“jazzy leaf” mixed media 6 x 6 inches *original available HERE
Last night was spent in part drooling over picture books and the many unique artists renderings. Some of the books I knew and loved and many were new to me. I must say It had been a long time since I had looked at an Ezra Jack Keats book! He is most known for his book, “The Snowy Day“. I was reminded how much can be learned looking and pondering how an artist creates something. Picture books were often a tool I used in my classroom when I was teaching art full time to children and I still haven’t been able to give up my collection of beloved books. I love Ezra Jack Keats for his wonderful collages. Here is a little video on him I thought you may enjoy…
I wish to thank my friend and former student for bringing in the books to share. She is part of a new creative community I have started at my studio two tuesday evenings a month. It came about as I found people were craving a dedicated time for their artistry and I happened to have a fabulous space to share. The group is very informal, people bring what they want to work on and I serve as a guide when needed. I have been loving it! It is a small, intimate, safe place for sharing ideas, getting to know new people and allowing time to nurture our passions. Let me know if you are interested in joining us as we would love to have you! I would also love to hear what your favorite picture books are so please do share!
Sending creativity & love your way…Laura
p.s. Our group has been known to bring snacks and share a bottle of vino from time to time…just saying!
building up layers in collaborative painting with Michelle
Isn’t it interesting how having guests, no matter how good of friends, allows you to see the world with fresh eyes? You learn things you hadn’t realized before~things like cinnamon raisinEzekiel bread tastes delicious with peanut butter and honey, that not all honey is created equal, how to poach fish in the most delicious and healthy sauce, that cupcakes and wine are a fantastic way to watch the Oscars and that a gloss gel medium creates wonderful depth within your paintings.
tiny little hint 1
As you know my good friend and goddess sister, Michelle was here for the weekend. I know you have never met her but can appreciate the ease of a life -long friend and kindred spirit. She is the kind of friend I find in you, the kind of friend that will love you no matter what, that has seen you at your best and at your worst, that tells you like it really is and gives you permission to be yourself. This is the kind of friendship you and I share and one I value more than anything.
tiny little hint 2
Michelle & I met as undergrads (both majoring in education like you & I) and have maintained a wonderful friendship all of these years. We have shared a studio together (back when I lived in NH) and are life long learners. I have so many memories and could not have been happier having her at the studio this past weekend. It was the first time we had ever done a collaborative painting and I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. I had to allow myself to have no expectations and trust my intuition and “the process” just like we did at Goddard. What evolved was pure MAGIC~the kind of magic and ease that happens when we get together and made me miss you so very much!
"found poem" in the works~LOVE!
I learned a lot from Michelle and am happy to say that she agreed to be a guest blogger and share her thoughts about our time together. You can look forward to more “in process” photos of our mixed media painting as well as insight from Michelle soon. Can’t wait! Until then I am sending you ease to your week as I know you are always out straight!
p.s. I think it is time for a studio visit~don’t you think?
Usually I would email you this thought, but decided to post it here thinking other people may be interested in this.I have been doing some research on artists I would like to share with my Drawing I students at the College of Charleston this semester and came across Mary Heilmann on the Art 21 website. She has many insightful comments throughout the video about her art practice but one struck a chord with me. She said that in graduate school she realized her work was about “communicating and having a conversation through the work”. This certainly sounds like our experience at Goddard College when we were there, right? This is also an essential piece of the work we do together. It is why we humbly started to send one another artwork through the mail six years ago.
Another point she made was about titling her artwork. This process is one I have been thinking greatly about lately. Mary said that her titles are “three word poems” that relate to what was going on in her life while creating the work. She keeps an active journal and pulled ideas from that often. This is a similar process I used recently with many of my latest sculptures. How do you title your works Laura? I know when I am viewing an art exhibition that I look to the titles for hints on the artist’s intentions.
At the end of this short video it will ask you if you want to continue watching. If you do, click the button and it will redirect you to the website where the rest of the episode is on the PBS website.
