Koh Sang Woo is a South Korean photographer and painted who moved to the United States in 1994 and now works in New York City. His solo exhibitions have gone all over the world, from Chicago to Hong Kong, and is frequently featured at the Armory show in New York. In order to get the intense color effect that identifies his work, he paints directly on the bodies on his portrait subjects and then reverses the photograph image in post-production so that everything is distorted. The effect is, as one critic puts it, “a kind of release and defiance, beautifully rendered.” Koh believes primarily in challenging the fundamental ideas of beauty so that they are all-encompassing and deeply emotional, and this desire the break convention is why we think he perfectly represents what the community at Love and Water should be!
As a teacher at the Colorado Institute of Art, Colorado Christian University, and The Art Students League of Denver, Doug Dawson has advocated the En Plein Air, or “in the open air” style of art, which involves painting outside. His work has been featured in scores of magazines, museum exhibits, and books and societies that deal with the pastel medium. We think he would be a great addition to the Love and Water community because he is committed to teaching his skills to a new generation of painters and artists!
This piece, entitled “Caught Dreaming,” could be paired with The Lamp, an organization that teaches youths to reform and improve the media.
Laurel Terlesky is a visual artist who lives in British Columbia, Canada, where she got her BFA at the University of Victoria in 1999. She specializes in abstract designs of the human form and kinetic movement by challenging the viewer’s special awareness, and is extremely interested in themes of electricity and power, human spirituality, and sustainable energy. Her work has been featured in galleries across Vancouver, British Columbia, and the Northwest United States, and she also spent a month in Barcelona as part of an international art residency. We think that she would be a great addition to the Love and Water community because her work is not only gorgeous but inspired by ways to uplift the human spirit.
This image is entitled “Snowflake” and could be matched with 3for5.org, an organization devoted to supplying clean water to 20 million people in underdeveloped nations.
I was interested in depicting a nest and other objects from nature. The original idea was to print these objects as one grouping, and then cut and collage the different elements into other work. But I ended up liking it as a whole, so I stuck with that. I tend to create images that I have grander plans for, which simply end up as a grouping or sequential composition.
This piece is based on a song of the same name by Alasdair Roberts, about a man who witnesses a woman turning into a goose. I like the strange, folktale-ish quality of the imagery. I came up with this piece to include in a charity exhibit where all the art is to be hung in record bags, and artwork must be based on a piece of music. I love to create artwork based on poetry and stories, and I plan to keep going in this narrative vein. I’d love to create an illustrated book soon, be it a children’s book, a fable, or a chapbook of poetry. I’m sure I will get to all three in due time.
I love working in black and white for its graphic simplicity. This poster was created for One Kind Word, a project that invites people to submit art and writing based on words of kindness. You can find out more about the project here: http://onekindwordproject.org
I love to write and illustrate little books. It’s actually been over a year since I did my last one, but life has been very busy lately! I don’t know when I’ll get time to make another, but I am constantly gathering material and ideas for new books.
I created a series of paintings of fruits and veggies for my favorite cafe in Richmond, VA – Harrison Street Coffee Shop. It was an interesting process to scout out beautiful veg and then have to draw it soon enough so that it didn’t get wilty or saggy! I love drawing food and vegetables.
Another piece I donated to an auction benefiting the Richmond Young Writers Program.
I enjoy working with monotype, which is a form of printmaking that produces one-of-a-kind prints. There are many different ways you can create texture and interesting compositions. I created a series of monotypes for an art show, and I really focused on color for this one.
