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Eye on Artists

Submitted PhotoLili Belmonts piece Thoughts (watercolor, 2005). Belmonts work will be on display at the Artists Mercantile through October.
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Editor’s note: Works by watercolorist Lili Belmont will be on display at the Artist’s Mercantile, 720 Cooper Ave., through Oct. 31. Belmont will be on hand at an opening reception for the exhibit from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, at the store.City/town: Missouri HeightsArtist statement: I paint to uplift my own thought and that of my audience. It is important to me that art inspires. Our senses are deceiving and there is a truth about reality that is higher than what meets the eye. I like to visually play with symbols of thought and reinterpret what we seem to see, to hint at that truth.Art to me is inspiring, uplifting and soothing. I realize that artists can be shakers and movers, holding society responsible for human weaknesses by showing sick images. I have decided for myself that the world and the world of art do not need more chaos, haunting questions or sick emotions, but vision, focus and comfort. When I paint I try to lift my thought above the mental realm of problems and ponder how life could be and should be. My hope is that these thoughts are reflected in my work and that the viewer is able to resonate similar thoughts.Artist background/education: Born and raised in Germany, I came to the United States in 1998 to learn more about art, and received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts at Principia College, in Elsah, Ill., in 2002. At Principia College I received a very formal education in the fine arts, learning much about composition, color harmonies and techniques in various art media. After college, I returned to Germany to start a career and had various successful solo and group exhibits in Mainz, Gernsheim, Ober-Ramstadt, Stockstadt and Goddelau. For part of my time in Germany, I opened a studio-gallery, which allowed customers to view and purchase artwork while watching me paint.Shows and gallery exhibitions:Solo exhibits:– April-June 2005: Treppenhaus Gallerie, Gernsheim, Germany– April 2004-April 2005: Waiting Lounge BFA, Mainz, Germany,– 2004: Gallery Guntershausen, Germany– 2003: Galerie-Atelier Lili Weber, Stockstadt, Germany– 2003: “Mississippi Scenes,” Goddelau, Germany– 2003: “Floral Shapes,” Ober-Ramstadt, Germany– 2002: Figure paintings, Elsah, Ill.– 2001: Figure drawings, Elsah,Group exhibits:– 2004: Gallerie Hofgut Guntershausen, Germany — 1999-2003: Holt Gallery, Elsah– 1998-2001: Maybeck Gallery, Elsah– 1997-2001: Library Gallery, ElsahFamily information: In September 2004, I (maiden name Weber) married Joel Belmont, a fine-art photographer from Colorado, and we now live in the Aspen area.How did you get started as an artist? I have always enjoyed painting and drawing, but only became passionate about art in my first year of college. I was planning to have a career in architecture and wanted to improve my drawing and painting skills by taking an array of art classes. I soon realized that it was more satisfying and rewarding for me to be an artist rather than an architect, because I loved having my hands in pastel and chalk and let the brush dance over paper and canvas.What do you do in your free time? I love to explore landscape by bike or on foot while fishing, looking for mushrooms or beautiful foliage to incorporate in my artwork. Another great interest besides art is music, mostly classical music. I was trained as a classical soprano and occasionally sing at weddings. Since my husband is a fine art photographer, we go for art excursions and photo shoots and travel in and out of state as often as our carpet-cleaning business allows. What’s your favorite medium? I am a painter and use all painting media, but my favorite medium is watercolor. I love the fluidity of watercolor. It is a medium that is hard to control and nearly impossible to correct, and even though it has the potential to cause frustration, I enjoy the challenge of the uniqueness and permanence of every decision. As I do not think of art as a personal struggle to create, but an opportunity to reflect on ideas, the unpredictability of this medium is very thrilling. Miracles of all sizes happen while putting paint on the paper if one is patient enough to let the paint spread, just like a good idea needs time to unfold to its fullest potential.Who’s your favorite artist? I am artistically inspired by the work of Odilon Redon, and try to apply this inspiration to my own artwork. Even though Redon mainly worked in pastel, not watercolor, I love his sense of composition and his use of open shapes and transparencies. Most of all, I delight in his sense of color. He often uses bright color for illumination by contrasting it with muted, darker color. Therefore light is not equivalent to yellow tones in Redon’s artwork, it spans the whole spectrum of colors. Texture is also a very important part of Redon’s art. He applies his mediums with a lot of care, paying attention to little marvels that happen throughout the composition. Redon does not use local color, which promotes mood and symbolism. To me symbolism is very important because it helps the viewer to look for the intangible truth a piece of art can send out to the audience. What or who is your biggest influence? My biggest influence is what I see. Ever since I drew the first line in my first art class I feel like I was given a new way of seeing, perceiving and understanding. I inadvertently take mental snapshots non-stop. My eye is caught by all kinds of observations that inspire me to paint: nature, light patterns, shapes in between objects … the list is ever-increasing. Over time I have realized that color most often draws my attention. Even while I am not directly involved in painting I cannot help but collect color ideas. The result is that color in general, color relationships and harmonies are at the core of my work. The color palette I use changes depending on the impressions I get around me. And even when I paint from memories colors are what I see in my inner eye. The Post Independent is asking accomplished artists to participate in “Eye on the Artists” by providing clear, descriptive, and fun explanations about what makes them tick as artists, including experiences in their field, hobbies and inspirations. Return completed forms to April Clark, at aclark@postindependent.com, 945-4487 (fax), or 2014 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs, CO 81601.


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