I hope you all enjoy what Mary has to say here~ Tina
Soulful Landscapes…What does that mean exactly? Coming from a traditional landscape background I very much appreciate the technical detail and effort that goes into a realistic rendering of something. But what stirs my senses and gets me to stop and look a little longer at a piece of art is when I can feel the soul of the artist in the work. Sometimes it is with the artists use of color, the texture, composition, or the way it is abstracted and thought about. More often than not it is a spiritual connection I cannot describe. The artist has bared something of themselves that allows me to connect on deeper level.
Lynne Drexler, Untitled, 1960oil on canvas 22 x 26 inches
Lynne Drexler, Untitled, 1960oil on canvas30 x 36 inches
I just fell in love with her work and have been researching her, along with many other artists for my new class, Soulful Landscapes. Preparing for this class has allowed me to delve deeper into Contemporary Landscape painting and explore artists I may never have thought of. These artists have enlivened me with their innovation and the thought they reveal in their work. I have found I am seduced by many of the artist’s use of color. I am passionate about color. What a surprise, right? Taking the time to look closely and learn from other artists is a necessary part of growing in both my teaching and within my own work. I might see a color combination I like or learn something about what the artist was trying to say by spending time with them. It makes me take a critical look at my own work and see where my ideas are taking me.
Right now I am very much in a summertime mode and have been thinking about the colors of summer. It really is my favorite time of year! What can be better than living on the shoreline, boating, having weekend guests, painting outdoors, gardening, farmer’s markets, long walks at the beach, meaningful conversations around campfires, hot zinnias, swimming, Jimmy Buffett, “boat drinks” and good friends to share it with?
If you are interested in my Soulful Landscape class please let me know. You will learn about Contemporary Landscape painters as a catalyst to finding your own unique voice as an artist, whether that be representational, abstract or a mix of both! This class starts TOMORROW and I can hardly wait! Details can be found on my website.
What are your favorite summertime activities? Would love to hear from you!
p.s. Our NEWSLETTER comes out this week and is packed with great information about the creativity and how nature can be used to influence your artwork. Sign up in the sidebar on the right.
Visiting Monhegan Island last week was such a treat! My friend Amy, whom I met on my Italian adventure made the whole experience of visiting Maine a gem of a trip. A package arrived the week before I left, complete with maps of the area, “moose lip balm,” “moose mints” and a nice note letting me know how much she was looking forward to our trip. How FUN! I could hardly wait to hit the road with Millie.
Our trip to Maine was to mark the first annual “Fig Society” gathering. What is the Fig Society you may ask? Well, the name was coined by all of the wonderful new friends I met in Italy last September for my workshop. (You can read more about it HERE) I personally had never tasted fresh figs before this and they soon became a morning staple for all of us at breakfast. Somehow knowing we would be greeted each morning with coffee & croissants served with nutella and fresh figs served on a veranda overlooking the Mediterranean Sea made the 150 stair hike up the side of the cliffs worth the trouble! It was here that we would get to know each other. By the end of our trip we had come to lovingly call ourselves “The Fig Society”.
Joan Harlow in her studio
While on Monhegan we visited several artists studios. The island is a haven for artists who generously allow you to step into their studios to have a peek into their creative world. The first artist we met was the lovely Joan Harlow who graciously opened her studio to us when we arrived early for her studio hours. I guess we were on “island time,” completely clueless as to the hour! She had the cutest studio overlooking the water. Can you imagine this view for your studio?!? We talked of how she came to be painting on the island and what she loves about the work.
Joan took this painting outside so we could see it in the magical light Monhegan is known for. Such an arresting interpretation!
Seeing as it was such a hot day Millie & I stopped for a little beverage. Just the perfect size to take with us to the next studio!
