What Happens When You Mix Oil and Water?
Upcoming Art Exhibit Features Kate O’Donnell (oils) and Anne Marie Trapp (watercolor)
Two local artists will be presenting a joint art exhibition at the Karen Wray Gallery. Kate O’Donnell has a series of plein airlandscapes of the Jemez Mountains and paintings from her garden. Anne Marie Trapp has a series of unique watercolors. The community is invited to an opening reception on Thursday, October 18, 2018 fom 5-7pm.
Bringing the Outside In
For O’Donnell, the beauty of gardening is bringing the outside in.
“I’m always bringing in flowers, grasses and leaves,” said O’Donnell,“It makes me feel in touch with the seasons.”
Just this weekend she knew it was about to freeze, and so her Bathtub Row home is absolutely filled with vases of colorful flowers and autumn leaves from the ski hill.
This lifelong habit of brightening her home with her own bouquets naturally led to her painting the flowers. She said, “Every day I just go out there and paint what catches my eye.”
Nourishing Her Creative Side
Most artists have (at one point or another) put their work on the back burner of life because they don’t “feel creative enough.”
Preparing for this exhibit has given O’Donnell the opportunity to overcome that simply by setting an ambitious goal and realizing that she can do it.
“I appreciated the opportunity to have a deadline,” said O’Donnell. “I had to prioritize my artistic life, and make sure I had time to do the work. It’s so easy to let other things get in the way.”
“This house is good for creativity,” she added. “I feel like I’m in a rural environment even though it’s in downtown Los Alamos. She is surrounded by museums and humongous old growth trees. You can hear the wind in the pines. The gardens spur my creativity. One flower blooms next to another and it gives me an idea.”
Generations of Green Thumbs
O’Donnell’s earliest memories of gardening are with her grandfather.“ He lived in Pecos Canyon and had a big garden. He would feed me turnips and carrots right out of the dirt. He had a pocket knife and would use it to shave the veggies and hand them to me.”
Now her granddaughter visits her garden and picks flowers, fruits and vegetables. “I teach her which flowers she can pick and which ones she can’t. What she can eat and what she can’t. You have to be careful. We eat out of the garden all the time.”
During the exhibition you can see the fruits and vegetables that she painted, like chilis, grapes and peaches.
She said, “Gardening is important to me because it gives me a sense of hope for the future. When you plant you are being optimistic and hopeful for the future and the beauty that it will bring into your life.”
O’Donnell’s Oil Paintings Will be Side By Side with Anne Marie Trapp’s Water Colors
Anne Marie Trapp has lived in New Mexico for 15 years and just recently moved to Los Alamos. She said, “Like many artists, I was drawn to the desert landscape and the brilliant light.”
Trapp grew up on the east coast, in eastern PA about an hour away from Philly, and went to Catholic school.
Trapp has always been drawing and painting. “My passion for art started when I was around 5 or 6,” she said. “I drew people's faces on index cards. Others recognized who the person was on the index card. I did a lot of them and took them with me when our family went visiting relatives.”
She lived in California for 13 years. When she moved to New Mexico in 2003, she was able to devote more time to painting.
Most of her training was through workshops, which were very intense. She said, “I was lucky to learn from some great artists and they all had something different to offer. I still attend whenever possible, and I'm still learning thanks to the internet, where there's lots of well-known artists with video tutorials.”
Her love of photography and abandoned places goes hand-in-hand with her painting. She said, “Many times I'll take a photograph of a great find, and ask, "should I paint it?". Sometimes I just keep the photograph but if I think I can do it justice, then I'll try to recreate the scene in a watercolor. I do like to paint plein-air and go out as often as possible with my gear!”
Until 2017, she worked in several art galleries in Santa Fe. She said, “Working in the galleries exposed me to all kinds of art. I got to look at art every day and was constantly inspired.”
Although I've painted with oil and pastel, my favorite is watercolor. I love the "unexpected" things that happen with watercolor, and the unexpected happens a lot.
“Karen has a fantastic gallery and I'm thrilled to be one of the artists in this show,” said Trapp.
This exhibition will be open from October 18 to November 10, 2018. Please join the artists for a reception on Thursday, October 18 fom 5-7pm at 1247 Central Ave, Suite D-2, Los Alamos. For more information, call (505) 660-6382 or visit www.karenwrayfineart.com.