Thursday, September 5, 2013

Melissa Meredith's "Birds And Beasts" Monotype Show Opening Reception, Drezner Visitor's Gallery, Farmington Valley Arts Center, September 6, 2013, 6-8 pm.

Melissa Meredith Playful Monotype Prints: Something To Crow About At The Farmington Valley Arts Center 

There is a charming Monotype show called "Birds and Beasts" now on display September 6-21) in the Drezner Visitor's Gallery at The Farmington Valley Arts Center in Avon, CT. I'm not sure why the show was named "Birds and Beasts",  a title which surprised me when I entered the gallery and found walls filled with a delightful collection of whimsical barnyard themed monotypes (pigs, roosters, hens, ducks) by Master printer, Melissa Meredith. I was looking for a few "beasts", but instead I found playful monotypes depicting Country life scenes which are a must see!

Chickens Are Birds

The FVAC show does however boast many monoprints of "birds",  chickens  are the most populated bird in the world. Although most of us don't think of chickens as birds, the chicken, a domesticated fowl (Gallus gallus domestcius) is clearly well represented in this show. As far as the beasts,  I suppose I need to revisit the show and see if any beasts have snuck in.

Do You Know Your Roosters From Your Hens?

Returning to the subject of birds and chickens, I have previously written about this topic clarifying for the collectors world, what is the difference between roosters and hens. Many collectors get confused
when buying figurines and artwork whether they are aquiring roosters, hens or chickens.  Both roosters and hens are chickens. The rooster is the male chicken and the hen is the female.

As I have discussed before in my article "Collecting Rooster and Hen Collectibles...Cock-a-doodle-doo", according to my online sources, male chickens (rooster) have bigger egos and females (hens) tend to be short and fat. But the key difference is that roosters crow and hens don't. This defining trait is hard to determine when buying a print!

Learning Printmaking From Melissa Meredith At The Farmington Valley Arts Center

Male or female, visitors to the Esther Drezner Gallery at The Farmington Valley Arts Center have plenty to crow about when attending this show. Melissa has assembled an extensive representation of her work. As a studio artist at FVAC, a few doors down from Melissa's studio 7B, I have recently had an opportunity to attend a few workshops with Melissa and learn more about how she approaches her process of pulling prints. Melissa, an artist at FVAC for decades, is very gracious with her time and often shares her knowledge with others.

The Art Of Pulling Prints

Printmaking can be a bit more quirky that simply painting a picture of a subject such as an image of a duck or pig  on paper or canvas. In printmaking, you truly never know exactly how the colors and textures will translate when you gently pull back the watercolor paper from the plate  after it was passed through the press. Melissa Meredith has successfully accomplished very consistent prints which yield strong color, realistic textures and engaging compositions.

Melissa Meredith's Monotypes Are All Originals 

Melissa has developed her own technique of applying watercolor paint and crayons to a disposable plate. She gets one print out of each plate, the orginal. Often artists will take their original  to a commercial printer and have additonal prints made by machine. You always need to know if you are buying the artist's orginal monotype or a copy.  Melissa Meredith only sells orginals of her work. Melissa will tell you that when you buy one of her monotypes there is no other like it, it is truly one of -a -kind.

"Birds and Beasts" will have an opening reception on Friday, September 6, 6-8 pm. Theshow continues from September 6-21, 2013 in the Esther Drezner Visitor's Gallery which is on the first floor of the Farmington Valley Arts Center. The gallery also has a gisft shop small works for sale by other artisans from thre region.

For more information about  The Farmington Valley Arts Center visit their website       

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of I Antique Online an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro café. To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at Visit my website, Dianne is a member of: The American Society of Journalists and Authors The Society of Professional Journalists

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