Coronitas on a hot day! The perfect size for sipping
Don’t you just LOVE the entrance to this artist’s garden? (on the right)
*need to get this artists name
I loved this artists work! We learned that she works intuitively on Yupo paper, creating vivid abstractions. My artist friend Diana Sartor uses this paper with THE MOST interesting results. You might remember the collaboration we did together? Although she didn’t use Yupo paper for our collaborative piece you can get a little flavor for her work. In fact, just recently visiting her studio I was blown away with the colored inks she is using on this paper. She is able to use a variety of techniques to get a wide range of textures. We may have to schedule a studio visit so she can show me how to use it. What do you think Diana?
The fabulous Millie Donovan buying some art
It is hard to resist the whimsical fish in Mike Stiller’s garden which lead you in to the gallery he shares with his wife.
Mike Stiller's cute fish
Mike Stiller's artwork
Mike Stiller's cute birds! I love how they are popping out of the wall!
The last artist I want to share is Stan Moeller, one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE teachers. I had taken many classes with Stan while living in NH and was delighted when I sat down for dinner at the Monhegan House and looked up to find his gorgeous paintings on the wall above me! I hadn’t seen his work in some time and was blown away at how much it had changed! He is both a gifted artist and teacher. Here are a few pictures of his work. The first painting is the interior of the restaurant where we ate. How cool is that?
It is such a small world! When I contacted Stan about using his images for the blog he wrote back and told me that he had been in Rockland, Maine recently and thought he had seen me. As it turns out it was THE SAME day I had been there visiting the Rockland galleries! How weird is that?!?!? We hadn’t even planned on going but it was so foggy we decided to take the later ferry to Monhegan and went out exploring. It is another reminder to be open to where things lead you. I am grateful for reconnecting with Stan and for the generous use of his paintings as well as all the other artists who shared their time with us. Happy day to everyone! love, Laura
I have been a long admirer of Elizabeth Gilbert and really appreciated her perspective on creative genius. How many of you have had this experience? Such a juicy topic for conversation! Hope to start one…Laura
There is such MAGIC in visiting an artists’ studio, don’t you think? You get a rare little peek into their private, creative space and are given this amazing gift as they share their soulful environment with you. You never know how you will be moved and invigorated and I find that so intoxicating. Maybe you will learn what inspires them, a new technique or simply how they manage their time. I was lucky enough to get a taste of all of the above when I went to visit my friend Marlene’s studio in Oakland CA. I had the luxury of seeing her work for the first time in person and I must say I was a bit giddy! Marlene has a cozy little nook at the Hive where 30 other artists reside. My first impression was how great it would be to be surrounded by so many creative people! Just having people who understand this “artist life” and who can offer critical feedback, encouragement and support is SO essential in keeping the creative juices flowing.
One of Marlene's groovy paintings!
Going to grad school with Marlene was also a gift. I got to see first hand how video became part of her creative process. Many of the paintings she made during this time are HUGE! This little sheep is one of her newer pieces. I love how she left the wood showing through, as well as the groovy patterns. You may remember I have quite a thing for polka dots!
One of Marlene's sketchbooks
I got to peek into the many pages of wonder as Marlene shared her sketchbookwith me.
I delighted in seeing where her creative ideas originated.
Marlene's "inspiration board"
Marlene is also very organized and I noticed how she used this chalkboard to record some of her ideas and creative goals. I keep a similar board in my studio with inspiring images and ideas. Seeing her “inspiration board” reminded me that I need to revisit my own which I had tucked away before my Open Studio. I am presently ablaze of new ideas from this trip!
Marlene's "scroll sketchbook"
I appreciate how Marlene will use materials she has on hand or that people at her studio leave in a common use area. This clever “sketchbook” was created using some inexpensive brown craft paper on a roll. I loved watching her unroll them down the hallway and seeing the mass of patterns, drawings and color.
detail of Marlene's artwork
Earrings or miniature paintings?
