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Ms. Skeen selected an oil painting, Reclining Nude by Terence Kelly of Manchester, UK to launch the month. Ms. Skeen said, "The woman in this painting has a languid, slightly flushed appearance, just what may happen in a romantic encounter in August. Sensuous and subtly erotic." She selected a wood sculpture, Crouching Man by Larry Scaturro from Brooklyn, NY. "I like the way this polished and well-formed figure fills the space and threatens to break through it when it stands up." Ms. Skeen chose a mixed media color pencil drawing, Pat on the Sofa, by Buffalo, NY artist, by Paul Rybarczyk. There is an exciting contrast between the energy of the strokes and the relaxation of the pose. Masterful." About another study in contrasts, an oil, The Reader, by Neal Smithwillow of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Ms. Skeen said, "Contrasts in painting add drama. Here is a strong value contrast, the play of background diagonals against the diagonals of legs, thighs and back. This painting is fully representational, but has an abstract, stylized feel. Also, there seems to be something innocent and pristine about this pose of casual sunbathing." Rounding out the Curators' Choice nominees for August is a charcoal/carbon drawing, French 3 by Sara Swan of Los Angeles, CA. About Swans' work, Ms. Skeen said simply, "Solid, uncompromising."
I really enjoy looking at the art each month and I feel I've learned a lot from the curators over the years. Curators have widely varying art aesthetics and approaches, but each of them, without exception, always looks for three fundamentals when selecting art: skill, importance and emotion. The skill could be in composition, the depiction of a dramatic moment, painterly strokes, rendering, or an ingenious design. The importance could relate to the representational subject. It could be a new or unusual way of focusing on the subject. Emotion, of course, answers the question what moves us in art? It could be any emotion or even a display of restraint when overt emotion would be expected. I also did my best to relate how each Curators' Choice nominee struck me as far as one or more of these factors.
Thirty of these artworks are brand new to the Barebrush calendars, with one repeater, French 3 by Sara Swan which appeared in the December 2012 calendar as well.