Mary Louise Porter is among 37 artists chosen by John R. Kemp to be featured in his new book, Expressions of Place – the Contemporary Louisiana Landscape. Kemp writes, “Porter is a painter whose bright palette is guided as much by her imagination as it is by the colors of the seasons and the natural landscape of the Cane River and the glades and wooded hills of northwest Louisiana.”
Louisiana Landscaped by Mary Louise Porter and Karen Mathison Schmidt
Thu, Dec 1, 2016 5:00pm Sat, Jan 21, 2017 5:00pm
December 1 - January 14
(Shreveport, LA) – No other state in this United States can boast the unusual and varied landscapes that Louisiana celebrates. All one needs do is take to the road from our own piney hills and woods in the northwest corner of the state and begin the trek south to see fields of corn, soybean or cotton turn to dark cypress-shrouded bayous winding their way to grassy prairies, then wind-swept coastal marshes and finally to the gritty streets of inner city New Orleans. Whether urban and rural, there is no place like Louisiana, and Author John Kemp has enlisted 37 of the state’s best artists to all express “their place" on canvas in his latest book, "EXPRESSIONS OF PLACE: The Contemporary Louisiana Landscape." Kemp and two of the Northwest Louisiana artists featured in the book, Mary Louise Porter and Karen Mathison Schmidt will be featured in a special exhibition opening and book signing at artspace Thursday, December 1st at 5:30 p.m. An artist talk by Porter and Schmidt will follow on Thursday, January 12, 2017 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Expressions of Place features the talent of acclaimed Louisiana art professionals some whose paintings are included in major private and public collections regionally and nationally and others who have found their followings closer to home. All artists, however, strive to express impressions of the land with artistic styles that range from traditional to the symbolic and almost totally abstract. Such a variety of interpretation becomes possible in a landscape that changes as dramatically as the Louisiana landscape does.
Porter's art explores the landscapes along the Cane River and in the meadows, glades and wooded hills of Northwest Louisiana. She studies art at Louisiana State University, but says that she was most influenced by the French impressionists. Van Gogh's perceptions of light, color and form are clearly evident in many of Porter's landscapes such as her "Louisiana Cottonfields," which is reminiscent of Van Gogh's animated treatment of skies and clouds in his 1869 painting, "Wheatfield with Cypresses."
Kemp's book includes an introductory essay, which places the artists and their works in historical context, as well as individual essays and biographical sketches in which the artists, in their own words, give insight as to what they paint, how they paint, where they paint and why they are drawn to the Louisiana landscape. Expressions of Place is not an encyclopedia, catalog, or history of the visual arts in Louisiana, but is instead a celebration of the state's evocative landscape in the work of these 37 accomplished contemporary artists.
The book is as much about the landscape of the artists imaginations as it is about the land itself. With each painting, they have created visual poetry of a land and environment that has become a defining part of their lives.
The public is invited to join the FREE "LOUISIANA LANDSCAPES" exhibition opening at artspace on Thursday, December 1st from 5:30 p.m. To 7:00 p.m. with a book signing by John Kemp, author of "EXPRESSIONS OF PLACE: The Contemporary Louisiana Landscape.” Complimentary nibbles will be provided by Southern Fork Catering. The art of Porter and Schmidt will remain at artspace through January 14, 2017.
Artists’ Talks Thursday , 5:30-7:00 Free
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Louisiana Landscapes artist Mary Louise Porter at the Artspace opening reception. (Photo: Henrietta Wildsmith/The Times)
Representing northwest Louisiana and the Cane River in Kemp’s book, Mary Louise Porter is a Shreveport native who has lived in Natchitoches for the past 25 years.
She feels her expressions of artistry began early, when she was a child playing.
“I’ve always been interested in the arts, and I was drawing when I was small,” she said. “Once I began to paint, I really hit that passion.”
Porter said she likes to display the emotions and feelings of a scene through the colors of her painting.
. (Photo: Henrietta Wildsmith/The Times)
“I like to go outside,” Porter said. “I load all my supplies in the car, my paints and everything, and I take off down the road until I find what it is I want to do. I’ll get the easel out and paint from the spot.”
Porter said Kemp viewed a show of hers at Northwestern State University three years ago, and he wrote an article about her work for Louisiana Life magazine. From there, Kemp selected her to be one of the artists featured in his book.
“Louisiana is endless in all of the variety of things you can paint,” Porter said. “More of my work is about interpreting the landscape the way I see it, and the way I see it is through color and light and pattern and shadows, but in a very bold sort of way.”
For more about Porter, visit mlporterfineart.com
Shreveport Timeseparagraph here.
Louisiana Life Magazine
Featured Artist in November/December 2014 by John Kemp
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John Kemp interview with NPR Andrea Panzeca on his new book Expression of Place The Contemporary Louisiana Landscape
Click on the link to listen