, feet, and faces. This study of anatomy as it relates to art planted the seed in my head to study medicine later in life. Once I started medical school, I continued painting in private atelier environments. I love both careers and could not see myself leaving either one; I find that they complement each other. As a physician, I love interacting with patients on a very personal level. I try to bring my observations about people’s lives into my figurative abstract paintings to capture the emotions that we all experience.

How do you work painting into your schedule?

Sometimes this can be difficult. My medical practice can be intense, but painting provides an outlet to draw upon and capture all of the life experiences that are important to me, like spending time with family and friends. Painting allows me to reflect on how I feel about life and transports me to a less hectic world.

Your artwork is often influenced by real or imagined narratives. Where do these stories come from?

I love taking photos of people going about their lives. These are my references for my paintings. In my paintings, I capture my own emotions from when I took the particular picture or perhaps I imagine the emotions of the subjects in the photo. The scenes, stories, and subject matter I paint are selected because they possess a simple, beautiful, and usually colorful human gesture that exudes energetic, calm, or harmonic emotion.

Scenes by the beach and massive colorful blue waters are important elements of my art process. A lot has to do with my childhood memories of summers spent with my family at the beach in Argentina as well as my experience living in this same beach city during my last three years in South America. Since moving to Southern California, I have been fortunate enough to live close to the beach and experience the beautiful Los Angeles sun that has helped me bring extra color and light to my paintings! The ocean connects me to my past and to my family and friends who currently live in Argentina… Water connects us all!

Umbrellas, 12×12, available

Your work is abstract, gestural, and colorful. Have you ever experimented with other styles such as realism?

As an artist, I love to dabble in different mediums and styles. Even though I am usually drawn back to figurative abstracts, I was traditionally trained and therefore have practiced many other styles in the past. More realistic scenes often flourish in my sketches. Many of my early works, which are at my parents’ home in Argentina, are realist in style (figurative, landscapes, and still life).

If you could get coffee with any artist, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

Jennifer Pochinski because she is an amazing artist and person.

What is your favorite city that you’ve traveled to or lived in?

I loved living in Buenos Aires. There was always so much to do and see. Argentina is where I cultivated my love of visiting art museums and photographing people going about their lives in different settings, which inspired me to combine the emotions evoked by the scene or subject into my art. But I live in another little heaven by the beach here in Los Angeles. I am so blessed.

Of all the cities that I have visited, I loved everything that Cuzco, Perú, had to offer. I hope I return there soon.

With our theme of WARM WATERS, where would you travel right now if you could go anywhere?

I long to return to Bora Bora. I love the beautiful light, the laid-back lifestyle, the clear waters abundant in marine life, the cultural traditions of the island inhabitants, and waking up to waves and sea breeze in the bungalows—this type of idyllic setting inspires me to paint!

I also love Tulum. Its beautiful beaches, rich cultural traditions and history, thriving artist community, friendly people, creative cuisine, calm ocean and river waters, and gorgeous nature transport you to a different point in time and let your worries float away.

Dreaming, 48×48, available

To learn more about Daniela and to see what work we have available in the gallery, click here.

— Julia Henegar, gallery intern

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