Behind the Muse: with Tess Sherman

12974315_10154625518140400_4816823666313624636_nTess Sherman is a local artist and business co-owner of Bluestone Bodyworks. For Art Lotto #4 Tess will be portraying Dinah Mitchell. And Soula Pefkaros will be portraying Tess. After meeting with both of her Art Lotto partners, she reflects a bit on each of her female partners.

Where did you meet your partner for the first time?
I met Soula, whom is doing my portrait, at Shenandoah coffee for the first time. Then I met Dinah Mitchell, who I’m doing a portrait of, at Black sheep coffee.

Black Sheep Shenadoah Joe
A mutual love of coffee is shared by Tess and her two Art Lotto partners, Soula and Dinah.

Tell me about your first impression of your partner.
Soula has this light that radiates from her. I could tell just by first impression she had only good vibes, and a heart of gold. Honestly one of the most down to earth people to have ever met.

Dinah was super shy at first. But I must say I was too. Once we got to talking we both got through that awkward first date tension, ha. Super sweet and laid back though. And I’m lucky enough to capture such a beautiful lady for my portrait.

Where have you found inspiration for your portrait? 
Dinah works with beads and glass blowing, which is totally the furthest material I have ever wanted to work with, but I wanted to test myself and try to incorporate beading into my portrait. Using what I love, oil paint, with a love of hers, beading, I believe my portrait portrays both of us.

Why did you sign up for Art Lotto?
Because Brandy forced me to….just kidding. Haha but really, Brandy {Somers} mentioned art lotto to me and I’m not usually one to do these kinds of things but I’ve been wanting to broaden my art in the community hoping I can find new opportunities through the lotto. Not to mention to meet and learn from amazing artist in Harrisonburg.

Artwork by Tess Sherman
“I would probably be taking in the scenery, sipping on a chai, trying to figure out what mechanical tool I could turn into a human form.” -Tess Sherman

Is there a local business you can commonly be found? And what might you be found doing there?
It seems both of my {lotto} partners, as well as I, enjoy coffee so most likely you could find us at any of the coffee shops. I could see Soula working on editing photos, and Dinah looking at new material for her work. I would probably be taking in the scenery, sipping on a chai, trying to figure out what mechanical tool I could turn into a human form. But i guarantee you that at least one of us would be scarfing down a pastry.

What are some of your other interests, loves, passions, roles in life?
I crave the outdoors. There is so much art in nature that not many see. I believe/see trees to be like human bodies. I like to think they come alive when no ones looking. I’m passionate about that, seriously. I love cats…I’m THAT crazy cat lady, no lie. I have a dream of having a cat farm. Some think I’m crazy but I like to think it’s love.
Also, my role as a massage therapist has honestly opened my eyes to how much I love helping others by making them feel great, or more comfortable with themselves. That’s a big accomplishment. 

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Behind the Muse: with Tahany Garrison

Tahany Garrison is getting amped up for her first year as an Art Lotto artist. At our Luck of the Draw event, she drew the name of fellow-first-timer Hannah Sions. The two met downtown Harrisonburg for a full evening of art shows on a recent First Friday:

“In the unintentional spirit of procrastination, I have just now started on a portrait of Hannah. I met with her a few weeks ago and, fittingly, strolled through a First Friday downtown. I snapped some pics, and was on my way to think about what I had done- because I felt like I had gotten myself into trouble by finally participating in Art Lotto. I hadn’t done a portrait in a year or two. I was a little terrified, to be honest. Then I remembered a mantra offered to me in the past, “Keep it simple, stupid!”“What a relief. As usual, I was over-complicating things. I already knew I wanted to use salvaged/recycled materials. I have a nice stash of paperboard I’ve been hoarding and a bunch of stuff that the city doesn’t accept in the recycle bin. That was the ‘me’ in it. Finally, I choose a photo of Hannah, which as it turns out, was one she took of herself. A gritty, webcam shot of her perfectly witty and goofy self- perfect!”

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Tahany3“Now it’s execution time. Alone time to work on this piece is hard to come by before 9pm with little people running around. So, to keep them busy- I asked them to tear up the card board while I laid out the portrait on my substrate. So, kind of out of convenience and improvisation, I choose to do do a mosaic style portrait. Originally, I wanted to use the subtle differences in shades of brown on the unprinted side of the cardboard to do a monochromatic image. But life is more fun with color, and I’m pretty sure Hannah would agree.” ~Tahany

 

This year, Tahany will be portrayed by former Lotto award winner, Rhoda Miller.

