Reagan Wigboldy – Fall 2017 Honorable Mention

Meet Reagan Wigboldy, a a junior at Olivet Nazarene University, Bourbonnais, Illinois who is majoring in Art. We would like to congratulate Ms. Wigboldy on being selected as one of the three recipients of our Fall 2017 Honorable Mention Commendations for a Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker Foundation Scholarship. You can read Reagan Wigboldy’s artist statement below:

There is an intricate web that reaches its tangled arms across the world, formed and thickened each time a soul opens up to another. Our longing for relationship characterizes humanity. The art I create, regardless of media, is an exploration of the pain, trust, and love that comes alongside these connections. As expression surges through my fingers, I watch the joy of a new friendship scrawled onto a page, the pain of those lost twisted into rusted wire, and the confusing longing for God carved into the pages of a book.

I was pulled in countless directions when working to narrow down a major, but a single passion glistened through each of my interests: story. I am drawn to character development, whether it be developing backstory through writing, expressing relationships through drawing, or creating life through special effects makeup. Animation and 3D modeling enable me to pour into the depth and detail of a character, thus enhancing the quality and intricacy of a plot. I love taking a character’s story and creating an illustration, specifically drawn from who they are and who they’re becoming. I will not come up short. As I continue to learn, I constantly remind myself: why squander an art education on simply following rubrics when the assignments can be used as an opportunity to express one’s soul and create something never done before?

The allure to story naturally kindles my affection toward adventure games; however, I have a love for strategy as well. I thrive in the field of mathematics and enjoy solving calculus problems for their puzzle-like aspects. Though I want to focus on art, the left side of my brain needs to be constantly challenged as well, for me to complete my best work. This strengthens my adaption of and endurance with coding. Finally, working in the field will allow me to make a difference in the fight against hyper-sexualization of females rampant in the game industry. It allows me to grasp purpose in aiding the equality and diversity of video game character representation.

I am a decahedron surrounded by cubes. This used to be my strong opener: an attention grabber that lead into my thesis and pulled together my final point at the end. I would talk about my journey from a timid, lonely middle-schooler to beginning to really discover myself and my inability to fit into a box in high school. Though the friends I found in high school inspired me to grow as a person, they weren’t responsible for my change, something extremely important that I initially missed. Life shifted and friends changed; I was left without direction, or even definition. Gradually, I realized that growing isn’t finding the group that I strive to be like, but discovering the bonds that I can make through each relationship that I form and the pieces of my life that they highlight. As I make more and more connections from each point in my life, I’m not adding more sides to myself, but finding myself in a tangled journey through dimension. I am not a cube, but neither am I a decahedron. The growing mess that is my life has passed by polygons and polyhedrons, and endlessly grows in complexity and beauty.

Checking it Out, 2016 ©Reagan Wigboldy

Genesis, 2017 ©Reagan Wigboldy

  

Inge Snethen-Hoogstra- Fall 2017 Honorable Mention

Meet Inge Snethen-Hoogstra, a junior at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who is majoring in Art History and Applied Linguistics. We would like to congratulate Ms. Snethen-Hoogstra on being selected as one of the three recipients of our Fall 2017 Honorable Mention Commendations for a Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker Foundation Scholarship. You can read Inge Snethen-Hoogstra’s artist statement below:

Reaching the halfway point of my college education has been an exciting time for me. Throughout my first four semesters here at UW-Milwaukee I have been able to familiarize myself more with the opportunities that a University can offer me. Through information sent by UWM and conversations with professors and fellow students the road to my graduation is now geared even more towards my interests. One opportunity that has greatly influenced my college experience is my acceptance in to the Honors College. Its concept of small classes and discussion based seminars has evolved my way of thinking and learning. It has been and will continue to be a positive influence on my college career. Thanks to the Honors College, I am well on my way to completing both my majors, Art History and Applied Linguistics.

Another interest of mine is helping others better understand the rich history of the world through art, language and culture. That is why I have joined PASS, Panther Academic Success Services, as a Supplemental Instruction Leader. I spend ten hours every week helping students better comprehend the material of Art 100: American Art and Culture…. My interest in foreign language and culture has further led me to apply for a Certificate in Ancient Mediterranean Studies. I remembered that I enjoyed studying Latin in middle school and learning about the history of Europe including the country where I grew up, the Netherlands…. After I finish my Bachelor degrees and my certificate I hope to be able to pursue a Master’s degree. Ultimately, I wish to obtain a PhD and become a professor at a University, doing what I love: teaching the        significance of art, culture, and history.

