Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Round Pegs in a Square Box - Artist as Collector

Hawaii based artist Deb Nehmad is this week's guest blogger for our Artist as Collector Series.
Jo Rowley
Round Pegs in a Square Box
Jo and I were at the University of Hawaii art program at the same time and we've always maintained a mutual admiration and respect  of one another's work.  Jo's work often has an edge, but softened by humor and and often a pun in the title.  

I purchased a small totally whimsical piece of Jo's several years ago, but I think I got the much better end of the bargain when we finally traded works.  
Round Pegs in a Square Box, detail
I was attracted to the Four Pegs by the amazingly beautiful and obsessive tattoos painted onto the figures, but further moved and intrigued  when Jo told me that these were part of a new series where she is forming the faces of her figures with her eyes closed and sculpting the clay completely by touch. 

"Round Pegs in a Square Box" and a companion piece, "Winkin' Blinkin" and Odd" now sit prominently in my living room where we interact on a daily basis.  

Deborah G. Nehmad is a Honolulu based artist working with paper with which she repetitively burns, etches, draws and scrapes her own visual vocabulary that references the body marked by pain. Her current work addresses anguish on a broader scale incorporating her obsessive mark making to translate visually her concern with global issues of war and violence.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Extra Set of Hands

Workshops, both teaching, and attending, are an important and integral part of my art practice.  

I love the exchange of ideas and energy with everyone involved and as in last week's Marshall Bridge Welding Workshop with Stan Smokler. This year's two workshops mark Stan's 10th anniversary holding these workshops at his rustic and beautiful Kennett Square studio. 

An accomplished sculptor, a generous hands on teacher and the host with the most, including lunches, plenty of water, goggles, ear plugs, safety glasses, cool scarf or welding hat, and a t-shirt. 
He also makes sure we have all the help we need.  With 10 participants for each week, salvaged steel, and some pretty intimidating equipment, it was Stan's techs who were often our "go to" guys, our extra set of hands and the technical know how that kept us safe and out of trouble.

Artist and sculptor Dennis Beach has been helping out at Stan's workshops for years. Here he is giving me an extra set of hands.

photo by Gabe Rothwell
By the end of each day I was physically exhausted but also energized, and had a hard time sleeping I was so excited at night. Now a week later, my one small burn on the top of my hand and  the cut I got on my index finger are healing, I am catching up on my sleep and bringing some new ideas into my studio.
Even my beloved Patagonia hat that I have had for 18 years and wore
while welding to keep my bandana on is finally clean again!
Here's to new beginnings!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Stepping into an Epic Dream- Artist as Collector

From the great plains of the mid west, Oklahoma based artist Holly WIlson is this week's guest blogger for the Artist as Collector Series.
Holly's Dream
Gouache on paper
24" x 24"
©Eleanor Spiess-Ferris
Eleanor Spiess- Ferris is a dear friend I met while living in Chicago. Her work is so powerful. 

"Holly’s Dream" is a narrative story of the swan traveling to meet the woman in the woods. One of my favorite parts is that of the swan shown moving, traveling in time through the painting- each time getting closer to the woman.

When I view her work I always feel as if I have stepped into the middle of an epic dream.

Holly Wilson has exhibited her intimate bronze sculptures and her mixed media encaustic relief sculptures nationally. Wilson’s figures draw both from real life and legends of her Delaware and Cherokee background. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Hot, Sweaty, and Having Fun.

Today was the final day of my Marshall Bridge Welding Workshop with Stan Smokler.  

The week was hot, we were sweating and we had incredible fun.

5 full days of welding in a picturesque setting along a creek with Stan's sculptures sprinkled on the banks,  all the materials we could find or salvage, all the tools- MIG and torch welders, a plasma cutter (my personal favorite), a forge and expert technical assistance from Stan and his techs that he brings to the workshop every year.... Dennis Beach, Kevin Bielicki, Bob Bickey and Jeffrey Bell. Artists in their own right, hardworking on our behalf and very accommodating for the fortunate 10 of us.
Yep, that's me!

There were coolers of ice cold water and a great lunch every day!  Today was sushi followed by a critique- which was really an opportunity for us to see each others work since most of the time we had our goggles on and our noses in our own work.
Welding builds up an appetite and it sure feels good to sit down!

Stan has another week of workshops coming up followed by an exhibition/ party of the works created open to the public.
Want to see what I made this week? Guess you'll have to come to the party!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pattern with a Punch

Lynn Krawczyk, based in Southeastern Michigan is this week's guest blogger for our Artist as Collector Series.

Jeanne Williamson, Patterns in Fences #11
10" x 10"
Jeanne Williamson’s work focuses on the pattern found in the orange plastic open fencing that surrounds construction sites. She uses this as a template to print the fabric with various paints and then fills in the negative spaces with additional patterns. Her use of color is always centered around showcasing pattern in her two dimensional pieces and her new larger installations.

