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.

cropped-img_3604.jpg

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.

Advertisements

“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!

bizcards_stack_photo

Getting out there: art edition

Many use the term “getting out there” to reference dating, but I’m using it in regards to looking at art and talking to artists. A few weeks ago, I did just that.

My friend Kelly and I attented the March “Bromo After 5” at the Bromo Seltzer Clock Tower, where I’ve volunteered a couple of times. My decision to attend was set in stone when I noticed there would be an encaustics artist’s studio open that night. Elizabeth Sullivan would have an open studio on the 12th floor.

Kelly and I were waiting on the old sorta manual elevator to come back down. The chains were working away as they clinked inside the shaft. Kelly and I were a little antsy, okay, I was a little antsy, so we just chose to take the stairs. Which isn’t a bad thing at all because there is artwork in the stairwell, but, usually it’s easier to see coming down instead of in between panting on the way up. (Really it’s not that bad if you go slow and visit other studios on the way to the top!)

We wound our way past the Light Up Lounge where live music by Harmonic Blue was filling studio 302. Then we passed Stewart White, a wonderful plein air painter; Vincent Tobin, a writer/historian, Patricia Peerzada’s fashion pre-show for that week’s Light City Baltimore; Marianna Mills; the vibrant watercolor work of Martha Dougherty; works by J. David Ehlers; Rachel Elise; and then finally to Elizabeth’s studio.

Elizabeth was engaged in conversation so Kel and I perused the art hanging on the wall. Not only did Elizabeth create with encaustics but also in oil and she made monoprints with the gelli plate. (one of my other favorite methods of creating)

When Elizabeth was done with her conversation, I approached her and picked her brain on the wax process. She was warm in conversation and generous with information. I didn’t want to hold her up since the studio tours were going on, so we headed out. I waved goodbye and heard Elizabeth invite me to come back on a Saturday when the studio tours were open so we could chat some more.

Reader, I took her up on that offer.

I visited Elizabeth’s studio a couple weekends later. She was in the middle of figuring out color on one of her oil pieces. I brought some of my own work to show her where I was in my process and how to best frame my work. She was kind and again, generous with information that would help me move forward. She presented a practice wax board where we tested out some of the pastels she uses on wax and how different the results were depending on the brand. Invaluable information for that process. Not to mention a beautiful discovery.

I mentioned that I could see my new office from her studio window. She again invited me to come to the studio during the week, when there were no tours. What a nice person. I haven’t yet visited, but I definitely plan to.

The fact that I stepped out when I could very easily have stayed home, means more to me than just “doing something.” It means that I’m conquering fear of not having a voice, beating down the negativity of “it won’t matter.” I’m allowing myself to grow and experience the world around me. I don’t have to go far to do that. None of us do. You just have to step out your front door with open eyes and a welcoming heart.

That day I “got out there”, I found a mentor. See you soon Elizabeth!

 

 

 

September

So i last posted 154 days ago. It’s obvious i have no discipline to write. But, i have been making sure that i get in the studio to make some art. I’ve discovered the world of encaustic painting. Though right now i’m working with paraffin and fusing the layers. Here’s a sample of what i’ve been up to:

  
  

I’m really loving this process and when i finish one piece, i can’t wait to start the next.