An Artist's Perspective on Nature // from painting to photography

Andrea Bonfils loves the beauty in nature and as an artist works to capture the beauty and interpret it in her unique style. She has been creating mixed media works and paintings that reflect the outdoors, nature and the animals she loves and is now offering edited collections of her photography of nature. Andrea has been exhibiting and developing a following for her unique artwork. She has developed techniques using layers of oils, encaustic wax and photography combined with a great color sense which adds even more depth and dimension to her works.

The methods, like the subject matter are organic - they have evolved over time for Andrea. The encaustic wax melts and blends to create works that are individual and impressionistic. Her works are tactile - I was surprised to feel the smooth, glossy finish.

Andrea has always been photographing the subjects she loves as well. She spends time in CT and also in Sante Fe, NM - so her images combine the beauty of the east; the coastline, the snow and also the unique feel, with the textures and colors of the southwest; the flowers, sunsets and the wild horses that Andrea loves to spend time with and capture in her photographs.

“They are majestic, regal and powerful yet sensitive, engaged and vulnerable. Being in the wild with them and following their routine is one of the most enjoyable activities in my lifetime. If I can photograph and relay even a minuscule portion of that joy than the experience can be cherished repeatedly” and she adds, “Who does not loves horses?”

I have to agree...I have found that most people have extremely warm and positive response to beautiful and powerful images of horses.

Andrea photographs wild horses in two sanctuaries near her home in Sante Fe. One is private and the other is on the BLM (Bureau of Land Management, government funded and managed land) where they are protected from slaughter. Many are "3 strike horses" and lucky enough to be saved, much like kill shelter dogs. The politics and work involved in protecting the wild horses is limitless and there are many good people working on their behalf  - but still much needs to be done.

“...the wild horses are just another miracle of what inspires me in our fantastic natural world ...that which is my ultimate playground!”

These beautiful images in Andrea’s collections of horses and the other photographs of nature are a great new addition to her body of work.  They're available in a variety of sizes and framing options for  different finished looks; framed in hand-welded steel

printed on canvas

mounted in plexi

and framed in barnwood

Andrea's talents allow her to interpret the world of nature that she's drawn to -  her work continually evolves, whether in paint, mixed media or through her photography.

Intro to LA art - Part l // Bergamot Station

On a recent visit to LA, we spent two afternoons enjoying art in LA. Day l we visited Bergamot Station in Santa Monica and afternoon 2 at LACMA. Bergamot was a very different art experience than our last LA visit when we toured the Getty.  My brother-in-law Neil, who we were visiting, planned the two days, and besides the unusual, searing over-100 degree weather, both days were terrific, and different. Bergamot Station in Santa Monica is a gallery complex that opened in 1994. The train station dates back to 1875 when the Red Line trolley ran from LA to the Santa Monica Pier. Both the Pier and the gallery site retain their original rustic and industrial feel.

First stop at The Frostig Center, to see their 2012 Collection. The 60 year old Center is an internationally acclaimed school for students with learning disabilities. When the Frostigs founded the Center, they created an ongoing series of sculpture and art, annual collections by LA artists that would help support the program. Ray Turner created these 9" sq. paintings on glass of each of the Frostig artists.

Sculptor Ken Price created this small series as a set. Unique for this collection, as he typically works much larger. We saw the Price exhibit at LACMA and learned more about his much acclaimed works.

a Frank Gehry sculpture

Leslie Sacks Contemporary had an exhibit of Charles Christopher Hill's graphic paintings. The linear paintings have "endless layers of acrylic varnish" that create depth and a beautiful texture.

Earlier works combine layers of mixed media, cloth and thread.

Loved the contrast of the next exhibit, Bill Barminski's work at the Robert Berman Gallery. Barminski, an LA artist and adjunct professor at UCLA creates work as a statement on pop and consumer culture. Barminski comments on the "nostalgia people feel towards 'classic' products in the post-war era".

A replica of the surfboard the artist had at 13 from K Mart.

