Thursday, October 13, 2016
"Something that is authentic 'rings true' for us. It comes from an inner truth." - from the book Creative Authenticity by Ian Roberts
This morning part of my art tribe met to talk art books. Everyone brought a book to share and I learned about some new artists I haven't heard about AND got so inspired! I can't wait to hit my studio - soon!
The book I shared CREATIVE AUTHENTICITY is a wonderful read about being authentic in life and your art. We often wonder what we are creating and if anyone really 'gets it' but as we focus on the authenticity of our own work and of our soul speaking, it is easy to see that what we are doing is exactly what we should be doing.
The author quotes, "The point is what the inner process of following your creative impulses will do, to you. It is clearly about process. Love the work, love the process." I think the more we educate, share and expand upon the thoughts behind our 'process' as artists, our work becomes more acceptable and understood to collectors and the viewers.
In this book the author also states, "This is not the same as trying to get it perfect. It just means trying to get it as right as you can as you go along. "right' means being aligned to your idea. Trying for perfection takes the life
out of expression." This statement alone stirred up a beautiful discussion at book club about 'perfectionism' and the act of creating.
Our wonderful little art book club group also talked about artists Jonathan Green and Blanche Lazzell, two artists that I had not heard of. We also talked about Anne LaMott and her book 'Bird by Bird' and 'The Lonely City-Adventures of the Art of Being Alone.' - by Olivia Lang! What a lovely way to start my morning - thank you to all who joined me this morning to encourage and inspire each other!
"Fallen Leaves" oil on wood 40"x 36"
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
"The turtle is the only creature that can move forward - they can't go backward" unknown
Yesterday I had this delightful woman in the gallery and we talked for quite a bit. She was making a sort of 'retreat'/'pilgrimage' to Door County to honor and remember her good friend Roberta. Roberta was a major supporter of arts in Door County and I heard a fabulous woman. She passed away last year in August after an auto accident where she crashed into my gallery.
So some parts of our discussion had to do with taking time to just be. Time to visit and cherish our friendships and families before they are gone. A very important lesson in life.
This woman shared this story with me on the turtle only going forward not backward. I, of course, wrote it down in my journal. It has inspired me. I want to be a turtle.
I'll be taking some days to work in my studio painting this week and I am so looking forward to contemplating the passage of time in the new pieces that I will be working on. So when my 'working the gallery days' pulls me away from my 'painting in the studio days' I realize how important the balance in life can be and to honor that schedule and the passing of time.
This image was sent to me from one of my collectors. A few years back I was in Santa Fe for the Canyon Road Paint Out in October. This collector had first seen my work there and this summer they bought a large painting here in Door County. What a delightful small world it is.
Thursday, September 1, 2016
"Every day is a new beginning. Take a deep breath and start again." - unknown, found in my journal notes.
September is here! I LOVE this time of year, gathering with friends for apple cider pressing fun, long horseback rides, quiet moments in the orchard and THIS YEAR - cleaning my studio and starting over!
Just last night at Edgewood Orchard Galleries they hung the new Exhibit which features the majority of my body of works from the last ten months! I've been working hard all year creating what I feel may be close to my 'best overall body of paintings' that I have created to date. Not bragging, just sincere.
How did I do it? Lots of late nights and practicing GRATITUDE! There are some very huge, special pieces at the exhibit that I just completed this summer. They are sculptural 3d pillars that depict an abstracted version of the four seasons. Part of this idea came through the simple fact that some days when I couldn't figure out what to be thankful for, I focused on simple gratitudes - one of them being the beauty of our 4 seasons! Yes, practicing gratitude during a few rough years has gotten me through it all and now I'm clearing the slate and starting new...in the studio, too!
My studio in Michigan is empty, yes literally every painting is out in galleries. There are a few unfinished panels and a huge mess that I will sort through, clean and make into a beautiful space to start anew!
Meanwhile, this weekend at Edgewood Orchard Galleries, you are welcome to join us for the evening reception on Saturday evening from 4-7 pm with an artist talk at 5 and wine and refreshments. Then on Sunday from 1-3 pm I will be giving a Painting Demo in the Courtyard at Edgewood. So join me to talk art, watch me work, and share my passion for painting.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
"The space between things; managing your time between things/projects" - notes from my journal.
Today, during a quiet moment, I was browsing through my journal and came across this simple little note. The past year I have been preparing for a featured artist show at Edgewood Orchard Galleries here in Door County. Yes, a whole year to prepare for a show and managing my time between all the projects is very important.
I've been lucky to have the winter months to paint and create inventory for the galleries that represent me and I always feel I have a solid body of work until I feel the pressure of a show. This show, though, is going to be phenomenal and yes, I feel I have a solid body of work ready to be shown at this beautiful gallery space.