Essay Question: Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker each used very distinctive color palettes in their paintings. Please compare and contrast Fred & Eileen’s color palettes, taking into consideration their emphasis on thoughtful preparation, execution, and technique in their watercolor practice.

At first glance, Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker appear to have a similar style, choosing both watercolor for their medium and similar subject matter. But on viewing their works more intimately they go about depicting their chosen subject in distinct ways.

Architecture was Frederic Whitaker’s preferred subject matter and this shows in his use of stark lines and detailed facades. Especially in his work “Baroque Facade”, he uses different shades of grays, browns, and blues to create a crisp image, making it possible for the viewer to discern every detailed aspect of the building. His buildings are well thought-out structures that jump to the foreground. Frederic Whitaker is not afraid to show the meticulous study and planning that went into his works, as he keeps the line-work an important part of his paintings. This is not only the case with his architecture paintings, but with any subject matter he chose. His figure studies for example show a classical approach to anatomy, using the medium of watercolor to examine the play of light and shadow on a figure. He manages to create depth and perspective in his work by using mainly the same color in different shades of light and dark. As with his buildings, every line, curve, and wrinkle is shown.

Eileen Monaghan Whitaker, on the other hand, uses a more vibrant color palette and vivid forms. In her architecture paintings she creates a lively scene by adding spots of red and blue to bricks and rooftops. She also adds figures in such a way that it makes the scene active. They do not blend in with the architecture, but stand out to the viewer. The different shades on building facades create the illusion of detail. Brickwork and decorative architecture is suggested, stark lines are blended in with the rest of the surroundings. The brickwork is suggested in such a way that while she leaves it up to the viewer to complete the details, the hints she leaves make it flow naturally. The building becomes part of the scene as a whole, not its sole focus point. Her vibrant color palette is even more prevalent in her figure studies. Where Frederic had a more academic style, studying form and figure in a Renaissance way, like a DaVinci or Michelangelo. Eileen depicts her figures in a more everyday, whimsical way. Her paintings have a journalistic quality, like family photos of days at the beach, such as in “Con”, or a lazy day at home in “Ah! What Sweet Repose!”, reminding the viewer more of nineteenth century, European, Impressionist painters. Her figure paintings are snapshots of everyday life, whereas Frederic’s are posed and lengthy studies.

Their differences are even more pronounced in their flora and fauna paintings. Frederic Whitaker continues his crisp line-work and focus on figures. However, he does add a pop of color to these works. The color is focused on the flora of the works. The animals themselves are mostly quite monochrome, such as the elephants and the rhinos. The trees and plants are where the color can be found. Different shades of reds and browns are used to indicate leaves and flowers. Eileen Monaghan Whitaker uses color in a much more pronounced way. It is in her animals, plants, and backgrounds. Just like her architecture, the use of color all over blends the figures in with the background. The animals become part of the scene. There are no stark outlines, but flora and fauna weave in and out of each other.

After this closer look at the works of Frederic and Eileen it appears they do in fact have a very distinct style from one another. Even though they both use the medium of watercolor and both paint similar subject matter, they each have their own approach to painting. Eileen Whitaker embraces the use of watercolor fully, expressing its liquid quality. She blends her forms together, hinting at their specific shape and detail. She lightly brushes the paint across the canvas or lets it splotch and run across, emphasizing its watery aspect. Frederic uses the medium in a different way. His detail and linework make his watercolor almost mimic oil paint. He puts the emphasis on the subject matter, not the scene as a whole. He chooses a specific object and lets that stand out to the viewer, depicting it in full detail.

Despite this difference, it is no surprise that they exhibited together and supported each other’s work. The way their works contrast allows them to complete one another. Eileen’s work complements Frederic’s and vice versa.

Bethany Habegger – Fall 2017 Honorable Mention

Meet Bethany Habegger, a freshman at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana who is majoring in Fine Arts/ Arts Education. We would like to congratulate Ms. Habegger on being selected as one of the three recipients of our Fall 2017 Honorable Mention Commendations for a Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker Foundation Scholarship. You can read Bethany Habegger’s artist statement below:

“Proper education is crucial to being successful with future endeavors, such as career goals. As a student who is dedicated to achieving high classroom grades, I am well aware of what it takes to reach a goal. Throughout my high school career, I have taken many leaps and bounds toward reaching my upcoming graduation and future college life…. I am a visual artist, and I have made every effort to create a unique portfolio of artwork that I have shared by exhibiting my work. … During my college career, I want to soak in knowledge, new experiences and explore creating art and improving as an artist. I am so excited to have the opportunity to expand how I can create art and share it with others. I want to grow my skills and show the world my creations so that they can hopefully have an impact on others. My goal is to be accepted into the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program, a very specialized professional arts program, and I plan to also take business classes to increase my knowledge about how to market my work.

