Sunday, January 27, 2013

Unlocking the Heart

California based artist Teresa Beyer is this week's guest artist for our Artist as Collector Series.
"Deep Waters" 
8x8 inches, acrylic on panel
©2013Theresa Bayer, Austin, Texas

The artist is Theresa Bayer.
I am Teresa Beyer.

(Confused? Read on...)

I found the work of Theresa Bayer through DailyPaintWorks, an online gallery where we developed a friendship Having never met her in person, I ordered this painting through her blog.  It was a pleasure to receive it.   Theresa had wrapped it like a gift and included a little plastic fish for fun. 

Last year as newlyweds my husband and I moved from AZ to TX, but I soon found myself completely abandoned in TX.  Married for less than a year, I  divorced him and moved again to CA, to be with my grandchildren, friends and family.

My heart has been broken and is now closed while I heal and nurture myself. The key is learning to love myself, completely and totally.  I feel this happening as I am surrounded by the love of friends and family, my two dogs, and our abundant nature. 

I don't know though if anyone will ever again unlock my heart. 

Will the fish be able to unlock this heart? Maybe the octopus can help

Teresa Beyer is a painter living and working in California. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sandy Blows

Earlier in the week I blogged about resilience in our ButterflyKissesbook blog.  My recent trip up to the Jersey coast to visit my friend Betsey Regan was a reminder about what we need to survive- and stay a float in times of upheaval.  Betsey, a wondeful artist who has been on my Artist as Collector Series was heavily hit by Super Storm Sandy.  
This is not Betsey's house, but close enough
We spent the day together and she gave me a tour of her area. 

It has been a rough road for so many, heartbreaking.

Add caption
Betsey has to rebuild and the road is rocky, frustrating, and these days, cold.

Hutch, Nanci & Betsey keeping warm

But what I love, and this speaks to resilience- is how, even in her turmoil and uncertainty, she finds ways to have little places of beauty and comfort in her house.

She will rebuild.

and in the meantime, that girl is still painting!

Betsey's studio in the midst of it all!

Now that's inspiring!

Who inspires you these days?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Surrounded with Love and Comfort- Artist as Collector

New Jersey based artist and master printer, Eileen Foti is this week's guest blogger for our Artist as Collector Series.

I have been a Master Printer and an Assistant Professor for the last 25 years.  Both of these jobs are incredibly demanding, artistically, physically, and emotionally.  A Master Printer's job to collaborate with artists to produce and edition of prints.  It means getting inside the heads of artists, crawling around, and "seeing" their visions for the images.  Then we have to extract that vision from the artist's head and turn it into something tangible.  We have to be chameleons, keeping the style consistent with the artists, keeping our own style and aesthetics out of the work, and knowing what they want, even when they don't.  

Printing with 30 pound rollers, cranking a pressbed through dozens of times a day, lifting vats of wet pulp and carrying them across the mill require physical stamina.  Coupled with the responsibility of producing work for someone else, for holding someone else's "baby" in your hands, it is a great responsibility.  

Being a good teacher means helping your students find solutions to their creative problems, and hoping that they will one day be better than you.  

At the end of the day, I have used all of my creative energy supporting the artistic pursuits of others, and sometimes it is hard to muster up the strength to think about making my own work. So in my home I surround myself with another type of "art."  

"I collect milagros, specifically sacred hearts from around the world. "
 Milagro is the Spanish word for miracle.  They take the form of little tin, silver, brass or wooden amulets, among other materials.  They can be hearts, eyes, legs, organs, cows, chickens, houses, etc. People make pilgrimages to their churches and bring milagros to lay on the alter or to pin onto the robe of a statue of their patron Saints. They then pray for healing; to fix the broken heart, cure the cancer, deliver a safe baby for their loved ones or for themselves. To me, this is a comforting and lovely tradition. 
 I look at prints all day, so it makes me happy to look at milagros when I get home at night.

