Julien Dupré (French March 18, 1851- April 16, 1910), The Haymaker oil on canvas 38.1 × 45.7 cm (15 × 18 in). Wikimedia Paintings
BALTIMORE, MD– There are many art groups on Facebook that allow artists to post their artworks and also engage in critical discussions. One of the art groups that continues to generate so much attention is the International Figurative Art. The International Figurative Art is an art group for people with absolute devotion to excellence in their creative response to reality. According to the group administrators, International Figurative Art is “A group for people who love representational art from the past and the present that reveals the …artist’s excellence in studio technique and shares exciting imaginative responses to reality.”
If you love figurative art, this is the art group for you. It not only includes amazing artists as members, it also provides opportunity for art education. A closed art group administered by Florbela Rocha, Paulo Tanoeiro, Agostino Arrivabene, Rodrigo Costa, and Elisabete Almeida, members are encouraged to post paintings, drawings and sculptures that are not only well made but also extend the notion of art-making beyond the ordinary.
One of the very intriguing members of this art group is Lea Colie Wight. Born in Philadelphia, Pa in 1951, Colie Wight studied at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design where she graduated in 1974 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). One of the lead teachers at Studio Incamminati, an intensive Atelier founded in Philadelphia by renowned artist Nelson Shanks, Colie Wight’s drawings and paintings are beautiful, radiant and show deep understanding of color.
Luminosity and play on light make Colie Wight’s paintings distinct. Her unique color sensibility and compositional ability make her works endearing. In her Still Life, Interior and Exterior paintings, shadows converge with light in the most exciting way. Afternoon Light on the Porch, for instance, proves Colie Wight is a color master. In this painting, the artist captures two lanterns beside a blue flower pot. Although these are ordinary objects that can be easily overlooked, Colie Wight was able to breathe life into them with her amazing composition, use of light, and color.
Nate’s Room is another example of the painterly genius of this artist. The oil on linen 24 x 20 painting takes viewers into Nate’s Room. Although there is no one in the room, the percolating lights are there to guide our eyes from the doorway to the scarlet mat, the black chair and the windows with their saturated orange.
Just like her still life paintings, Colie Wight’s figurative paintings show her amazing understanding of light and color. In The Embrace, the artist explores contrasting colors to bring focus to a lone figure, who seem to be longing for her dearest. Also in Mother and Child, Lea Colie reveals the joy of a mother and her son. Holding her son in the fondest way, the mother gazes at the painter in a way that reveals affinity and family hood. From the skin tone to the boy’s red shirt which contrasts with the mother’s green coat, there is so much to see in this piece.
Gilles Paul Esnault is another member of this group. Based in France, Paul Esnault is an artist with great eyes for details. His paintings are based on everyday people and activities. In one of his figure paintings titled Jojo, the artist captures a man enjoying the summer sun. With a drink in his hand and a hat to prevent the sun rays from getting into his eyes, the man is evidently enjoying life. Esnault’s street scenes, however, have brought him great attention.
Paul Esnault is devoted to capturing details in his paintings and this is evident in “Goldman sharks,” a large painting which references one of the financial institutions blamed for the collapse of the United States economy in 2008. The artist describes the 162 x114cm oil on canvas painting thus: “Goldman sharks” or the insanity of the financial system of unbridled speculation: in the background, on the left, the sharks have already infested the bank – the ‘Goldman sharks’ – and the poor, insubstantial balloons floating towards the tower of glass and steel… the balloons of a little, six-year-old girl… will they have the strength to move Goliath?”
There are so many brilliant figurative painters in this Facebook group. Many of the paintings, drawings and sketches presented by members of the art group shows dexterity in the rendition of human form and brilliant studio practice. The exceptional artworks offered by members is not surprising. This is a group that adheres strictly to excellence in figurative drawing, painting and sculpture. Therefore, if you are not sure of yourself or artistic ability, this art group is not for you. As the group sternly notes “This is not a group for sharing students work or asking for likes and shares.” Besides creative ideas based on reality, excellent traditional studio technique is another hallmark of artworks allowed on this group’s page.
The International Figurative Art group is not just a place where artists post their works, but also a space to encourage others. It is also a place to share ideas about the challenges of making art of highly developed levels of skill.
Everyone is mandated to post artworks that are entirely their own, and not artworks that will infringe other people’s right. The International Figurative Art group also has rules that members must follow. Every artwork posted on this Facebook art group page must “show creativity and based on reality that show excellent traditional studio technique,” the group organizers notes. The group is also candid about who can join. “If you love abstract art, computer generated imagery and photography, this is not the place for you.” If you post art, in these genres, they “will be removed,” the group organizers note. More importantly, there is a strict warning about pornography. They are prohibited, and “If you’re not sure if it crosses the line, don’t post it!”
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