Thursday, October 31, 2013

Lurking in the Shadows

Must be the printmaker in me... love ghosts and shadows. 
Installation with monotypes
October 31, 2013
Subtle and shifting moments of obscurity, that hold gifts of clarity or provide openings to see things in a new way.

Trick or Treat, what's your pleasure?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Snapped it Up- Artist as Collector

New Mexico based artist Ann Hart Marquis is this week's guest blogger for the Artist as Collector Series.
California River

I first met Gregory Kondos the year after I rented his summer house in southwest France in 2007. I knew he was a well known California artist, originally from Greece. I had seen his work and loved it, especially his landscapes. His work however, was out of my price range.

Several years later in Santa Fe, NM, I happened upon a sale of monotypes done by well-known artists who had taught classes and contributed work to the College of Santa Fe. 

The state sponsored gallery where the sale was held did not seem to know the importance or value of many pieces that they were selling. I saw a stunning Kondos landscape and snapped it up. 

I look at it every day and I am inspired by its simplicity and gorgeous colors.

Ann Hart Marquis is a New Mexico painter who connects vibrant contemporary paintings with the environment in acrylic and oil on canvas.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Why of it All

When you get clear on the why of what you do, it serves as a compass offering clarity and direction.
Catch and Release (detail)
wire, pulp, encaustic, collage
Photo by Amy Tucker Photography

Unpacking my work last week to get ready to install my window at Gallery 37 in Milford, DE, a woman stopped in and looked at my nets with curiosity, and then promptly stated, "they look rotten." A few minutes later, when I didn't respond, she repeated her comment. (Did she think I didn't hear her?)

I could've taken it a number of ways and granted, they do look aged or like artifacts. That is intentional.

And then, I thought about my why, which is to connect, inspire, and transform.

Netting 2 (detail)
wire, pulp, encaustic, collage
Photo by Amy Tucker Photography
Connect experiences to materials, the intangible thoughts and feelings to process and materials, connect to nature, to a higher power, and to each other. So, I smiled at this woman and shared with her the intention behind the creation of this series called Catch and Release.
Orchid (detail)
wire, pulp, encaustic, collage
Photo by Amy Tucker Photography
This body of work is about time passing, aging, trying to hold on, learning to let go, and finding the beauty and transcendence in the fragility of life. Somewhere (ok a lot of places- is my experience with cancer- and my sons' injuries)

Conduit (detail)
wire, pulp, encaustic, collage
photo by Jessica Czerwin
When I got to the Opening Reception on Saturday there was another artist standing by my window installation. Betsey told me that she loved my window installation. Marcia Reed, the owner of Gallery 37 and an artist herself had explained my work to her. With an open mind, an open heart and learning more about the work,  Betsey told me that she felt incredibly moved by what she saw, she experienced. She used the word Powerful.

wire, pulp, encaustic, collage
photo by Jessica Czerwin
I could've hugged her. In fact, I did.

There's my connection, my inspiration, and the power to transform from rotten to powerful.

Friday, October 25, 2013

This is Art- Five in Fiber

The Five in Fiber exhibition is up and ready for the the opening reception tomorrow Saturday, October 26, 2013 from 3-5 pm at Gallery 37 in Milford, Delaware.

Five artists working with plant, paper and/or synthetic fibers, each of us with different sensibilities and yet noticing the threads (can't avoid that pun) that connect us to each other aesthetically and conceptually.
Here's a shot of me putting the finishing
touches on my window installation
My work address what we catch, what we release and how this shapes our identity. Wire and netting are shaped and formed, then dipped into vats of over- beaten pulp that dries over the form like a taut skin. These “nets” are used, along with pages from old books, fabric, dried plants, and other found objects- including pantyhose, (growing up with a father in the millinery business,) to catch the “stuff” of our lives. Once castaways, these vessels serve as filters and homage to time and memory. 

I love walking along the beach and find beauty and mystery in the odds and ends of humanity and nature intertwined and washed ashore, as much as I appreciate coming across a bird's nets using strands of plants and found scraps of paper. 

Deborah Johnson hung her dream like fiber and cast glass spirit boats in the window on the other side of the front door.

