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Monday Life Drawing Presents: “Drawn to Life”

Monday Group “Drawn to Life” Exhibit
February 27–April 20, 2017
Opening reception: Thursday March 9, 6:30–8:30 pm

Marlboro Gallery at Prince George’s Community College
301 Largo Rd, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

Four days a week, The Art League provides open studio time for artists to draw and paint from live models. These monitored open studios are a way for artists of all levels to work using their own media in a quiet, focused environment.

Now, the group that gathers on Mondays is presenting their work in a new exhibit, on view through April 20 and with an opening reception March 9 (info above). The artists are: Jacqueline Saunders, Darnella Davis, Maria Valle-Riestra, Catherine Hess, Jessica Seley, Marjorie Forgues, Samuel Miller, William Thompson, Epp Meisner, Donna Cramer, and IURRO.

In Ted’s Class by Sam Miller

Why open life?

We asked the artists to share why they come to Open Life Drawing sessions. Here are some of their reasons:

Catherine Hess: “For me, it’s about painting from life- the challenge of capturing what you see directly in a way that engages you and hopefully those who see the work. This engagement with your subject is different than painting with a photo reference or from your head. This is true for me in doing en plein air landscapes, and especially in the winter when I don’t want to paint outside, painting from models gives me a similar and even greater challenge, as the human form, personality and mood require and sharpen my skills as an artist.”

Jacqueline Saunders: “I love to draw from the living model who generously shares his/her humanity with me…I emotionally connect with that person, recording my observations of form, movement, spirit with spontaneous line and washes of color or ink. It is a living interaction that makes the moment exciting and satisfying for me.”

by William Thompson

William Thompson: “The human figure and portrait are the most challenging subjects there are, but also the most inspiring. Drawing from a living, breathing model in real time focuses the artist’s attention in a way that copying a photograph never can.”

Maria (Tati) Valle-Riestra: “There is something universal, free of the cultural biases that clothes impose, that permits me to find  a physical, emotional and psychological state in the model that I try to capture in my art.”

by Donna Cramer

Donna Cramer: “The studio hums with energy. Before us is a model sharing their time, skill and interest in the process. Time is our enemy, as we get swept up in a mad race to quickly create images that reflect our abilities, and the model’s spirit, image, and personality.”

Epp Meisner: “I have always been fascinated by people, their personalities, and their body language. I enjoy the possibility and challenge of capturing all these elements quickly and spontaneously in my art work. This takes concentration, knowledge and life-long experience of working in any media and, above all, a good night’s sleep! Art has much in common with sport in this respect.”

Here is the group’s statement about the exhibit:

“The Monday Group is made up of visual artists with diverse backgrounds who gather to draw from life on most Mondays through the auspices of The Art League in Alexandria, Virginia. They are drawn to life by the urgent, energetic dialogue between a feeling, sentient human model and the artist.

Artist and Artists by Maria Valle-Riestra

During their all-too-brief sessions, they must problem-solve; identifying the focus of the dialogue and the aspects that illuminate the interaction. Is it a certain gesture, or the play of color, shadow, or light? As time is limited, the essence of the conversation must be captured rapidly or the creative moment is lost.

Just as each model is unique, in movement and form; each artist responds differently to the model’s personality and anatomical features. The challenge, whether graced with inspiration or beset with the constraint of time, is to stop, look, think, and interpret, in response to the fleeting moment.

Some of the drawings are interpreted in charcoal, ink, watercolor, pastel, oil, acrylic and sculpture, or, become part of larger, scenic works. The Monday Group members in this exhibit are: Donna Cramer, Darnella Davis, Marjorie Forgues, Catherine Hess, IURRO, Epp Meisner, Samuel Miller, Jacqueline Saunders, Jessica Seley, William Thompson, and Maria Valle-Riestra (Tati).”

Find the full schedule of Open-Life Drawing Sessions in our online catalog.

Morgen Dreaming by IURRO
Quiet Moments With Gazelle by Jacqueline Saunders
Red Head by Catherine Hess
Athlete by Jackie Saunders
Jiri by Darnella Davis
Shoshana by Epp Meisner

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Did you know: The Art League's Art Camp is the longest running visual arts camp in the area! We've been here for more than 30 years! While sadly we can't find any photos from the '80s (please let us know if you have any lying around), let's take a look back at the last several years of burgeoning kid artists and eight years of fun at Art Camp!

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