Marlene also makes miniature versions of her paintings into earrings. Aren’t they so fun and colorful? They look even better in person where you can appreciate the detail. She has been VERY busy since I left California preparing for her own Open Studio at the Hive. It is enthralling to see how the “beginnings” of some her paintings now finished. I am especially loving her book cover paintings and the backgrounds she created for them. You can see them on her groovy BLOG along with some of the new wood burning she is doing! I love LOVE Love my friend MARLENE WHITE!!! and cannot thank her enough for her kindness & generosity in sharing both her studio and herself with me! She is certainly an artist you will want to follow for constant inspiration! You never know what she will have brewing in her studio!
love ya dolly!
p.s. It would be lovely if you would say “hello” to Marlene and send her good energy for a successful Open Studio!
Here is a link to one of Marlene’s Magical video’s. There are SO many, you will want to see them all! I had a little trouble embedding it:
Before we dive into some ideas about what we did yesterday, we want to refer you to our FREE ART GIVEAWAY. This will be open to submit (just leave a comment on that post) the whole time Laura is in Charleston. When she leaves, the giveaway opportunity will be closed so when you have a second pop over and leave a comment on that post. We will announce the winner on Tuesday.
Leslie Wayne’s dimensional oil paintings
continue to mine what she calls “the
tension between material memory and
morphogenesis.” The artist skillfully fuses
subject with object until her paintings
become physical manifestations that
illustrate the process of their making.
Let us fill you in on some thoughts that resonated with us while listening to her speak…..
Leslie Wayne started her talk sharing some of her early works which were more observational/traditional paintings. What we both loved learning about was how she was always pushing herself to try new things. She spoke about the importance of “play” in her work which she equated to free writing exercises but with different materials. It was through the act of “play” and creating little painting projects for herself that she discovered several techniques that she currently uses in her work today. Leslie’s scores semi-dry oil paint to reveal the layers underneath. These became a metaphor for the layers of experience we each acquire. These paintings create a visual tension with color which has led to other dynamic work. Let us know what you think of her work and process!
I have been meaning to look into the collaborative relationship/friendship between the poets Anne Sexton and Maxine Kumin. They are known to have been on the phone all day; always having the other to talk to while brainstorming words for a poem or speaking of their everyday life. Sometimes the phone would be at their ear, other times just lying on the table as they did their daily work while continuing their conversation.
Their relationship reminds me of ours. We sure can talk!
I looked up Anne Sexton first and saw that Maxine wrote the forward to her book of poetry entitled The Complete Poems: Anne Sexton, which I am going to pick up from my local library today. So I ventured on to research Maxine Kumin and found a wealth of interesting poetry. MOST interestingly I discovered she wrote Mites to Mastodons, a book of poetry for children which YOU gave to my boys the last time you visited Charleston!
I like when I find myself back in a familiar place while researching the unknown.
I thought a poem from this book by Maxine would be great as we head into the weekend and make plans for my visit to your home next week…
Illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
Next time I will let you know what I thought of Anne Sexton and Maxine Kumin’s poetry.
Today I am a big mush ball thinking about my VERY SWEET husband and it being our FOUR year Anniversary TODAY! We just got back from a fabulous weekend get away that he had been mysteriously planning for weeks. All I knew was that it would take us 5 hours to get to our destination and that I had to be ready to go when I was finished teaching on Friday. Our destination turned out to be the quaint town of Camden Maine and I must say my man out did himself with his planning. He thought of everything from having lunch prepared when I got home from work, to a packed car, complete with drinks, snacks and new music in the CD player (can we say flashback to the 80′s? ha!). We enjoyed a dazzling drive up and the coast, enjoying our time together. B has VERY good taste in accommodations but I must say the view from our room at theLord Camden Innwas BEYOND spectacular! We were on the newly renovated top floor which had a spacious balcony overlooking the shops downtown and harbor in the distance. Our trip got even better when I spotted two of our good friends from NH in disbelief. It was their Anniversary weekend too and B had planned this as an extra special surprise! We had a wonderful time catching up, shopping, dining at lovely restaurants, enjoying manymojitos, bottles of wineandlots of beer for the boys!
