Monday, November 25, 2013

1-2-3 Grace in ANAC Travel Show

1-2-3 Grace

1-2-3- Grace is making it’s way around the state of Nebraska as part of the 2013 Association of Nebraska Art Clubs travel show.  I got to see it at the Noyes Gallery in Lincoln this week.  It will be in Falls City after Thanksgiving, and Fremont from December 11-28.  You can get the full schedule through June at

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Rest of the Story

Lincoln Journal-Star image of Raspberry Beret
Now, for more of my inspirational eight days of travel.  After working hard moving around paintings in the Noyes Gallery, my son met me for a stroll through the new rail yard district in Lincoln's Hay Market.  We stopped for burgers and fabulous waffle fries at LeadBelly pub.  Mine was the Raspberry Beret, which includes jerked ginger peanut butter, jalapeno raspberry jam, Romaine lettuce, red onion and smoked candied bacon atop a beef patty.  He had the Hangover Burger, with "bloody Mary" sauce, celery, and a fried egg!  It was great to hear stories of his busy semester, get to know his roommates better, and reconnect.  Wednesday, his house full of ROTC cadets was up early and off to PT.  But he came home before class, to say goodbye before I headed back west.

crop from Eulabee Dix in her Wedding Gown
Museum of Nebraska Art
I got to Kearney before noon and spent a couple of hours in the Museum of Nebraska Art, where there is a genius exhibition of art and memorabilia from Eulabee Dix, the woman in Robert Henri's wedding portrait owned by the Museum.  My sister-in-law met me there, and we enjoyed conversing with Russ Erpelding, who curated the show.  The museum will be gifted with many of the items that have been loaned from Eulabee's family.

Afterward, I got to be part of the Wednesday open-studio painters at Pat Wiederspan Jones' Studio 3.  What fun to get some brush time in while meeting new friends.  Pat was working on a landscape with pine trees and a great sky.  I played with a plan for one of my gesso juice starts from camp in Halsey.
Hospitality Bar Mural included in
Axtell program 

Finally, I met up with my sister-in-law in Axtell, where she'd requested a program for her church ladies group on my spiritual connections in artmaking.  It was fun putting together a PowerPoint with images of murals in our local church, entries in our 2011 Advent devotional, and other art based on a spiritual theme.  Fourteen women put up with my ramblings.  Other than taking a little too much time, the program was a success.  New friends were made, new ideas discussed.

Now for some serious doing of the work, after all that inspiration in a short period of time.  Next up: open house at my studio on Thursday, October 17!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

So Much Inspiration in Eight Days!

Two weeks ago I was at Autumn Art Workshop, in the Nebraska National Forest near Halsey, for a 3 day mixed-media workshop with Kathleen Conover.  It's always fun to spend time there with artist friends from around the state.  We learned about using "gesso juice" on watercolor paper for interesting textured backgrounds, and practiced creating good compositions with value studies.  This was an indictment of how stuck one can get in a certain way of doing things.  I struggled with the watercolor, and "cheated" a lot with acrylics, but came away with a lot of great backgrounds and inspiration for new art.  The photo shows all my wonderful gesso juice starts from camp.

Glenwood Hot Springs Pool
The aspen were at their peak in Aspen! So, new art had to wait.  After two days at home, I headed west to visit my daughter in her new home, driving over Independence Pass into Aspen. We spent a day in nearby Glenwood Springs, where Megan changed her identity with a Colorado driver's license, and we celebrated the beautiful afternoon in the world's largest hot springs pool.  Right next to the pool is the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts, where Terry Muldoon teaches mixed media classes in a small room with lots of supplies.  The facility includes a gift shop, a ceramic studio, and space for dance classes.
classroom, Glenwood Springs Art Center

On the way back to Aspen, we stopped at the Ramada Inn where the Glenwood Springs Art Guild was having their annual Fall Art Festival.  Of course, a huge percentage of art in this area involves images of the local scenery--mountains, rivers, and Aspen trees.  But, there were some mixed media pieces...maybe an entry for next year's show would be good reason for another visit!

