Thomas Stevens Arts

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John Beerman, Jimmy Holcomb, Fred Stewart

Sight Seeing: Daily Sketches in Italy

May 26th through July 23rd, 2023

Opening Reception and
Last Fridays Art Walk

Friday, May 26th, 2023 6-9 PM
Music with King Street Jazz Quartet

Artist Reception
Saturday, June 17th, 2023 5-7 PM

Last Fridays Art Walk/Reception
Friday, June 30th, 2023 6-9 PM
Music with Katharine Whalen and Certain Seas

About this exhibition….

Fred, Jimmy, Tori and I shared our first “artists retreat” to Italy in 2015. In our stone shepherd’s cottage high above the walled hill town of Cortona, we painted, drew and wrote poetry. Our simple daily routine allowed us to immerse ourselves fully in our work. This became the template for several other trips to Italy together. I was inspired by the landscape and weather— but also by the inspiration I get from working alongside other dedicated artists. At the end of the day, we’d discuss our work together, cook, share meals, walk into town— the paintings I did in Italy reflect not just my love of the landscape, but the company I kept.
John Beerman

I had a wonderful year in Spain 35 years ago - the camera I lugged sat unused, and I started drawing what I saw, remembering the thrill of making black lines on a white page. Recent long, slow days in Italy, with my husband, Fred, John Beerman, and Tori Reynolds have gotten me back again to the black lines. We might have a twilight 'salon' and talk about the day, or maybe not, but the seeing is compounded by doing it with friends. My fountain pen feels very good in my hand, and I like the limits of pen and ink, like the insistence that once a mark is there, it’s always there. I discovered that if I use the back of the nib, I get the thinnest line - something Dürer probably figured out when he was 13. If I stand in an olive grove for 3 hours, my hand is usually tired and the piece feels finished. I do get lost in the drawings.
Jimmy Holcomb

In "normal" years, I travel to Italy with husband Jimmy, most times with John Beerman and Tori Reynolds, for a two-month break from my practice of architecture. In addition to egg-tempera paintings done over the course of the trip, each day I produce a pastel and colored pencil drawing of objects and landscapes around me. In lieu of photographs, these are my documentation of the experience. Over the two or three hours each takes, the observation required creates a more indelible memory than a camera can provide, and, even years later when looking at a given drawing, I am immediately transported back to that moment.
Fred Stewart
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