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Southlake Style

Art in the Square Preview

Apr 02, 2015 09:11PM ● By Dia

by Amy Reisner


Narrowing participation down to 150 artists is a difficult task, considering more than 700 entries are received for Southlake’s Annual Art in the Square event hosted by the Southlake Women’s Club. It is easy to see how juried selections can be difficult! But decisions were made and the artists were chosen—artists you have the opportunity to meet at Southlake Town Square this month. This year, Featured Artists were chosen based on their artistic excellence, and we had the opportunity to discuss inspiration, style and media of choice with four of them: David Bjurstrom, Julia Gilmore, Bruce

Holwerda and Dominique Samyn.

   Dominique Samyn

Current residence: Santa Fe, New Mexico

Medium: paint

Style: Figurative expressionistic

Featured Piece at AITS: “Hot Springs”

Describe your artistic process. 

I work in series from events or places, which moved me. Through scraping, layering, automatic writing and reworking I go to a place beyond my control. In the process I deliberately chose clashing colors, shifting planes, trying to break all the rules. I need the chaos first then order. My main object is to direct the viewer through constant discovery in my paintings. Energy, color and surprise are three main elements in my work.

What are your favorite subjects to paint?

About nine years ago we moved to the high desert in New Mexico. We acquired horses, mules and donkeys, perfect for life on the ranch. Horses started to appear in my abstract work. I saw them everywhere. They became my subject. I don’t claim to make horse portraits but I want to convey the horses beauty, strength and spirit. The landscape of my beautiful surroundings is also a big inspiration.

What was the inspiration behind the piece you submitted for Art in the Square?

The painting “Hot Springs’ has the abstracted landscape and the horses coming back home. This is a daily view from my studio. The animals have free range and I am always on the look out from my studio to go and greet them.

   David Bjurstrom

Current residence: Austin

Medium: drawing, graphite pencil

Style: Impressionism

AITS Piece: "Windmill"

When did your interest in art begin?

I have always been interested in art and drawing—my earliest memories are sitting with a pencil and a piece of white typing paper, just drawing whatever came to mind. It was often landscapes with buildings or bridges, but of many different things. Sometimes just odd little scribbles with no particular meaning. I tell stories of the subject in my mind as I was drawing them.

What is your style of art?

Although many who look at my drawings comment that they look like photographs, I like to think I go beyond that level. Yes, they often have a great deal of detail and may appear almost photorealistic, but if one were to hold the drawing up to a photo of the subject, it would be clear just how far away I move from that image. I guess I think of my work more like a kind of “impressionism.” It’s all about creating light and shadow, as the great impressionist painters did.

This is your first year at Art in the Square, right?

I’m thrilled to be a part of Art in the Square in 2015. This will be my first time at the show that I’ve heard so much about from my fellow artists. It was even more of an honor to find that I had been selected to be one of the featured artists. There’s always so much talent here that being  put into that very special group is truly wonderful.

  Bruce Holwerda

Current residence: Hoover, Alabama

Medium: paint

Style: surreal, fantasy with a touch of Super Heroism

AITS Piece: “The Main Event”

When did your interests in art begin?

For as long as I can remember I have loved art. Even as a young boy I was happiest when we were doing art projects in school. I would often come home and continue the project until I was satisfied with the end result. I remember spending many Friday nights and Saturday mornings drawing or painting or making some strange creation when I could have been out having fun with the neighborhood kids. So I guess it figures that even now, 40 something years later, I am still drawing and painting even when I could be relaxing.

Did you have a change of heart after art school?

After graduating from art school, I was like most creative people when thrown into the real world—I didn't have enough moxie. I had the credentials, the portfolio and the energy to get out there and find a job. However, after sending out resumes and waiting in vain for responses, I soon gave up and focused on making a living. I never fully gave up on the idea of being an artist, but had no idea how or if that it would ever happen.

Why do you enjoy exhibiting at art fairs?

Part of my reconnection with the art world was exhibiting at fairs. I realized that talking with others about my art was rewarding and helped my work improve. I also understood the possibility in actually making a living at doing the thing you love. After 15 years of exhibiting at art fairs from Naples, Florida to Kansas City, Kansas, I can honestly say that I still enjoy it.

  Julia Gilmore

Current residence: Toronto, Canada

Medium: oil paint

Style: Bold, minimal with rich color and texture

Featured Piece at AITS: "Cowboy Boots"

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

I knew from the age of six that all I wanted to be when I grew up was an artist. But it wasn't a direct route or a straightforward path that I took. However, I am very grateful to be fortunate enough to follow my passion and earn a good living while doing so. I have been a full time artist for the past 15 years travelling all over the United States to prestigious art festivals from my home just outside Toronto.

What is your artistic style?

I paint the world around me, and I see beauty everywhere—even in the most mundane objects. What do they tell authors?—Write what you know. I paint what I know, which consequently creates a very honest, straightforward statement on canvas—one with which the viewer can make a direct connection. I work entirely with a palette knife to apply oil paint and love the texture and almost three dimensional quality I can achieve on the canvas surface.

How long have you participated at Art in the Square?

This will by my fourth year exhibiting at Art in the Square, and as a result, the fourth year I have ventured all the way to Texas to exhibit my paintings. Art in the Square is one of the highlights of my 20 show a year art show schedule. It is a great show with excellent, top-notch artists. It is well organized with very enthusiastic collectors.