Pop-up Art Show

Last night we were getting caught up with Grace and Frankie (on Netflix, check it out if you haven’t seen the series!).  Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin’s characters Grace and Frankie were staging pop-up events for their um, feminine product (am I a prude or what?) that they had designed and manufactured.  The first event was on a very small scale, the next was larger and without proper permits so yeah, they got thrown off the university campus (but they made sales and future contacts!).

Pop-ups are great events to sell art, products, services, etc.  They can last for weeks or months or they can be one-day events.  They are evidently a common occurrence in the big cities but are perfect for small towns too.  But, despite the spontaneity and simplicity that Grace and Frankie’s examples seemed to imply, they do take planning.  It is recommended that six months be allowed for typical pop-ups, but I know from experience they can be planned in a month.  Well, I will know in a few weeks.

We are having a one day pop-up art show in our town on March 3rd.  It is for all artists of our large county and it is hoped that there will be many more events like this to showcase the artists of our area.  It is going to be great for the downtown area, which is in the process of being revitalized and rediscovered.  The event will be in a large building that used to be a furniture store (it has pegboard and nails in the plaster walls, yay!), so pop-ups are great for empty real estate and their agents.  Local people, wouldn’t it be great to have our own little “arts district” involving visual arts, theater, music?  I am excited and see so many possibilities for the future.

So, if you are a local artist, please join us!  If not an artist, you can be a patron of the arts, so please join us!  Not local?  Make a trip and check us out!

show flyer full sheet FINAL

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TBT – my dad still surprises me

I’ve written about my dad before and his raw, natural talent.  He was a huge influence on my own art and was one of my greatest supporters.  During the past year I have discovered photos and articles about him and even sketches I had never seen before.  It is always a joy to discover these little gems and I hope you enjoy them.

The latest discoveries were a photo and article from the local paper about Dad and other artists being chosen to exhibit at the World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee.  This was in 1982 and I found it in a photo album.

The sketch was from a file of papers that evidently had been saved from his desk at work (as a manager for a financial company).  They usually began as notes of a car that was to be financed and evolved into ideas for sculptures.  From left brain to right brain on a single sheet of paper!

Where are the horse’s legs?  Who knows, the horse never was never finished for some reason although it was used in a photograph of the current grand kids at that time.  Below that a pic from this past Christmas with the latest Great-Grand, enjoying his time on the horse!

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Themes

In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season furniture was rearranged to make way for our beautiful live and traditionally tall tree.  Artworks were also rearranged to make place for the decor (and frankly to make room at the dining room table!).  Then things calm down (it was eerily quite and lonely when my loved ones left town!) and the post-holiday cleaning and organizing begin.

Let me state here that there was very little PRE-holiday cleaning but there were valid reasons for that.  Then there’s the procrastination factor.  And the it-was-just-a-busy-time factor.  A poor excuse is better than none, right?

Anyway, I noticed two works of mine that had been absent-mindedly placed together.  Oddly enough they share a common theme.  One is an oil pastel painting of a friend’s daughter’s hands holding a broken bird egg.  The other is an assemblage of my zentangled eggs and other objects.

This got me thinking about themes in an artist’s body of work.  I am currently working on a series of portraits of friends and family that show a variety of emotions, so there’s a theme.  They are/will be drawn and painted, as per my favorite media.  But the egg assemblages are a completely new medium for me, originally the solution to an overabundance of drawn on eggs.  Creating them almost made me feel as if I were two different artists because they are so removed from the 2-d work, I even made separate Instagram and Facebook pages for them.  But now there is a connection, although I’m not planning on creating more egg paintings just to justify that (come to think of it, I DO have another egg painting, lol!).

Comments welcome!

egg drawing and assemblage

Accidental but happy placement of works.

detail egg box

Detail of egg in hand-made paper “nest”.

angel overlooks the decorating

The tree-top angel was checking out Duncan’s work!

detail egg in hand drawing

Detail of oil pastel painting.

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Words and Visual Art

georgia okeefe quote

I am not good with words, putting them together in a creative and meaningful way is difficult for me.  Writing for this blog involves a huge act of procrastination for me.   I do, however, love putting words with my art.

Currently I am working on a new body of work that is mainly mixed media.  Textures from tissue paper, modeling paste, gessoed fabrics and raised stencils are an extension of earlier works.  None of these involve text as of yet, but in the process of thinking about works for this series, there are ideas evolving that involve words.  This feels like a teaser since I have nothing to show yet, so I’ll show some of the new pieces that are finished.  And some that are not.  Sometime soon.

