Wednesday, April 24, 2013

On the Same Remarkable Spiritual Journey- Artist as Collector

Artist Deborah Johnson is this week's guest blogger for our Artist as Collector Series.
Tangeri Dreaming
I was happy to be able to share this piece from my collection.  I traded one of my small raku sculptures for this small print by Kris Vermeer. Writing this post gave me time to re-examine why it is so important to me and placed in such a prominent spot in my home. 
I usually sit on the sofa for a few minutes in the morning while I wait for the coffee maker to do its thing and contemplate this piece which is directly across the room.  

Kris Vermeer is a friend I often showed with in Seattle.  Her work is very spiritual and often incorporates imagery from surviving works of First Peoples.  Kris uses many methods to communicate her love of ancient cultures.  She works primarily with glass and steel, but she is also a very accomplished printmaker. This print is one of my favorites.  I feel it speaks to the heart of her work.

I love the warmth and richness of color, the slight shine of the ink against the matt paper, and of course the imagery which seems to move against the background…these are reasons enough to appreciate this piece, but the reasons go a little deeper.  I feel Kris Vermeer’s combination of ancient imagery with contemporary means of mark making allows her work to transcend time and place. 

When I look at Tingari Dreaming it reminds me that we are all connected as humans on a fragile planet, we are on the same remarkable spiritual journey, no matter where we are located in space and time.

Deborah Johnson is adept in fiber, glass, clay, and paint. Her work is meant as a meditation on the beauty and fragility of our world. Techniques and processes which take years to master honor something about what it means to be human and are as integral to her work as the content. Currently, she lives and works in Delaware. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

All Hung Up- Part 1

Midway through my exhibition at the Siegel JCC ArtSpace in Wilmington, Delaware, I thought I would post installation shots for all of you who live out of town or weren't able to make the show- yet. It is up through May 9, 2013.
Statement and Bait, 2013
Acrylic, graphite, spray paint, collage on paper
60" x 42"
photo by Dain Simon 
Entering the space from the lobby, the exhibition begins with this sign and large drawing on your left. 
My statement above reads:
Koi are a symbol of perseverance and strength of purpose.

My work is an ongoing exploration of what sustains us when adversity challenges us,
what moves us forward and binds us to the past and, what we find and keep and what
we leave behind. Akin to love and loss, images and materials swim together, drift, snag
and cast shadows shifting above and below the surface.

Seemingly unexpected connections emerge to reveal the fragility, beauty and grace of
our lives.

After Bait, you come to this corner...
(l) Deep Blue with Red, acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 48",
Koi #6, acrylic on board, 16" x 16"
Hanging by a Thread, Wire, pulp, encaustic, collage, 54" x 10" x 10"
Kaleidoscope, Acrylic on canvas, 42' x 54"
photo by Dain Simon 
And the exhibition continues down the wall.

photo by Dain Simon 
After Kaleidoscope are two new small 10" x 10" canvases.
All that Is, 2013
Oil, acrylic on canvas with wrapped and painted edges
10" x 10"
photo by Dain Simon 
All that Is II, 2013
Oil, acrylic on canvas with wrapped and painted edges
10" x 10"
photo by Dain Simon 
There is more down the line which I will post another day.  

oh- and when you visit the gallery- be sure and sign the guest book I created for the show.
photo by Dain Simon 
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Artist as Collector from Abroad

This week's post for our Artist as Collector Series, comes from Elaine Kehew, an American artist currently living and working in Nairobi, Kenya.
I have this piece by my artist friend Bill Tully hanging in my daughter's room. 

When my baby girl Rebecca was newly conceived, I chose this painting because it seemed ephemeral and dreamy, and just starting to come to life. We had recently found out that the baby would be a girl, and I like the soft pink tones. 

Bill was an inspiration to me before I decided to paint- I would visit his studio near PS 1 in Manhattan to see the work in progress and smell the turpentine.

Elaine Kehew is a painter and printmaker who has made her home in Nairobi, Kenya. Her work often involves the coast or port themes as viewed through the lens of the artist abroad.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Shots from Artist Reception at JCC

The reception for Beneath the Surface, and Into the Fold-folded upcycled books by Delainey Barclay was last Thursday. It was great fun to see friends- both ones I have known and others I got to meet for the first time- in person.  Siegel JCC ArtSpace committee member Phyllis Aerenson was everywhere snapping away. Here are some of her shots...
"Fishing" will be going home after the show closes on May 9 with
its new collector- Carol Levin.