After earning a BFA in painting, I plan to continue my education by attending graduate school. I am interested in exploring careers in the field of museum studies or teaching art at the college level. I want to make the best use of my skills to engage others with art and improve my community. … There are so many possibilities for the years to come, and no matter which career path I take, I know that my passions will be my driving force. I will continue to make art and share my vision; this passion will be a part of my life no matter what career path I take. 

Ghost, 2017 ©Bethany Habegger

Speckles, 2017 ©Bethany Habegger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emily Hedges – Fall 2017 Scholarship Winner

Meet Emily Hedges, a sophomore at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky who is majoring in Art History. We would like to congratulate Ms. Hedges on being selected as one of three recipients of our Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker Foundation Scholarships for the Fall 2017 term. As part of the application process, Ms. Hedges was asked to submit an essay response to a question about the Whitakers and their work. You can read Emily Hedges’ artist statement and essay below:

“Hello, my name is Emily Hedges. I’m an Art History major at the University of Kentucky. I’m also majoring in Arts Administration. After I receive my bachelor’s degree, I plan on getting my Master’s degree in Museum Studies. I aspire to work in a museum, particularly as a museum curator. I found this interest through an internship at a small museum in my hometown a few years ago. I worked directly with the director and I learned so much about museums. That’s when I discovered my dream of becoming a museum curator. As I recently completed my freshman year of college, I’m even more certain that I have chosen a career path that I love and enjoy. With each class, my passion for art history continues to grow. I’m excited to see where my degree will take me.

My future career doesn’t incorporate my own art, however I still enjoy drawing and painting. I love to read books and watch movies in my spare time. I love to learn, so you can find me reading a book on art history, or other topics like astronomy or plant life. … I love to experience art in its various forms; concerts, exhibitions, or theater productions. I feel there’s so much to learn and feel about the world around us and art can provide that interaction.

Essay Question: Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker each used very distinctive color palettes in their paintings. Please compare and contrast Fred & Eileen’s color palettes, taking into consideration their emphasis on thoughtful preparation, execution, and technique in their watercolor practice.

Watercolor is an extraordinary medium. It’s created with a pigment dissolved in water and applied with a brush, typically to dampened paper. The result has a translucent effect on what is expected of watercolor painting. An artist does not have total control when painting with watercolor. The beauty of this art form is the spontaneous outcomes that come when applying the wet paint to paper. A mistake cannot be simply painted over without impacting the entire piece. With watercolor, one can glaze layer upon layer without losing luminosity. It gives artists a chance to play with light and color in a completely different way than oils or acrylics. Artists have used this distinct art form to create striking works of art. Artists like Frederick and Eileen Whitaker have taken the expectations of watercolor and gone a step further. The versatility of watercolor painting can be seen in the difference between Frederick and Eileen Whitaker’s artistic style and color palette.

The contents of Frederick Whitaker’s artworks range from figures and architecture to still life and ideal landscapes. However, there is one common factor among all his works; the color palette. Frederick incorporates rich, vivid hues into his works of art. His combined use of muted colors and earth tones in his structured compositions contributes to his personal style. Through his color palette, watercolor allows him to exhibit different forms of lighting and colors in everyday scenes of life. He constructs these landscapes and figures by mastering the wash technique, followed by several layers of smaller brushstrokes. Some of Frederick’s pieces reveal use of black pen to add thin, contour lines of detail to the forms. Frederick almost always presents a full composition. In many of his architectural pieces, Frederick uses washes of pigment to create an atmospheric perspective. The closer buildings are more vivid and detailed while the buildings farther away appear blurry, just as the eye would see it. Frederick adds to his realistic quality through his use of lights and shadows. He captures highlights by using the white color of the paper. His delicate use of colors and shadows brings his paintings to life, despite the transparency of watercolor itself. His consistency of layers brings a depth to his works. Frederick’s color palette is a key characteristic to how he approached the art form of watercolor.

