Brenda McDaniel, March Featured Artist

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Brenda McDaniel’s Featured Artist Show is titled “Looking Up” and consists of large oil paintings of skyscapes. The artist says, “When the world crowds in on me, and I grow weary of dealing with everyday problems, I go outside and look up. It puts everything in proportion and refreshes my view of life. Sometimes we are so focused on what is right in front of us we forget the big picture.”

A native of Mer Rouge, LA who traveled over much of the world complements of a military husband, Brenda gained knowledge that is reflected in her wide range of interest and subjects. Besides independent studies, private lessons and attending several universities around the country she considers herself primarily a self-taught artist. Before deciding to paint full time she was a commercial artist employed in the advertising field where she received numerous local and national awards. Brenda has commissions of homes, portraits of people and pets, landscapes and still lifes hanging in private and corporate collections in the U.S.A., Europe, and The United Kingdom.

Brenda helped organize and open the Ouachita River Art Gallery, which is now the oldest, and possibly largest, co-op art gallery in the state. The gallery is open to the public free of charge Tuesday through Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM. A large and varied membership offers paintings in all media, jewelry, photos, wood works and pottery. Purchases of original art are tax free.

Doug Breckenridge, Featured Artist February 2015

DougB1 Afternoon on the East Bank of the Ouachita River

Doug says, “There exists in everyone’s life those brief moments that lift one up out of  life’s daily routines and allow one to exist for time, on a different plane.  It is these very moments that if left undocumented, would drift ever so quickly back into the continuous stream of everyday existence.  For the artist, to capture such a moment and document it through an expression of art is sheer enjoyment.  To portray such a moment with a degree of skill that affords others a glimpse into an otherwise private experience is priceless.” 

…….a Father and Son moment, each posed against a Bierstadt landscape of canyons and waterfalls with the ghostly mist of the river rising just beyond their reach.
…….a fall morning of fly fishing the Firehole with illusions of distant geysers dancing on the horizon, obscured now and then by falling snow and subtle shifts in the wind; and then – the bombastic strike of a rainbow at the end of the line!
…….the last rays of sunlight casting images of afternoon subtleties along the banks of the Ouachita, revealing forms illuminated in brilliant hues of yellows and oranges, pronounced against a grey blue sky.
…….those long ago Sunday afternoon strolls along a California beach, watching people watching sea lions stretched out on the warm sands – dreaming sea lion dreams.

These are the artist’s special moments and through artistic expression, you are invited to share these experiences and step temporally out of the stream of everyday life for only a brief moment.
Doug Breckenridge originally began to paint in the mid-70s; however, marriage, children and a career, required that this activity be put on hold.  It wasn’t until after the many years of ball park nights – clandestinely sipping frozen margaritas from ball park cups – that he was able once again to take up this passion.  His paintings spring not from the aspect of pure design, but from an aspect of displaying those moments that meant so much to him, both visually and emotionally……and if he could again envision those now distant ball parks nights, he would also paint them and dream margarita dreams.

The gallery will also be open until 9pm on Thursday, February 5 for the Art Gallery Crawl. Stop by and meet Doug in person.

The River Gallery is located at 308 Trenton Street in the heart of Antique Alley in West Monroe, LA.  Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00-5:00.  The gallery is in a tax-free art zone, so all original art work is tax-free.  Come visit “the best-kept secret” in town and add some local, original art work to your collection. Phone: 318-323-2380.
Web site:  http://www.ouachitariverartgallery.com

 

 

Carol Smith, January 2015 Featured Artist

Carol_SummerHummers1  Summer Hummers (oil on canvas)

“All Creatures Great and Small” is the theme of January’s featured artist display at The River Gallery.  In 1975 there was a film adaptation of a British book series by James Herriot using that title.  The artist, Carol Culpepper Smith, gives credit to Herriot for the title of her show. She acknowledges, however, that the show has nothing to do with veterinarians as in the film, but everything to do with “critters”.  She says preparation for this show came over many months and was great fun in and of itself.  She took photographs of each of the animals she painted—hiking in the wild, visiting farms and observing animals in any other arena she could find them.  Most of the oil paintings have a story behind them, making the depictions even more interesting. This is a departure from the artist’s usual subject matter of flowers and landscape, thus challenging her skill to represent her “creatures” appropriately.  Smith’s only regret is that she ran out of painting time before she ran out of subjects!  She laughingly suggests, “Maybe there is a sequel to this show!”

The River Gallery is located at 308 Trenton Street in the heart of Antique Alley in West Monroe.  Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00-5:00.  The gallery is in a tax-free art zone, so all original art work is tax-free.  Come visit “the best-kept secret” in town and add some local, original art work to your collection.

December in the River Gallery

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Holiday Variety is the theme at The River Gallery during December. This artist-run gallery hosts 25 artists working in all media from paintings to woodturning, pottery, jewelry, glass art, and photography. In addition to the exquisite offerings of fine art, the gallery will be featuring gift items for December. This includes smaller art, handcrafted wine stoppers, jewelry, unique ornaments, and notecards. Sales of the original works are tax exempt under the Louisiana Cultural District, so visitors not only support local artists but also save sales taxes when shopping. 
Ouachita River Art Gallery is the oldest and largest co-op gallery in the state. We are grateful to the local community for the continued support of the arts in our area. We are thankful to our Delta Style readers who voted our gallery “Best Art Gallery” in 2011 and 2014. The gallery is at 308 Trenton Street, West Monroe, Louisiana. It is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Admission is always free. Call 322-2380 for more information or visit www.ouachitariverartgallery.com.

