You’ve met Joe about two years ago. His work is stronger, bolder and more succinctly organized. Joe is a born story teller and his paintings convey depth, strength and sensitivity in theme and paint handling. His paintings are multi-layer. They engage the viewer into his/her own revelry and thoughts.
Joe’s work is classic, creating reflection and response in the viewer. Artwork is a dialogue between artist and audience. As one can see, his work is not didactic but allows the view entry and exploration in their experience.
Some paintings were almost monotone early on. Then one cold winter I started to counter with more vibrate color to force myself to have more light and positive emotion. Various forms of yellow I find calm in. When i re-purpose a painting that was drab I will add more colors probably from sun conscious.
The process of painting abstract or expressionist is like navigating on the high seas or out in space until some solid forms arrive. Maybe its trying to find clarity… I could call all my abstracts “A glimpse of sunshine trying to get through.”
The class setting is a positive energy. Everyone gets lost in there painting until the right shapes begin to make sense. Certain images from magazine or other random paintings strike an emotion I find needs to be combined to form a new image…its like falling in love with a beautiful person that you never see again but the image in your mind remains.
Connie is an old soul who was painting with pastels when we first met and her intuitive sense of balance, design and color was evident. We met at St. Peter’s Church, later to become Saint Peter’s community where we are encouraged to seek God and find God in ourselves and others. This is what we try to do in our Artists in Bloom Ministry/Community.
Connie learned our unique methodology for mixing hues and creating values for her first abstract painting. From there she studied the work the works of Monet and Renoir. With Connie’s love of nature and the ephemeral style she developed, it was clear that Georgia O’Keefe would offer Connie Inspiration and added guidance on her journey to develop an her own vocabulary and style. The paintings below will chart Connie’s course from beginner to professional.
Connie’s growth is steady and strong. Perhaps the most difficult idea for Connie and us all is trying to paint strength, conviction and light into a painting. It is counter-intuitive, but the darker the darks, the lighter the lights become. Chiaroscuro is the name of this method and Rembrandt is most often associated with Chiaroscuro.
Another challenge for artists is the willingness to keep with the journey of the painting when it isn’t what you wanted when you wanted it. As in life, painting is a process; there is struggle, there is resolution and there is joy. This process and cannot be rushed.
As an art mentor, we try to suggest a Master Artist whose work can light the path for each member in our community. If you want to be a heart surgeon you don’t simply start cutting into the heart, you study other Cardio surgeons anatomical techniques. After a few weeks, it usually clarifies which artist may be a mentor at this time on your journey. This holds true for seekers of God. At first we may use Our Book, then one may be interested in other theological writers Victor Frankel, then Jung, then Teilliard de Chardin and Rumi.
Connie’s paintings are not in Chronological order. We can see her progress from painting a reproduction of something to capturing it’s essence.
“This class (Artist in Bloom Ministry) has been a journey to artistic discovery and is why I named a painting THE AWAKENING. I had a skill that was dormant until the energy of this class and Ginny’s instruction brought it out..an artist needs a point of view that could be called a visual philosophy. This has evolved over the last few years bringing confidence in creating a final product.”Joe McCrystal
What His Fellow Artists Have to Say:
“Joe has a gift. He is able to create a story in each of his paintings. The shapes, the lines starts a process that eventually turns into a wonderful, colorful narrative. His colors create different moods. I’ve never appreciated abstract art until watching Joe paint. This talented man pores his heart and soul into a painting and I have observed shapes and lines becoming structures and stories. You have a God-given gift and you share your gift with each of us. Thank you” – Karen Kirk
“Joe’s paintings are both lively and stimulating. He has mastered the art of creating shapes with rhythm and harmony. Joe creates some of the most stunning representational art I have seen. I am always interested in seeing his next creation! -Theresa Weedon
“As a fellow student, I’ve seen an exceptional artist. I learned from his work and I credit Joe with being an artist that loves color; and, seeks out a diverse choice of subject matter. Joe is an excellent artist that could go it alone, but he is prepared for some of the “challenges” that Artist Virginia Cascarilla presents to him as he evolves into an exceptional artist.” -Eileen Vernon
“It’s a privilege and an inspiration to my own artistic challenges, to observe the wonderful maturation and refinement in your painting. Your pieces truly reflect not only your talent, but your deep appreciation for this opportunity for self growth. I look forward to many more beautiful pieces with your signature!” -Jane
“Joe has never failed to amaze me. His ability to combine color and texture with movement, inviting the viewer to thoroughly enjoy each piece. His work is unique which is Virginia’s goal for us, to find our style and excel.” Debbie O’Leary