Our friends left on Sunday so B & I went on an adventure toRockland where he indulged me as I meandered my way through the galleries towing an exceptionally large hotel umbrella on this VERY rainy day. My favorite gallery was the Dowling Walsh Gallery where I was enthralled with the work of Connie Hayes. Her subjects range from boats and water to communities viewed from ships or roads. She also has a series called, “Borrowed Views” where she paints at friends and families homes as an “artist in residence.” I fell in love with her intuitive brush strokes and lush color and interesting perspectives. Her work made me take a second look at my own surroundings.
"Island, "Connie Hayes
I was sad to leave on Monday but looked forward to stopping at a few antique stores along the way back as well as in Portsmouth, NH for lunch at Poco’sour favorite Mexican restaurant for lunch. We had heard they had redone the decks and I must say, they are quite spectacular! Portsmouth is a hip, fun town and if you have never been I would HIGHLY recommend it. In fact, I always tell B that if we move back to NH this is where I want to live.
It was truly an outstanding and much needed getaway. Sending the biggest smooch to my honey and lots of love to all of you. Tina and I will return next week with a new Vision/ReVision, inspired from both of our trips, so stay tuned…
Julianne Eanniello,"Blue Hydrangea" (click to enlarge)
Dear Tina & friends,
I have been thinking a lot about serendipitous moments in my life, believing that things come to you when you are ready to receive them. Reiki is one of these things. I have been curious about it for some time, have many friends who practice it and even saw the benefits of it as it was used to help one of my friends who was suffering from cancer. As serendipity would have it my friend Julianne invited me to her studio so I could give it a try. Not really knowing what to expect I tried to calm my mind so I could feel what was happening to my body, like I would if I was having a massage. I was so relaxed and at peace, all without Julianne having ever touched me! In fact I could easily have fallen asleep! It was like nothing I have ever experienced and it got me thinking about how important it is to create time in our lives to just “be” and receive. I think Reiki could be just the right stepping stone to quiet my mind and ease me into meditation, which I have been exploring with Jon Kabit Zinn.
Julianne is a member of the Artists’ Cooperative GalleryI am a part of and we got to talking about the benefits Reiki could have for the artist. Our conversation was so informative I asked her if she would write something for our blog, which she was kind enough to do. Here is what she said:
“Reiki is a Japanese healing and stress reduction technique. By lightly placing my hands on a clients chakra’s, and other areas as drawn, they are receiving universal energy that is used as their body needs it. It is a very gentle, non-invasive therapy that is balancing and relaxing on all levels. When the body is balanced and relaxed, it can heal.
Reiki can be beneficial to anyone, of course, and artists who receive or learn Reiki may find that by relieving their stress, or a physical or emotional pain, they open a deeper connection with their inner self – that creative genius inside. I believe many artists create their work from that inner connection – some may even say it’s not them – the art is just expressed through them. Reiki can help bring awareness to this connection by relaxing the body and helping them to let go of resistance. When the body is relaxed, and they surrender to their deepest calling, a clarity and intuition can be revealed. It’s kind of like your meditative paintings – it’s a tapping into that which brings art forth.”
Julianne Eanniello, "Joy" (click to enlarge)
In my own medium, photography, practicing Reiki has helped me to be more aware of that creative energy – if I just stop, and look, and feel, I will see ‘the shot’ before I take it – some energetic presence stands out that says, ‘Yes. This. This is what it’s all about.’ I love looking directly into the heart of nature, especially a flower, seeing its purity – no pretenses, no worries – just the direct “Here I Am-ness” of pure, raw, incredible nature. It’s Here. It’s Now. And I feel at home.
Reiki was a stepping stone for me, opening up my creative side, and the first on a path of several healing methods that I practice and some of which I teach.
Julianne has generously offered a 20% discount to artists so they can experience the benefits of Reiki for themselves. HEREis a link to her website. Simply give her a jingle to set up an appointment and let her know you are an artist and you read about her here. VOILA! You are on your way to a new, peaceful experience! Thank you Julianne for your time and sharing!
When is the last time you wrote a hand written letter and sent it through the mail?