Eric C. Lu has very little to say about his work, and that’s actually fine with me. Upon first glance I noticed that he has incredible technique and he has honed his craft to be able to let what is moving him take over. He’s colorful, creative and not in the least afraid to be messy. This last part is what seals the deal for me in saying that his work is masterful. Because in order to be messy, you first have to be one hell of a good craftsman, at least in my opinion. Here is what he had to say:
Mercedes Laguna’s work is colorful, uplifting, deep, political and fraught with deep-rooted political and interpersonal issues. In other words, SPLENDID! It has been so long since I have seen work that is so deeply rooted in both exquisite technique and emotional expression. If you’ve never been to Mexico you can see it, taste it, smell it in “Ciudad Juarez.” Her work is an absolute celebration of the dichotomy that is life. Here is what she had to say about some of her pieces:
Rebecca Lally is an extraordinary film editor, director and animator, and LOVES her work. She works for some big networks like Showtime, Nickelodeon and CBS, to name a few, and has several amazingly cool projects of her own in the works. But underneath her talent as an editor lies her passion for painting, a medium which she recently hooked back into in order to recharge the artistic authenticity that ultimately defines and characterizes all of her work. This not only makes her desirable to work with on an artistic level, but explains why, when you meet her, you feel like you have permission to let your artistic soul spring to life!
Love and Water- Can you talk about how you came to start painting again after many years?
Rebecca Lally- I have a background in painting, having studied it in high school and college, and actually had an amazing experience with delving back into it last May when I decided to take a two week painting course in Italy. I really wanted to challenge myself to push my technique to a new level because I realized I was painting the same way I had been for years. The reason I hadn’t explored other ways of expanding my craft was simply because I hadn’t been doing it for such a long time. I had never done landscape painting before, but I wanted to try it and figured if I was going to start it might as well be in Italy. I signed up for a course in this little town called Montecastello, which means ‘little castle.’ It was on top of a mountain and the art school is in a converted convent. I would take a class in the morning, then go outside and paint, then have lunch made by a local Italian cook, and drink wine and paint some more, and then have a siesta at 4:00 and then dinner at 7:00. At night the school invited artists from Canada and America show us slide shows of their work. It was an incredibly inspiring time where I reconnected to my art. I’ve now decided that I’m going to start a painting project where I do a painting every week for a year, until I go back to Italy again next May. They’re all going to be done with palette knives, which helps to loosen me up as a painter. I set up a blog called ‘A Painting A Week,” where I will post each painting and talk about each one. It’s a bit of a large undertaking, but I think I can do it every week as long as I work two hours a day, twice a week. Each painting will be of different landscapes in New York City. I’m really looking forward to starting it.
L&W- Where did you get your training as an editor?
RL- I was interested more in directing at first, but when I got to film school editing was definitely an appealing medium for me. Basically I went to film school before any digital editing was mainstream. So I learned to cut film with a razor blade and tape. When I left school, I did some acting and photo assisting jobs, and it was around the time that Final Cut was exploding. So I decided I needed to get a job that would help teach me how to use it. I had a friend who worked at Showtime Networks, and got me an interview. I ended up getting a job as a post-production coordinator. It basically consisted of being in charge of booking the Avid room for editors, which is an older editing system. I became friends with the editors and they let me come in after hours and on the weekends to work on my own short films. I had help from the editors was I went along. I finally got hired as a staff editor, which wasn’t very complex editing but I definitely got better as a result. After a year of doing that I began to freelance, and I’ve been doing that ever since. I freelance right now for Showtime, CBS, Nickelodeon, TLC, Smithsonian Channel HD, and Fuse.
L&W- What do you like about editing?
RL- I tend to work with a lot of creative, cool people, for one, which is a huge part of what I like about the editing world I work in. As for the work itself, I really like cutting visual images to music. When I work on promos I can cut images to the music they give me and create something really beautiful. What really strikes me about the power of editing is the ability to make the audience really feel what is happening or what is being represented on screen. When I was a kid I saw ‘The Color Purple,’ and I remember this scene where Whoopi Goldberg is shaving Danny Glover and you think she’s going to kill him. The scene is intercut with her children in Africa having a ritual of a kind of blood-letting, and we go back and forth between the two. I remember thinking at such a young age that it was one of the most brilliant choices in editing that I had ever seen because it was so effective. It enhanced the power of the emotion of the scene so beautifully. So I see editing as a way of bringing new life to scenes and images that are already powerful on their own by figuring out the most effective way to put them together. I experiment a lot with this when I do projects with Dora Mae Productions, the production company I have with my mother, playwright Debbie Jones and my two sisters, Samantha Jones and Jeannine Lally. When we collaborate on a project such as the feature film “The Last Christmas Party” we shot last year, it gives me a great opportunity to follow through with my vision from start to finish.