Delainey Barclay drove up in her mini cooper (you can even see it in the photo, between Deborah's boat and the wisps of turquoise and violet fiber sails) filled with her string balls. Here she is below installing her airy and celestial sculptures suspended on thin wire on the back wall...
opposite of apparel artist Marilyn Mitchell piece.  And then suspended more in the back gallery juxtaposed to Linda Celestian's cascading green work that feels like waves of an elegant algea. 
And whether you can make it tomorrow or not- just remember...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Cheerful Giver- and Collector

Vermont based artist Patty Sgrecci is this week's guest blogger for the Artist as Collector series.
A Cheerful Giver
oil on canvas
One of my favorite artists is painter Mel McCuddin from Spokane, WA.  Mel is an incredibly talented yet unassuming artist.  He spent his early career in a 9 to 5 day job, while painting away in his basement evenings and weekends.  This painting "A Cheerful Giver" shows his sense of humor.  Who doesn't love a smiling cow?  His work is always full of texture from many layers of paint, but it's the expressions on some of his subjects that are unforgettable and sometimes haunting.  He calls himself a Figurative Expressionist applying paint and waiting for the canvas to reveal its subject matter.  He says it best himself in this video.   Much of his work is sold through The Art Spirit Gallery in Coeur d'Alene, ID. 

Patty Sgrecci is a kinetic artist who creates mobiles and mixed media sculptures that have a lyrical, linear quality, and echo gestures in nature in an interactive dance.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Five in Fiber- An Up Close and Personal View

I am excited to have my work included in a show opening this Saturday, October 26 at Gallery 37 in the artsy/river/bay town of Milford, DE. 
Notice the soft textural background in this poster?  It is a detail from one of my sculptural works. The photo was taken by Amy Tucker Photography. I met Amy at a women's networking event. Primarily a wedding photographer, I asked her to come by and see what kind of interesting shots she could take of my sculptural nets. 
Life Lines II, detail
Photo by Amy Tucker Photograph
I use paper pulp, wire,  and collage are used to connect life experiences such as women’s work, family, trauma and loss, aging and my love, fear- and connection to water.
Life Lines II, detail
Photo by Amy Tucker Photograph

Shadows cast on the wall by the nets are an integral part of how the work is experienced. Shadows, like cancer, or other trauma, can offer us a new perspective on things- depending upon where we stand.
Orchid, detail
Photo by Amy Tucker Photograph
These filtering nets reference the body which houses our spirits as well as our baggage. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Breaking it Down with Picasso

NJ based artist Sandy Rosen is this week's guest blogger for the Artist as Collector Series.
Pablo Picasso, 1961
Original lithograph from the portfolio
"Toro Y Toreros"
Limited edition of 150
Catalogue reference Cramer 12
Numbered in pencil
Dated in the stone
Comes with Certificate of Authenticity
Image size approx. 14.5" x 10.5"
Framed size 29.5" x 26"
Years ago, I became close friends with a couple of art lovers, one being an artist himself- the late Rick Celano, who at the time had a wonderful art gallery, Old Queens Gallery located in New Brunswick, NJ. (The Heldrich Hotel stands there today). 

While in the process of closing the gallery, they thoughtfully asked if I would like to acquire a few pieces of art.  I said yes, although not sure what, if anything, I could afford initially.
However, when I saw this beautifully framed Picasso, with a certificate of authenticity
I knew that this would be the one I would choose from all other works.

As a printmaker and artist, I enjoy the expressive form, drama and storytelling of Picasso, among other attributes, and have grown in appreciation of Picasso's work so much over the years, specifically, his masterful hand at complex imagery along with "simplicity". 

I reflect on PICASSO, MATISSE and others for inspiration, many times finding difficulty in breaking down my own barriers to "simplify" my process as well.

In addition to Rick Celano making it possible for me to own a Picasso, I have wonderful memories of his legacy of passion for and love of art which he has shared with and passed on to so many, including his daughter, Elano Celano, who is also an artist.

Sandy Rosen works in a variety of two dimensional mediums to create her visual palette of detailed marks, lines and shapes. A wise range of sensibilities are reflected in the balance and interplay of color, dimension, style and texture.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Powerful Portraits Remain

New Jersey based artist Francesca Azzara is this week's guest blogger for the Artist as Collector Series.
Francesca Azzara in front of her Elizabeth Harneys
John Allen and Michael Bloomberg
acrylic on canvas
I was exhibiting my own work at the Jersey City Artists Studio Tour this month when I spotted Elizabeth Harney’s powerful portraits.  Her work spoke to me immediately and I decided in an instant that I wanted to own them.  There is a certain aesthetic and sensibility in Elizabeth’s work that I connected to.  

