High Contrast

Nancy Hillis gives an excellent talk on contrast this week in the program “Studio Journey.” She speaks of the visual excitement generated by contrast of color: light and dark, warm and cool, and the play of complementary colors, colors that exist on opposite sides of the color wheel. She demonstrates these contrasts within her own paintings. She also examines contrast of smooth and rough texture of paint application, opaque and transparent paint applications and soft washes vs. bold brush work.

I love the teaching bundles in her program “Studio Journey.” She brings knowledge of science, art, mythology, psychology and physics together into easily understood food for though and exploration. A truly enlightening journey.

Nancy Hillis is an abstract painter, currently working in her art studio on medium to large abstract paintings. At the beginning of her program “Studio Journey” she says:

“Welcome to Studio Journey. I’m delighted that you’re here! As a fellow Journeyer, I want to guide and inspire on your journey. My mission is to encourage you to cultivate a robust studio practice, explore and experiment in your art and ultimately create your deepest, most authentic and personal work.

I see our work as artists as being a never ending journey of listening to and answering the call within ourselves to step into the wonder and the mystery of our art and our life. Just as in life, we’re continually coming back full circle to the foundations, the beginning of our journey. We do this over and over again and each time, we see the beginning with new eyes informed by our experiences.”

The Studio Journey has inspired many painters from all over the world who find her teachings enlivening and fulfilling. The challenges are exhilarating and a personal learning experience for all in this on line painting extravaganza.

Creations I have made on this Studio Journey, by Janis Kirstein:

Collector’s Choice: Marlene Burns


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Marlene offers an exciting, expressive, experimental and exceptional body of work. She doesn’t like to categorize herself, but like those of the abstract expressionist movement, she plays with color, edgy design and mixed media to produce art that befits the process. Her newest series of hybrid images, abstract photography and paintings combined, is the most exciting series of her career.

She lives and works in Tucson, Arizona where she specializes in clients and interior designers who need custom artwork for luxury homes. Her work has been exhibited from California to New York, most notably in Santa Fe.

Marlene Burns is a double degreed professional artist, with both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Cincinnati, School of Design, Architecture and Art.



Click on thumbnails to enlarge.


Marlene Burns’ Work

Marlene’s work carries the abstract toughness of the urban streets, and demonstrates the artist’s eye for dynamic composition and movement. Bold shapes intersect each image, leading the eye in many directions. Straight edge cuts across the image next to circular patterned areas, presenting a kind of visual dialogue, a partnership of contrast.

Written by Janis Kirstein

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