On my website I claim that this blog will give viewers insight into what makes artists tick. What really makes artists tick the best is spending lots of time in the studio. I'm happy to say that I have been doing a lot for the past several months.
Now I'm making an effort to take care of some of the business side of things. Without that, the art will never actually leave the studio.
Last week I developed an ad for private art instruction in my studio to place in a local, art-focused paper. I'm hoping to have a few new students by the end of October.
Monday I refreshed some items on my Etsy Shop and will soon be adding some new small watercolors to that site.
Tuesday night I sat in on an amazing live webcast by Xanadu Gallery in Phoenix Arizona. Each year they do a mentorship with a different artist to help take their careers to the next level--new web site, bio, presentation materials, and eventually a solo show at the gallery. All of the artists who competed for the mentorship are permitted to watch the mentoring sessions live on Google Hangouts. It's a great way to learn and meet other artists.
Wednesday I set up the email sign-on form in Mail Chimp so I could add it to my web site.
Thursday I reviewed my website and the code I would need to make updates.
Today I spent a marathon session updating my website. A lot of artists pay someone to do that but fortunately for me (or unfortunately depending on how you view it), I learned some basic web development when web sites were a brand new marketing tool at one of my many day jobs. I integrated the email sign up for my newsletter and updated a lot of my images with professionally shot images (something I can't do myself).
That is not to say I haven't been painting. I still managed to get in 2 - 4 hours of painting after work at my day job. I'm still working on my Circus Summer piece. I'm at the stage I usually reach when I'm about three quarters done where I think I've totally ruined it. I usually manage to pull through. Let's hope that's the case here.
Sunday, May 4, 2014
Barriers: Since my last visit, the European painting galleries had been totally refurbished--including new cord barriers around all of the walls which I found incredibly annoying. I could no longer lean in to see the detail work in the paintings without risking falling into them. They placed at exactly the right distance to prevent me from seeing clearly with or without my glasses. I will have to resort to binoculars next time.
Treasure in a Darkened Room: Of all the beautiful works I saw--old friends and new finds--I was totally blown away by a multimedia piece I literally stumbled upon. That was William Kentridge's Refusal of Time. I sat mesmerized in a darkened room for the better part of an hour and left only when they herded us out because the museum was closing. The room was large and dark. There were chairs scattered about so we could sit. There were 5 large movie screens--2 on the side walls and 1 in the front. Sometimes film images were duplicated on all or some screens. Sometimes images were projected as a continuum and progressed around the room from screen to screen. Sometimes there were complementary images on each screen. There was music and sound. All the while, a kinetic wooden sculpture moved in the center of the room moved back and forth like a beating heart or an atomic clock. There was history, time, sound, images--both representational and totally abstract, both politically charged and aesthetically driven. Anyone who has any interest in video, film, or mixed media has to see this piece. I can't describe it--I'm sure the Met can describe this new acquisition better than I. Better yet, go see it before it closes on May 11.
James Jebusa Shannon
Afterwards, I strolled down Fifth Avenue to the 53rd Street E train station, and was on a Red Bank-bound North Jersey Coast Train by 7:30.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
|Woman with Pink Headbband|
8 x 5" watercolor
Tonight I got there in plenty of time--put out my little work table and chair to secure a spot where I would get a good reflection of the model in the large studio mirror (reflections make for deeper space and much more interesting compositions). Then I submitted my piece--two small watercolors done on prior Wednesday nights.
Lo and behold, 8 o'clock rolled around and there was no model. We milled about. Hemmed and hawed. When it was established that there was a bona fide mix up and the model was just not late, I stepped up to the plate and sat for the group. As a young woman I had worked as a professional model and so knew how to strike a good pose. I'm just not as young as I once was so holding the pose was a bit tough. It was funny to be back up on the stand hearing the conversation around me. Attendance was light as it was raining buckets and everyone seemed to find a vantage point that pleased their sense of design.
As I sat there, frozen in place, I worked out the strategy for the new egg tempera piece I'm going to start on Friday. Will I sponge on colors? Which ones? Will I make a mask? Of the figures? How will I keep the green of the large expanse of lawn from overpowering the piece? All of this ran through my head against the backdrop of brushes scratching canvases, charcoal on paper.
This was not the way I had expected the night to play out. But it was good. Everyone quit by 9:30. By that time, the juror was done selecting the work for the show. One piece got in and one didn't. So if you are around Red Bank this Saturday night, stop by the gallery from 6 to 8 PM and check out my little watercolor, Woman with Pink Headband. There'll be lots of other interesting art, people, and snacks.
I wrapped up the rejected painting in bubble wrap and plastic to protect it from the downpour and plunged out into the rain.
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Koo Schadler's workshop in New Hampshire. It's getting mighty close. Wishing you a creative and surprising 2014.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Finally, I have completed a new painting. Called Wednesday, I finished it on Monday of the Columbus Day weekend but have been on the go ever since and have not had a chance to post it. This is 19" H X 30" W in egg tempera. I think I'll be working on a few smaller pieces after this so that I can try a few techniques I learned (or had reinforced) at Koo Schadler's workshop in August. If you aren't familiar with her work, check it out at www.kooschadler.com.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Before my last piece (Nautilus) was even completed, I was already working on a new piece that took a really long time to gel. Is it old age that images no longer just pop into my head? Or just proof of the fallicy of multitasking?
In any event,Wednesday was initially a real struggle--countless thumbnails in my sketchbook, on the proverbial napkin in restaurants, and even in meeting notes at the office. I had a vague concept in my head--which is not the best way to create art. I also had segments of images. I needed a human subject but didn't want to resort to another self-portrait. I wanted a new challenge but was concered about the fact that, while improving, I still don't really have completed control of the egg tempera medium down yet. That could also be a good thing.
Then, in a blinding flash it dawned on me--why not ask my neice to pose. We had a great time doing a photo shoot. In a happy accident, her new kitten, Lucy, wandered onto our set and added another dimension. Here you can see a prelimary study and the final drawing in a near completed state.
Wedesday is about sequence, seriality, and the passage of time--as well as notions of obscuring and revealing images needed to advance the narrative as well as to explore more fully the process of working in egg tempera. In this medium you build a painting from many veils of color and paint--sometimes obscuring and sometimes revealing. This work is both a metaphor and a demonstration of that process. Time will tell how successful that will be. I was brought back to the need to work in a "multiple" format while executing my piece, A Meditation on the Stations of the Cross, completed in 2008. Then I saw the Chuck Close printmaking retrospective in DC last summer and this need was cemented in my brain.
This is the largest piece I have attempted in this medium and to keep from going insane will be incorporating techniques learned from Koo Schadler (check out her site at www.kooschadler.com) as well as suggestions gleaned from Robert Vickrey's book, New Techniques in Egg Tempera. Stay tuned.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Finally, another painting finished--Nautilus, portrait of my son Thomas and an homage to George Tooker--after his self portrait done as a young man. This painting was a struggle. About 4 months in I felt I had lost control of the flesh tones in the shadow side of the face and sanded off several layers of paint. The paint did not come off smoothly and took a long time to fill back in. In the end I am pleased. It is better than the last painting, although scale still presents problems. I found working at this scale--about 3/4 life size--difficult. This is mostly due to vision problems. At this scale, I spend much of my painting time wearing a magnifying headpiece reminiscent of the father in Honey I Shrunk the Kids searching for the miniaturized children lost in the lawn. I'm already on to the next piece. Will have a drawing to show shortly. Ta.