Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Love, Loss and Healing

As heavy rains and wind whipped outside my studio doors I have been working on the newest evolution of my nets which I have come to realize are also nests. Nets/nests- both are vessels for holding, a sanctuary, a filter for memories, objects. The hanging teabags mark time, a daily ritual in our home.
Love, Loss & Healing, 2012
detail 1
Wire, pulp, encaustic, collage, vinyl tubing, teabags
In one incarnation they hung from lines, fishing lines, like the flotsam and jetsom that wash ashore and come in with the tide.  Now they hang from clear vinyl tubing, like i.v.'s or life lines. No longer are they only bare and skeletal, most are now enveloped in another kind of netting- pantyhose that has been burned to also be net like, think fish net stockings.  The inner frameworks support the more decorative coverings which reference fashion of some kind- mostly the flamboyant hats I grew up with in my dad's milinary stores- Nobby Hats.  Family. Home.... and loss-
Love, Loss & Healing, 2012
detail 2
Wire, pulp, encaustic, collage, vinyl tubing, teabags
There is something breast- like about them, as they float detached from the body. But art is about creation, redemption and transformation.

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who has or is facing loss during this "Frankenstorm."

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Soul of a Woman in her Collection

Painter and designer Delona Seserman is this week's guest blogger for the Artist as Collector Series.
Soul of a Woman
Acrylic, charcoal, spray paint on canvas
48" x 36"
collection of Delona Seserman
©2012Alice Swager

I acquired Alice's painting a good few years ago after not seeing my best friend for almost 6 years. Our friendship goes back to preschool years , back in Romania . We went through so much together  ....and when I saw her painting  '' Soul of a woman'' for the first time , a feeling of love, compassion, hope and peace  embraced me . I felt that the rich chromatic palette of blues , red and oranges outlined by black lines and pointed by  '' white tears ''  of white dots captures the very feminine soul ..... the love for her man , the motherhood's  cradle , the dedication and strength that we, as women are gifted with . 

 Alice had always said that '' the soul of a woman is infinite....because the love she has is so complex...this soul is a miracle and one day ...when men will understand this completely ...the whole world will change " .
As an artist  I admire  the balance Alice  achieved between cold and warm colors : vibrants tones of yellows, oranges and reds are surrounded by peaceful blues .....I see a flame representing the woman and the '' ocean'' of life's waves she has to navigate for her loved ones.  
Alice has a FB page Chaotic Diversity Art.

Romanian born artist, Delona Seserman is a painter, designer and owner of Adris Group an interior design company. Now based in Delaware, Delona's passion for color and compassion for other's defines her work personally and professionally.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Art in the Community

Thursday was the opening reception for the Annual 2012 Regional Exhibition at the Center for Creative Arts in Yorkly, DE.  It was also the Lights On After School Community event for the Kennett After-School Association's After the Bell Program.  Both events are a reminder how the arts play a vital part in creating and enriching a community.  

Kathy Hrenko, Executive Director of After the Bell on right
with middle school students, and me on the left.
Kennett After-School Association's After the Bell Program is an award winning program that offers free after school activities for middle school students in the Kennett Consolidated School District.
It is an amazing collaboration between community organizations, volunteers and the school district.  Students are able to choose from a wide variety of activities that include sports, cooking, games, science, knitting, and skill building for young teens.  There are three 6 week cycles that are offered during the year.  Over the past couple of weeks, we had the students ink up their "kicks" to create a rainbow of footprints to make up this banner that was presented at Lights On After School where community leaders and board members recognized the accomplishments and value of this program.

Mixed media piece on left by Carla Pastore,
artist and Executive Director of
the Center for Creative Arts.
next to my Kaleidoscope on right
Love how they play off of each other!
Later that evening I attended the opening of the 2012 Annual Regional Exhibition at the Center for Creative Arts.  Danielle Rice, executive director of the Delaware Art Museum was this year's juror who was gracious and attended the reception. My painting Koi #6 received an Honorable Mention. Met some new artists and saw some friends who stopped by to say hello and see my work.  A big thank you  to all!
Koi #6
Acrylic on cradled board
14" x 14"
In her Juror's statement, Dr. Rice said "Artists put themselves on the line when they create something from nothing and they open themselves up to criticism again when they exhibit their work. ...Without your courage and creativity, the world would be a dull place indeed."

Here's to working together to helping our communities shine through art.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Effort (less)

Koi #6
Acrylic on canvas
14" x 14"

Effort (less.)  Funny how we can work and work on something, falls into the overworked pile. Then we leave it, let it go.  Rework it and poof, effortlessly it comes together. Of course that is a myth- it's logging in all those miles/hours to get there.  That's what happened with this painting.  Had a different incarnation for months (more than a year) never felt right, but kept it up on a wall for the heck of it.

