I was thrilled to be accepted into Cambridge Art Association's 2018 Member Prize juried show, with the exhibit at their University Place Gallery in Harvard Square, Cambridge. I submitted a paper collage from my Japanese series, called "Ryokan." I wanted to capture the architecture and spirit of a Japanese inn, with its geometry, view to nature, and aesthetic details. The opening was held on Friday, February 9th.
On Sunday, February 4, right before the Super Bowl, I led a workshop for members and friends for North Cambridge Arts at Lesley University. I demonstrated some collage techniques and gave participants a choice of doing a small narrative collage or an abstract greeting card. Although the workshop lasted just over an hour, everyone was engaged in the process, producing a range of colorful work.
On Sunday, December 3, I had a table at the annual NoCA Fine Arts and Crafts Sale in North Cambridge, where I showed my own smaller watercolors and collages. In addition, I displayed for sale for the first time a dozen different silk screen prints designed and made by my mother, Josephine C. Brett (1908-2000). She was trained as an artist in London, where she was born and raised, and taught for many years. While I was growing up, she made large oil and acrylic paintings. In her 70s, after retiring back to London with my father, she took up silkscreen printing and made a series of lively, colorful prints, which you can now see in her own special gallery on this website.
I have three collages this year in the Lexington Art Walk--all are at the Brookline Bank and are up at least through the end of the month. The reception is November 16, from 6:30-8:30pm. The collages are "Three Lonely Leaves," "Garden Bounty," and "Welcoming Day's End." You will need to look in the windows of some of the offices to find two of them!
From mid-September to mid-October, my gym, Healthworks, will be displaying my collages and watercolor paintings. The exhibit is on two walls of the stairwell. The first wall I have titled "Skyscapes," and it will show seven watercolors that emphasize interesting skies and cloud formations.
The second wall I call "Cityscapes." It features predominately paper collages depicting different cities and city views and two watercolors. The exhibit is only open to Healthworks members unless I accompany you, so contact me if you wish to see the exhibit.
In addition to a watercolor in the CVS window, I currently have four works on display: two watercolors at the O'Neill Library in Cambridge, one watercolor in the Cambridge Art Association's 'Scapes show at the University Place Gallery in Cambridge, and one collage in the Student-Teacher Show at the Concord Art Association.
I am excited to be this month's featured artist at The Fictional Cafe, an on-line site for writers and artists. My show features 15 of my collages, watercolor paintings, and photographs. You can enjoy my exhibit from the comfort of your home at http://www.fictionalcafe.com/belle-brett-multiple-media-art-installment/
I have a watercolor (Super Moon) in the NoCA 20th Anniversary show at Cadbury Commons in Cambridge and a collage in NoCA's show at the O'Neill Library in preparation for Cambridge Open Studios. I am pleased to report that a resident of Cadbury Commons bought my painting and showed me where she was going to hang it!
I am thrilled have two of my collages (Ode to Prague and Patchwork City II) in a juried show of emerging artists at Three Stones Gallery in West Concord, MA through March 10. The reception on January 21 was packed!
This year I have one watercolor painting in the Lexington Art Walk (https://artslexington.wordpress.com/events/current-events/artwalk-2016/). Paintings are in the windows of local businesses and shops and are up through November 28.
This watercolor is part of my Central Park series. It is probably the most abstract of my park paintings although a viewer can still see that this is a painting about autumn. My goal was to use a "glazing" technique, in which I layer colors after each previous color has dried. The transparency of watercolor paint highlights all the layers.
Members of NoCA have an exhibit up in the foyer of the O'Neill Library in North Cambridge, as a way of promoting their work and their upcoming winter show. I have two pieces (below), a collage and a watercolor both based on the same photo of Central Park in fall.
Note that I used similar elements in each--the buildings in the background, the stone bridge (although with a different placement), the water, the red tree in the foreground. In the collage, I populated the park with two people enjoying the view from their Adirondack chairs, adding a more playful feel.
In October 2016, I gave a short collage workshop as part of the October NoCa (North Cambridge Arts) meeting. The focus of the workshop was creating collages based on an image (a photo, a painting, or even a dream) that members could provide themselves. I showed examples from my own work, which is often inspired by photos (my own and others), offered a few pointers on putting together a collage, and provided a lot of materials: small canvas boards, scissors, glue sticks, old magazines, brochures, and decorative papers. Participants had just one hour. As is usual at NoCa workshops, they became engrossed in their work and produced some interesting products.