L&W- How does that effect or complement your work as a painter?
RL- I’m so visually driven and caught up in creating frames. Editing has forced me to really look at what is happening in the composition of my paintings. When I’m editing and playing around with images there are so many times I will freeze on a frame that is so compelling that it moves me, and often it’s a frame within a rather mundane series of footage. I try choose the subjects of my paintings in the same way- I wait for a landscape to move me rather than choose something I think will make a pretty picture. It has freed me up to paint from a more emotional place instead of an intellectual one.
L&W- Where do you see your working heading?
RL- I have a couple of animation projects that I want to work on, which combine my love of drawing, editing and film. I have a film project that I want to work on as well. I want to shoot, draw and animate a project in the next year, because I’m very visually-oriented right now. I will make a foray back into directing at some point, but right now I want to focus on the projects that have strong visual elements to them. When I was in film school I was thinking that when I graduated I would go out and figure out how to become the next Steven Spielberg. But I didn’t do that, and it occurred to me recently that if I really wanted that I would be doing it. So I’ve begun to get really specific about what it is I do want to pursue artistically. I think it’s really important to not let my art work and ideas float around, but to have specific goals for them so that I can work at fulfilling them. That has given me more of a distinct purpose as an artist and has made me really excited about my work.
L&W- What is the most moving moment you’ve had so far with your art?
RL- When I was in Italy we went on trips over each weekend. I had studied so much art history, and when we were in Florence we went to this museum and I lost my group almost immediately. So I went off on my own and began exploring. When my sister Jeannine and I were in high school we had this great art history class where we studied a female Renaissance painter named Artemisia Gentileschi. She’s a very interesting figure in history and a remarkable painter. She has done very dramatic light and dark works. She did a couple of treatments of Judith beheading Holofernes. Many Renaissance painters did paintings of this scenario, but most of them depicted Judith looking very demure. Gentilileschi painted a much more dramatic version that I had studied in this class, but never knew where the actual painting was in the world. I turned a corner in this museum, and it was there. It was just huge, and so much more powerful than I had imagined. What is so striking about it is that Judith’s face is calculating, because she is doing what she has to do to save her people. It is beautifully painted, and beautifully lit, and when I came across it was like a tremendous gift. I felt very connected to the painting and to my own work in that moment, as if I was doing what I should be doing with my art. It was very moving and very inspiring.
L&W- When is your birthday?
RL- February 1- I share it with my twin sister, Jeannine, and we always go to terrible movies all day. We used to sneak in, but when we got older I got caught once, so we then decided that we would just pay for all the movies we go to. It’s really fun. At night we go out with our mom and other sister Sam for BBQ. It’s usually a great day.
L&W- Is there anything else you’d like people to know about your work as an artist?
RL- I think what I’ve figured out is that after being in promos and advertising is that I had to make a lot of compromises with my art. That is good and bad, for many reasons, and there ar e parts of that process that I enjoy. But one part of that process that wasn’t as good for me was that it kept me in a safe-zone. I didn’t branch out a lot or take many risks because I was trying to achieve what the overall goal was. I’ve had some jobs recently that have allowed me to break out of that habit. I’m working right now with Steven Sebring, who directed “Dream of Life,” which is the movie abotu Patti Smith that premiered at Sundance a couple of years ago. He shoots a lot of fashion and has been working on some campaigns. In the project I’m working on with him he asked me to be creative, to go for what I thought would work and take some risks, and then we could look at it and see how it fits with what the overall goal is. It ended up being a great collaboration between us and the client was so excited, and it was still a commercial product. It was an interesting lesson to me that I don’t always have to play it safe when I’m working for someone else artistically. My advice to other artists working in a similar medium is, when in doubt, keep connecting emotionally to the piece and trust the direction it takes you, regardless of how off the path it may seem.