Emily Brodnax, November Featured Artist

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“Magnolia” (black & white photography) by Emily Brodnax, November Featured Artist-of-the-Month.

In the current days of digital everything, are there any people out there who remember the joy of watching a black and white photo come up in the tray of a wet darkroom? Well, there is a local pharmacist/photographer/artist who says “I catch myself smiling when it happens.  It is a joy to behold!”

Emily Brodnax, is artist of the month of November at The River Gallery (Ouachita River Art Gallery), on Antique Alley, and her darkroom work is known all over the nation.  Through countless showings and contest wins, her gelatin silver photographs hang from coast to coast.  This particular exhibition has pictures from California to Mississippi, and even Alaska. During shoots in different locals, people will stop to ask about the medium format vintage camera that she carries.  While traveling is a wonderful blessing, some of our local attractions are equally as interesting and picturesque.  For example, a small but lovely waterfall in northeast Louisiana. 

Emily invites you to drop by the gallery through the month of October. Ouachita River Art Gallery is the oldest and largest co-op gallery in the state. We are grateful to the local community for the continued support of the arts in our area. The gallery is at 308 Trenton Street, West Monroe, and is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Admission is always free. Call 322-2380 for more information or visitwww.ouachitariverartgallery.com.

Rusty Patterson – October Featured Artist

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Life-long resident of Monroe, Louisiana, Rusty Patterson developed a fascination for wood in the early 1980’s after a brief conversation with his now deceased grandfather. With his grandfather’s words of wisdom and encouragement, the journey began.

This self-taught wood turner travelled throughout the South from the early 1980’s through the early 1990’s participating in various art shows where he won numerous awards, some of which were “Best of Show” as well as monetary awards for his works. Early works of Rusty’s can be seen in museums which include the Fine Arts Museum in Mobile, Alabama and the Snyder Museum in Bastrop, Louisiana.

After a long hiatus that was spent focusing on career and family, Rusty has returned to wood working with a renewed passion, vision and inspiration for the art he loves so much. He focuses on creating one of a kind art, allowing each piece to take shape as it is being turned. Two basic principles govern each of his pieces: shape (small, medium and large) and wood selection (light, medium and dark). His pieces are formed using native hardwoods mixed with exotic woods from all over the world.

While woodworking is his hobby and passion, Rusty hopes to one day make it his full time career. Until then, he will continue to manage a business where he has been for thirty plus years in West Monroe. He resides in Monroe with his wife, Sandra and his youngest son.

Rusty is the featured artist for the Ouachita River Art Gallery during the month of October. Stop by and see his works any time during business hours Tuesday – Saturday 10:am – 5pm, and also during the Downtown Gallery Crawl from 5-9pm on Thursday, October 2. RustyPattersonThe gallery is located at 308 Trenton Street, West Monroe , Louisiana. Phone 318-322-2380.

Allen Harrison, featured Artist – September

happyyellow_akharrison2014  Happy Yellow (photography)

The River Gallery featured artist for September is photographer Allen Harrison from Monroe, Louisiana.

“One of the reasons I am a photographer,” states Harrison, “ is the fact that I like a challenge and taking good photograph is always a challenge. Some people would disagree with that statement and sight the user friendly, point and shoot, fully automatic, digital cameras as an example of how easy it is to take good pictures. I agree, those cameras and cell phone cameras are capable of taking really good pictures without much of a challenge. The problem is that most of the pictures taken with these cameras are merely snapshots and although that may be all the photographer was after, the images are far from being the art form photography can be. I shoot a mid-level Canon digital camera that has a fully automatic setting and several pre-programed settings. I rarely use any of these and prefer to shoot in manual mode (RAW) most of the time. I do this because in the automatic modes a significant number of pixels and colors are lost due to the way the program works.”

Harrison also states his advice on photo composition: “Another important element of a good photograph is composure, how the subject and surrounding scene, are positioned in the picture. If you watch people take photographs, most stand straight up and hold the camera horizontally. Just a little composure modification, such as, kneeling down, rotating the camera to vertical, moving in or out of the sun, or zooming in close can significantly improve the image. “

During the last ten years Allen has old prints to people in 14 different States, amd was selected to show work at the Masur Museum three times. Allen has  had prints published in two magazines, and he was selected to participate at three other gallery events.  Many of his pieces hang in physician’s offices, lawyer’s offices, several retail businesses and many individual homes.

“ I am not sure how to classify my photographs because I take pictures of such a wide range of subjects. If I see an image and think it would make an interesting photograph, I grab my camera and take the picture.  A lot of these shots are taken on mini photo expeditions that my wife and I take. These trips may be a week of travel across the country or just a one day outing close to home. In either case it’s an opportunity to see something new and to concentrate on the technical aspect of photography. It’s not unusual for me to take 400-500 pictures on a weeklong trip. The total is high because it includes many shots of the same subject, as I experiment with different settings and composure. These road trip are always fun and I normally get at least one picture that I really like. I look forward to taking many more of these trips and see what interesting images can be found on the roads less traveled.”

Harrison’s featured work will be on display throughout the month of September. The Ouachita River Art Gallery, voted Best Art Gallery in 2011 and 2014, is at 308 Trenton Street, West Monroe, and is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The gallery is the oldest and largest co-op gallery in the state. Many of the artists accept commissions, so if you see a style of work that you like, don’t be afraid to inquire about having one of the artists create a custom piece. Admission is always free. Call 322-2380 for more information or visit www.ouachitariverartgallery.com and don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook for sneak peeks of new art.

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