Updates & Articles

Anabel's Update - April 2009

This article from The Herald Times

Bloomington galleries display abstract art at Friday receptions 

By Kristina Wood   April 2, 2009

sw dreaming

A wash of color, swirls, lines and shapes sweep across a blank canvas. At a glance, they evoke emotion or thought. But the topic is in the eye of the beholder.  

Abstract art can prompt a passers-by to mutter “my kid could do that!” But what may look like random smatterings are actually careful compositions.

Wassily Kandinsky, an abstract painter of the first half of the 20th century, said: “Of all the arts, abstract painting is the most difficult. It demands that you know how to draw well, that you have a heightened sensitivity for composition and for colors, and that you be a true poet.” In abstract paintings, objects themselves may be abstracted, as Picasso might have done, or have no discernible subject at all.

The new exhibit “Absolutely Abstract” at Gallery North showcases art by four abstract artists who are gallery members. Some layer different media together; others’ works are born from calculated algorithms.

Says the press release: “Anabel Hopkins paints in the Abstract Expressionist style (non-objective), creating over-sized, colorful room-focus works. Lee Chapman works with his computer as a tool. Coming from the scientific community, he applies algorithmic procedures to create beautiful geometric designs in what he calls ‘vector graphics.’ Carolyn Rogers Richard is a watercolor painter who uses experimental techniques on paper, including mixed media to create flowing designs. Jeanne Iler builds abstracted designs based on landscapes or still life with mixed media (including collages of paint, paper and other materials.) Anabel, Carolyn and Jeanne, like most abstract artists, have lengthy careers as traditional painters, as well, which they still pursue.”

The abstract style is apparent in clothing patterns and in paintings and drawings that populate walls of restaurants, book stores, offices and art fairs.

Inspirations include the works of renowned artists such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, who specialized in “action painting,” where paint is brushed, troweled, dripped or thrown on to the canvas, while keeping composition in mind.

The Gallery North show “demonstrates a broad range of abstract art to interest to any art viewer who wants to learn more about the world of abstract,” the release continues.

Abstract art also lets each viewer decide what they’re seeing.

“I don’t like to give answers, but rather relish the question,” Patrick Donley says in another exhibit announcement. His show, “Floating or Falling,” is on display at Wandering Turtle Gallery, in the space neighboring Gallery North in the Wicks Building on Sixth.

“Colorful abstract forms teeter and tumble aloft with a delicate, tenuous balance,” the e-mail says. Are the forms floating, or falling? are they heavy, solid, large, small, hot, cold, close or far?

It leaves it up to each person standing in front of the works to decide.

Anabel's Update - January 2009

Anabel has been selected as Artist-in-Residence at the T.C. Steele Indiana Historic Site for June, 2009.  She will be in residence during the week of the annual Brown County Studio and Garden Tour (Friday-Sunday June 26-28), where she will display and sell her paintings, perform daily painting demonstrations, and hold a workshop.  The historic site is a State of Indiana preserve of the home and studio of T.C. Steele, Indiana’s premier impressionist painter and founder of the Brown County Artist Colony, who passed away in 1926.  Located in western Brown County, the site is five miles from Anabel’s home studio, Les Nymph

Anabel’s Update    December, 2008

This has been a busy fall.  I opened a studio-gallery in downtown Nashville, Indiana in September, 2007, named Contemporary Art Experience.  There, I painted abstract work and provided personal, often on-the-spot painting experiences/lessons to people of all ages.  This studio was featured in the fall 2008 issue of the magazine Into Art.  I closed the studio this winter, to avoid the slow seasonal traffic, but will consider re-opening a new site in Nashville next year.


awardMy large oil abstracted landscape “Harrodsburg Pond” was juried into a special show co-sponsored by Sycamore Land Trust and Gallery North in Bloomington.  The piece was awarded the “Prairie Partner” award, selected by Indiana University Chancellor Kenneth Gross Lewis.  Two of my pastel landscapes were selected to represent months in a calendar produced by the Sycamore Land Trust, as well.  One of the paintings was sold at the SLT annual banquet, and a commission obtained at the same banquet was sold, as well.


