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Birds of a feather draw together

Friends join forces for sketchy VASA show

By: Scott Hayes

  |  Posted: Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 06:00 am

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  • ON DISPLAY – Artist Bette Lisitza is mostly an acrylic painter.
    ON DISPLAY – Artist Bette Lisitza is mostly an acrylic painter.
    Supplied photo
  • GRAPHITE ARTIST – Artist Wanda Resek likes the precision and control provided by graphite.
    GRAPHITE ARTIST – Artist Wanda Resek likes the precision and control provided by graphite.

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The Lines … that Draw Us
Drawings by Wanda Resek and Bette Lisitza
Exhibition runs until April 25
Opening reception on today from 1 to 4 p.m.
Artists will be in attendance
VASA Gallery
25 Sir Winston Churchill Avenue, in the Hemingway Centre for the Arts
Call 780-460-5990 or visit www.vasa.ca for more information.

For Wanda Resek and Bette Lisitza, it’s the sketches that will getcha. The duo has long had a fondness for sharing time as they create art. Now, they have brought a showroom full of their handiwork to the gallery at the Visual Arts Studio Association.

“It’s a real tribute to drawing,” Resek commended. “My girlfriend and I, we both love to draw!”

Both are recent graduates of the University of Alberta through the fine arts program of the Faculty of Extension. They have always made it part of their practice to work in groups, always with an eye toward improving the calibre of everyone’s creations. In the beginning, they got together with a number of the other graduates to critique each other’s work.

“We belong to a group of six ladies,” explained Lisitza, adding that the two have become good friends. “Wanda and I find that our work complements each other quite well. We just decided to try to have [a show] together.”

This marks the first time they have shared title billing for an exhibit.

Resek and Lisitza have kept up the practice of sharing their artistic journeys and it has proven to be very fruitful for them. Lisitza is mostly an acrylic painter but enjoys dark charcoal primarily when she draws, while Resek prefers the precision and control of graphite.

“She and I have always done still lifes of things around the home and around our backyards, a little bit of travel … for us it’s meditative,” Resek said.

The non-resident VASA members have brought more than 50 works of all sizes to the walls with landscapes and figurative works, although there is a stronger showing of still lifes, subject matter that Resek confesses is their combined passion.

As far as Lisitza is concerned, she is not typically the sort of artist who wanders around the great outdoors and sees a pretty flower that she absolutely must sketch.

“No!” she laughed. “Maybe the flowers in my garden. I will do those. I love colour and pattern. I do a lot of still lifes and I’m a quilter as well. I set up the still lifes on the fabrics. Usually everything is pretty colourful with lots of patterns in it. There’s quite a bit of detail in them.”

Some examples of her compositions include chairs with fabrics, objects with patterns, and an iron table with a grid.

Resek too loves patterns and certainly doesn’t shy away from flowers. They both added that they have an interest in turning some of these drawings into paintings.

“These are all gallery framed,” Resek ended. “We could easily pull them out and add colour to them. We’ve had fun with texture and rubbing and stencilling … we’ve done all sorts of things to some of these drawings.”


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