152nd Oils, Allison Miller

152nd Annual Small Oil Paintings Exhibition, The Philadelphia Sketch Club, Allison Miller, Here for now, oil on mylar, 5″ x 6″

152nd Annual Small Oil Paintings Exhibition, The Philadelphia Sketch Club

Allison Miller, Here for now, is a timeless exploration of inner space. The space inside the mind while exploring the unknown, a space in time requiring a space helmet, and the space of an isolated woman in society. When I first saw this painting I thought of a friend who has COPD, I always joke that she needs a space helmet to live on Earth. Allison Miller explained she was inspired by looking through old Life magazines with images of women working in the space industry. My friend needs a space helmet because she requires a clean atmosphere to breathe. Here for now illustrates the reality of life in a bubble, the loneliness of isolation and protection.

Allison Miller

Allison attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. She also studied sports science at the University of Delaware. Her most recent series combines both interests via the subject of boxing.” – Red Raven Art Company


152nd Oils. Laura Rutherford Renner

152nd Annual Small Oil Paintings Exhibition, The Philadelphia Sketch Club. Laura Rutherford Renner, Lulu on the Edge, oil on wood, 3″ x 11″

“While the exact history of human interaction with cats is still somewhat vague, a shallow grave site discovered in 1983 in Cyprus, dating to 7500 BCE, during the Neolithic period, contains the skeleton of a human, buried ceremonially with stone tools, a lump of iron oxide, and a handful of seashells. In its own tiny grave 40 centimeters (18 inches) from the human grave was an eight-month-old cat, its body oriented in the same westward direction as the human skeleton. Cats are not native to Cyprus. This is evidence that cats were being tamed just as humankind was establishing the first settlements in the part of the Middle East known as the Fertile Crescent.[1]” –

Cultural Depictions of Cats, Wikipedia

Lulu on the Edge uses an unusual shape, 3″ x 11″, that perfectly sets the tone of the narrative of the painting. The atmospheric naturalism has a performance quality within the constraints of the image size, the intimacy of the scene has a calming liveness. The cat’s stare creates a sweet dose of Oxytocin in the brain, an authentic sense of relationship with another being, the reliable companionship we desire from others for happiness.

152nd Oils, Natalya Tali Margolin

152nd Annual Small Oil Paintings Exhibition, The Philadelphia Sketch Club, Natalya Tali MargolinUntitled11″ x 14″, oil on canvas panel

The contemplative stare of the subject is rendered in abstract marks, the strokes of paint evoking mindfulness. There is a timeliness to the subject in that the 152nd Annual Small Oil Paintings Exhibition connects back through time to artists from another century. The painterly quality and use of unusual tones resonates with the contemporary history of painting. The character in the painting could be from 1860, 1950 or 2015, a representation of every man. The active surface is saturated with color, the impressionism is alluring and intelligent.

152nd Oils, Joe Faith

152nd Annual Small Oil Paintings Exhibition, The Philadelphia Sketch Club, Joe Faith, Heinz Refuge, oil on canvas

Last summer I attended a plein air painting weekend with Joe Faith, Bob Bohne, Donna Cotzen and a few others at Bob’s son’s house in Maryland. It was like camping in a mansion. The landscapes were beautiful, we painted all day for a few days. One night Joe told me he was a computer programmer, which blew my mind since I only knew him as a painter, he also confided he likes to work on abstracts when alone. Painting plein air is mostly a solitary activity with time spent in contemplation, problem solving, innovating and encoding color and composition with naturalism and mood. Joe Faith’s painting utilizes marks, color fields and saturation as code for mood, time and atmosphere.

152nd Oils, Robert Bohne

152nd Annual Small Oil Paintings Exhibition, The Philadelphia Sketch Club, Robert Bohne, Frozen Fields, oil on canvas

“I consider my life as an artist to be an ongoing educational journey. I never tire of researching and learning from the great painters of the past, and I find it just as fascinating when I discover the works of a contemporary master. I focus on landscape and still life in oil, and my goal as an artist is to produce timeless work of museum quality. The majority of my work is painted directly from nature, regardless of the season or weather conditions.” – Robert Bohne

The Philadelphia Sketch ClubAmerica’s Oldest Continuing Artist Organization

“On November 20, 1860, six “Bohemian” students from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, George F. Bensell and his brother, Edmund B. Bensell, Edward J. McIlhenny, Henry C. Bispham, John L. Gihon, and Robert Wylie met at 125 South 11th Street to form a “sketching club.” They sought illustration and design opportunities not available at the Academy. Within months, other talented artists were added to the membership, including Stephen J. Ferris, a celebrated etcher and Thomas Moran, the great landscape artist.” – The Philadelphia Sketch Club

Read more about 152nd Annual Small Oil Paintings Exhibition at The Philadelphia Sketch Club on DoNArTNeWs Philadelphia Art News Blog

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Written and photographed by DoN Brewer except where noted.

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