Lately I've been working on some new pieces in the studio, trying to get them done for this show. Let it be said that artists work great under a little bit of pressure or with some deadlines!
The opening reception at Edgewood Orchard Galleries is scheduled for Labor Day Weekend, September 3 from 4-7 pm and on Sunday, September 4 from 1-3 pm I will be doing a painting demo in the Courtyard at the gallery! All are welcome to join us!
This painting was recently installed in a contemporary home by JR at Edgewood Orchard Galleries!
Friday, July 29, 2016
"It's your tribe, your friends, and your art that make life grand!" - Ginnie Cappaert
I am so thrilled to have found such a generous, kind, supportive and amazing art community here in Door County. Last year four artist friends/gallery owners got together and created a 'fun art event'! This is our second year of our Progressive Art Crawl here in Egg Harbor. We think Egg Harbor is a great community and the fact that there are four of us that are artists/women/gallery owners is pretty amazing! So join us Thursday from 4-8 pm for the 2nd annual "Progressive Art Crawl".
Women’s Fine Art Galleries of
Egg Harbor 2nd annual Progressive Art Crawl Aug 4th, 4-8
Women’s Fine Art Galleries of
Egg Harbor’s second annual “Progressive Art Crawl” is happening Thursday,
August 4th from 4-8 PM. Four Egg Harbor women artists including
Angela Lensch, Ginnie Cappaert, Jeanne Kuhns and Rene Schwaller
representing Angela Lensch Gallery, Cappaert Contemporary Gallery, Lost Moth Gallery
and Off the Wheel Pottery invite you to an art celebration.
These four very different
galleries have made this an annual event, after having so much fun last year.
Starting at 4:00pm and continuing till 8:00pm, the Progressive Art Crawl will
offer a diversity of fabulous art and samples of each gallery’s food creations
including cheeses, breads, chocolate delights and savory snacks. The event is
free. All four galleries are in Egg Harbor, there will be a map on the punch
card you pick up at the first gallery you stop at.
-Angela Lensch Gallery features unique, hand –woven, gold and silver jewelry
by Lensch as well as a variety of fine art jewelry, glass, sculpture and
photography by local and regional artists.
Located at 7653 Hwy 42, Egg
-Cappaert Contemporary Gallery is Ginnie Cappaert’s contemporary art, blended with an eclectic mix of
all mediums representing 30 regional and national artists working in painting,
glass, clay and jewelry.
Located at 7901 Hwy 42, Egg
-Lost Moth Gallery shows resident artist Jeanne Kuhns’ acrylic paintings inspired by
nature and magical thinking and also represents paintings, figurative sculpture
and pottery by Dawn Patel, Maureen McGrath and Tony Menzer.
Located at 7975 Hwy 42, Egg
-Off The Wheel Pottery is the working pottery studio and gallery of
Rene Schwaller. Schwaller’s beautifully handcrafted work, along with pottery,
jewelry and garden art by 20 regional and national artists is featured.
Located at 4234 Cty Rd E, Egg
Visit each gallery, where you
will be presented with a punch card at the first gallery you stop at, there is
no specific order. Get your card punched at all four galleries to be eligible
for a gift certificate drawing.
Call 920-495-2928 for more
information and find gallery information on line. www.cappaertcontemporary.com, www.jeannekuhns.net, www.angelalensch.com, www.offthewheelpottery.com
Sunday, July 24, 2016
"The universe is fully supportive of what you want, but it is up to you to go for it." - unknown
Art is a big bucket of 'go for it's'! Seriously, if you don't 'go for it' how will you ever know. I write this blog as I sit for a quiet moment at my gallery in Door County! Yes, this was a dream of mine and about 20 years ago I said 'I would love to own a gallery in Door County.' - here I am!
As I share my thoughts on my blog, I also wish to share other artists work as well. Here is an interview of two fabulous artists Rebecca Crowell and Jerry McLaughlin who work with the amazing art medium 'cold wax'. Rebecca introduced me to cold wax years ago and for that I am ever grateful! The two of them have joined forces to publish a book on cold wax which will include the artwork of many artists working with cold wax (myself included) as well as how-to and techniques. Here are some thoughts I would like to share from them regarding their book publishing and crowd-funding campaign!
There were little pockets of cold wax activity all over, and
Rebecca was clearly at the nexus. I had witnessed the growth of support and
kinship around encaustic medium and wondered if we could have the same. After
Rebecca and I realized we shared a common vision for the book and began work, I
was overwhelmed by what happened. Artists from all over the world reached out to
support our project. It was clear this wasn’t just something I wanted but
something we as artists wanted.
And now here we are. The book is nearly ready to go to
print. The enthusiasm and support we have received has been something truly
wonderful. Community has begun forming around the book before it is even
available. And on top of the deep connection I feel to this community, I now
have a kind, wise, and beautiful new friend that I’m sure I would not have had otherwise.
