The weekend brought about a wonderful art festival in the town of Evanston, Illinois, near one of the countless beaches along the shore of Lake Michigan. The lakefront is a most appropriate venue for an art festival, with the splendor of Lake Michigan creating the perfect backdrop for gorgeous art. Dawes Park is the exact location for this festival, where a path wraps around a small, clear, green body of water filled with little duck families. The art that brought the most talk about creative procedures was from the husband and wife tag-team of Mark and Carol Pflughoeft.
Carol brought some fractal art that combines both mathematics and art. She believes there is pure delight in order because the world is filled with it. She finds fractal formulas on the internet and rearranges the constraints and values within the formulas to create different fractals. The fractals are formed by a software program, then merged into her photography and modified on Photoshop. The result is a spontaneous and beautiful art of geometric cohesiveness. Prior to becoming an artist, Carol was a graphic designer; she explored digital art as a hobby and realized that she was going to pursue this upon retirement. She has been studying digital art for only four years and has attended art festivals for two years. Last year, she and her husband attended ten art festivals. This year, at the Spring Green Arts/Crafts Fair in Spring Green, Wisconsin, she won her first ‘best of show’ award, a huge accomplishment for someone who is considered a newcomer in the field of digital art. She says her inspiration and teacher, Janet Parke, an accomplished fractal artist, taught her everything she knows. ‘I am living my dream,’ Carol says.
Art by Mark Pflughoeft. Photo by Kimberly Hansel
While Carol is upstairs on the computer, her husband Mark is downstairs in the studio creating layers of masterfully crafted back-painted Plexiglas. Mark has been painting since 1969 and only recently became interested in back-painting Plexiglas. He uses his original paintings and determines how they were painted backwards, since the viewer needs to see the original painting. In addition to a backwards thought process, Mark has added further difficulty by creating layers to his paintings involving shear acrylic cloth, paper, and silver-and-gold painted Mylar. He creates a plan and works from the last layer to the front layer in order for the viewer to see the correct version of the original. Mark also has won ‘best of show’ awards as well as ‘best in mixed media’ awards. Together, this husband and wife duo is sure to astonish you with their unique displays of art.
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Be sure to visit upcoming art festivals in the Chicago area.
55th Annual Ginza Festival – August 13 through August 15
Art in Your Eye – August 14 and 15
Long Grove Art Fest – August 14 and 15
Gold Coast Art Fair – August 20 through August 22