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Showing posts from December, 2007

Goodbye to 2007

Today I am counting my blessings and looking back at my artistic acheivements of the past year. The biggest one was participating in two weeks of a residency at the Vermont Studio Center. This was an experience that I have wanted for a very long time - to go away and just make art! VSC provided me with a lovely studio space, meals, and a place to stay while being surrounded by others who are intent on making art. I haven't had the luxury of this amount of time for art since grad school. The best thing about it was being able to carry through on thoughts and processes without interruption. Visiting artist Sarah Walker provided some good feedback as did other artists who saw my work mid-production. Unfortunately I was only able to stay for two weeks instead of the full month that most people do, and I can see that with the extra time I would have been able to work through some of themore difficult problems I posed for myself. I hope to go back to VSC for a full month next time, or …

Patchwork 2

This is my third piece, 40" x 30", derived from the original 8' x 8' painting on paper created this past summer.

Patchwork 1

The second in my re-worked series.

Close-up

Close up view of this new piece. This new piece was begun as a cropped portion of an 8'x 6' piece created this summer. I used the shapes, colors, and background textures as a springboard this new work. In the dead of fall/winter with snow falling hard outside it makes me think of a ripely hot summer day.

just finished (I think!)

This is a new piece, approx. 36" x 30", using acrylic and a few collage elements (note beetles.) This is painted on paper, which is then adhered to a wood panel, allowing me to avoid framing.

Studio Practice

Yes, artmaking is a practice - like yoga, meditation, dancing, exercising, cooking, etc. It means that you are committed to doing something regularly, and that it guides and influences how you live. Since it is a practice, you're never finished. The end product is a result of your practice, and beside the point for the person doing the artmaking. This is how I like to think of it, anyway.

What next?

I tend to work in series. I'll grab onto a process or image and work for several weeks or months on a group until I feel like I've exhausted my interest. Sometimes I'll revisit an image or a process if I feel I have more to say. I'm at the start of a new series which has taken several months to come - derived from huge (for me) paper pieces that I thought were finished earlier this summer. Here's one of the pieces I thought was finished, and now doesn't exist because I have cut it up into smaller sections and will work into those sections.

Process

During a summer workshop at Art New England in 2006, I made a series of simple inkblots. I drizzled and dropped black india ink onto one half of a sheet of drawing paper, then folded the paper, pressed gently, and opened the sheet to reveal often surprisingly beautiful images. I made about a hundred of these blots and photocopied the 30 most interesting ones onto transparencies. I then projected the images onto large (30" x 40") sheets of printmaking paper (Rives BFK). After carefully painting the shapes with black acrylic paint, I re-painted each inkblot with glue and then covered the glue with black glitter. The resulting grouping is about 8 feet by 8 feet.

Who was Ernst Haeckel?

My recent exhibit at Bromfield of 60" x 40" watercolor panels featured images appropriated from and inspired by a 19th century artist named Ernst Haeckel. He is famous for his book of plates, Art Forms From Nature. I found the Dover edition of this book and fell in love with the jellyfish drawings. He illustrated microscopic baby jellies - and I blew them up many times the actual size, projected them and painted them onto my panels. Haeckel was a colleague of Darwin and was quite famous in his day. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunstformen_der_Natur

my friend Jeanne is the Uncommon Quilter

Last night I went to Jeanne Williamson's talk about her new book. You can find out more about it on her site, www.jeannewilliamson.com. It is part how-to, part art book with gorgeous illustrations and wonderful stories about her creative process. Jeanne is particularly fond of using found objects and recyclables in her work - everytime I see a plastic construction fence I think of her... and isn't that what you hope your art will do - make people see things in a new way? Kudos to Jeanne!

Elaborations at Bromfield Gallery

Installation shot from my exhibit (Oct. 31-Dec. 1, 2007). This is the Blue Orbs series. The series was inspired by the work of Ernst Haeckel, 19th c. German illustrator and naturalist. His drawings of nascent, microscopic jellyfish look to me like elaborate chandeliers. Each panel is 60"
x 40", and the effect of standing in front of the series is like floating among these creatures.