The James S. Murray Gallery at Lincoln Land Community College will feature the exhibit, “It’s Not Just Black and White,” an achromatic work in graphite and charcoal by Michelle Smith, Nov. 27-Dec.14. The public is invited to view the exhibit weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
An artist’s reception will be held Friday, Dec. 1, from 5-7 p.m. in the gallery, located on the upper level of Menard Hall on the LLCC-Springfield campus, 5250 Shepherd Road.
Smith, who teaches drawing for LLCC Community Education, is a member of the Springfield Artist Collective and the Colored Pencil Society of America. She won the Best of Show award twice in the Chatham Area Public Library Annual Winter Art Exhibit.
Life is what inspires me to draw. I believe there is so much in our daily living that just screams “put me to paper!” and that is what I try to portray in my work. Creating art is creating communication: intellectual, emotional and even spiritual communication with the viewer.
I draw utilizing graphite, charcoal, colored pencils, markers and pens. The “It’s Just Not Black and White” exhibit is a very good
representation of my artistic inspirations. The title alone lends itself to the deeper issue of life; most things are not as simple as they first appear to be. I believe it is the duty of art to point out those things that we either go completely blind to or take for granted. Most especially in today’s social climate, I believe art has the job of making us take a deep look inside ourselves and not be so quick to think we know what someone else’s dilemma or lack thereof, may be. There are so many gray areas. Quite like by graphite and charcoal works, which people often call “black and white,” there are actually many shades of gray if you really stop to look and see what’s there!
My process of drawing in graphite and charcoal, I think is pretty basic. The charcoal is used for its softer yet darkest qualities (for example, eyes, backgrounds, hair) and it allows for a great contrast with the detail and control that the graphite allows me. I start with a basic outline of the entire drawing and then shade, utilizing pencils from 9H-8B and charcoal pencils from HB-6B. I blend with stomps, tortilions or a chamois rag, soft paint brushes and even Q-tip swabs depending on the texture I’m looking for.
The process is not as important to me as the outcome, but the journey that the piece takes me on is very important not only to its outcome but to my outcome as an artist and a person.
I am a life-long resident of Springfield, Ill. and though I have been practicing art since the age of 13, my interest in art began very early in life, when a kindergarten teacher would chastise me for not being able to color inside the lines! My motto to this day is “color outside the lines!”
“The Drawing Room,” a small studio in my home, is where all of my creations are put to paper; however, where they begin could be absolutely anywhere (daydreaming, the park, a particular song, sentence, LIFE). I believe there is so much in our daily living that just screams “put me to paper!” and so I do.
My work is categorized as photorealism in drawing. I began by using graphite, added charcoal to that and have grown to use colored pencil, markers and pens. My current fascination is mixing the colored pencil with the graphite and charcoal to achieve color contrast, and I think it tells a great story. I’ve recently added Copic Sketch to my colored pencil pieces to mix not only media but photorealism with abstract color schemes, which lends itself to great vibrant colors.
Current and upcoming events
More of my work can be seen at the Colored Pencil Society of America’s Artspectations Juried Online Exhibit (running thru October 2018)
Ann Kulberg’s Colored Pencil Cats and Dogs book
Ann Kulberg’s CP Hidden Treasures Vol4 (released late 2017)
HD Smith Gallery at the Hoogland Center for the Arts
Featured Artist show with Springfield Art Collective, at the HD Smith Gallery “Persons of Interest” exhibit along with artist Phil Locascia, beginning May 11 and ending June 28.