As a fabric printer myself, I’m fascinated by the way she puts color down on cloth. She’s made several series based on her printed construction fence fabric. “Patterns in Fence #11”is from one such series.  It measures 10”x10” and despite it’s small size, packs a huge graphic punch. 

After I purchased “Patterns in Fences #11," I immediately hung it in my studio. It creates an inspiring energy for me there and helps me feel more connected to other artists when I work. Jeanne is a role model as she continues creating larger and bolder work and helps further the presence of fiber art in the mainstream art world.    

Lynn Krawczyk is a mixed media fiber artist creating a juxtaposition of textures and surfaces, leaving her mark on everything she creates.

Lynn’s website:

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Coast to Coast Connection- Artist as Collector

Connecticut based artist Catherine Hartigan is this week's guest blogger for our Artist as Collector Series.
 Glenna Hartmann, Canyon Sycamores 
18" x 24" 
©Glenna Hartmann
collection of Catherine Hartigan
Having spent many vacations in California, I always felt the need to take something back to the east coast with me.  

While visiting there in 1994, I became interested in Glenna Hartmann’s  pastel work represented by the Easton Gallery in Santa Barbara. We had to catch an early flight back home and disappointingly never got to the gallery. I stayed in contact with the owner, Ellen Easton with the hope of finding the right piece. In 2007, I found myself back in LA, and on my birthday we took a beautiful drive north to finally see her work. 

Glenna Hartmann’s pastel“Canyon Sycamores” reminds me what I love most about California… the landscape. The earthy canyon tones are a subtle contrast to the blue in the mountains and ocean.  What really drew me in was the “orange glow “of the sycamores.  As a photographer, I’m always looking for that color burst or subtle shift of light that provides a connection.

“Canyon Sycamores” hangs over the fireplace in a room where we spend most of our family time.   It is a reminder that there are all types of landscapes out there waiting to be seen.  

Some days it inspires me to just pick up my camera and go.

Catherine Hartigan is a photographer capturing images that are vivid with simple, bold color. Truly passionate about travel, she explores wherever her lens will take her.  

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Journey is the Destination

Glued to the telly this am watching Wimbledon as Andy Murray becoming the first Brit in 77 years to win the Cup. After his heartbreaking defeat at Wimbledon last year to Roger Federer, this hard won victory was especially sweet. To his biggest fan as well- his Mum.

When it was all over, relieved and overjoyed, there she was hugging her son with deep emotion after he remembered to come back and kiss her after first going up to the box to thank his coach Ivan Lendl, girlfriend and friends.
Journey is the Destination, 2013
Acrylic on canvas
10" x 10"

This painting was a recent commission from a proud Mom to her graduating son. She told me that he has worn these shoes all over the world and that he cherished the shoes as much as the memories.

LOVE IT!!!!! Absolutely stunning and he was so surprised and I think, touched that I regarded his shoes in that way. 

Lisa Palmer

Who are you cheering for?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Lost in the Paint- Artist as Collector

Delaware based artist Carol Balick is this guest blogger for the Artist as Collector Series.
Wedding Gifts
Oil on canvas
30" x 34"
Collection of Carol Balick
On a cool autumn evening several years ago, I picnicked in the woods near Staunton Virginia with my friend, Cleveland Morris and his friends, Phillip and Elizabeth Geiger, both artists. The food was delicious and so was the conversation.  Phillip was getting ready for a show at Tiborg De Nagy in New York and Elizabeth was getting ready for a show in Lexington, Virginia. At that time, I had not seen the work of either artist but as we spoke, I began to image their paintings. 

The following year, I received a note from Elizabeth inviting me to the opening of her show at Gross McLeaf Gallery in Philadelphia.  By the time my husband and I arrived, her show was almost sold out. We were thrilled that she had done so well and not disappointed that there were so few pieces left.  We hadn’t come to buy, only to look. 

As we walked through the gallery, I kept coming back to “Wedding Gifts.” Moving away, it would draw me back again and again. It was as if I needed to make sure that everything was still on the canvas – that the cloth with everything on it hadn’t slid off the table. I loved the richness of the paint, the humor of this still life, things tilted and placed at precarious angles and the tension and sense of apprehension it created. We couldn’t leave without it. 

Each morning when I come into my kitchen, I look at our beautiful painting, relieved that the blue cloth, the milky compote filled with fruit, the loaf of bread haven’t slid to the floor. I feel the energy, the life force this still life pours into the room. And then I get lost in the paint. 

Carol Balick is a a plein-air painter, she loves the waterways and farmlands of Delaware and the immense landscapes of the southwest, but paints where ever she travels. She is also on the art committee of the Siegel JCC ArtSpace in Wilmington, DE>