Katie Glazier on left, made sure there was enough food and beverages to keep everyone happy.
It takes a village.
This committee of amazing artists- and art lovers make up the
Siegel JCC ArtSpace
(l-r: Katie Glazier, Kerin Hearn, Phyllis Aerenson, Carol Balick, Bobbi Levitt,
Judy Topkis,  Maura Golin) 
Spriha Gupta, an interior design student at DCAD, took a Monotype class with me there, and came with her sister in law and niece visiting from India... with a lovely bouquet of tulips!
Reminded me of all the beautiful leis given when you have an exhibition in Hawaii. smells soooo good and you feel like a queen!
Spriha Gupta, and relatives from India

Kathy Hrenko, friend, art therapist and executive director of
the Kennett After- School Association After the Bell
Love working with her students as well...

Ellen Semple (l) came up to be with a big smile and
told me that she is one of my collectors!- she bought my
Red Hot Red I painting from my Walks thru Life Series
as Cindy Pettinaro's COCA event last month.
That's sculptor Stan Smokler on right.

and my new friend, amazing artist
Deborah Johnson who has a studio
at the DCCA.

Off to the show where photographer Dain Simons will be shooting the work in situ .... more to share soon.

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Exuding Authenticity- Artist as Collector

Florida based artist Jim Carpenter is this week's guest blogger for our Artist as Collector Series.
Sandra J. Hadley
It's All About Me
Charcoal on paper
20" x 16" (matted and framed)
Sandra’s paintings in charcoal have long enthralled me with their uncanny ability to ignite my senses. 

I saw the sunflower on the table in Sandra's studio just as she was preparing to frame it for a show, and found myself spontaneously, cheerfully, talking to it: 

"Well, LOOK at YOU!” I said,  as if it were a living creature waiting to be adored. 
It was, in fact, love at first sight. I asked her what she was going to name it and she said, “Either ‘Here’s Looking At You' or 'It’s All About Me.'” I said, “If you name it 'It’s All About Me' I’ll buy it.  

The truth is, I would have bought it no matter what she titled it. 

I know that the phrase “it’s all about me” has its detractors, but for me it is a reminder that you can’t paint authentically from anyone else’s heart but your own.  This sunflower expresses that sentiment; it radiates confidence, joy, authenticity, and exudes a sense of being totally present and in the moment. 

My house is full of art created by others, but Sandra’s painting is the only work by another artist that hangs in my studio. 

Jim Carpenter is a painter living and working in the Gainesville, Florida area. His work addresses a multitude of themes and imagery that tend to run throughout his work: the theatre, dance, spirituality, and family among others.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hanging the Show at the Siegel JCC ArtSpace

We hung my work yesterday at the Siegel JCC ArtSpace.

Carol & I adjusting the height of Hanging By a Thread
Exhibiting at the JCC ArtSpace is an opportunity to work with two very gifted- and experienced people. Carol Balick, head of the art committee (and an artist) for the JCC has an impeccable eye. She knew what she wanted to include in the show, laid it all out quite quickly- and she was spot on.

Carol with Hanging by a Thread and Kaleidoscope

Working alongside, Jon Schoff, chief preparator (and artist) at the Delaware Art Museum was a great opportunity as well. His experience and expertise in working with and hanging art of all sizes and materials ensured that the upmost care was given to my work.
Jon Schoff peeling off the backing from the vinyl letters he created for my statement

Jon's got the touch- and patience to make sure that every letter is on right.
And, Katie Glazier, assistant director of special projects at the Siegel JCC made all the labels for the work- as well as ran out to pick up some supplies we needed.
Jon taught Carol and I that the proper way to hang labels, as they do at the
DE Art Museum is consistently at eye level, approximately 62".

Having hung numerous exhibitions by myself- as well as having had work delivered or shipped off somewhere else where you give up all control to the gallery director or staff, this collaboration was a pleasure. Andrew Simonet of Artists U told a group of participants recently in a series of "Building a Sustainable Life" workshops at the Leeway Foundation, that "No One is Coming," meaning... no one is coming to save us as artists, we need to take responsibility for our own careers. Strategic Planning, not magical thinking.

However, he also told us that we don't have to do everything ourselves. (though we may try at times!) And when you have the right team- it makes life so much easier. sigh.

I am so grateful for all the support I have received for this show. Now for the fun part-
the Opening Reception.

Hope to see you there...