Watercolor painting, "A Time for Reflection," based on a photo I took. What was challenging about this painting was capturing the way the sand changed color underwater.
From June 15th to September 6th, I am excited to report that I will be exhibiting my work in a show titled, "From the Observed to the Imagined: A Triptych of Photographs, Watercolors, and Collages." The show will take place at the Cambridge Health Associates (CHA) at 335 Broadway in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
As with my previous show at Healthworks, I will organize my work around themes with a focus on summer, water, flowers and landscape, light, and place in keeping with the season. The "Triptych" of the show's title refers not only to my three media by is aldo a play on the word "triptik," which conjures up visions of travel. CHA has provided me with a generous amount of wall space on two levels, so I hope to exhibit about two dozen pieces. The works are for sale.
I will hold a reception on Friday, June 17th, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. In addition to the exhibited work, I will have a portfolio of other work available at reduced prices. Everyone is welcome. There is parking in the back for non-Cambridge residents. I look forward to seeing you.
The East Side Gallery in Berlin is a moving artistic tribute to all those who endured the hardships of the Berlin Wall, died trying to escape, or offered their hope and sympathy. Several dozen murals have been painted on one of the longest still existing pieces of the Wall. Below are sections of two of the murals, which are protected from graffiti by a fence. Berliners love tagging!
I am aiming for twelve consecutive months in the CVS window in Porter Square, Cambridge, as part of North Cambridge Art Association's (NOCA) group showing. This month's image is "A Good Day at Good Harbor." I did this painting more than a year ago, and I believe my style has evolved somewhat since then. I like the bright bursts of orange.
I am showing 18 artworks at the Healthworks gym in Cambridge, MA through March 26. I call my exhibit “Trios” because I am showing my work in groups of three by a common theme, each theme represented by a photograph, a watercolor, and a collage.
There are six themes: snow, rooftops, light and shadow, the beach, underwater, and the shoreline. The images in each theme are not meant to mimic each other but rather to capture some essence of the overall idea and to contain one or more key elements that help to unify the group of images (e.g., a specific image, a color, overall composition.) In some cases, the theme was inspired by a photograph I had taken; in others, a collage or painting I had made. Healthworks is a members only venue, but you can see my show if I accompany you. I have been a member of Healthworks for almost 29 years!
July 4th at the Beach was inspired by two photos I took in Wells Beach, Maine—After the Swim and Dusk along the Shore, which I also made into a watercolor. I knew I wanted to combine elements of both without including the ocean itself. The first decision I make is whether the collage will be vertical or horizontal as this decision determines the overall design. Although I never know what the finished image will look like, I generally have some ideas that influence my initial search. In this case, I knew I wanted houses, a flag, and some towels. The images of the houses came from three different sources—a relocation guide, a calendar, and a catalog of outdoor housing products (fences, lamp posts, mailboxes, etc.) Other sources of images came from other calendars, a travel brochure, an illustrated daily meditation calendar, and a gardening magazine. (I also use other kinds of magazines and origami papers.) I can spend quite awhile searching for images with the right colors and textures.
After I have located these, I decide whether to cut them out or tear them. I tend to favor torn images, but I wanted clean lines for the houses, flag, and towels in this collage, so I used scissors more than usual. Although some pieces of the puzzle have fixed places, such as sky, others require a lot of moving around until I find a pleasing and dynamic composition. This part often takes the longest, as I also have to consider how the pieces will be layered or overlapped. Once something is glued down it can’t be changed (although I can cover up something I don’t like.) I might tweak the shape of a particular piece at this point. I then glue down (with a glue stick) each piece in order. When the basic composition is in place, I might even wait overnight, examine it again and add final touches that pull the image together. Finally, when I know the glue has dried, I brush a matte medium over the entire image to even out reflections and to seal all the pieces.
I have two watercolor paintings up at the student show at the Lexington Arts and Crafts Society. The works are up through this weekend (February 14.) This one is called "Snow's Solace." I painted it in Paul George's watercolor class this fall.