Sunday, February 24, 2013

Off the Rack - Artist as Collector

Delaware based artist David Baldt is this week's guest blogger for our Artist as Collector Series.
Oil on Canvas
Collection of D. Baldt
My favorite artwork that I have purchased is a painting of a revolutionary war soldier's jacket by the artist Michael Grimaldi of New York City. I bought the painting years ago from American Artists at the Armory Show on the Drexel University campus in Philadelphia. I went there only to browse the selected pieces of art for sale that the collected galleries had brought in from out of town. I was surprised to see a few works by Andrew Wyeth there, which I love for their blend of stark realism and unspoken emotion. At one point as I moved through the show, I thought that I was seeing another painting by Wyeth as I walked up to it, but instead I found the painting to be by Michael Grimaldi, someone of whom I had never heard. The subject, a revolutionary war soldier's jacket hung on a thin wire hanger on a nail against a wall, looked to me to be as technically perfectly executed as a Wyeth. The canvas seemed overlayed with actual glowing fabric. Why such an important historical relic set on a thin wire hanger, I wondered? And the jacket was very like one that I once saw Andrew Wyeth wearing, while he was limping down a second floor hallway in the Brandywine River Museum.

This painting has brought into my home incredible technical artistry and ethereal imagery, as well as the revolutionary war history of the Brandywine Valley, Andrew Wyeth and his legacy and his eccentric love of costumes.

The price for this work, an oil about which guests have asked me if it is a Wyeth, was approximately the same price as one of the Wyeths being offered at show, divided by 1,000. 

Dave Baldt

Dave Baldt is a painter, sculptor, collector and an art board member living and working in the Brandywine Valley.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Studio Visit

A studio visit is a great way to introduce people to your work whether you are part of a studio tour, meeting with a gallery director or curator for a possible exhibition or an informal get together with another artist, friend or collector.

It also motivates you to clean your workspace and review your work. Always good when I get rid of the cobwebs and dust bunnies and clear off the work tables!

There may be the possibility of a show, a sale, or valuable feedback and insight.

Recent conversations from two different visits to my studio were energizing- and validating. It feels so good when someone "gets" your work.  I appreciated the comments, connections and insights... and made some discoveries along the way. One piece that I "accidently" brought out - it was rolled up with another piece, not only will be in my upcoming exhibition at the Siegel JCC Artspace in Wilmington in April, but will be a piece that the work together in a way that I saw- but wasn't sure was clear to others. Apparently it does, so there you go.

Open your door and see what walks in.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Symbolic Reminder- Artist as Collector

Caribbean - American artist Indigene Theresa Gaskin is this week's guest blogger for our Artist as Collector Series.
Andrea Pratt
Black -Billed Magpie
mixed drawing media on archival black paper
10.5" x 10.5" on 14" x 14"
The work of Andrea Pratt was introduced to me online by a mutual friend.  
I became mesmerized with her use of color and symbolism in nature and landscapes. I explore symbolism in my art with images of the universal woman. 
Andrea's work continually inspires my love for symbolism.

I purchased this painting in November, 2011, three months after my Mom and Sister lost their battles with cancer.  This particular painting has a special place in my heart. It is said that birds carry your soul to the divine, and and my Mom loved birds. She often painted and embroidered them. My sister was known as a magpie!
It reminds me daily of their love of nature, the cycle of life and their soul's journey. 

Every painting has (at least) two stories; the one the artist painted and the one the collector or viewer feels and brings to the piece.

Indigene Theresa Gaskin explores the idea of the universal women through dreams, myths and spirituality in her vivid paintings, drawings, journals and altered books.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Swimming Lessons of Life

Watercolor, acrylic & graphite on paper
12" x 16"
It's all part of the picture. Yoga, art, water... life.

Whether it's swimming laps in the pool, walking along the beach, sitting by my pond- or those too few and far between surf sessions; water is the source.

So when I heard these words by Madisyn Taylor from her book Daily OM  read aloud by instructor Danielle Lindner at a yoga class. They flowed over me,  and then it was like a wowweee- that's it!
Fluid Life a River: Living Like Water 
The journey of water as it flows upon the earth can be a mirror of our own paths through life. Water begins its residence of Earth as it falls from the sky or melts from the ice and cascades down a mountain into a tributary or stream. In the same way, we come into the world and begin our lives on Earth. Like a river that flows within the confines of its banks, we are born with certain defining characteristics that govern our identity. We are born in a particular time and place, into a specific family, and with certain gifts and challenges.  Within these parameters, we move though life, encountering many twists, turns, and obstacles along the way-just as a river flows. 