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Searching Beneath the Surface for a New Perspective

Finishing up the last of the pieces for my exhibition at the Siegel JCC ArtSpace in Wilmington.
*to the Stranger that has loved you, 2013
Acrylic, spray paint on canvas
16" x 20"
©2013NanciHersh photo by Dain Simons
The title of the show is "Beneath the Surface" with paintings and works on paper of koi and sculptures of objects made out of wire and paper pulp as containers to hold experiences that wash up in our lives.

Water and fish have appeared and reappeared in my art throughout the years.
Now nets- and their shadows are a part of the exploration.
Suspension (detail) 2012
Acrylic, spray paint, graphite acquarelle, pastel on paper
48" x 96"
©2013NanciHersh photo by Dain Simons

A conversation in the 2013 Omega catalogue titled "Beyond Your Wildest Dreams, Debbie Ford on overcoming fear and igniting self- confidence" seemed to capture the metaphor of the shadow for me spot on.

Here is an excerpt.

Omega: You've written that you can't have the full experience of the light without knowing the dark. Why do you consider the shadow to be the gatekeeper of true freedom?

Debbie: You can't be fully yourself if you have aspects that are hiding. The shadow holds the truth of all the authentic parts of being human- your vulnerability, your discontent, your jealousy, or an experience from the past that you haven't digested.  The only way to invite them out of the shadow is to bring them into the light. The light is a new perspective in which you see that everything that's happening is happening to help you develop your soul.  Then your're free- free to be who you are most authentically, free to ask for what you need, free to find your joy and bliss, free to share your gifts.

Always in search of a new perspective...

Hope to see you at the opening reception on Thursday, April 11, 5-7 pm.

*the title of this painting is a line from the Derek Wolcott poem Love after Love.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Collecting Delaware Valley Art - Artist as Collector Series

Delaware based artist Wes Memeger is this week's guest blogger for the Artist as Collector series.

Crab Apples, 2002
Encaustic on wood
16" x 24"
©2013Sallie Ketcham

I purchased this work from Sallie Ketcham the year it was made. It became a part of our collection made up mostly of works by Delaware Valley artists. 

In first viewing the work, I was quite impressed by the visually deep image Sallie was able
to create in the work forged by much modeling and tooling of the wax.  This was apparently accomplished both by working of the pigmented medium and sculpting of the tree images, heavily on the foreground and in a hyper-subtle fashion as one moves more deeply into the picture plane.

Crab Apples, (detail) 2002
Encaustic on wood
16" x 24"
©2013Sallie Ketcham
This is an especial accomplishment considering the work has a very minimal palette with an overall sense of somber grays, browns and almost flesh colored pinks. In addition to the fine
quality of the work itself, Sallie placed it into a floater frame with a perfectly matched painted wood matte. The latter is consistent with the care Sallie takes in presenting her work for public exhibition.

It holds the distinction of being the second of only two encaustic wax works in our collection, the first also by Sallie. 

Wes Memeger is a painter living and working in Delaware. His abstract geometric paintings investigate the square as a means for exploring the picture plane while uncovering dynamic possibilities along with innate tranquility. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Fool

Sent out my first group email this morning using MailChimp for my upcoming art exhibition at the Siegel JCC ArtSpace titled Beneath the Surface.

Koi #2 and Koi #4
acrylic on cradled board
11" x 14", 14" x 11"
ready to packed up for
Beneath the Surface
Fortunately, I sent a test email out to my friend, photographer and fellow participant in Alyson B. Stanfield's Art Biz Boot Camp,  Catherine Hartigan yesterday, because she emails me first this this am, after receiving the email and writes...
The correct info here!

Exhibition card for
Beneath the Surface 

"isn't the opening April 11, not April 1?" (how did that other little 1 get left out?!)

April Fool... hey it can happen. Like backing out of my garage this am and not noticing that the garage door was not all the way up. Bam!  My Thule hits the bottom of the garage door.
Good news is, while we had the repair man out he also fixed the door on the other side and now we have a new working key pad on the outside.  (Maybe I have to reconsider the affirmation Money flows to me and through me... hmmm)

Such is life. The real lesson brought home today is what Andrew Simonet, dancer, choreographer and co-creator of Artist U. calls-  having an Advisory Board. People who are on your "team"- who get your work, who you can run things by, share things with, be accountable to.  These can be fellow artists, peers, experts in their fields.

Andrew reminds us that there are people who want to help us. We are not alone. Thankfully.

Who's on your board?
My Neu Calendar
which is new for me-
recently ordered it and am just starting to fill it in...
another suggestion from Andrew Simonet
from the Artist U workshops at Leeway Foundation..
"Get a big wall calendar, so you can see "weather patterns"