Earlier in September,  the Aspen Times, where Megan is a copy editor, had a job listing for director of the Wyly Art Center in Basalt. This led to checking the Wyly website and noticing a free class offered on the night Megan was working while I was in town.   Mary Morrison, a working artist for Golden Acrylics had been at the Halsey workshop a few years ago, and at the ANAC convention in Alliance last summer.  I was thrilled to have this time to catch up with her in Basalt,  get paint samples, learn some new tricks, and meet other artists.  When I told them how I'd discovered the class, they asked if I wanted a job!  Ha...if only I lived closer.

Maroon Bells, White River National Forest
On Saturday, we took the RFTA bus (Roaring Fork Transit Authority).  We have laughed in awe of the advertising meeting that thought up the logo/campaign, Veloci-RFTA with velociraptors painted on the buses.  Someone must have been watching Jurassic Park the night before!  So, we rode RFTA into the White River National Forest to see the Maroon Bells--two 14,000+ peaks about 12 miles southwest of Aspen.  Their reflection in Maroon Lake makes this area the most photographed site in Colorado.  Professional photographers, with tripods, lined the lakeshore.  One from California told me he'd been there in late September each of the last ten years and this was the best he'd ever seen it.  There was no wind, making the reflections mirror-like.  Snow the night before made for great contrasts with the shadows and changing aspen colors.
Constantine's World

I was back in Nebraska late Saturday night and left on Sunday for Lincoln, to work at Noyes Gallery for two days, and spend some time with my son.  It was my favorite time to work: end-of-month change day, and prep time for First Friday.  Nearly every piece of art gets moved to a new location and I get to connect with lots of artists who bring in new work during this time.  My new painting, Constantine's World, is on display for the month of October.

More of my eight days of inspiration will be in another post.  Blessings!

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Painting for Junior High English Classes to Write About

triptych for student critique
I substituted today in junior high English and was given free reign to do my own thing, talking about the creative process and writing about art.  That's a lot to cover in a short class period.  Vocabulary in the subject matter is important, and could take a full year in an art classroom!  We discussed elements and principles of art, and how an artist can direct the viewer to the focal point with contrasting shapes or colors, or use of  directional lines.  Then we used a critique form to define thoughts about this  particular  piece of art.  it had questions like, "What do you notice first?" and "Why do you notice that?" In talking about my creative process, some classes were able to view the before pictures, as well as other in-process paintings.  The beginning stage photo (below) made me wonder how my imagery must have been influenced by the Target bag on the work table!  Generally, my art is all about process, with very little planning...where a
lot of randomness starts to gel, and sometimes after many years, might become the finished work.  That concept can be difficult to grasp.   I don't have a title for this painting yet, and I'm not sure it is finished.  For an assignment due on Monday, students were asked to write a paragraph-at least 3 sentences-describing this triptych piece as if they were an art critic at the local paper and the reader had not seen the art.  I can't wait to see what they come up with.  Maybe it will help inform the final piece or at least get me closer to a title.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Tate Gallery

Ja-was? –Bild (Yes-what? Picture), 1920
While visiting my daughter in England, I was able to take in an afternoon at London's Tate Gallery.  The featured exhibition is about Kurt Schwitters and his artistic ties to England after exile on the Isle of Man for being labeled a dissident by Nazi Germany.  He was one of the first great collage artists, known for his series of "Merz" paintings...named for the collaged use of a clipping from an ad for the Kommerz Bank. A lot of his work became sort of strange, and I'm not thrilled with most of his assemblages, but this painting brought me to tears.  Titled "Ja, was?", the shapes, colors and depth, along with the use of the corrugated cardboard as found in many of my own paintings, hit a nerve and I can hardly wait to share it with students in my upcoming classes at Mid-Plains Community College (ARTS2990).  
Rain, Steam and Speed - The Great Western Railway, 1844

The Tate has a large collection of works by J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851) described as perhaps the greatest artist England has produced.  I love the color in the landscape shown here.  There was a special exhibit on color theory as used and taught by Turner, where I learned about a book by the poet/philosopher Goethe, Theory of Color. Turner approved of Goethe's (1749-1832) theory of color being at the edges of dark and light, and rejected Isaac Newton's theory that light alone was responsible for color.  This special exhibit also included a great timeline of the colors Turner used according to their availablity and invention of paint tubes.