I also never liked writing artists statements.  The discovery of these favorite quotes, the Georgia O’Keeffe was found on the Internet (Natasha Wilson artist) and by Hopper that really hit home with me.  Guess I should investigate artists who use words IN their art.

hopper quote

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All of my students are a joy…

Queen Steph

Queen Steph           Pencil on Canson board        21″ x 15″

Yesterday I was in a local big box store and ran into a former student.  We hugged and he walked with me for a while and I got caught up with his current plans.  While we were talking, another student from WAY back when I taught middle school (over 20 years ago!) came by.  We hugged but didn’t get to talk much.  She doesn’t know it, but I always say she was one of MY best teachers ever.  She had several disabilities that I won’t go into here, but she showed us the meaning of resilience and having a good perspective on life.

Coincidentally, perhaps, I just finished a pencil drawing of another former student.  This young lady had a rough start in life but caught a break when she was younger.  Her options after graduation were limited but she had a plan.  I haven’t seen her since the last day of that school year but I’m sure she stuck to her plans to improve her life.

I used to have a sign on the back of my classroom door that read:  All of my students are a joy, some when they enter the room, some when they leave!  These students I’ve mentioned, and many more, were the ones you didn’t want to leave the room.

 

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Not EGG-zactly what I usually do…

detail egg cluster

Sorry, I know that puns are the lowest form of humor but it just came out!

Here are photos of the latest egg projects.   The eggs needed to be in a protected setting and I wanted to include more natural materials so I enclosed them in wood crates and shadow boxes.   I love Joseph Cornell assemblages so maybe his work had an influence on me.  BTW, the Art Institute of Chicago has a huge, dimly lit cabinet full of Cornell pieces!  Click here to see his work.

Included media includes hand-made paper (paper towels and denim pulp) “nests” and discs, branches from my dad’s shed, marbles from husband’s childhood collection and screen wire.  And a print of a painting I did of my grandmother Mama Pate!

I won’t say these are finished and there are other projects on the back burner, so stay tuned.

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Something new, something old…

first set

It has been an interesting six months as far as my art goes.  Works included bottle cap mosaics, painted murals and stage sets, not the usual drawing and painting but art none the less.  A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a tile mosaic workshop with the world famous Isaiah Zagar.  To quote Steve Earle in “Coppperhead Road”:  I came home with a brand new plan.  There are many ideas for tile mosaic murals in my head but first one must accumulate the necessary media and tools.  This takes time but I know it will happen.  Friends, family, strangers are contributing tile, pottery and dinner plates to the stockpile for future murals.  There is even the gift of warehouse space.  Free!

In the meantime, a friend gifted me with two boxes of blown-out chicken eggs.  These were to repair a craftsy door wreath I’d made with various colored (naturally by various chicken breeds) eggs but my media was fragile and needed some replacements.

What to do with a multitude of beautiful eggs?  Why not draw on them?  Why not Zentangles?   I used to do Zentangles as an introductory lesson for my beginning art students.  One does not need drawing skills because the lesson involves basically repeating patterns and lines so it was a successful exercise.  Zentangles are doodles.  The amazing thing was watching 30 high school students go silent as they got into their assignment.  The “zen” part is for real, y’all.  Here’s a great article from Psychology Today about the benefits of Zentangles here.

lots of eggs

So, I doodled on the eggs.  Watching tv at night, I doodled.  Combined with my morning cup of coffee, I doodled (it seems to set my brain into a calm, creative mode).  The transformed eggs began to accumulate.  Now what to do?  They’re too fragile to be held by viewers (or to leave on a table top, they don’t take well to rolling off the edge!). Are they too craftsy?  Could I create a work of ART from them?

That takes us to my current status: assembling new artworks that incorporate the eggs.  Thinking past my usual drawing/painting.   Thinking about paper/denim pulp.  The pics shown here are of works in progress, so stay tuned for further developments.

box of nests

 

Posted in art, art with eggs, mixed media, oil painting, tile mosaic murals, zentangles | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Daddy’s Hands – the hands of an artist.

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The man who was my first art teacher passed away on January 5th of this year.  Growing up he was my toughest critic (especially when I drew horses!) but always the biggest supporter when it came to my own work.   He was also my daddy.

One of the wonderful nurses who attended him in the ICU last month was checking and fussing over him  (he was not aware of anything at that point and had come into the hospital that way) and when she got to his right hand, she softly said “this is the hand of a carpenter”.  We were floored at her perception, but told her that she was close, he was a woodworker, an artist.  We showed her pictures of his work and she thanked us for that.

