An Art-Formed Life: Looking at the Many Forms of Visual Art

Local visual artist Annette Palmer paints a new, original piece of work. | Photo courtesy of Archway Gallery

In this special 8-part, bi-weekly series—created in partnership with member artists of Archway Gallery in Montrose—we’re pleased to feature a selection of artists’ tips, recommendations, and perspectives on connecting with art, understanding its many forms, and how you might begin your own collection. In the series‘ second article, Houston visual artist Annette Palmer introduces the artform itself and shares a few insights into the variety to be found, even amongst artists within the same discipline.

Whether it’s the robust brushstroke of oil on canvas or the gleaming glaze of a ceramic masterpiece, these artistic nuances captivate and mesmerize us, drawing us in to the essence of why we love art. It comes in countless forms, from the ancient, organic, and traditional, to the ever increasing experimental and intangible sorts that we are experiencing today; everything is relevant, and everything is art.

Art is lifestyle… How, what, and where we eat, our clothing and appearance, home décor, entertainment… It’s infinite, indulgent, and immersive, and what a privilege we allow ourselves to live in this manner!

Understanding the Artform & How Art Can Form Our Lives

The term “artform” is an interesting one. When it comes to the visual arts, “art” begins every time in a completely different form and the artist is the magician who transforms it into another. Tubes of paint and rolls of cloth become paintings. Clay, stone, wood, and metal transform into sculptural treasures. The charred wood of charcoal and pencil become drawings on paper. Discarded items become “found objects” and the artist repurposes and breathes new life into what would otherwise become landfill.

Archway Gallery is home to 34 artists, each one working and creating with different forms of two-dimensional (2-D) and three-dimensional (3-D) art. Below you’ll find examples of how a few of Archway Gallery’s artists express themselves through various artforms.

Original 3-D works by Joe Haden | Photo courtesy of Archway Gallery

Sculpture: Building Art from Mass in 3-D

Three-dimensional metal artists Jim Adams and Joe Haden create sculptures which respect our industrial heritage. While both artists give the metal a new purpose and life to be enjoyed in a new form, each artist approaches the upcycled artform from a different perspective.

Adams uses the existing formations of heavy metal outmoded objects to create sculpture by configuring, coupling, and fusing found pieces. He reintroduces us to their shapes and forms, while making us view them as art instead of functional components of heavy industry.

Haden, on the other hand, takes discarded metal cannisters, oil cans, and scrap metal which he “makes pretty” by cutting freeform delicate filigree designs through their surfaces creating natural organic patterns and shapes in which the shadows are just as important as the positive and negative spaces in the design. He completely reinvents these thrown-away items giving them a new life as works of art by exploring the rhythm of nature and the environment.

https://www.archwaygallery.comCuriosity by Jim Adams | Photo courtesy of Archway Gallery

A Single Plane: Giving Depth to a Surface in 2-D

Two-dimensional art is also approached in a variety of different ways; it’s not just about drawing with a pencil or painting with a brush.

Laura Viada is a 2-D fiber artist who “paints” with natural fibers such as silk, linen, and cotton, into which she incorporates metallic threads. Organic, natural materials are woven by hand to create linear geometric works which are inspired by a process called optical mixing. Viada’s current body of work is an exploration of the way the human eyes and brain perceive and interpret light waves as a specific color, and how they blend color.

Original 2-D work by Laura Viada | Photo courtesy of Archway Gallery

Inspired by blueprints, Cecilia Villanueva’s oil paintings explore buildings, perspective, and architecture, using a signature blue palette, these fascinating detailed works question the stories contained in the buildings, as well as that of the lives and the events which have taken place there. Since architecture is also an artform, this means that these paintings are one form of art borne from another. Developing and acknowledging the past and recreating for today is something inherent for many artists; it is evolution at its finest.

Original 2-D work by Cecilia Villanueva | Photo courtesy of Archway Gallery

Digital art is one of our newer artforms where images can be manipulated and adjusted by computer wizardry to create art with effects which would otherwise be near impossible to construct. Artist Denise Giordano fabricates her original mixed media works by developing their digital imagery to create completely new pieces in digital format, this results in a soft ethereal, other worldly beauty, which could not be achieved in any other way.

Visual Art‘s Ever Evolving Landscape

The art world is ever changing and so are our tastes, as well as our choices in art and its many forms. Regular visits to galleries keep us inspired, questioning, and informed of what’s new. It’s exciting and it’s the future… Enjoy!

Quarantine by Denise Giordano | Photo courtesy of Archway Gallery

Elevating local art and supporting the Houston art scene for 46 years, Archway Gallery is the longest-running artist-owned gallery in Texas. Stop by the Montrose gallery, meet an artist, and learn about owning original, local art. Plan a visit to the gallery or learn more.

Inspired by Texas and her native Scotland, visual artist Annette Palmer paints her land and seascapes exploring experimental textures, found objects and vintage ephemera, depicting wide open spaces, connecting us across emotional and physical distances. 

Learn more about Archway Gallery and explore its current and upcoming exhibitions.

Visual artist Annette Palmer | Photo courtesy of Archway Gallery

This series has been created in partnership with and sponsored by Archway Gallery. Per our advertising and sponsorship policy, we only accept sponsored content from organizations that meet our editorial standards and truly present a valuable activity, event, resource or destination for residents and visitors across the greater Houston area. Advertising revenue helps support 365 Things to Do in Houston, and our contributors, allowing us to expand our coverage of activities and events around the Houston area. Learn more about promoting your event or business

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Inspired by Texas and her native Scotland, visual artist Annette Palmer paints her land and seascapes exploring experimental textures, found objects and vintage ephemera, depicting wide open spaces, connecting us across emotional and physical distances.