Before I dip into how correspondence art relates to Laura and I, I want to highlight a woman artist Laura and I both adore; Lenore Tawney.
She is widely known for her fiber art and room-filling woven sculptures. At the age of 50 she moved to New York City and discovered the Bauhaus movement (which I wrote about in a POST earlier this year after a trip with Laura to the MOMA to see an exhibit about the Bauhaus) along with making friends with artists such as Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Indiana, and Agnes Martin. Martin and Tawney “shared intellectual, personal, and artistic interests and provided a sounding board for each other’s work. Tawney created names for Martin’s abstract paintings; Martin did the same for Tawney’s weavings.” (Signs On The Wind pg. 8). Their relationship sounds much like Laura and I’s.
Which brings me to highlight some of Lenore Tawney’s smaller works of art- her postcard collages. Below are a few highlights of this work she created. One of these actually has a crab on it and it was successfully sent through the mail without being crushed! Look at the book Signs On the Wind for more pictures of her postcards. That link is for Amazon but I highly recommend buying it from your local bookseller.
Laura and I have a particular interest in mail art because this is how we started our collaborative relationship. We sent postcards and other pieces of art (we did a whole series of six inch squares sent in handmade envelopes in 2006) to speak to one another in a visual/tactile way.
It was the seed to our beginnings.
Here are a few of our pieces of art sent to one another:
Go ahead…pick up a pen and write a letter to someone. You never know what may grow out of one simple letter and one simple gesture to reach out to another.
Virtu Art in Wilcox Park-WHAT A DELIGHT! This is where I spent last Saturday, strolling around with the fabulous Sue, ogling diverse, creative treasures. We were both immediately drawn to a fantastic mixed media painting of a bird’s nest as we walked into the park by
artist, Carol Sokolowski
Carol Sokolowski I couldn’t resist buying one of her smaller, original watercolors of a similar nest. Her motto is, “everyone can afford and original” and I must say at these prices I felt like she was giving them away, knowing how long it takes me to to paint even a small painting. We continued to shop our flip flops off walking around, devouring everything from jewelry to paintings, forgetting entirely about lunch and meeting our friend Steve who was graciously mulling about the show, creating a magical video of the event (coming soon!).
Last year was the first time I had been to the Virtu Art show and regretted not buying a painting by Mike Bryce. He is a charming (and cute!) painter who graciously took the time to answer my many questions about the different art shows he does, the studio where he works and the book he illustrated. I loved his bright, splashy sunflowers and hoped he would be at Virtu this year. It was my lucky day! He had SO many gorgeous paintings! I longed for the large sunflower painting you can see in the picture (look to the top, left side of his booth) but will have to wait until I save a few more pennies. It had “unfinished” quality that drew me in, intentionally leaving some of the pencil lines visible. I am always intrigued by the creative process and really liked how this painting conveyed this. Although the large canvas will have to wait, I did buy a smaller, sassy sunflower painting, which I LOVE. I can’t wait to find the perfect spot for it!
artist, Mike Bryce
I must admit I had a hidden agenda going to Virtu, wanting to do a little “research” to see if art shows were a good venue for my work as I try to decipher who my audience is. It was nice to hear vendors freely sharing which shows are their favorites and why. Now, if I could just learn how to NOT spend all my money. I try to fool myself that it is “in the name of research” but I am onto myself!
I wondered if you could help me with my “research” by sharing your thoughts about where my art may “fit.” What are YOUR experiences with art shows? What kinds of booths have left an impression on you? and why?I appreciate your help!
Yesterday I attending this fantastic exhibit at the Halsey Institute for Contemporary Art here in Charleston. The gallery was filled with a dozen “Soundsuits” by Nick Cave, a dozen large scale photographs by Phyllis Galembo, and a video of a performance in the suits. I was very glad they put the video with it because then we could hear the swish, crinkle, clang, and scrape as the Soundsuits moved. I took my two young sons (8 and 6 years old). The video was surprisingly humorous of these suits in action, and we found ourselves laughing out loud. It is just hard to believe someone created such exquisitely hand crafted suits not to mention how dynamic they became once they moved. It was a fabulous experience to share with the boys.
