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Carla Dawson

Part II: CWE-based artists’ work during the pandemic

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Sarah Blumenfeld Carson Foard Carla Dawson

Since the start of the pandemic Carson Foard says she’s found more time to complete projects that have been languishing for a while, “plus I’m reviewing some previous efforts with fresh eyes. Being able to use this sad situation to some advantage has been a blessing for me.”

A little background on this CWEnder: While Foard was working in the New York advertising world in the 1980’s, she took evening classes at the National Academy of Art. She later worked as a financial manager for TWA and moved to the Central West End when the airline relocated to St. Louis. After TWA’s collapse she continued her art education earning an MFA from Fontbonne University’s Fine Arts Department in 2012.

Foard is shown with some of her work including a charcoal and chalk drawing from an anatomy class at Fontbonne University;  left, Mississippi River, Louisiana, Missouri, oil on canvas, 12″ x 18;” and right, Kayaks at Rest, Boat House Cafe, Forest Park, oil on canvas, 30″ x 40.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Sarah Blumenfeld Carson Foard Carla Dawson

Foard says she spends time looking at her brushes and paints thinking “maybe this one…no, that one….OK, ok, this one…I’m not a graceful painter.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Sarah Blumenfeld Carson Foard Carla Dawson

Foard’s Victoria Water Lily, Jewel Box, Forest Park, oil on canvas, 36″x 48.”

“I’m primarily interested in the contrasts and reflections created by landscapes and objects when they are drenched in light, sometimes with elements of structural design contrasted with natural forms. My inspiration is sunlight and color, they make me want to pick up a brush and not let any of it get away.”

For more information, contact Carson Foard via snail mail (a website is in the works), 4814 Washington Ave., Suite 308, St. Louis 63108.

Carla Dawson

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Sarah Blumenfeld Carson Foard Carla Dawson

CWEnder Carla Dawson confided that she had a very hard time starting a new piece when the pandemic began. “It was hard to find beauty in a stressful time—I’ve found I’ve been much less productive this year,” she added, “because I’m an artist who doesn’t look for inspiration, I catch it on the fly.”

In photo above: Peaceful Pond, inspired by a photo taken a few years ago in Colorado, and beneath: Storm Coming In, from a photo of an approaching storm.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Sarah Blumenfeld Carson Foard Carla Dawson

Dawson’s current work incorporates boarding passes from the last few trips she and her husband Dennis had taken before the pandemic set in. “At first I didn’t know what I’d do with them but am now featuring them in my latest work as an homage to those days when we could travel,” she said. “We used to stay in colorful adobe buildings with big blocks of bold color which are shown in this painting. Times are so weird now,” she continued, “I’m feeling so isolated and homebound. Travel seems far-fetched.”

For more information about Carla Dawson, visit an earlier post here.

Sarah Blumenfeld

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Sarah Blumenfeld Carson Foard Carla Dawson

Sarah Blumenfeld said that she’s been inviting friends to paint with her outside, using a live model. “So hopefully the nice weather will last a while longer. Since I can’t be with my regular gang now, it’s important to share and critique and support each other on social media.”

For more information on Blumenfeld’s oil paintings, contact her at blumensarah@gmail.com.

Next up: More artists and their pandemic art

CWEnder Carla Dawson’s paintings at Third Degree Glass Factory

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education Events, Sightings  Third Degree Glass Factory Central West End Carla Dawson

Third Fridays of each month Third Degree Glass Factory, 5900 Delmar Blvd., has become a popular entertainment option for people of all ages. It’s a magnet for young families, couples, and groups of friends looking for an interactive experience. You can watch a glass making demonstration, listen to live music, and perhaps take a glass blowing class. There is always a food truck parked out front and on the Friday I visited, June 15, a couple from Ices Plain & Fancy was working their magic creating fabulous nitro-churned ice cream in the front room.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education Events, Sightings  Third Degree Glass Factory Central West End Carla Dawson

Each Third Friday also marks the introduction of a new artist invited to display art in the main room.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education Events, Sightings  Third Degree Glass Factory Central West End Carla Dawson

On the 15th, CWEnder Carla Dawson, June’s “artist of the month,” presented All About Color. She’s photographed in front of her oil paintings It’s All Connected, left and  Maui Sunset, right.

