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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Al Torres is Presenter for MAG July 9th Meeting at the MAC

Al Torres

Al Torres is a classically trained representational artist from the New York Academy of Art. He studied under Bennet Vadnais and Andrew Reiss and was a studio assistant for Sharon Sprung at the Art Student's League of New York. He has shown in New York  galleries:  Queens Museum of Art and Katonah Museum of Art. He presently teaches art at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte and gives lessons at his studio.

Al Torres not only paints figures, still life and landscapes, but also multi-view paintings  These works present two related perspectives as one. Front view, of this type of work, shows both images as one. Moving to the right reveals one image and moving to the opposite direction reveals the second image. You can see examples and an explanation of these unique works at his web site:

The topic for his presentation on Tuesday night, July 9th, at 7 PM at the McDowell Arts Center, is Perspective for Artists. All MAG meeting are free and open to the public. You are welcome to come to the social time at 6:30 PM to meet and talk to Mr. Torres before the presentation.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Artists' Garage Sale

Let's fix this messy studio by getting rid of some stuff!

"This is the first ever 'clean out the studio' and recoup your losses yard sale!" according to Debbie Rasberry of the Piedmont Pastel Society. She has invited MAG and others to participate in this event for artists to buy and sell art items and meet each other in the process. It's a no-lose proposition. So plan on attending to sell or buy. 

Bring any art/photography supplies you are no longer using, or have never used and sell them to other artists. Easels, frames, frame supplies, any art/photography surfaces, paints, pastels, brushes, books and DVDs... bring it along and sell it.

Tables are provided, but artists are responsible for their own sales. Bring plenty of cash for change.

It is Saturday, July 20th, 10 AM to Noon, at the McDowell Art Center in the upstairs gallery at 123 McDowell Street, Matthews. The building is located next to the Matthews Community Center at 100 McDowell Street. Some gps gadgets have a hard time finding the art center.

In addition, any unwanted or unsold items can be donated to the Nash County Correctional Facility for a wonderful program that teaches interactive skills through art! They need supplies like pastels, pastel paper, watercolors, brushes, etc. Labeled boxes will be around for greatly appreciated donations.

Contact Nicki Shishakly at to reserve a table.

Afterwards, PPS will have Adele Goodman do an animal pastel portrait demo and give advice on how to survive a negative critique at 1 PM. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Leslie Hudson-Tolles: "Born Again Art Teacher"

Leslie shares tip of blending pastels with biodegradable
packing peanuts.

Leslie Hudson-Tolles teaches art because she really loves it. Her presentation for MAG at the McDowell Arts Center titled, "Fear Not", gave proof of it. It was no surprise to learn while in Connecticut, she taught art to Richard Schmid's children! We were very fortunate to have her as our teacher too last Tuesday night.

She opened her presentation with this statement, "Art is a journey, not a race." She encouraged all artists to avoid being labeled, to venture out and try all types of mediums and subjects. Leslie is known as a pastel equine artist. But she actually does all types of art: printmaking, sculpting, watercolor, and painting. And her pastel demo was not of a horse, but of a silhouetted sky scene. Her artistic journey is an example for us all.

An example of one of Leslie's prints

Leslie allowed for many questions and even 
allowed curious fingers to touch the wet pastels.

Here are some other helpful tidbits from Leslie:

Getting help through critiques are fine as long as they are not harsh. 

When out painting en plein air, put pastels in a deli tray filled with rice to keep them clean.

Add water to alcohol when blending the pastels and use crosshatch strokes.

She learned from Daniel Green to sharpen pastels with an x-acto knife.

While creating a scene, avoid predictable patterns. 

Your scene should also have an interesting path for the eyes of the viewer... a triangle... a "Z"... with a focal area, not just a focal point.

Don't use black. It makes the "great void."

Look for and be aware of negative spaces. Printmaking is good training for awareness of and making negative spaces.

When selecting someone to make your giclees, base it on whoever uses the latest and best equipment and also on whoever will work to get the best image. Evidence is found in the stack of rejects.

Curtis Sloops holds up one of Leslie's giclees as she 
explains the difficulty of making an image with white and brown.

Nancy Kennedy is arranging a workshop with Leslie at the McDowell Arts Center. More information about this will be posted on the blog as soon as a date is finalized. Don't miss it!

Thank you, Leslie, for a wonderful presentation!

Thanks to Cynthia Powers for all the photographs.

Friday, June 7, 2013

MAG Summer Show Exhibit at the MAC

It's summer! After fishing at the lake go and look at some MAG art at the 
McDowell Arts Center July-August

MAG artists are invited to present up to three works at the McDowell Arts Center for July and most of August. There is no theme... just let it be cool.

Take-in is Saturday, July 6th, from 10 AM to Noon at the McDowell Arts Center. There is no fee but please make sure your 2-dimensional works are wired. Sawtooths and clip hangers are not accepted. Take-down will be Saturday, August 24.

Also, at this show we will have pottery from some wonderful guest artists at Gaston. Should be a great exhibit!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Life Drawing Tonight and Every Wednesday Night

"Tom" by Jack

If you enjoy Life Drawing then bring your supplies to the Matthews Community Center on McDowell Street in historic downtown Matthews tonight, 6/5, a little earlier than starting time, 7 PM. The cost is very reasonable, no less than $4 and no more than $10, depends on how many attend to split the model fee. The only requirement is artists must be 18 or older to participate.

If you are able, offer to help with set up and take down and always thank Nancy Kennedy for scheduling the models and arranging everything.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Leslie Hudson-Tolles Presenter for MAG 6/11 Meeting

Leslie Hudson-Tolles with her husband

The June presenter at MAG's next meeting is Leslie Hudson-Tolles an artist known for her equine works in pencils and pastels. She also creates monoprints using etched zinc plates; and she paints and sculpts. Her works have made the cover of such magazines as: The Chronicle of the Horse, Visions, Equine Images, The Horseman's Yankee Pedlar and the California Riding Magazine. 

Even better, her artistic versatility goes below the surface. Her goal is stated on her web site: "Drawings, paintings, and prints that accurately portray the form, spirit and personality of the individual." Browse her wonderful gallery at

Come and meet and learn from Leslie! All MAG meetings are free and open to the public.

Date: Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Time: 7 PM (social time starts at 6:30 PM)
Place: Downstairs studio at the McDowell Arts Center (123 McDowell Street, Matthews, NC)