Behind the Muse: with Sherrie Good

Sherrie Good is a first year Art Lotto artist but this community-driven portrait show is not a new concept for her. I first met Sherrie at the Art Lotto First Friday event last year (2013). She was enjoying the faces on the wall while hanging out with her friend and Lotto artist, Lynn Lough. I remember talking with Sherrie at the opening. I learned that she had just closed on a house in Harrisonburg after deciding to move back to the area from Northern Virginia. That evening, Sherrie purchased a portrait of Rhoda Miller as the first piece of art to hang in her new home. We love our local Art Lotto supporters! This year, Sherrie is bumpin’ creative elbows with 41 other local artists as she participates in Art Lotto #3!
This year, Sherrie will be portraying Teale Davies; Jason Alexander will be portraying Sherrie.

Sherrie's cooking up some creative ingredients for her portrait of Teale.
Sherrie’s cooking up some creative ingredients for her portrait of Teale.

“Hi, I am Sherrie Good, a Harrisonburg native. I have been an artist all of my life. I remember drawing a turkey for Thanksgiving in kindergarten, and noticing how great it looked up on the wall with the other drawings. My career continued. When I was in elementary school I would watch a show about a modern day witch, Bewitched, and I was in awe of the witch’s mortal husband who was in advertising. I decided then and there that was what I was going to do. I left Harrisonburg 28 years ago, and pursued my career as a designer. After a very successful run as a designer in DC, I decided it was time to head back to the hills. 

I love living in Harrisonburg, it has finally got its’ groove back. I want to spend more time with my charcoals and pencils. To this end, my friend Lynn Lough roped me into the Art Lotto! I was lucky, I picked Teale. We met at the Dodger where I learned she loves drawing anatomy and Technicolor hurling skeletons. I am not making this up. She also likes gardening, but anatomy is her thing.

With this knowledge I have been baking bones. You heard me right baking Sculpey bones! They will go with my drawing of Teale. Though I have managed to miss every Art Lotto meeting, I look forward to the show and finally meeting some fellow artist.” ~Sherrie

 

Behind the Muse: with Laura Thompson

Laura Thompson is a mother, a wife, an artist and she teaches art at Thomas Harrison Middle School. For those of you familiar with the middle school species, that translates to: Laura has the patience of a saint. I recently visited an art exhibit of student work that Laura organized at the Blue Nile in downtown Harrisonburg. The show consisted of hand-sewn monsters that represented the student’s secrets, inner demons and fears. The artwork was impressive enough on it’s own, but to read the words of a middle schooler explaining that part of themselves was downright powerful. The world needs more teachers like this woman. We’re thrilled that she is dedicating a chunk of her precious time to participate in Art Lotto again this year. Laura will be creating a portrait of Greg Sultan. Laura’s portrait will be created by Sharon Skates.

Laura works on a sketch of her Art Lotto partner, Greg Sultan.
Laura works on a sketch of her Art Lotto partner, Greg Sultan.

“I love that the Art Lotto process can be so organic. Like last year, I came to the meeting with no plan, no expectations, and an open mind. When I met Greg Sultan at the Baja Bean in Staunton, I didn’t really know what to expect. I had talked to him briefly at the Luck of the Draw, and had looked at his website, but had no idea what form his portrait would ultimately take. I am an art teacher, so I know a wide range of media. At first I thought maybe glass, then maybe wood block printing, then maybe watercolor. I still haven’t landed on one for sure. 
But I know what it will be called: He told me that he is heading far away from here — uprooting, transplanting, reestablishing — and with that comes much change and adjustment. With change comes potential — to do, to be, to create, to build. These things are choices we can make, and even though we might sometimes feel like our chance has passed, “There’s Still Time.” ~Laura

Trophies?!!

This evening, local artist Ben Fraits delivered the Art Lotto trophies to me! They work great alongside our other lotto designs with their bright colors and use of paper planes. In this case, they’re aluminum planes made from discarded beverage cans. In fact, all the supplies used in making the trophies is recycled material found right here in Harrisonburg! Here’s a sneak at one of the three awards that will be handed out on Thursday evening at our Private Party. Be sure to join us for the First Friday Public Opening this Friday from 5-7 at The Artful Dodger! There will be lots of kid-friendly activities happening out front including face painting, sidewalk art, a mini-manicure station and a coloring table! Woo art!

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Behind the Muse: with John Bell

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.

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“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

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Photos courtesy of Paul Somers