“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.
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
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 further 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 she 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 Project 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.
Art Lotto held it’s public art opening on First Friday at the Artful Dodger in downtown Harrisonburg, VA. With Thursday being a private celebration for artists, sponsors and judges, Friday was geared towards a fun-filled evening for families and children. In front of the Dodger we had a circus of activities including face painting, sidewalk chalk, a mini-manicure station and a coloring table with each of our top-level sponsors drawn up in coloring-book-form! Art Lotto portraits will be up on the Dodger walls through the month of August. Head on down and check it out!
So many thanks to our volunteers that made this fun evening possible!
Face painters: April Sedeen, Sarah Murphy & Esther King
Mini-manicure-ers: Danielle Campbell & Brook Burner
Coloring Experts: Emily Casey, Carl Yoder & Jenny Jones
Thank you Rachel Herr (see pg 30 on link!) for capturing these candid moments last evening at Art Lotto’s artists/judges/sponsors Private Party. What a fun evening of looking and admiring and chatting and fun. It was a great sight to see all eyes glued to the walls of the Artful Dodger in admiration of the diverse talent that surrounds us. Portraits will be up through the month of August.
John Bell has a pin in my timeline. He was my first (ever) art teacher. After skimming through high school without taking a single art class, I showed up to his Blue Ridge Community College Intro to Drawing course with a 6B in my shaky hand. That class paired with his Art History course was a potent mixture that would seep into my soul for years to come. I really can’t accurately measure the impact he’s had on my skill, style, and love for art. He is the kind of teacher that had me seeing this world around me. I started looking up at building structure, noticing placement in paintings like The Swing and proportion in pieces like the Pietá, placing importance on seemingly mundane details in artwork like eyesight, value changes, and directional lines. He had me wondering things like “Why is she giving him a carnation?” and “What’s so controversial about Caravaggio anyway?” I began to question and therefore understand history through art. He did this for me and it’s truly an honor to have him participating in this art show that Denise and I have created. This year John is portraying Nashville artist Renee Somers and Jess Herr will be portraying John.
“After exchanging e-mails for several months, my Art Lotto “pardner” Renee Somers and I got together today for a rewarding session of conversation, coffee, drawing, painting, and a few photos. (I did a charcoal study – Renee, who lives in Nashville, decided to start a portrait of me in oils). When I chose her name, I knew it had a familiar ring to it. I soon found out it was Paul’s mother. I’ve known Paul since he was a student of mine about 12 years ago. The other connection Renee and I have is that we are both art educators. After seeing the Art Lotto 2012 show, I knew that I just had to be a part of it this year. It was easily one of the best group shows I’ve ever seen in The Burg. Since I haven’t done many portraits in recent years, this will be a challenge for me – but, that’s one of the reasons I wanted to do it … for me, art is very much about The Challenge. It also seemed like a unique opportunity to get to know fellow artists (Jess Herr is doing my portrait … another art teacher!). Thanks to Brandy and all the others that are working to make Art Lotto happen!” ~John
I’ve known Renee Somers for nearly 15 years. She is an artist in every sense of the word. She lives it, preaches it, breathes it, studies it, does it, loves it and just can’t get away from it. It bleeds from her. It is her. She currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee but is no stranger to the Valley. Renee’s son, Paul, is a go-to for artful adventures in Harrisonburg, carrying on her passions and giving her ample reasons to visit: film festivals, poetry readings, art shows and…oh yeah, her amazingly sweet grandchildren. This is Renee’s second Art Lotto go-round. Last year she took home the prize for Best Hair with her painting of Matt Sedeen. This year, she’ll be all tangled up in the locks of Matt Hall. Fellow art educator/artist John Bell will be portraying Renee. After meeting with Matt for the first time, Renee sent me the following quick-sketch and thoughts:
“I wondered who was the artist I would paint for Art Lotto. I came, I looked, I wondered. I was plopped down on a stool at the Artful Dodger thinking each person I saw might be him. I asked first one and then another. I looked for someone looking for someone. Then about the time I settled in and just decided to relax, I ordered a coffee and told the bartender I was “just waiting for Matt Hall” and he said, “Why he’s right there,” and called him over. He resembled the images I had seen painted through the centuries of the Christ. I was thrilled at the fun hair I would get to paint and my immediate response was to do a Christ look-alike. But who knows where the spirit will take me as I handle this young artists face with my paintbrush and follow the contours of a well-chiseled firm face and curly feathery hair.
You know, when it comes to Art Lotto, it is about surprise, anticipation, and visual resurrections of our perceptions coupled with the images of the artists we have selected to portray. I took some pictures of Matt and my son, Paul, took some pictures for me. If you want to find out the outcome of this fabulous opportunity, meet me at the Art Lotto opening at the Artful Dodger. Last year and to-date, it was the best art show I had seen in years. The diversity, the talent, and the ambiance of the whole concept, of artists painting artists, was just inspiring. Top that off with the Super Gr8 Film Festival and you have music, passion and art all wrapped up in a artful heartful community.” ~Renee