That is not something I usually do.  I often know the work of an artist, or know the artist and the history of their work, before I make a decision.  This was instantaneous. 

Usually, I work in black and white or minimal use of color.  I am interested in form and content versus color and design.  These 2 paintings are part of a series of 10 portraits.  All of the figures are white men in power.  

I had the opportunity to meet Elizabeth at the Tour’s opening party and we talked about her work.  The artist is a very young, soft spoken, wisp of a woman, in contrast to her large powerful portraits.  Elizabeth grew up in a military household in New Jersey.   Her work explores the concept of power and sees it changing.  

She foresees that the white male dominated era of power will soon be archaic and is interested in capturing what currently remains.

Francesca Azzara is a painter working in encaustics and mixed media. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Good News Monday

Got the Grant- I learned on Friday that I received a Leeway Foundation Art & Change Grant. I am thrilled that I can continue working with YoungMoms of Kennett Square, a relationship that began in 2010 when I received my first Leeway Foundation ACG. This time we will be creating sculptures together... more on that soon!
This is Bridget a YoungMom working with me in 2010 made possible by
first Leeway Foundation ACG.
Over the weekend, I found the phone- after a couple of days of peering down into the pond with no sighting of my sunken phone due to a strong reflection, I had the idea to look for the phone when the sun was not directly over head... and sure enough as I leaned over the ledge I saw the white numbers facing up. Scooped it up with a net.  

and... just this am I got a $30. discount coupon from Vistaprint when I booked my reservation with Global Airport Parking for my trip this Thursday to CO. Already put to good use for my fabulous new oversized postcard designed by Caryl Felicetta of Think Plan C.

Hoping you have some good news to share this Monday.

Tell me something good...

and thank you for reading this, things are more fun when you share.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

In Good Company- Artist as Collector

California based artist Johanna Spinks is this week's guest blogger for the Artist as Collector Series.
Amy Crehore

 oil on 1/8" plywood
7 3/4" x 10 1/4"
collection of Johanna Spinks
This painting by Amy Crehore was originally done as an illustration for an online issue of  The Magazine issue 24,  to accompany an article on female hackers written by my daughter Rosie Spinks.  Rosie had told me the challenge of writing the in depth article and what a great illustration had been done for it. 

When I saw the image online I found it charming and whimsical, and appreciated her execution and color harmony. It's Alice in Wonderland-esque in the computer age. 

I was interested in purchasing the piece and went to Amy's site to see more of her work. She is a successful artist and most of her work had been sold. I didn't know if I would able to afford her, so I was thrilled when she sold me this piece for a price I could afford.  I was also impressed by her overall professionalism. 

As a full-time artist myself, it is hard for me to look at my own art on my home walls at the end of the studio day, so I love to fill my home with other people's art. 

We were once evacuated  from our home as we live in "fire country,"  and my collection was the first thing that went in the car, after the kids and dog!

Amy's piece will be enjoyed among some great company for a long time.

Johanna Spinks is a painter living and working in Southern California. The British born artist is as much a storyteller as she is a classically trained portrait artist. In 2013 she was awarded the Mayor's Art Award, Artist in the Community, Ventura, CA.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Can You Hear Me Now?

October 1, and picture perfect. Finished up another koi painting while they are still swimming around enjoying this gorgeous weather. With the onset of fall and cooler nights, I officially switched my koi food to the Fall/Spring blend, leaves are beginning to drop in the pond, as well as my portable phone. 
Transition, 2013
acrylic on canvas
24" x 24"
Yes, it's true. We just recently had the railing on our deck/lanai with wide steps leading to the pond. An unobstructed view was desired. We were concerned that Dini and Maggie (our Lab and Jack Russell) might come bounding out the door when I let them out and keep going down the stairs- right into the pond. A little momentum goes a long way.
Yesterday, I decided to sit and enjoy the pond for a bit while I ate my lunch. Had my dish and fork, my cell phone and the house phone as I was expecting some calls and wouldn't you know it, just a little falter and the house phone flies out of my hands, bounces and rolls a couple of times, and plop. You got it. Down at the bottom.

I keep trying to see if I can spot it and "fish" it out. No luck. So now we are down to one house phone, from the original 3. The other I left out in the rain. Something about water and me, wouldn't you say?

Oh well. I am grateful for another beautiful day, a pond to enjoy with my "girls" and the fact that it was not my smart phone that went for the swim. So... can you hear me now?

don't ask.