Behind the Muse: with Ben Fraits

Ben Fraits has participated in Art Lotto all three years. The first year he won the Out of the Box Award for his scrabble tile portrait of Annie Hogan Cline. The second year, he took home the Artists’ Choice trophy for his concrete, chiseled, crowd-wower, portrait of photographer Pat Jarrett. Coincidentally, he also handmade the trophies for the award ceremony out of found/discarded material and then received his own trophy back. Lucky for him, they looked awesome! Each year, Ben has managed to provide the audience with a pleasant surprise. A well executed original idea that shows his dedication to creativity, process and thinking big. This year, Ben is taking a less shocking approach to his portrait of Kyle Herr. Black, white, wood and metal…that pretty much sums up the portrait and the subject.

Ben Fraits Kyle Herr Art Lotto 2
Ben making his first marks on his portrait of Kyle Herr.

“I wanted to do something a bit different this year, something more traditional, but still put my own spin on things. For my canvas, I used the top of an old table that was collecting the weather outside. The metal and wood complimented Kyle’s background in carpentry. I decided to paint his portrait in black & white acrylic from a b&w photo I took when we met up at Cuban Burger. I’ve never painted anyone in black and white and thought it would be a good challenge. I partially wanted to paint a piece so I could put the easel  I won last year to good use.” -Ben

Ben Fraits Kyle Herr Art Lotto 4
A sneak preview of the finished portrait!
Advertisements

Behind the Muse: with Lynda Bostrom

“I’ve been wanting to work more with portraiture; stretch my skills and try new methods with my favorite materials. I’ve also been wanting to work with male portraiture – as luck would have it, my artist is Derek Niver. I’m working on a small body of work for an upcoming show, (all portraits of men) and I’m using Derek’s portrait as the flagship piece.

photoshoot Paul Somers Alex Kent
Photographer, Paul Somers, captures local filmmaker, Alex Kent. Images used during their shoot would serve as visual references for Lynda’s upcoming series.
Derek_Niver_detail
Up close and personal in this reference shot of Derek Niver.

With the help of Paul Somers and Alex Kent, I held a photo shoot day in March to gather some top notch reference images of the models I want to draw. I’ve never taken this much care into the preliminary planning of the work I make, and it’s making a huge difference.

Aside from the image of Derek’s face, I wanted to incorporate a design element that I could use as a common thread in all these new pieces – I’ve always enjoyed combining a person’s likeness with a surrealistic world surrounding them. After many many many many failed attempts and little success with botanical and flat painterly shapes, I decided to return to an old process of collaging I used frequently 5-7 years ago. Returning to this method feels good. I would compare it to seeing an old friend from when we were both 12 and very awkward. And in the reunion, I can still see their authenticity and the foundation of who they are, but it’s combined with more confidence and grace.” -Lynda

Derek_peek by Lynda Bostrom
A detailed sneak peek of Lynda’s portrait of Derek Niver.

We’re thrilled to have veteran Lotto artist, Lynda Bostrom, back for round three. Each year, Lynda has brought us uplifting colors and refined skill that hoists the bar furtherlotto-by-bostrom-lynda and further up. She truly contributes to the level of quality each Art Lotto show brings. Her first year, she took home two awards for her portrait of fellow artist (and Art Lotto Co-Founder) Denise Allen for Best Use of Medium and Kids Choice Award. Even though 1404920464305she does excellent work in portraiture, Art Lotto is just the tip of her iceberg…she’s a busy gal! She recently branded local soon-to-be-everyone’s-new-favorite restaurant in town: foodBARfood, she actively serves on the Board of Directors at Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance and is co-chair of their Promotions Committee. Most recently, her committee successfully executed the Rocktown Rye boxed workspace tampa lynda bostromProject that culminated at the annual Valley Fourth, but they have lots of exciting community projects in store for us in the near future. On top of all that, she chips away at her freelance design gigs, gets mad-love on art sites (go here and vote for her!) and continues creating inspiring, unique works of art for sheer joy, the love of collaboration and for gallery show. She’s participating in a show called “BOXED” that’s happening this September at the Tampa-based gallery, Workspace. Her work will be displayed alongside the likes of Ed Templeton and Chris Pastras. She’s kind of awesome. And we’re glad she calls Harrisonburg home.