North Seattle College Continuing Education (CE) recently concluded its 4th Annual Student Art Show with the announcement of 2018’s People’s Choice Winner Robin Goebel for her painting, Languid Blue. Goebel has been a regular student of Virginia Paquette’s courses like Painting and Abstraction and Abstract Oil Painting and Cold Wax, developing her skills and confidence, while creating unique artwork that touches the receiver in countless ways.
This year, visitors to the NSC Art Gallery for the CE Student Art show were treated to a pleasing variety of new work created from summer quarter 2017 to spring of 2018. A jury comprised of NSC faculty and staff members Amanda Knowles, Virginia Paquette, Marianne Legg, Andrew Steers and Liz Duarte awarded three Juror’s Choice Award Winners and one Honorable Mention, but it fell to the public to select a People’s Choice.
Goebel says inspiration for Languid Blue came from prompts given to her class by instructor Virginia Paquette. “Each quarter Virginia introduces us to a different artist. She’s very sophisticated in the artists she picks and that is one of the things that makes her a great instructor. She has really inspired my growth. Most recently it was artist Rebecca Crowell whose specialty is cold wax painting.”
When introducing her class to an artist’s work, Paquette identifies their style and technique while establishing creative parameters, like color and theme. “I don’t know that I had an initial inspiration for Languid Blue beyond water. I am very attracted to water. From there it evolved,” says Goebel.
When voting for the 2018 People’s Choice Winner, gallery attendees were asked to leave comments on their voter cards. Most interesting was the strong consensus in interpreting the painting’s imagery. Many saw Goebel’s piece as the perfect abstraction of the Seattle environment as it was so full of familiar qualities. Some saw it as an intimate expanse—a cityscape or body of water that drew in the viewer and left them with a feeling of comfort and calm. One viewer described it as “The colors of Seattle in a painting.”
Students of Virginia Paquette would be anything but surprised by these intuitive and insightful responses as this quality of art is precisely what she seeks to inspire. Paquette’s student feedback regularly speaks to her ability to create a supportive creative space where one can explore all possibilities in addition to receiving sufficient structure to guide and direct one’s creative efforts.
Abstract Painting is considered one of the purest forms of self-expression as it exists without boundaries or barriers. Therein lies the joy of the creative exploration and self-expression that Paquette’s students experience. “There is a reason Virginia's class is always full and has so many returnees: it's just a lot of fun!” says student Collene Lynch. “We can forget about everything else in the world for three hours and have fun with her. She has a great sense of humor and respect for everyone in the class. I truly learn something every lesson. One of the reasons we keep returning: she always has something new to keep us interested. If you are a beginner, you don't need to worry about being ‘behind’. No one is left behind in her class.”
Goebel says she enjoys Paquette’s classes for many reasons, but particularly the guidance received from following the path of another’s work. “We come back to her classes because Virginia keeps introducing us to new artists and techniques,” says Goebel. “She gives us a style to explore and then we are free to take it from there."
As CE concludes its 4th Annual Student Art Show, we wish to remind readers that if you are currently participating in one of our art classes, be it ceramics, drawing, glass, jewelry, painting, photography and comics, your work is eligible for submission to next year’s show. Learn more by visiting our website. Please view our Facebook albums to view artwork from past shows.
Photo credit #1: Amanda Knowles
Photo credit #3: Edwin Ovlera_cc_2.0