"Tea Time" with Guest Artist Midge Amos

Throughout February, Brush Strokes Gallery will feature the works of a guest artist Midge Amos, an acclaimed porcelain painter, in an exhibit titled "Tea Time."

Describing her technique and the evolution of her artistry, Midge said,"My interest in the art of china painting came from seeing works by my first teacher. At that time, becoming an artist was the furthest thing from my mind, as I had a career in the business arena. My first lessons began in the mid-70's and so did my stockpile of painted china. After a brief hiatus from painting in 1980, a new teacher advanced my skills and comprehension of the intricacies of this art form. No piece is ever finished until it has been kiln fired when the paint becomes permanent in the glaze of the porcelain."

Midge also explains that the art of the leading contemporary artists in this field had a softness to it that attracted her. That softness is representative of a particular school of porcelain painting and is referred to today as traditional Western style of painting on porcelain as it contrasts greatly with Asian or European style.

"My love of a flower garden naturally led me to painting florals and fruits. Taking my own reference photos has heightened my awareness of elements of my subject matter, be it a tree, a flower, or a gorgeous sunset. Being on the road with my exhibits has inspired me to include subject matter that relates to specific areas, whether they are near the water or in cotton- or tobacco-growing areas," Midge further explained.

She specifically noted that in contrast with artists who work with oils and watercolors on a square or rectangle canvas, porcelain painting includes the challenge of determining what is appropriate to paint on the different shapes. For example, a grape design may look best on a tall vase or pitcher while a long platter or tray would suit a design with a fish. An object that is painted "in the round" requires a design that has the continuity to carries the viewer around to the back. She notes, then, that in this respect, painting teapots can be a challenge.

"My style typically presents a realistic rather than abstract depiction of my subjects. After studying with more foreign teachers, I am expanding my subject matter and want to paint more landscapes, particularly seascapes. I love the water and running water cascading over rocks intrigues me, presenting so much texture to be explored and captured on porcelain," she said.

Midge Amos' "Tea Time" exhibit of painted porcelain will be displayed from February 3 through March 1, and visitors will have an opportunity to meet and chat with Midge and Brush Strokes artists at the exhibit’s opening reception on “First Friday,” February 7, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.