I also thought it was worthy of talking about here on our blog where our main intention is COLLABORATION and a sharing of resources. These two artists- one finding inspiration from another- were a refreshing take on the potential artists can have together.
Here is a quick video of the artist, Nick Cave, speaking about his work followed by an excerpt from the Halsey show. If you are in Charleston it will be well worth your time to see this. If not click on the resources here for more information.
May 27 – June 26, 2010
Opening Reception: May 27th, 5 – 7
Exhibition Walk-Through with Artists: May 29th, 2 – 4 ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC
Chicago artist Nick Cave creates costume/sculptures that he calls Soundsuits consisting of brightly colored fabrics, elaborate embroidery, beadwork, raffia and natural materials. Phyllis Galembo’s photographic portraits feature masqueraders from the West African countries of Benin, Nigeria and Burkina Faso. Call and Response: Africa to America / The Art of Nick Cave and Phyllis Galembo pairs the work of these two uniquely American artists, each of whom explores the contours of West African masquerade through their art. This exhibition highlights the role of ritual traditions within the formation of cultural identity. While Galembo’s intriguing photographs document actual masquerade performers in elaborate “costume,” Nick Cave’s Soundsuits offer a poetic response incorporating a cornucopia of natural and cultural elements rich in associative possibilities.
The combination of these two artist’s work offers a powerful celebration of creativity, imagination, and cross-cultural communication. Call and Response: Africa to America seeks to draw both the obvious and subtle parallels between the works of Galembo and Cave.
To continue some thoughts related to last weeks post about maintaining a studio art practice and taming the impatient beast within, I thought I would share what I have learned about Eva Hesse. Both Laura and I have been wanting to do a little research on her life and work so I thought it would be worth our time to bring her to light here on our blog.
Much of Laura and I’s work is based on correspondence with her living in Connecticut and me in South Carolina. In the book I am reading (written by Lucy Lippard) she talks about Eva’s time living in Europe at the beginning of her career. She often wrote letters to friends and one of those was Sol Le Witt. Last week I spoke about my own impatience and doubt (especially now in the wake of some rejections to exhibit I applied for!) and I felt reassured that Eva crossed these same bridges in the beginning of her career. I will quote Lippard’s book about one of Hesse’s correspondence with Sol:
“So I sit now after two days of working on a dumb thing which is three-dimensional….but I don’t know where I belong so I give up again. All the time it is like that…How do you believe in something deeply? How is it one can pinpoint beliefs into a singular purpose?” (pg.34)
And Sol’s funny response to her that made me laugh out loud:
“You seem the same as always, and being you, hate every minute of it. Don’t! Learn to say ‘Fuck You’ to the world once in a while. You have every right to. Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder, wondering, doubting, fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out., struggling, gasping, confusing, itching, scratching, mumbling, bumbling, gumbling, humbling, stumbling, rumbling, rambling, gambling, tumbling, scumbling, scrambling, hitching, hatching, bitching, moaning, groaning, honing, boning, horse-shitting, hair splitting, nit-picking, piss-trickling, nose-sticking, eyeball-poking, finger pointing, alleyway-sneaking, long waiting, small stepping, evil-eying, back-scratching, searching, perching, besmirching, grinding, grinding, grinding away at yourself. Stop it and just DO.” (pg.35)
This conversation between these two reminded me of our conversations Laura. A gentle (and sometimes not-so-gentle) nudge to keep moving forward. Keep moving forward. Keep moving forward. Who knows if my work will amount to anything, but I sure enjoy creating it and sharing it with others.
