The countdown is on.
Friends and family haven't yet gathered to carve the Thanksgiving turkey, but that doesn’t negate the fact that it’s just 44 days before Christmas.
With the yuletide imagery in mind, a group of five local artists have made it a tradition for more than a decade, to host an event prior to the holidays to show off their talents.
The group started as good friends with a common passion for art, and to meet for inspiration and to market their works. Although they had been meeting for many years prior, their first art show was in 2003 at Weatherford College. The show was so successful that the group was encouraged by their collectors to present a show every year thereafter.
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Today, the show is referred to by the group's name, Canvas & Clay, and the exhibit/sale “Art In The Barn,” is free and open to the public.
Each artist has a unique history, from a longtime equine artist; to equine/small animal veterinarian; or landscape artist/book writer; to fine art photographer.
However, missing this year will be one of the original Canvas & Clay members, Jan Bateman.
A "dear friend" and long-time member, Bateman passed away this year from cancer.
“We will honor her at our show,” Fine Art Photographer Susan Ferguson said.
Ferguson said of the group's friend that Bateman was a “gifted artist.”
“Jan was also a member of the Oil Painters of America, National Water Color Association and other artist organizations," Ferguson said. "Her favorite subject matter to paint was both figurative and landscape. In her honor, the show will include a posthumous collection of her work.”
The event will take place at Arnold Reproduction Center in Weatherford, an equine breeding facility, located at 360 Leea Lane, Weatherford, on Nov. 19 and 20 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
This group of professional artists has prepared an "exciting" fine art collection to offer -from mixed-media collage to original works done in various mediums and subject matter; to custom jewelry and photography art. Free refreshments will be served.
Kate currently works as a Critical Care/ER vet in Fort Worth at MetroWest Hospital. But her real veterinary passion is acupuncture and traditional Chinese Veterinary medicine with a vet special interest in equine reproduction - especially working with mares who are reproductive challenges.
She has been a cutting horse competitor/enthusiast for some time.
Recently she remarried, and had the “great pleasure” of introducing horses/horsemanship to her husband. “He is now a bonafide horse-crazy guy!”
I’ve always enjoyed "doodling,” painting, altered art and recently began watercolor. Working in mixed media with an equine interest provides another opportunity to celebrate the horse.
Growing up with a father that was a veterinarian, Leea grew up around a variety of animals.
This interest in animals that began at an early age never waned. Following in her fathers footsteps, she graduated from Tuskeegee University in 1989 with a doctorate of veterinary medicine. Leea currently owns and operates a practice in Weatherford, that specializes in equine reproduction and embryo transfers. This type of practice is somewhat seasonal, which allows her to concentrate on vet work 7 months out of the year and art the other 5 months.
Art was always an area of interest to Leea, but had to be put on the “back burner” until 1991. She began by taking drawing lessons with an equine artist, Marsha McDonald. She started sculpting in 1993 with Scott Meyers, D.V.M. of Granbury. Leea has also studied with a long list of the country's finest western, wildlife and figurative artists, including Mehl Lawson, Richard Loeffler, Bob Kuhn, Cammie Lundeen, Jim Norton, Garland Weeks, Mary Hicks, Tuck Langland, Eugene Daub and Don Mullins.
"These artists have contributed greatly to my progress and success as an artist. I am drawn to the human and animal form because it is nature at is finest," Leea said.
Marsha McDonald's paintings are part of collections throughout the United States and abroad. Reproduction rights for her paintings have been purchased for publication by greeting card companies, and her animal portraits have graced the covers of magazines. She has been the subject of feature articles in numerous publications and participated in fine art exhibitions and shows. Presently she focuses mostly on commissions and is represented by Xanadu of Scottsdale.
Over the years McDonald has worked in nearly all the art mediums and has painted a variety of subjects, from landscapes and portraits, to her current love of painting horses, dogs and wildlife. She has gained particularly strong recognition for her animal art, and has specialized in painting them or almost twenty years. She also offers a limited number of private drawing classes.
Whether the medium is oil, pastels, pencil, watercolor or mixed media, McDonald has the ability to capture the very essence of her subjects in their most flattering pose. Her excellent treatment of color, light and shadow have become her trademark. Her style is continually evolving.
Mary Hicks divides her time between painting and writing. Her oil paintings usually depict a simple still life or scenes of the rural setting where she now lives in Oklahoma. Living just across the Red River does not keep Mary from being an active member of Canvas & Clay art group.
Mary's debut novel, Trespassing on His Heart is just out. It follows a string of short stories over the years. Signed copies of the book will be available at the show.
Susan Ferguson is a photographer with an eye for creative use of natural light.
She looks for the essence of the personality when creating a portrait for a client. She shows the same direct approach when photographing subjects in nature. Susan delights in finding the unique patterns and shapes that occur through the play of light and shadow the very essence of a strong, emotive image.