Plainfield, NJ, September 23, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- Swain Galleries in Plainfield NJ, invites viewers to step out of "human reality" for a moment and to take in the magnificent realm of the animal kingdom on Saturday, September 24th. At this rare and unusual dual Pastel Art Demonstration titled, "Feathers and Fur," both Leslie and Karen will speak about their individual forays into the magnificent arena of forest and wildlife, and each will share their individual pastel techniques in capturing the essence of a variety of species that many of us have only briefly glimpsed at a zoo.
In this rare collaborative presentation, through elegantly detailed and stunningly rich layers of pastel, the animal subjects on display promise to pierce the deepest regions of our minds. Prompting us with sweeping strokes of color, each piece beckons us to open our hearts a bit wider, so that we as a collective, will more deeply consider the plight that certain endangered species face. While each artist has focused on different animal types and they employ different pastel techniques, the mission and focus is the same; to touch human consciousness in a way that sparks a significant change in the way we perceive and behave toward Earth’s other species.
In viewing Leslie’s exquisite rendering of the Margay for instance, (one of America’s endangered wild cats), one can simply and intuitively feel an innate connectedness that words cannot easily describe. Whether it’s in the glint of the eye of her subjects or in the starkness of the spot-like striping embedded in the white fur of a wild tiger, the richness of her pastel work brings the 2D form to an uncanny three dimensional "aliveness." It is as if the spirit of the animal emits though the paper to speak in a silent language that only the heart understands.
When asked why she chose the Margay and similar other wild cats to focus on, Leslie’s voice became instantly animated. “They’re just so beautiful and I wanted to bring attention to the endangered species of the America’s. People tend to think that endangered animals are always on the other side of the world and this distances us from the wild species living right here under our noses. Here in America, there are several endangered species such as the Margay, but not very many people are even aware that they exist!”
Similar to Leslie’s lifelong dedication for the endangered species, Karen McCormack has focused more on the woodland and domestic species of her local area. Raised in Dutchess County, NY, Karen exhibited a great interest in art and animals at a very young age. Karen, like Leslie, studied at the duCret School of Art in Plainfield, NJ and spent much of her early adulthood either studying art, drawing or helping wounded or abandoned animals. During her time of study, she served as a volunteer at the local humane society and it was there where she found her ultimate passion in life; to help the animals in any way that she could.
In 1994, she became a veterinary assistant and currently works at Hopewell Animal Hospital close to where she now lives. Through her work with animals, an interesting and new level of assisting them came about a few years ago, and evolved as she spent time grooming the dogs and cats. She discovered that when she ran her hands through their coats and worked to relax them, she could intuit things about their bodies and she began to hear them telepathically. At first she questioned it but after sharing her discoveries with friends, slowly and by word of mouth, people began bringing their ailing pets to her. Three years ago she set up shop as an animal communicator and now splits her time between drawing animals or hearing and endeavoring to help heal them.
Karen’s artwork reflects her immediate surroundings. Her home has always been a haven for animals, wild as well as domestic. "My husband finally had to become the animal regulator of the household, otherwise, our property would resemble a zoo, if it were up to me," she surrendered when interviewed. Karen’s animal subjects reflect the forest animals of her area and whether it’s a red tailed hawk, a painted turtle or a black swan, each piece reflects her deep connection with them on a spirit level. She uses sanded paper which holds more tooth and uses sticks, pencils and hard pastels. "Whereas Leslie uses pastel pencils and is quite detailed in her work, my style is a bit looser," she described.
Together, these two artists have managed to cover quite a bit of territory in the animal kingdom. United in mission and in their passion, their enthusiasm and deep knowledge of the wild species they’ve come to know and love is infectious and inspiring. Viewers are invited to query them on not only their art, but on their past experiences with the wild species as well.
"Feathers and Fur," Pastel Demonstration & Conversations with the Artists is on Saturday, September 24, 1 - 3pm
For more information contact:
Swain Galleries at 908-756-1707 or visit Swaingalleries.com. Swain Galleries is located at 703 Watching Ave, Plainfield, NJ 07060