Oct 30, 2010

Oct 28, 2010

Shadows of Leaves

This is an experiment I did painting in watercolor and gouache over acrylic on handmade paper. I’ve always been more at home using water media that oils but the first time I painted in oil I felt like I had arrived home. The vibrant colors and smooth blending made me feel like I was creating much more substantial, expressive pieces. Previously I was mystified as to why I was in art school at all. I hated drawing from life, painting in acrylics, and I really didn’t see my self as a watercolorist. Oils seemed to put everything in perspective. Acrylic isn’t really paint, I decided…it’s anti-paint. Drawing from life is not an end in itself, it is just a way to collect information for oil-paintings. 

Since then I have had to admit that I don’t like using oils as much as watercolor, I just like the effect. This was an experiment to see if I could bridge the gap between the qualities I love about various media. I used anti-paint to make a more vibrant, textural drawing and then I used watercolor and gouache to make a real painting over the top. Of course the handmade paper also seems very promising to me, partly because I love any excuse to make paper and partly it makes me feel like I am creating an artifact or story more than I am transposing a picture onto a wall-ready surface.

Oct 22, 2010

Oxygen and Iron

Autumn has turned grey and every live thing goes soft. Each branch, each particle of air feels to be rusting and in my heart oxygen and iron carry more weight than gold. The tiny birds flit from one branch to another. The clouds cover us.

Oct 5, 2010

Showing Work

As I have mentioned, the transition from making art at school to making art out in the world can be challenging. There were always at least two shows a year through school that I could participate in and I was starting to miss showing my work. I didn’t want to submit to galleries though, until I felt I had a strong portfolio of pieces I had finished on my own, post-graduation. I liked the idea of showing in alternate spaces like coffee shops, but I hadn’t made an effort yet and was concerned that I was just avoiding the risk of rejection. Then a co-worker mentioned that OmBase yoga studio in Hillsdale had an artist wall. I looked it up on their web-site and was suddenly motivated to send in a submission.

It was a relief to know that my motivation was still intact. I used to do a lot of yoga and knew that the community has similar values as I do. Just knowing that made the opportunity feel more worthwhile and approachable than other venues.

I showed my work there last month and it was a delightful experience. The owners of the studio are really supportive, genuine people, and I received some wonderful feedback on my art. I also learned some of the things I need to do to be more prepared next time. In school I learned all about making portfolios, business cards, etc. But there is nothing like actually submitting work and encountering the need for those things to drive the lessons home.

I didn’t sell any of the pieces but that wasn’t so much the point. Ultimately I do want to sell work. I know some artists can get very attached to their work, but the more I like a piece, the more I want to have it out in the world. For my first show, I was happy just to get my work out in public and learn about the process. I'm sure that I will grow a lot when I take the risk to submit work to venues I know less about, but it was nice to learn that sometimes the comfortable path is easy because its the one I belong on.

Oct 1, 2010