“There’s a reason for studying the masters – they’ve already worked out all the bugs,” says Lorie Turpin.
“People say that you’re not supposed to copy, you’re supposed to ‘create your own art’ – but do you bake a cake for the first time without a recipe? No, you use a recipe, several recipes, and that’s how you learn. Painting’s the same.”
Turpin is one of the eight artists now exhibiting their work at the Arbor Gallery Cultural Centre. From August 3 to September 3, the gallery is hosting “Studies After the Old Masters” – an exhibit that might elicit a strong feeling of déjà vu in visitors.
Linda Scott Harris, who taught the seven other artists in the show, says in her artist statement that making studies of works by earlier “masters” allows a student to gain “understanding [of] how the master artists use line, value and form to advantage in their work.”
This shows in the carefully rendered paintings on exhibit; each finely detailed piece carries a slight air of nostalgia, reflecting a kind of artistic sensitivity that has all but disappeared in the world of today.
“I thought it would be nice to show some classic art at the Gallery,” says Turpin, who encouraged the artists to put the show together. “And this is really good art!” For emphasis, she points to one of Scott Harris’s paintings: the study of Jacques Louis David’s “Patroclus,” pictured here. Though the original piece was painted in the 1780s, Scott Harris’s study has the same air of brooding melancholy, bridging a centuries-wide gap between master and pupil.
The vernissage will take place on Saturday, August 12, with light refreshments and music by Ian Hepburn.