That alone makes it worthwhile. Thank you, Rebecca!
: I feel
the same! For me, there is also a level personal satisfaction for pulling
together a lot of what I’ve learned and thought about and taught over the
years. Of course, what I know continues
to evolve, but at this point, the book covers the summation of what I can share
about working with cold wax --and a lot about painting in general. It makes me
appreciate how when you are passionate about something, experience and
understanding grow slowly, incrementally, one thing leading to another. And at
some point--maybe even decades after first undertaking something—you may
realize that your accumulated knowledge is meaningful to others. Although at
first I was reluctant to take on the huge project that the book has become, I see
now that when that time comes, there it is almost an obligation to share.
Because as artists, we’ve all built on what others before us have shared.
Of course, I’ve learned a lot too! I know that you share
that feeling, Jerry.
: I have
definitely learned a lot. In fact, the multiple, steep learning curves have
probably been the most challenging part of writing this book. There were so
many things that had to be researched and learned: the history of wax and cold
wax in art, the chemical and technical aspects of all the materials, the
breadth of styles and techniques used by all the artists in the book, how to
structure a book, how to use InDesign to lay out a book, how best to describe
and provide images so that readers can understand what we mean to convey, the complexities
of publishing and printing a book and book distribution, how to set up a small
business partnership in the US and California, business finances, setting up
and executing a successful crowdfunding campaign. Whew! Even coming up with a way
for a basically disorganized person to keep track of over 2,000 images and
multiple iterations of writing and layouts was huge. It’s been the most
challenging thing I’ve ever undertaken. And on top of all of that, through
talking with so, so many artists and looking at so much cold wax work, my own
art has grown. I’ve found a style and
voice that resonates from deep within me. Just writing this all down makes me a
bit anxious inside. It’s almost too much to think about. But that isn’t a
negative. I have grown through this in ways I never imagined. I think I’ll stop
Rebecca: It IS overwhelming! There’s a huge amount of
information in the book that Jerry has researched, more than I’ve been able to
take in even after multiple editing sessions and going over layouts. All of
that research has already been very informative for me. In fact, I’ve looked up
answers to questions for myself or students a number of times in draft versions
of the chapters—I love the fact that I am learning from our own book! I’ve also
learned a lot from the contributions of the artists in the book—their words
about technique, approach, materials, tools and tips. And of course, I learned
from their work. I found out about artists that were unknown to me, saw some of
the newest work from those I’m familiar with, and realized the breadth of the
scope of cold wax approaches.
My own biggest challenge was in writing the chapters about
technique and visual language. I wanted to present the basic content of my
workshops to the broad audience of the book, and it was difficult to organize
and distill my thoughts and information into an accessible format. As I worked
this out, I came upon some new and simple ways to categorize the techniques I
teach. I’ve already found this to be helpful in the workshops I’ve taught since
writing my chapters.
We sincerely hope that all of our readers will benefit in a
big way from our book. We look forward to hearing what you think, once you have
a copy in hand!—Rebecca and Jerry
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Moments! Present Moments!
Life is made up of moments, big and small! But the most important moment is the PRESENT moment, not the past or future!
I was asked by a friend of mine recently, "how do you choose titles for your paintings?. She suggested a blog post and I thought that was a great idea. I love turning simple statements and questions into metaphors or stories about life and art. Or at least I like to try!
Everything we do in life and art is made up of moments. Even if we are just sitting at the beach, watching the sunset, or taking a morning walk, we experience moments. All of these moments combined make up our life but as human beings we tend to often re-live the past moments or stress over the future moments. But when we sit in the 'present moment' that is where we find peace.
So what does this have to do with titling my paintings? I often, as you know, carry a journal with me to write down thoughts, words, hopes and dreams. When I am traveling, riding horse or just sitting and watching the sunset, I 'observe' my surroundings and try to stay in the present moment. While in this 'present moment' words, thoughts and phrases may 'pop' into my head. These words usually have something to do with my feelings or thoughts at that particular time. Sometimes these words resonate with me and I will jot them down in my journal.
The actual titles of my paintings are selected from this list of words and thoughts. When I look at a completed painting I can often capture a feeling or sense of place and connect the words to the painting. Often times I will set aside a full day just to title paintings. It is a deep thought process to connect a feeling, word and thought with a painting.
Sometimes I feel that the process of titling a painting is as difficult as the painting process, just different. The title or words have to match with the painting and my particular thoughts at that present moment. Some days working on titles just doesn't work so I set it aside for a different day because just like in the process of painting, you have to be in the 'zone'! And just like in life, sometimes no matter how hard you try it just doesn't work, so you have to set some things aside for another day.
Enjoy the present moment!
"Let Go" 16x16" oil mixed media on wood panel