Visual Arts

Arity Girl: Painting Demonstration at Phoenix Art Museum

Once again, I find myself in a position where there's a darn good Third Friday Art Walk to blog about, but I'd rather blog about an event on Saturday. Hmmm, what to do...

Ok, here's the plan: I'll throw down some links to some sweet stuff happening tonight that you can click to your heart's content and then I'll explain Saturday's artist demonstration at the Phoenix Art Museum after the jump.

So, if you're hitting downtown Phoenix tonight, here are my quick suggestions: eye loungePravus Gallery, Modified Arts, five15 arts (reviewed by Wynter Holden...she wasn't a fan, but you can still see it for yourself), Perihelion Arts, Heard Museum's NU Event, Third Friday Concert Series at Civic Space Park and Tilt Gallery.

Okay, now on to Saturday...

Watercolor painter, Cynthia Peterson is hosting a demonstration at Phoenix Art Museum from 12-2 p.m. She is focusing on large-scale painting to coincide with the museum's current exhibit, "Tony Foster: Searching for a Bigger Subject".

You don't really even have to see Foster's work to be impressed with this exhibition (although I highly recommend you do). The British watercolor painter employed the 19th century tradition of painting on-site. But this guy didn't just plop down an easel in someone's scenic garden. No way. He amped it up by picking two of the most exotic, breathtaking and pain-in-the-arse locations to paint: the Grand Canyon and Mount Everest. Not to mention, he works in a very large scale with some works reaching six feet wide.

How does he do it?

Cynthia Peterson is here to clue us in. She, too, works with large scale watercolor and she will show us, step by step, the challenges and limitations with this particular approach.

You may have caught some of Peterson's works in recent shows like "Masters of Illusion" at the Tempe Center for the Arts, "Table Manners" at the Arizona Museum for Youth, and "The Luminous Object" at West Valley Art Museum. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Watercolor USA Honor Society and she was recently invited to the prestigious 2009 Florence Biennale in Florence, Italy.

So the woman knows what she's talking about. And, as you sit, mesmerized by what is surely a meticulous process, just imagine doing that in the dirt, on a ledge in the Grand Canyon or perched on a snowy crevasse in the Himalayas...

Then you'll forever appreciate Tony Foster for being the crazy-ass artist that he is.

Cynthia Peterson demonstrates at the Phoenix Art Museum Saturday, July 18th from 12-2 p.m., 1625 N. Central Ave in Phoenix, 602-257-1222 or visit

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Lilia Menconi
Contact: Lilia Menconi