About Cynthia Podren
My family has always enjoyed drawing, but I didn’t come to it until a period of enforced isolation during a vacation in my thirties, when I read a chapter of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain every day until I was done. I continued to draw and paint when on vacation for the next fifteen years. Then, at the breakup of a long term relationship, I turned again to painting for comfort. This time, I studied, read, and took classes. I continue to do this and to sketch daily when possible. Painting has always come easier for me than drawing, as proportion and perspective remain at the stage of ‘I know it when I see it.”
My real love is color and composition. When I see a scene or anything I love, it comes at me in an unconscious way. It is only when I paint it that it has to be analyzed, and deconstructed, a process which is both frustrating and satisfying. Every painting, in my experience goes through an ugly stage. My advice to myself when faced with a painting at this stage is, “keep going.” So much of painting is maximizing the results of your limitations.
One of my other loves is travel. I spend a month to three months away from home yearly, usually somewhere in one place in Europe. I paint watercolors while traveling and when home, I usually paint in oil from my travel photographs. I try to paint plein air at least weekly with a friend.
My favorite artists are Sargent, Anders Zorn and Lars Lerin.
About Hallie Strock
I grew up in the desert north of Phoenix. Since our nearest neighbor was a mile away, and I started school on a Pima Indian reservation, I spent a lot of time alone, and learned to make things early on. I was always “messing around” with art materials, sewing, and cooking, as well as reading voraciously.
I received my BA in studio art from Mills College, primarily in the three-dimensional: sculpture and ceramics. While earning a living in teaching and non-profit organizations, I continued to “mess around” with making things.
Recently I have become fascinated with printmaking, especially linoleum block prints. Printmaking is a fussy process, but I enjoy each step, and it provides endless interest and challenges for me. I see linoleum block printing as a way to push drawing further; the prints have an unmistakable graphic look that I love; and there is the opportunity for lots of subjects to be interpreted.
I use source photographs as well as my own inspirations, developing them into drawings, and then designs which may be carved. Pre-design thinking involves my personal point of view, how much I want to abstract images, and how much black to incorporate into the design. At some point, it becomes all about the creative side of shapes and patterns, negative and positive, rather than the subject matter. The prints are made on a professional printing press. Each print is hand-colored with watercolor, and no piece is ever the same.