New Show is Up

I have some new work up with a group show at the Mount Vernon Marketplace. I stayed with acrylic for this series. I was really feeling spring when I got the call from Katia Baskina from The Escape Artists about an exhibit she was curating with Artists Compound.

Here’s what you can see in person:

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The Ultramarine Blues

I was just reading the Washington Post article via Fulfillment Daily by Maia Gambis, “Why making art is the new meditation.” And yes, yes it is! Though, much like meditation, it isn’t new. But much like meditation, it is greatly needed.

After seeing only the headline I put my coffee on my studio desk, ran to the car to get my laptop so I could write about how art made ME feel. I talked to the neighbor, watered my front yard plants, picked some strawberries, hooked up my laptop, made some raisin bread toast, drank my cold coffee and sat down to read the article.

I told you [almost] everything I did in the course of getting to this point because, again, after JUST reading the headline I got a kick of endorphines. I was happy and greeted my neighbor with a hardy “hello.” I was happy to stand in the hot morning sun and water my plants while beads of sweat started forming. I was ecstatic that I still had some strawberries that the bugs hadn’t eaten off of yet. I was content to drink cold coffee because there was a sort of anticipation about what I was about to read.

As I was reading I googled the people who were quoted. Louise Bourgeois‘ honesty makes me smile, I would have liked to have known her. By the time I die, I hope I leave behind a body of work that says something about who I was. Selfish, but therapeutic.

Eckart Tolle offers the kind of teachings that most of my days are spent wondering about.“ All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness…” -Tolle

Much to my dismay the article ended. But what I can see has begun is my ability to deal with my “blue period.”  Which is the artistic world’s red flag that artist’s use to cope with longing and a stress-filled life.

“The deeper the blue becomes, the more strongly it calls man towards the infi­nite, awak­ening in him a desire for the pure and, finally, for the super­nat­ural” -Kandinsky

That quote came from an article by Teresa Koester for Schirn Mag which looked at 10 artist’s and their blue periods.

This all comes on the heels of just finishing a series of paintings all done with various blues as the common background. I had found a tube of Ultramarine that hadn’t been used much (gasp!), and once I started incorporating, I couldn’t stop using it.

I was just talking to a friend who has been using nothing but blue in her work. I asked if she was stressed lately. The answer was an emphatic “Yes.”

The blues have been around for a long while. They aren’t going away, and I don’t think we complain about the artistic results from their visit.

I’m embracing my blue period, and thanks to ultramarine, that makes me happy.

When a childhood dream manifests itself

When I was around 10 I drew bathing suit outlines on a sheet of paper. My mom may or may not have made xerox copies for me, but I do remember having several sheets of empty bathing suits that I would then draw different designs on. Every year I would wait in anticipation of the JcPenny holiday catalog. You remember, the thick book that would replace one of the phone books as a booster seat for your younger sibling to sit at the table. I would look endlessly at the fashions and the models and try to plan my future around what was in it. Eventually I upgraded to watching Style with Elsa Klench, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, and Awards programs just to be able to see what the world of fashion held for my imagination. I would sketch clothing designs and even my own future wedding dress ( Alas, I grew out of the mermaid look before high school was over.) I never had the money to buy the lavish furs and haute couture clothing, but I never stopped watching out for fashion trends and watching the red carpet pre-award shows. When the movie Mannequin came out in 1987, I was enamored with the idea of creating window displays. Gazing into a storefront window and  getting lost in the story was such a delicious idea that both overwhelmed and excited me. (If I could pick a mannequin to come to life, now THAT would’ve been wonderful.)

Fast forward to about a month or two ago when a friend sent me a link, a call for artists to paint old mannequin torsos for a charity auction. The original concept fell through, instead  ended up creating a window display that would pay homage to Baltimore’s once thriving garment district that is now almost non-existent. The buildings are still here but none of the bravado of the makers of umbrellas, hats, ties, suits, shoes, etc. So for my first piece I merged architectural elements and fashion. A very 1920s, end of the heyday look. I call her Gilda Blue.

gilda-blue-2

We ended up having more torsos and hands so i took some more mannequin pieces home to paint.

torso-and-pieces

This second torso design came from my art journal. And in these last few days before the window unveiling, Stacy talked me into adding pattern paper to it and I fell in love with the results. I call this one Sporty Renaissance.

sporty-renaissance

 

The window may not have moving parts and glamorous furs and feathers, but it has parts, tells a story and brings the people walking on the sidewalk back to life.

But even better, my childhood dream came true. I helped in creating a window installation. Now i’m ready for the next one.

If you’re in Baltimore this Saturday, November 19, come to the Artist Soirée at 223 West Lexington (Sharp Dressed Man location), 6-9pm. The window display can be seen during the day through the gate, but you can get closer by going in and walking through it. Enjoy the installation and maybe see you there!