Then poof. I knew what I wanted to do.  Now Koi #6 is up at the 2012 Annual Regional Art Exhibition at the Center for Creative Arts with an Honorable Mention.  Opening reception is tomorrow night, October 18, 6-8 pm.

Come say hi.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Drawn to Fragile Fragments- Artist as Collector

New York based artist Claudia Demonte is this week's guest blogger for our Artist as Collector series.
Fragile Fragments 2, 2000-02
Foldable cutout dolls: screenprint
and archival digital print with thread
17" x 10", 27" x 12" (size varies as arms move)
Collection of Claudia Demonte

I am particularly drawn to Cecilia Mandrile's work, and the Fragile Fragments series in particular for the way she combine content with materials. The use of the doll figure, something I have use in my own work for very different reasons, has always intrigued me. Mandrile's hand, so sensitive in all ways, uses both high tech digital process with traditional techniques. These Victorian doll inspired pieces, complete with moving parts, are both playful but painfully serious.

I love that Mandrile has figured out a way to make art while constantly on the move... moving/traveling from country to country, homeless in some ways, but strongly centered in others.... actually she is always 'home'.   Band aids covering health wounds, fragility a way of life.

There are few artists who captivate your mind's eye, without sentimentality overtaking subject matter. 

Claudia Demonte is a mixed media sculptor and installation artist, lecturer and curator whose Women of the World project brought together women artists from all over the world to come together and present a unique and collective expression of what it means to be a woman today. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Had to Have Her- Artist as Collector

Kentucky based artist Sharmon Davidson is this week's guest blogger for our Artist as Collector Series. I learned about Sharmon's work when Donna Drozda blogged in this series about a piece of Sharmon's in Empty and Full with a Fresh Eye.
 gouache, watercolors & oil pastel, chartreuse book,
 4" x 6"
collection of Sharmon Davidson
When I first saw ‘Ima’ on Lynne Hoppe’s wonderful blog last year, I just knew I had to have her.  Like all of Lynne’s ‘people’, she somehow seemed real; she spoke to me in the way an imaginary friend speaks to us when we’re very young.  And, lucky me- on the other side of Ima is her alter-ego, Rosie, who is just as beautiful in her own way.
 gouache, oil pastels, watercolors & casein paint, chartreuse book,
4" x 6"
Collection of Sharmon Davidson

I think the fact that Lynne lives at the edge of a huge forest is evident in many ways.  Her work has the honesty of a childhood drawing, combined with the free, organic mark-making that only technical mastery can bring.  Her work inspires me with its vibrancy.  She allows herself to play, fearlessly exploring new methods and materials; this keeps Lynne’s pieces as fresh and vital as the forest she so loves.  

Sharmon Davidson has always had a passion for making art. She is a mixed media artist working with a variety of materials building layers upon layers to reveal the magic and interconnectness of life.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Art. there it is.

Swimming, 2012
Acrylic on canvas
20" x 30"

I just completed this painting. or maybe not. yet.  Funny how that can be.  works evolve, they change, you like a part you don't want to lose it. but you may have to for the sake of the painting. the overall something. cohesiveness.

This is my second week of Guide training at the DCCA and I am really enjoying the process. The program is led by Education Director Jane Chesson and her assistant Sarah Ware. Maxine Graber, the director of the DCCA came for part of each session highlighting major movements in art in a fun, succint, engaging manner.  Terms like modernism, post modernism and contemporary art that we all hear thrown about become simplified. somewhat.
Edouard Manet
Luncheon on the Grass, 1862-63

Confused? You are not alone. Know this. Edouard Manet was a game changer. Up to that point in art history (Western art that is) art was realistic, representational whether is was a biblical or mythological scene, portrait, or still life. Ed comes in and throws it all to the wind, somewhat. He is still painting a traditional scene but he is challenging how we look at and represent art.  Nothing is ever the same.
Opens the door and swoosh in rushes in Impressionism, Fauvism, dadaism and lots of other isms.



Roughly 100 years later, Rauschenberg does a similar type of thing with his "combines."Now there is appropriation, riffing on popular culture, riffing on art, performance art, conceptual, installation- all out there, and it's all art. Or is it?

Go see some art... many places have a First Friday of the month where museums and galleries have openings, happenings with art, often music and refreshments. Tonight the DCCA is hosting Art on the Town.

Have a great weekend!