Several years ago Dawson and her husband Denny moved to the Central West End from Chesterfield. She said they wanted a more urban, diverse environment. “Plus, the amenities in the CWE are awesome,” she added. The artist can often be spotted walking with her greyhound Pearl from her condo to her art studio in the neighborhood.

As a single mom Dawson chose a career in the banking industry. In 1992 she left banking and took up art studying at Washington University, and then with local artist and teacher Robert Ketchens before striking out on her own.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education Events, Sightings  Third Degree Glass Factory Central West End Carla Dawson

All About Color is inspired by nature and the artist’s love of travel. Shown from top,  Quiet, middle, Time Lapse, and bottom photo, Pier.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education Events, Sightings  Third Degree Glass Factory Central West End Carla Dawson

Above, An example of the artist’s collage on glass called Metallic Sunrise.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education Events, Sightings  Third Degree Glass Factory Central West End Carla Dawson

Dawson’s After the Rain, 42″ x 34″ oil on linen.

It’s All About Color will remain on view at Third Degree Glass Factory until July 18.  The next Third Friday event is scheduled for July 20. Doors open at 6 p.m., admission is free.

To contact Carla Dawson, or to learn more about her vibrant art, visit her website.

An early summer workshop with Mary Engelbreit and Charlotte Lyons

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Handmade  Vintage by Crystal Sheldon Johnson Mary Engelbreit Marlene Lewis Lyn Magee Jone Hallmark Jenn McGlon Crystal Sloane Charlotte Lyons Central West End Cathe Holden Carla Dawson Bowood Farms Barbara Holtz #maryandcharlottesstudioworkshop

Earlier this summer Mary Engelbreit celebrated the 40th Anniversary of her 1st licensing agreement by hosting a crafting workshop with dear friend and former CWEnder Charlotte Lyons. Mary and Charlotte’s Studio Workshop sold out as soon as the event was posted on social media 9 months earlier, and on June 15 twenty-two women from around the country—Chicago, Santa Fe, New York, Seattle, Texas, California, and Indiana—arrived at Mary’s Studio in the Central West End.

There were 5 instructors, in addition to Mary and Charlotte— “super stars” in the crafting field—who taught a variety of classes over 3 1/2 jam-packed days. An important side-benefit to attending crafting weekends, which have become extremely popular over the past few years, is the friendships that are made. Many women were able to connect with friends made at other workshops, or became fast friends with people they’d never met. Mary added, “lots of instant friendships were formed.” Most of the attendees, who stayed at either the Chase or the Parkway Hotel, were new to St. Louis and in their spare time set out to explore Forest Park, the St. Louis Art Museum, and local restaurants and shops.

After classes in the studio there was a cocktail party at Mary’s home one evening (one of the perks for Mary’s fans), where I understand every nook and cranny was Instagrammed, a visit to the Mary Engelbreit warehouse on The Hill (where Mary’s products were available and vintage goods dealers set up tables showcasing their wares), and a luncheon and “fairy garden” terrarium workshop, using ME fairies as ornaments, at Bowood Farms, followed by a tour of CWE artists’ studios.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Handmade  Vintage by Crystal Sheldon Johnson Mary Engelbreit Marlene Lewis Lyn Magee Jone Hallmark Jenn McGlon Crystal Sloane Charlotte Lyons Central West End Cathe Holden Carla Dawson Bowood Farms Barbara Holtz #maryandcharlottesstudioworkshop

Another highlight was Sunday morning’s demonstration on coloring and drawing by Mary Engelbreit, above.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Handmade  Vintage by Crystal Sheldon Johnson Mary Engelbreit Marlene Lewis Lyn Magee Jone Hallmark Jenn McGlon Crystal Sloane Charlotte Lyons Central West End Cathe Holden Carla Dawson Bowood Farms Barbara Holtz #maryandcharlottesstudioworkshop

Charlotte Lyons, a pioneer in the crafting-weekend phoenomenon, is Mary Engelbreit’s co-author for the Home Companion book series and has authored several craft books of her own. At the June workshop, she showed the group how to make an appliqué felt wallet (above), just one of many projects she’s demonstrated at crafting events in Los Angeles, New Hampshire, France, and currently around her new hometown of Bennington, Vermont. Here is a link to a recent workshop she co-hosted there. (more…)