 

 

**For more information on Baltimore’s garment district, visit here:  http://rotatinghistory.blogspot.com/2012/01/baltimore-garment-district-some-years.html

**An article the Baltimore Sun wrote on Philip Spector, owner of the last sew house in Baltimore:  http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bs-bz-fashions-unlimited-adidas-20150912-story.html

Around the World

If you by chance attended the opening for “Around the World” at the Escape Artists Gallery in Baltimore last night, i have 3 8×10 pieces hanging there. 

My pieces were influenced by the Aboriginal Australians way of symbolizing and story telling. With one subject front and center and radiating dots giving the subject movement and life. And also i was reading Keats’ poem “to Autumn”, that’s where i got the names for the pieces. Not a strange mashup at all.

Here are a few details of each, because I had planned on reshooting when it was daylight, then never did.

Autumn’s Song, Sweet Kernel, and Twittering Sparrow

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A few hours

After visiting Artscape for the past 2 days, i find myself in the studio for a few precious hours. I’m not going to heat up the griddle for the wax, instead i think i’ll grab a canvas and the acrylics and see what comes of it. 

See you soon.

Art and Theme

Thanks to the new show last night, i’ve been prompted to update this blog. Accountability is an amazing motivator.

The last few shows at the Escape Artist’s Gallery had a theme. The first theme i took part in was “Bloom.” I was excited because I love themes. But when it came time to get in the studio and create I found that i worked differently than the way i usually work. I knew i joined this artist group because i wanted to push myself to try new techniques. But what i couldn’t understand was why i was trying so hard. So hard that the work that i had been doing previously was very different looking. I was excited and nervous. Excited because i had tried a new technique, nervous because i thought, what if people like this technique better than my work using my preferred technique? What if this sells and i feel i have to continue doing art this way? …The work didn’t sell. (seen in previous post, but here it is again: “Irish Beauty”, 8″x 8″)

Irish Beauty

On to show 2. Science Fiction/Fantasy theme.
Now i had the opportunity to stick to my style.
I did not stick to it beyond the first layer.
The first piece, “Infinite Pull”, 14″w x 11″h was an experimental melting piece.

Infinite Pull

The results were exciting in that i love controlled chance. But i didn’t feel like it represented me as an artist …or did it? Frustrated yet elated, i tried again.

I worked on 2 pieces simultaneously, i was happy how they were turning out, even though i had not applied any collage pieces or translucent layers as i normally would. They called out for smoothness, as the first did. Here is “Moltron”, 6″w x 8″h  (named as if i had discovered a planet)

Moltron

and “Pon Farr, 6″w x 8″h (because my husband kept thinking it looked like Spock’s aura during the reproduction process.)

Pon Farr

The third piece was a 3″x 3″ made in an attempt to pull the pieces together. I wasn’t going to show it but I became enamored and i felt it put the other pieces in their proper context in the universe. It sold! (Thank you to the buyer!)

Lonely Alien

On to show 3. All or Nothing. The theme with no boundaries/no theme.
The show’s opening reception was last night. I had walked from my office near Pratt Street to the gallery in Mount Vernon. It was a needed walk, i had not managed to go to the gym yesterday so the mile i walked had made me feel less guilty. I showed up around 8:30 to a good amount of people in the gallery. I made my way around the space and took in all of the artwork. I submitted 2 pieces. “Crow’s Nest” 12″w x 9″h. This piece started with an acrylic paint base, then i layered in the 3 and the thread, and continued to use a heat gun to separate the acrylic paint to create thread-like strands. It ended up looking like items a crow would take to it’s nest.

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I also submitted a piece i had started a while ago but finished this past weekend. “You’re One of My Kind” 14″ w x 11″h, encaustic on wood panel. This piece again started with drawing with an ink pen on the wood panel and fusing/layering the wax with acrylic paint, dictionary pieces, sewing pattern tissue, and oil paint/wax

You're One of My Kind

 

The theme of “no theme” brought me back to the process i enjoy. Though, i do realize all of the pieces came from within me, so they each must be considered “my style.” I feel like i’ve learned to just accept the process. No matter the style. To not fear the random thoughts of integration …or omission.

“Bloom” Exhibit opens this weekend

Irish BeautyIn conjunction with the start of Mount Vernon’s FlowerMart, tonight is the opening reception for The Escape Artist’s “Bloom” exhibit. I’ve submitted one piece, “Irish Beauty”, an 8″ x 8″ mixed-media encaustic. When I dropped the piece off, I got a sneak-peak of some amazing work. If you’re in Baltimore, swing by the show and see for yourself, and grab one of my new cards!

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