Like her husband, Eileen Whitaker explores a variety of subject matters in her works. However, Eileen’s use of bright, saturated colors stands apart. In addition, her incorporation of pastel colors and loosely painted layers leave her images with a soft, soothing atmosphere. While most of her compositions do not feature a realistic scene behind the subject, the blossoms of bold colors and flicks of speckled paint instead add an expressive quality to her stylized works. It’s clear that she wants her paintings to look like artwork, and not mistaken for a photograph because of a heightened realism. However, a majority of her works do exhibit a good amount of detail. Eileen works with her color palette and the luminosity that watercolor offers to create idealized beauty in many of her pieces. This factors into her expressive style and need to paint with emotion. In several of her pieces, especially of the still life genre, she uses the white pigment of the paper to contrast the brightly colored, detailed subjects. The negative space immediately draws the eye to the subject of the painting. Through her bold brushstrokes and bubbles of color, it’s evident that she paints with emotion and has no great concern for depicting things exactly as they are seen in the real world. She portrays life through her own imaginative conception.

Frederick’s analytical vision is the opposite of Eileen’s emotional one. Their differing styles and use of colors showcases how an artist can take on an art form, like watercolor, and make it their own. Frederick’s sketch-like paintings exudes a confidence of proportions and perspective in contrast to Eileen’s brilliant hues of beautiful expression. The different color palettes had a great effect on their own style and how they wanted to express it. Frederick’s muted colors and earth tones grounded him to the type of realism he wanted to portray. Eileen’s saturated colors in contrast with bright pastel colors gave her the creative freedom she wanted to express emotion and feeling through her work. While both artists demonstrate a variety and vibrancy of colors, their differences illustrate the creative thinking that goes on in the mind of an artist. The dynamic duo of Frederick and Eileen Whitaker has forever influenced the watercolor art form.

Renee Ryckman – Fall 2017 Scholarship Winner

Meet Renee Ryckman, a junior at the University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida who is majoring in Emerging Media: Experimental Animation. We would like to congratulate Ms. Ryckman on being selected as one of three recipients of our Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker Foundation Scholarships for the Fall 2017 term. You can read Renee Ryckman’s artist statement below:

“My college experience first began as a student at Pennsylvania State, studying Animal Sciences. However, as I progressed in my major, I soon began to realize that I could not be studious and focus on art the way I wanted to. After working on a piece for over eight hours I realized that this wasn’t just a hobby and I wanted to make it my career. So, I transferred hundreds of miles and left that life behind to pursue a major in animation and illustration. Now, I have a family of peers that are supportive and creative. We share a lot of the same small classes, so I feel very close to them and I never really had a family of friends like that before. I have had a lot of wonderful opportunities to meet people and to learn from them. I have studied mediums I would have never thought to explore, like sculpture, watercolor illustration, acrylic painting and contour line drawings. Coming to UCF has brightened, and enriched my life immeasurably. I would love to continue studying traditional painting techniques. When I first started painting in classes, I hated painting. It was messy and hard and there was no undo button, so it was extremely foreign to me. However, by the time I had finished the semester, I had learned so much and excelled with it, I wanted to make more and more paintings. I went to galleries and scrutinized the work that has come before me with new eyes wanting to absorb so much from the masters. I am not only focused on the present, I am also concerned with my own future as a student and as a working professional artist. While, I have painted for myself since, I would also like to attend more classes that will help me develop technical skills with watercolor, acrylics and oils. My immediate education goals to develop my skills in animation and painting serve to aid me in becoming the artist I want to be. When I graduate, I plan to work in the production of media like movies and video games doing concept art, illustration, and storyboarding–focusing on the foundation of an idea. To me, this brainstorming phase is the most important part of the creative process. A concept artist helps a producer, or director, see their ideas realized visually. I can think of no greater career than that of a creator. I also have a deep interest in animation, which is my major here at UCF, because the most evocative art is art that moves you, and there’s no more expressive art form than that of animation. I want to be a well-rounded artist, capable of bringing a lot to any project with the experience to work on the projects I love. Ultimately, becoming an artist that works fluidly in many mediums to tell powerful stories. I want to work on huge projects like video games and movies because those are the stories we surround ourselves with. I want to tell a story that might inspire another little African American girl to take that terrifying plunge into art. My motivations are not for fame and glory, which is certainly a fine goal if you’re interested, but I am content to stay behind the curtain as long as I know that the show was in part realized by me. I am far from the same disheartened sophomore that weighed the merits of freedom and security on unforgiving scales and shied from change. Now, I stand tall in the knowledge that I am capable and I am excited about my future again. … I have been blessed to find something that I am deeply passionate about and even now I wake up some mornings ineffably happy because I get to create—assignments to draw and paint rather than to calculate. I have always been a dedicated student, but now I am a devoted one and my once restless spirit is settled. Indubitably, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be and nothing else I’d rather do.”

Mantis Shrimp/Representational , 2016 ©Renee Ryckman

Mantis Shrimp/Soul , 2016 ©Renee Ryckman