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
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
"Infuse your life with passion. Inject new goals" - Melody Beattie (from one of her great books)
During some difficult times I read and re-read the words of author Melody Beattie. She always had such good things to say, thoughts to ponder and help along the way. She often wrote about the 'journey' and how important it is then she also said, "I've finally made enjoying the journey to achieving my goals one of my goals too".
One day I was reading how she suggests that we inject NEW goals into our lives. If you really think about it the 'goals' we set when we were in our 20's or 30's may be different and really should be updated now that we are in our 40's. She points out that even if we are happy with our lives and have reached our goals, that it doesn't hurt to grow, stretch and set new goals. Keep life interesting!
So, as I sit for a few moments with my journal in hand, I contemplate my new list of goals, dreams, hopes and wishes. I will, as she suggested, write them down and then I will put my list away and see what happens. She also suggests that as we reach the new goals, we set even more new goals. Growth is a good thing. I invite you to update your list of goals...
"Balance" oil/mixed media on panel, 24x24"
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live them." - John F. Kennedy
Today I want to share my thoughts on 'sense of community'. Last night friends that own a gallery down the road from mine hosted a White Night Party to celebrate 'a sense of community'! It was a delightful evening attended by many artists and community members that gathered together to just celebrate how good life is. I am grateful for 'finding a tribe' here in Door County of like-minded creative individuals. Door County is filled with natural beauty, artistic people, kindness, sharing and overall just amazing people! I have been fortunate to find that in every community that I have lived, I truly believe you attract what you are...sometimes! But never have I felt such a strong sense of community and friendship as I do here in Door County with all the creative souls that choose to make Door County their creative home!
Artist communities thrive all over this world, Artists often times tend to share their passions and zest for life and creativity with those that feel the same way. Artists seem to emit a happy energy all around them and through all their struggles and hard times they are just simply 'happy to be able to do what they love' every day of their lives!
So for the life I live, the 'community' that I have found throughout all my years and now for being surrounded by good energy and art filled souls here in Door County, I am forever grateful!
Find your tribe...life is good!
Monday, May 30, 2016
"You've got to find the force inside you." - Joseph Campbell
YES! you must pull it together find that force inside you and head to....the studio!
I have been working the gallery this entire week and have had no time for painting but that will all change tomorrow. I am so thankful that I will have the entire week to paint in my beautiful, large Michigan Studio. While the horses graze in the pasture, I will find quiet, uninterrupted time to fill my soul with happy painting hours! Or as I will call it - work!
Yes, being an artist is work - ask any of us and we would agree that hard work it is. When we are in the studio we spend a lot of time contemplating color, texture, our next move, it all is part of the process we must think before we act. The process of painting like life, takes much contemplation, dedication, honesty, respect and trust
When I start a painting I pretty much have to let go of knowing what the outcome is and just let the painting happen. It is the artists dedication to their art that will allow them to finish a piece, finish a series or create an artful lifestyle. Contemplation
is a big part of your studio practice whether you realize it or not. Artists spend so much time 'contemplating' life, landscapes, colors. We enjoy reading about art, studying art history, enjoying nature and absorbing the influences around us. It is our job as an artist to practice Dedication
to our art, because without giving 110% to your art practice, it would be to easy to lose what you have worked so hard for all these years. Giving up is not an option.
is an important part of the studio process. You must be honest with yourself while you are working on your art, you need to know when to continue with that same piece, or when it is actually finished. Sometimes I find when I am on a roll in the studio that I find it difficult to know when the painting is done. I keep 'working' it and sometimes that just destroys the good parts of the painting. Sometimes it makes the painting better in the long run.
of ourselves as artists, our art, the process and the finished paintings is more important than some of us realize. When we are in the painting process we must respect our own thoughts as we release, let go and let the painting happen. We must also respect the good and the bad and realize that each painting is its own being and each are so different.
in yourself and your creativity is the real thing! We must learn to trust what we are doing and trust that we are on the right path, even if we doubt ourselves or the next brushstroke or the next decision. Each painting I do starts as a blank canvas, a white surface and it is up to me to color and create that surface into a beautiful painting. Some days it doesn't seem so beautiful but eventually the final painting is beautiful in its own way.