For the past several months I have been following along with Margret E Short's progress through her blog, Lessons from the Low Country. She has been an inspiration to me, with her willingness to take risks, be proactive, and to create this beautiful body of work. Here is a copy of her press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW PAINTINGS BY MARGRET E. SHORT
REMBRANDT'S BLING REVEALED IN AN AMUSING GAME OF SEEK-AND-FIND
|Portland, Oregon, May 20,
the last year, Portland artist Margret E. Short has been eating with, laboring
side-by-side, and dreaming about Rembrandt and other Dutch masters. In
particular, she has been studying the historic pigments they used and
introducing them into her work. If she were any closer to her inspirations,
people would start whispering. However, that probably would not deflect her
Short's splendid series of still-life paintings, "Margret E. Short: Lessons from the Low Countries," opens at Portland's Lawrence Gallery on June 1 and runs through June 30. Each work is inspired by the color palette of a select painting in the exhibit "Rembrandt and the Golden Age of Dutch Art," which opens one day later at the Portland Art Museum. Reproductions of the Dutch inspiration paintings will be exhibited alongside Short's finished works, which are finished with detailed of Dutch period reproduction frames. Viewers will enjoy participating in the artist's visual amusements. Not only are the colors reproduced, Short has also quoted, quite accurately, sections of each original work in each homage. It's a game of seek-and-find.
Not content with contemporary colors, Short replicated the 17th-century pigments of the inspiration paintings for this collection by hand-grinding each mineral. Her blog, margretshort.typepad.com, has documented the meticulous study of the ancient hues. Luscious colors with magical names like lapis lazuli, cinnabar, and azurite are the focus of each bountiful still life. Delighted with her discoveries, Short says, "There is no comparison to the handling qualities of the modern pigments. Everything about the handmade historic pigments is different from the modern: particle size, thickness, consistency, color, saturation, and on and on."
Throughout the creation of the paintings, Short's exhaustive research led to unexpected findings. Among her favorites is the word "pronk," which she associates with today's "bling." While it isn't often featured in contemporary painting, bling was abundant in The Netherlands of the 17th Century. It was a prosperous society and the center of world trade. Diamond cutting, book publishing, textile manufacturing, shipbuilding, fishing, and banking were among a growing number of trades that flourished. The Dutch merchants bartered their goods for imported spices, paper, silk, wine, olive oil and countless other items that enriched their burgeoning economy. There was plenty of bling to go around!
With expanded patronage, art flourished in this environment. Artists flaunted their abilities to capture reflective precious metals, sparkling jewels, and luscious flora. Short, who is well known for her attention to delicate lace, has done the same thing in the 21st Century. Each canvas is saturated with enough bling to make Short a legitimate heir to a longstanding tradition.
Margret Short has exhibited her work throughout the United States and beyond, including the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, Montana; the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma; and the Weatherburn Gallery in Naples, Florida. She is the recipient of two coveted Salmagundi Club Awards, the Grumbacher Gold Medallion, and many other national honors. She is also a Signature member of the Oil Painters of America, American Women Artists, and the Copley Society.
An opening reception for "Margret E. Short: Lessons from the Low Countries" will be held during First Thursday Gallery Walk night on Thursday, June 7 from 6 to 9 p.m.
The Lawrence Gallery is located at 903 W. Davis Street in Portland, Oregon. It is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. More information is available at www.lawrencegallery.net or by calling 503-228-1776.
For more information, please contact Margret E. Short at 503-652-2749 or firstname.lastname@example.org.