My abstract “Moving Figure” was juried into the Midwest National Abstract Show held in the early fall at Garfield Park Art Center in Indianapolis.  This was my first application to that show.


This summer and fall I was invited to teach abstract classes to guests at the recently reopened West Baden Hotel in southern Indiana.  The French Lick Springs Resort complex includes two hotels and a casino – a luxury destination worth visiting.  The Resort purchased an abstract painting of the West Baden Hotel that I started as a demonstration in the first class.


Paintings displayed at the Indiana American Society of Interior Designers trade show in Indianapolis (with Art Alliance Brown County) attracted an interior designer from Carmel, who invited me to display six large works in her shop.  The interior design market is a target of mine – original art adds so much.  (I wrote an article published in the Monroe County Home Show Herald-Times newspaper supplement last year on using original art in home décor; I will send it to anyone interested.)


An abstract commission painted for a Lake Monroe Bloomington home was completed.  It was fun matching color samples for a good interior design statement.  My husband Harry built the canvas support to order in the exact size the homeowner desired. 


Thanks to Chateau Thomas Winery for encouraging Brown County artists to display in their tasting room.  A Chicago patron just purchased a 48 X 48 diptych I placed behind the bandstand.  Bright red and black are not colors that fit everywhere, but have proven popular with my patrons this year!


Author Mark Butterfield has invited me to be a featured artist in his upcoming hard cover book “Hoosier Painters of the 21st Century.”  This book provides biographies and images from artists painting in the Hoosier tradition.  I will update everyone upon publication.


Now, I am preparing for my Abstract Show to take place at Gallery North on the Square in Bloomington in April 2009.  Note the reception date Friday, April 3.  Those on my mailing list will be receiving special invitations.   


You are welcome to visit my home studio, Les Nympheas, in rural Brown County – just call ahead, we are a long way out in the country! 


June 3, 2008

promo shot

The Artist's Life features Painter Anabel Hopkins

In a beautiful and secluded part of rural Brown County, artist Anabel Hopkins has created a painter's paradise. "I am greatly inspired by Monet," she says. It shows. She named her rural studio Les Nymphéas, which means "the waterlilies," after Monet's most famous paintings.

The sprawling gardens are inspired by Monet's gardens at Giverny, France, including a green-fenced pond with a small Japanese-style bridge, just like Monet's. "We just added six arbors to create a grande allée between the studio and the pond," she says. These gardens have provided endless inspiration for Ms. Hopkins' impressionist landscapes, which she works in pastels, oils and acrylics. If anyone else would like to be inspired by them, Les Nymphéas will be open to the public during the Brown County Studio and Garden Tour the last weekend of June.

The gardens at her studio are not the only local landscape that inspires Ms. Hopkins. "I hike or ride my horse often in the woods," she explains. "I also take trips on Lake Monroe or up Salt Creek in our pontoon boat." Although she occasionally paints en plein air, like Monet, Ms. Hopkins usually takes photographs of the landscapes she admires, and works from the photographs back in her studio. Her work continues to evolve.

In addition to her impressionist landscapes, she also paints larger, more abstracted landscapes. These paintings hint at the original subject matter, but move beyond it. "I have always appreciated abstract work," she says. Ms. Hopkins' most recent work is transitioning to extra-large, wall sized paintings that are completely abstract. These paintings use bold strokes of color to evoke a mood, rather than a specific landscape.

Her work on more abstract paintings moved Ms. Hopkins to open a second gallery and working studio in downtown Nashville. Contemporary Art Experience, in Possum Trot Square, features large abstract landscapes and paintings, but also offers visitors a more hands-on experience.

"I offer extemporaneous lessons," Ms. Hopkins explains. "I have all the tools and equipment for anyone to come in and paint any type of painting."

Would-be painters are charged by the canvas size, and one-on-one guidance by Ms. Hopkins is included in the price. This endeavor is only one example of Ms. Hopkins' active participation in the local arts community. She is president of the Art Alliance Brown County, and strives to promote local artists and art.

"I want to keep Brown County on the map as an artist colony," she says. "There's a tradition here that's exciting to continue."


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