Friday, December 30, 2011

The Gift of Space

Sometimes the best gift is one you give yourself. 

Before the holidays I had an idea for a blog post of what to get the artist in your life.  I was thinking of luscious paints, beautiful papers, brushes... you get the idea.  But soon realized that what I really wanted was a break - from commitments, obligations and all the busyness of everyday.
Shadow Drawing
Gesso, charcoal, graphite aquarelle on paper
30" x 22"

And that is just what I did this past Monday.  My family was out of town.  I cancelled plans. I did not drive anywhere and closed up my laptop.   I meditated, journaled, walked, listened to music, worked in my studio and watched a film.  The day was spacious. And just what I needed.

Artist Patricia Scarborough did post a lovely list on her blog with other worthwhile gift ideas that don't come in a box- and are appreciated any time of year!

What gift have you given or plan on giving yourself this year?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

On Edge this Season

On Edge, 2011
From Walks thru Life: Shoe Portraits
Acrylic on canvas
10" x 10"
The title of this painting refers to the blades on these skates, but it could easily be my state of mind.

The holidays tend to put me in overwhelm.

I WANT to send out cards to family and friends near and far, find the perfect gift for everyone on my list, remember all the people who provide services for us through out the year, and be the perfect hostess.

This year in particular, however, finds me still reeling and recovering from the past months of treatments, and our sons' injuries.  I will reflect on how blessed we are to be celebrating this holiday together. We have so many wonderful people in our lives.  If you are reading this, please know that I am truly grateful that you are a part of my life and wish you and yours a Happy Chanukah, a Merry Christmas, or whatever tradition you partake in- may it be peaceful and joyous.   Sending blessings of love, light and healing to all beings. May there be Peace on Earth.

Monday, December 19, 2011

This Artist as Collector post is from Tatiana Garmendia 
Ben Shahn
Since the studio is the public area of our apartment, I actually took down most of the art that wasn't ours this summer. This way,we're ready for studio visits. But we've kept some of our favorite pieces up in our bedroom. Of these, the one I look at before I go to sleep each night and wake to is probably the most inspirational and reminds me that all lovers feel as my husband and I do- like we're one. It's a litho by Ben Shahn of a couple kissing. I love Ben Shahn's wonderful scraggly line quality. 

Speaking of collections, I have a huge collection of prints, most of them from print exchanges.

I did the Cascade Print Exchange last year. The print you contribute gets printed in a catalog, is exhibited, becomes a part of the university's permanent collection, PLUS you get back the loveliest images. No cost, just SASE. If it sounds good to you and your readers, it's listed half-way down the page in that URL. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The newest addition to my closet, and to my Walks thru Life: Shoe Portraits Series- my first pair of Dansko shoes.
 Dansko Slip Ons, 2011
Acrylic on canvas
10" x 10"

These were recently purchased from the Dansko Outlet, in nearby Jennersville, PA.  Don't let the word outlet mislead you- (though the prices are great). There were so many styles to choose from, all displayed in a friendly, serene environment, both inside and out. Natural wood, clean Scandinavian design, and with a lovely outdoor sculpture garden.  

These new kicks are a hybrid of shimmery slippers and comfy clogs.  Already put to the test with two full days of NYC gallery hopping last month, my feet came home as happy as my muse was fed. 

I don't love to shop (except for art supplies or books) but this was easy, and, I already have my eye on a pair of boots. 

Santa are you listening?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hawaii Calls- Artist as Collectors #6

A.Kimberlin Blackburn and I first met many years ago when we were given a show together at the Art Loft in Honolulu, which has sinced evolved into Fine Art Associates.  Kim has her own unique visual language, seeped in nature, mystery and lore.  She works with a variety of materials from paint to beads to fibre- all richly colored, textural and magical.

When I left the islands to get married and return to my Jersey roots Kim gifted Scott and I a wedding present; artwork of hers -my choice.  Fittingly, the painting that I chose is titled Hawaii Calls for You.  The right choice she said, as she knew that regardless of where we live, Hawaii would always call.

She was right. This piece reminds me of our friendship,  a place I will always love, and Kim's commitment to her own voice as an artist.

The power of art- to inspire, evoke and remind us of who and what we love.

What is hanging on your walls?

Email me a jpg and a few lines about what art is in your collection and why it inspires you.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Trite as Flesh

... a memorable phrase from a 1987 film I recently viewed titled I've Heard the Mermaids Singing by Patricia Rozema
Koi #1
Acrylic, collage on cradled board
11" x 14"
Private Collection
Sheila McCarthy plays Polly, a self effacing woman, who finds a job through a temp agency at Gabrielle's art gallery.  Polly admires and secretly loves Gabrielle as she is everything that Polly is not; sophisticated, wordly, and savvy- especially in the art world where Polly is now privy to in a limited way.

Always with camera, Polly joyfully takes pictures of whatever and whoever she finds interesting or intriguing. Too insecure to call herself an artist,  she boldly makes a move, only to be hurt by Gabrielle- hence the title of this post.

The film is offbeat in a charming way, as well as thought provoking.  None of us aspire to be trite in our work. Quite the contrary.  But our work has a life of its own, regardless of labling or judgement. That in itself, has value.

Trite as Flesh- also sounds like a great assignment for art students.

What does Trite as Flesh look like to you?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Among Friends- Artists as Collectors #6

Artist and guest blogger Jennifer Hodis from Pasadena, CA writes:

©2011Carolyn Jean
Collection of Jennifer Hodis

"I've known Carolyn (Ryden) Jean since art school, throughout our kids pre-school years
and into her life as a single woman. She paints lovely things in a fresh and
confident manner. She uses canvas paper and simple materials like
masonite and cardboard. She is affordable and I love supporting her as well
as having reminders of her and our friendship on many walls in my house.

But I really wish I could paint like her!"

©2011Carolyn Jean
Collection of Jennifer Hodis

©2011Carolyn Jean
Collection of Jennifer Hodis
"New work my friend Carolyn sent me- I love the "Let go", we are all trying so hard to loosen up! 
Who of your friends inspires you? 

Shadow Drawings of Nets

Watching the process and evolution of an idea is fascinating.  Often we get a glimpse of an idea, we follow it, not sure where it will take us.  We even question the validity of the path, but we continue.
And the path, is rarely a straight line. But the journey is the adventure.
Shadow Nets #10/11
Charcoal, graphite, gesso, Stabilo aquarelle
on paper
30" x 22"
©2011Nanci Hersh
What began as an idea- my cutlery out of wire, pulp, encaustic and collage, then a dream about butterfly nets, then I began to make my own nets, then photograph them, and now the drawings from their shadows.  ah, the shadows. I do love shadows.

Utensils, 2006
form Inherently Found Series
Wire, pulp, encaustic, collage
Sometimes you know where you are going and you still end up somewhere different.  Sometimes you don't know where you're going- or even where you are- but you still keep going. 

But always, you must follow your heart.