Capturing the beauty of nature by merging two art forms — watercolor and paper cutting — Palmyra native Joyce Yarbrough returns to the Alliance Art Gallery as the featured guest artist for May and invites those who have admired her paper cutting of butterflies, birds and flowers into her watercolor world.
Paper-cutting became Yarbrough’s profession, but watercolors never quite made an exit. She especially enjoys creating small 4x6 or 5x7 watercolor “souvenirs” when traveling.
“On vacation, I do scenes. I bring a sketch pad. Watercolors are so much easier than pastels,” Yarbrough said.
Preferring realism to an impressionistic style, she easily transitions between the exactitude of paper cutting and the photographic realism of scenes from nature. Yet that realism carries a touch of soft gentleness feathered into it.
“Nature is the source of my inspiration,” she said. She lets the subject dictate the medium.
One day, working a show, doing on-site pastel portraits, someone suggested she try doing silhouettes. Intrigued, she began. People lined up, and surgical scissors in hand, she never looked back.
In fact, since Second Saturday occurs the day before Mother’s Day, the Alliance Gallery realized parents may want Yarbrough to create a silhouette of their son or daughter as a gift. She has agreed to be available to create paper-cut portraitures for $40, and $20 for a second copy, of a child 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 13. It can be immediately matted to be ready for a Mother’s Day gift.
Today, she merges watercolor with paper cutting, creating intoxicating images. It may be a blue feather so real it seems to float, a cone flower, a woodpecker.
The gallery’s featured member artist, Brenda Benson, also cuts paper — but in a very different way. Her intricate compositions consist of complex cut, colored, folded squares assembled into a large brilliantly constructed grid — in a shadow box-like format that draws you into their story.
Combining watercolor, paper, intricate cuttings and folding, she opens doors to a new world, not only for herself but for those who simply love her work. Recently she won third place in a national competition held annually by Cloth Paper Scissors magazine, where her work was featured, and she has had two pieces accepted into the Watercolors USA exhibit.
The Alliance Art Gallery invites you to an opening reception honoring Yarbrough’s and Benson’s work 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, May 13.
This reception coincides with Hannibal’s Second Saturday Gallery Night.
More information is available at allianceartgallery.com or by calling 573-221-2275.
- By BELLA ERAKKO