By Jeanne Thomas
Dorci Newman Tremblay is truly a painter's painter. Born into a New England family of accomplished artists, she has always had a studio and was encouraged by both teachers and family to pursue an artistic calling. She taught art for over 32 years before retiring to Red Lodge to focus on her own work.
A rigorous and disciplined painter with a clear command of her craft, she is an exacting and demanding critic of her own work. Her great love for color and deep respect for form is apparent in all of her creations. A great fan of the Fauvist and Impressionist painter Matisse, whose passion for color and form led him close to abstraction, Dorci strives for a certain flow in her compositions that will lead the viewer's eye from the foreground images and deeper into the depths of the painting itself. She believes that it matters little exactly what she paints and chooses to focus on how she is painting and on the actual canvas itself.
Her passion for color led her to study with Bob Rohm in New Mexico where she learned to break her composition into 4 or 5 block areas, find the lightest lights and the darkest darks, and then develop her work from that perspective. She prefers linen board for her plein air trips and linen canvas for the studio. Her palette is complex and really is subdivided into multiple little palettes as she works on different areas; and her preference in brushes is "grand prix" by Silver Brush.
Early on in her career, Dorci focused on figure landscapes, often developing a landscape on the canvas that bore little literal resemblance to the models with whom she worked. She often focused on the forms, planes, and brilliant colors she loved. Since coming to Montana some 20 years ago, she has found the actual physical landscapes of this area tremendously exciting and much of her work is of familiar and recognizable local scenes.
At first glance, her current work is deceptively simple and traditional, but as the eye takes in the large areas of color and the interplay of forms, her work could almost be abstract -- a study of shape and the placement of color. Finally it is her passionate use of color that seduces the eye and beguiles the viewer.
As a long time member of the "Painted Ladies," she is one of the founders of the "Beartooth Plein Air Society", organizing plein air expeditions all summer long. Everyone on every level is invited to join them in their Tuesday excursions. The group leaves the parking lot of the Carbon County Arts Guild and Depot Gallery in Red Lodge at 8:45 AM every Tuesday morning throughout the summer. Please be prepared for the weather and bring a lunch. They often paint into the afternoon.
If you've always wanted to try painting in plein air or just outside, but have been a little confused about how to begin and what to take, you can join Dorci and Sue Spero for their plein air painting workshop on Saturday, August 21st from 8:45 Am to 3 PM. They will demonstrate, offer one-on-one instruction, and a group critique at the end of the day. You can call the Guild at 446-1370 for a supply list and registration details.
As featured artists, Dorci is joining with Sue Spero, for the August show at the Carbon County Arts Guild and Depot Gallery. Their reception will be Friday, August 13th from 4 to 6 PM and both artists' work will be on exhibit throughout August. The reception is free and everyone is invited.
Dorci has also opened her own gallery where you can see much more of her work and enjoy a stimulating conversation about life and art with the artist. Her "Studio 78" gallery is located at #911 Highway 78 about 9 miles from town. The gallery is open most days from 12 - 6 PM and by request. There will be a festive open house on Saturday, September 4th from 2 to 6 p.m. and all are invited to drop by. For more information call Dorci at 446-1490.
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