This past tuesday was met with several wonderful surprises. I had the pleasure of going to “Art After Dark,” another wonderful program hosted by the marvelous Mystic Arts Center. Upon my arrival I was greeted with a beer and a big hug from my good friendSUE who was there to surprise me! Well that just kicked off a night of wonderment under the stars outside on the patio along the river! In addition to this I met up with my friend Millie, new friend Keith and a few other lovelies, all while enjoying a few beers, pizza, live music and a live painting in action! I even had the wonderful opportunity to talk with the fabulous artist of the night, Denny Riviera. It was great having the opportunity to ask him about his work and share his process. As I watched the vivid colors emerge on his canvas I couldn’t help but think how brave and talented he was to be painting on the spot like this. I am not sure I would ever feel comfortable doing something like this and was amazed watching him. They Arts Center will continue to host this monthly event throughout the summer and I will look forward to the next one for sure. Do any of you have cool art events like this where you live? I love hearing how the arts are being supported in different communities.
Since much of our focus is on the creative process and collaboration I thought I would share how this takes place in the classroom. Yesterday I was blown away by what my students (friends) brought in to share for the “Fearless Sketchjournaling” class I am teaching at the Mystic Arts Center. As you know my believe as an educator is that everyone has something unique to share, individual to their experiences. If we are open we have the ability to stretch ourselves to widen our perspective and grow beyond what we presently know. This could be artists we had never heard of like John Haberie or Sandra Allen, quotes, places to visit, museums, galleries and the list goes on. Trying to create a forum for this in my classes I invited my students (friends) to bring in things they came across during the week that have inspired them. Here are a some of the great resources they shared. I can feel new books coming to the bookshelf…
http://www.robertgenn.com/A letter was shared from the twice-weekly letters this artist writes. It was inspiring enough for me to subscribe myself.
*I will be sure to share more resources as they come about and would love to know any inspiration you found this week and continue “collaborating.”
Cheery Smiles, Laura
“Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behaviors, keep your behaviors positive because your behaviors become your habits, keep your habits positive because your habits become your values, keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.” ~Mohatma Gandi
The artwork I was most affected by while in New York might have been Tim Burton’s exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art, but it was sold out when we got there for the rest of the day. Word to the wise: go early and get a ticket before looking through all the galleries.
Tim Burton...who wouldn't want to see this drawing?
But, we did see and unexpectedly amazing exhibit entitled “Bauhaus 1919-1933: Workshops for Modernity“ I was resisting going in, but followed Laura and was so thankful I did. Some incredible artists were involved in this school such as Paul Klee, Vasily Kandinsky, and Josef Albers to only name a few. I will quote from the MOMA’s website why this school was revolutionary at the time (and shockingly still would be today I believe)
“The Bauhaus brought together artists, architects, and designers in an extraordinary conversation about the nature of art in the age of technology. Aiming to rethink the very form of modern life, the Bauhaus became the site of a dazzling array of experiments in the visual arts that have profoundly shaped our visual world today. The exhibition gathers over four hundred works that reflect the broad range of the school’s productions, including industrial design, furniture, architecture, graphics, photography, textiles, ceramics, theater design, painting, and sculpture”
"Bauhaus Stairway" by Oskar Schlemmer
I am facinated by this and feel I need another look at the exhibit, but will settle for some time at their website and my local library. I am intrigued because this school was getting to what “interdisciplinary” means. Laura and I just received our degree from Goddard Collage in Interdisciplinary Arts so I will explain a bit what this means to me. I claim being an interdisciplinary artist because my artwork extends beyond the boundaries of painter/sculptor/illustrator. My practice dances in education, steps into feminism, tangos with motherhood, waltzes with environmentalism, and cha-chas with geography (stay with me here, I do not really dance so these names may not fit the field of study?). I then respond to all of these “dances” with materials that are best for the conversation I am having. This may be a long series of assembled and collaged materials that is taking years to develop or it may be a daily practice of drawing/writing.
In our increasingly connected (well…electronically not always humanly) world has invited many people to start seeing where things run parallel. It was amazing to see in this exhibit the energy of creative thinkers pondering this very idea almost one hundred years ago. Like I said, I have more to learn about this school so I am off to do just that.