Carmel artists want viewers to be wowed by their colors
By Chris Bavender
Three distinct styles and three different experiences – that’s what you’ll find through Aug. 2 at the Eye on Art and French Bleu galleries in downtown Carmel as they host the Engage-Color in the Abstract exhibition.
The exhibit features the work of three area women – Wendy Franklin, J.D. Naraine and April Willy.
“We were trying to figure out a way to draw in the viewer – we all do colorful work and all are a little bit different but the thing that holds us together is color,” Franklin said. “All three of us are also very hands on, down to earth types of artists which sometimes is not always the case. We like to be in our studios and out of them as well.”
Franklin said the trio’s number one priority with the exhibit was to make art “approachable.”
“We want to take some of the mystery out of it,” she said. “We are there on site to talk about it and explain it some more.”
Willy said she likes to refer to her work as Modern Impressionism.
“My landscapes are stylized in such a way that color is the subject matter – not what I am rendering,” she said. “I use layer upon layer of transparent oils in the shape of circles and ringlets to give my art a luminescent quality.”
Her goal? Evoke a feeling of tranquility.
“And also surprise when the viewer may not immediately discern that the image evolves from landscape,” she said.
For Naraine – who works primarily in oils – her work is an expression of herself.
“It fulfills a need to create and communicate feeling, color and emotion in a two dimensional endeavor,” she said. “I love color and shape and visually they make me happy. I hope that when my art is viewed it evokes a similar feeling in the viewer. A sense of ‘rightness’ of shape and color make a successful painting for me.”
And, when it comes to art, Franklin said it doesn’t need to be universally understood.
“If you love it, that’s enough. My work isn’t meant to send a grand message, cure the world’s ills, or address the problems in society. It is simply to bring color and texture and form together in a way that makes people happy,” she said. “I want people to look at my pieces, fall in love and not know why.”
Eye On Art Gallery
111 W. Main St., Suite 150
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
French Bleu Fine Art Gallery
111 W. Main St., Suite 145
Hours: Wednesday through Saturday – noon to 6 p.m.