We are met with challenges and unexpected events, situations, moments, as we float, swim, wade, or paddle through life.... and that is the beauty. The flotsam and jetsam (the nets) The stuff. and navigating through it is the great adventure.

Untitled for now... it's still wait, and maybe still in process
10" x 10"
Oil, spraypaint on canvas
Where are you right now? In the flow, or snagged on a line?  and even more important

Are you having fun (yet?)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Kollwitz in His Collection

Washington based artist and instructor Casey Klahn is this week's guest blogger for our Artist as Collector Series.
Käthe Kollwitz
German (1867-1945)
The Downtrodden
Etching, c. 1900
229 x 610 mm (9" x 24.5")

I traded this etching by Käthe Kollwitz for one of my original pastel drawings.

Kollwitz was an early master of Expressionism,  a movement I seek to emulate in my own work.
What ideas and feelings do I want to convey? This is the question I try to answer as an artist.
Käthe Kollwitz did this eloquently.  Every work she produced shows her idea of humanity, matriarchy and personal ethos.
Casey Klahn is an American artist who works in various drawing media, such as pastel, charcoal and graphite. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Noticing, aspiring- and affirming

Detail of Installation
(my personal prayers in 3d)
Wire, pulp, encaustic, tea bags, collage
Noticing how the mind wants to judge the work when I go into the studio- and how that can be the kiss of death for the creative process.

that and comparing your art to others.

especially when the intention is to be authentic, a prayer- of thanksgiving, of gratitude, a prayer for loss or sorrow- or love.

so now I am practicing just noticing that- the black cloud in the expansive sky as my friend gib so eloquently put it on the phone today. catching up with him while i was fiddling with some monotypes I have been doing over the past couple of days.  I see them in my mind's eye, but then they go in a different direction and I am ok with that.  it's kind of like not working out for a while. it takes a while. or like my affirmation for tenacity, or seeing the beauty and value in who I am and all that I create.

It was so wonderful to read the interview with Tony Feher by Saul Ostrow in my first issue of BOMB magazine. Saul admits to Tony that at first he didn't "get" Tony's work and Tony is describing a moment when he decided to give up painting which he was struggling with and he  "realized that 'three dimensions' was where 'he' existed more comfortably....

and here's what truly resonated for me:

"That's the moment when I understand that I have to make art to please myself. ... I let everything else go; I stopped trying to make art and just did what pleased me, what excited me, what took me to some place of consideration where I hadn't been before."  Tony Feher

and then Saul asks Tony about the aspiration for his work- and here's another gem:

For me that's the aspiration for being alive. It's about truth and honesty.

Now that's an affirmation- of life, of art and making stuff. without judgement.  at least not in the studio, once it's out there- all bets are off. but that's another post.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Lovely Gem of a Painting

Virginia based artist Robyn Ryan is this week's guest blogger for the Artist as Collector series.
Leah Rinehart
Riverbank Study
12" x 12"
I met Leah at the Intensive Studies Seminar (ISS) workshop held annually in Taos, NM.  We
began the ISS “pilgrimage” the same year, 8 or 9 years ago and immediately became friends.  Leah was from Colorado and I’m from Virginia.  We only saw each other those two weeks each year, but picked up right where we left off each time.  I think it was our shared “odd” senses of humor and adventurous attitudes towards our artistic growth that drew us together.

Year before last, Leah took a leap at ISS in a different artistic direction, one which I admired for several days from across the room.  This little painting was the gem that resulted from her branching out of her comfort zone.  It was half completed when I worked the “deal” with her to purchase it, which  I’m so glad I did- several others approached her about buying it as well.  Leah wouldn’t let me take it with me. She took the painting home to varnish it and finish the edges, and then shipped it to me.  She never named it, but knowing her inspiration for it, I titled it “Riverbank Study”.  Not very glamorous, I know, but for me, it exemplifies her achievement of expressively capturing a sense of place with minimal description, and pays homage to a milestone in my friend Leah’s artistic journey.

Leah lost her battle with cancer last year.  I missed her intensely at ISS last spring, we all did and always will.  I feel privileged to have known her and to own this lovely gem of a painting.  I’ll always have a piece of Leah with me and I’m eternally grateful for that.  

Leah’s wit and joy leap out at me every time I look at it and it makes me smile, what a gift!

Robyn Ryan is a painter and sculptor who creates works which express relationships between living things and the emotions they emmanate.