Cardboard Air Jordan's.  I'm familiar with the classics - and have a limited understanding of their place in sneaker history, thanks to my son Brett.

The Lois Lambert Gallery had an interesting exhibition, Dress Code, by Gwen Samuels. Samuels creates replicas of clothing and shoes, using digital images on transperency and then hand-stitched together. She uses mixed media, combining old and new. Loved the corset...

and shoes

Then two photo exhibits. Toshio Shibata at Gallery Luisotti. These powerful images of nature are at once abstract and detailed.

Peter Fetterman Gallery specializes in 19th and 20th century black and white photography, with an emphasis on human imagery. There were two terrific exhibits, Photos de Cinema with a number of images of Jean Seberg  filming in Paris.

and Grace, by Elizabeth Sunday. For 26 years, Sunday has created beautiful images that reflect traditional life in Africa. She uses a flexible mirror to photograph "reflections that blend and dissolve the boundaries between her figures and their environment".

I was thrilled to see an iconic photograph I love in their collection, Girl in the Window, by Ormond Gigli. In 1960, Gigli envisioned this photo as he watched an East 58th St. brownstone being torn down - he placed 47 formally dressed models in the windows the night before it was demolished.

We throughly enjoyed walking through the galleries at Bergamot Station  - in the few hours we were there, we saw very diverse collections, giving us a great introduction to LA art.


Welcome to RE // new artists & their work

I launched the Romanoff Elements site 6 months ago, wanting to share some of the talented artists who I have come to know and work with. Recently, I updated the site to include several new artists as well as adding new pieces to existing collections. The RE site is a beginning - there is much more to look at, and to talk about regarding each artist who is represented. I am drawn to their work, to their stories and want to follow and share the progress of their art as it evolves.

Andrea Bonfils is a very creative and multi-talented artist.  She works with and explores various media;  from painting, to encaustic wax, photography and mixed media.

Regardless of medium, Andrea's artwork all begins with nature.  She renders interesting compositions from what she sees and experiences around her. Her colors are rich and layered and the final work is always textural and beautiful.  I have blogged about Andrea before, when Nest Inspired Home exhibited her work in April.

I was recently re-connected to Tracy Burtz, we hadn't seen each other for many years. Tracy is an accomplished artist and teacher who has exhibited extensively.  She works from life; she creates still lifes in oil, charcoal drawings and oils of women, pastels of seascapes and summer life.  I blogged about Tracy as we prepared an exhibition of her work at Table D'Hote recently.

The depth and range of Tracy's colors are beautiful, whether she's painting a floral arrangement or a portrait. We spoke about her varied subject matter, and the thread through her work is always the same, regardless of the subject, it's "...all about picture-making, and what makes a great painting; composition, color, darks, lights, value, line and texture.”

I first saw Elena Lyakir’s work at ABC Kitchen, the Jean-Georges restaurant in ABC Home in NYC.  I loved the ethereal quality and compostion of Elena’s naturally - inspired work and how it enhanced the farm-to-table restaurant's decor.  I met Elena shortly after that and saw the variety and depth of her work.

Each image, whether birds, foliage or landscape, evokes a quiet, a calm - that I find simple, serene and beautiful.

A mutual friend introduced me to Christine Wexler, wanting me to see her Bramasole photography, but also knowing we had similar backgrounds as textile designers. Turns out Christine and I sat down for coffee that could have lasted for many hours as we talked about how and where our creative interests began and the paths we have taken.

I share Christine’s love of the ocean, particularly Montauk. Her photos taken on the Eastern end of Long Island, throughout the Hamptons and other beautiful spots, in California, Mexico and in Italy, capture the natural beauty of the ocean - you can feel and sense summer life in her images.  Christina has exhibited in various venues in the Hamptons. It's the perfect time of year to introduce her photographs to RE and we'll be bringing a collection of her work to exhibit in Westchester at Nest Inspired Home in Rye in June.

More work from each of these artist is on the RE site.  I'll be showing a selection of new work by some of the original RE artists in my next post.