He was a business man by day but an artist at heart; he could draw and paint, make furniture, design additions to our house (he studied architecture for two years), but his gift was clearly sculpture.  Clay, wood, stone and bronze were his media at various time throughout the years.  He didn’t have a degree but if all those hours spent in community college and university classes were added up, he’d probably have a BFA.

He was told by his uncle that he had “natural talent” and that he inherited it from his grandmother Fannie.  Dad would tell how the local ladies would not dare begin a quilting bee until Miss Fannie had been by to discuss color and pattern.  She was also known for designing beautiful arrangements of neighbor’s garden flowers.  I relished this story every time I heard it and tried to channel Great Grandmother Fannie as I made a quilt for my first grandson last spring.

Dad’s motivation to create was diminishing in recent years, but he would always ask me in our telephone conversations about my latest work.  I’d ask him about his, hoping in those declining days a spark had developed.  I was the lucky recipient of one of the last things he created: a walking stick.   No, it was not on par with his earlier work but he’d spent days designing a font and carved my name on it.  I will cherish it forever.

This past summer I spent a while with them while Mom was recuperating from health issues and used the time on two oil pastel drawings.  He seemed to enjoy the work in progress and without prompts from me he would immediately see areas that needed tweaking.  What an eye he had!  Try as I might, I couldn’t get him interested in trying the oil pastels I was using, but I suspect the soft, gooey feel of them was a deterrent.

Last week I was working on a mural with a friend.  I was in charge of drawing the horse that was part of the design.  Yep, the legs were all wrong and I could hear the long-ago admonishments from him.  And I smiled.

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Teaching and Doing

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“View Through The Old School House Window”             Oil Pastel on Paper          app. 18″ x 24″

 

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detail

I am an artist and an art educator, I hope that doesn’t sound too brazen.  Since I was a little girl I wanted to be an artist but I never even thought about being a teacher until I was in college.  I dropped out of the education program right before taking a speech class, I was just too shy.  Ten years later I did begin teaching and let me tell you, it was not easy. Teaching drawing became my niche, discipline and paper work were not.  Oh, well.

Currently I am teaching two very small groups of adults a right-brain type of drawing class.  This morning one student struggled with a concept and we worked on it, then she had the “A-HA” moment.  Another student got it from the start and her excitement was contagious.  These two very different students left me feeling happy and fulfilled.

As far as my own art goes, productivity is not where I want it to be, but there is art being made.   Perhaps I should add that projects include oil pastels, stage sets for local theater, a vintage yard art venture (more on that later) and planning a bottle top mosaic mural.

The photo and detail is of the latest oil pastel.  It is based on a photo I took at a family reunion a few years ago.

PS – save your bottle caps!

 

 

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New Works in Oil Pastels

This summer I didn’t sign up for any out-of-state workshops like I usually do (sorry Johnna).  There was, after all, a grand baby coming along.  And he IS grand, but this is an art blog so I’ll stop at that, heehee.

So instead I took a community college art class in another county.  I love being in class, it makes me commit myself to the work, and gets me in a routine (which somehow I am sorely lacking).  The instructor was great and if I’d had thin skin my feelings would have been hurt the first day, but his criticism was constructive and much-needed.  Also, he’s 84 years young!

It seemed that taking oil paintings on the road would be a little cumbersome in my little red car (appropriately named “Lil Red”) so I decided on working in oil pastels.  That and the fact a dear friend commented how much she liked my works in the medium.  Ok, I love working with them but it had been quite a while so her comment jump-started me back into this creamy, malleable medium.

One of these works was “just for fun” (Black-Eyed Susans), one was commissioned (Sisters) by a grandmother, and the single portrait (Going Somewhere) was from a former student’s selfie while working on a make-up business venture.  Remember, I never take or appropriate photos without permission.  Well, hardly ever.  As a matter of fact, I’m really excited about the next two drawings (or paintings, as oil pastel purists call them), photos from friends are the inspiration, but I want to use them as a springboard into more expressive work.  Stay tuned.

“Going Somewhere” is in a competition at the Moore County Arts Council summer show at Campbell House in Southern Pines, NC.

black eyed susan detail

Detail, Black Eyed Susans

black eyed susan

Black-Eyed Susans                  Oil Pastel on Canson Mi-Teintes         200.00

the grand daughters DETAIL

Detail Sisters

the grand daughters

Sisters                 Oil Pastel on Canson Mi-Teintes                         NFS

TM detail eye

Detail – Going Somewhere

TM detail hair

Detail – Going Somewhere

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Going Somewhere          18″ x 24″   Oil Pastel on Black Canson Mi-Teintes          500.00

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