Eileen Foti is an artist, master printer, teaching artist who has exhibited and traveled world wide. She is also the co-producer and screen writer of the award winning film A Ripple in the Water: Healing Through Art.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Trade with a History- Artist as Collector

Delaware based artist, Kai Bartram is this week's guest blogger for our Artist as Collector Series.  Here's what he has to say about what is in his collection.
Cynthia Phillips, Untitled
7" x 35"
I met Cynthia Phillips in a printmaking class at Alfred University when we were both art students there. I’ve found that one of the most valuable aspects of an arts education is the opportunity to watch other budding artists develop. As a process based artist myself, I’m often most interested in transitional pieces that document the process of exploration and discovery, and the best student work does exactly that. Alfred is a small school with an even smaller print program, so I had the opportunity to watch Cynthia’s unique pictorial language emerge over several years and several more classes at the same time as I was striving to do the same. I was drawn to much of the work that she was producing at the time, but this etching in particular spoke to me, and I traded her one of my own etchings for this proof. One of the unsung advantages to processes that produce multiple images of varying quality is the ease of trading.
Cynthia Phillips, etching (detail)
collection of Kai Bartram
I love this piece because it conveys a sense of a narrative by making use of the language of comics and/or animation, and yet it is a confusing and fragmentary narrative. It’s a well-worn dream, a looping video that suddenly skips, nostalgia punctuated with sudden anxious revelation. I have always responded to imagery that straddles the line between whimsical and sinister, playful and threatening. The idealization of childhood tends to obscure the dark side of innocence. Children often lack the context to understand their experience of the supernatural and are inclined to feel the shapeless forces that inhabit their interior world lurking just outside of their field of vision, ready to spring into the next frame. 

Kai Bartram is a printmaker and newly minted art librarian who lives and works in Delaware

What art school friends have you watched develop and kept in touch with?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Post Bar Mitzvah Thoughts

Last weekend our son Nate became a bar mitzvah. He did a great job leading the services, both Friday evening and Saturday morning. He wrote and read a beautiful d'var Torah (speech) (and yes I did get teary eyed), there was a lovely kiddush following the services followed by a luncheon, then some people back at the house, and a skating party for school and soccer friends the following day.

whew. it was fun, a little exhausting, but the good kind.

This is what life is about. Celebrating, sharing, witnessing our children growing, milestones, in the midst of all this, a cousin passed, my mother in law was in and out of the hospital, the kids' entertainment got the flu and cancelled, other guests had it as well and couldn't make it.

This is what life is about. Celebrating, sharing, and rolling with it. whatever it is.
Table centerpieces (relocated to skating bleachers!)
"Yoyo's (made from pie plates) with photos of Nate
and balloons from Fulton Paper.

It's all good.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Drawn to Form- Artist as Collector

Sculptor Mami Kato is this week's guest blogger for our Artist as Collector Series.

The piece on the left is by Martin Puryear.

About 4 years ago, we were fortunate to have a chance to visit his studio, and saw this piece in his trash box. I really loved it at first glance, and I whispered to my daughter to ask him if we could take that piece with us (instead of me asking). So, she did and he generously accepted that request. 
 Now it’s in our house.
 This piece didn’t end up as part of his finished work, but it still has the same certain quality that his work contains. I love feeling the form of the piece with its certain mass and curves with nice weight.

 The piece on the right is by my good friend Keiko Miyamori.
 I think that she has a magnetic personality and a beautiful sensibility to listen to the small voice and feel the gentle body temperature of the existence which is often overlooked in the modern society.
 This piece is a pair of wooden molds for children’s shoes, covered with washi paper (Japanese paper) which had previously been rubbed over some tree bark with graphite.
 I saw this piece in her show and l loved it.
 Her work consistently captures her personality and the pureness of this piece is no exception.      

Mami Kato's work is informed by her childhood memories of growing up in Northern Japan.
Currently, her work takes on more universal themes such as "where and when we exist in the view of quantum cosmology and the Buddhist view of the structure of the world and how recognize our surroundings through those ideas."

Mami was awarded a 2011-12 Visual Arts Fellowship from CFEVA (Center for Emerging Visual Artists.)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

It's Not too Late- 2013

It's not too late to slow down, or better yet, stop, reflect and catch your breath. (Well actually 2012 is over, but I wrote this post on the 31st and somehow never hit publish!) oh well.... here you go, never the less!
Slowing Down to Catch Up
Installation view at theFashionCenter, NYC
2012 may be on its way out but there are countless opportunities to start anew- whether you practice setting New Year's resolutions or not.  Listening to Krista Tippett's inspiring interview with Jon Kabat- Zinn on her show (12/29/12)  not only remindes me that each moment is a new beginning, but also, that being mindful, being present, and practicing gratitude opens us up to the beauty, the miracle, the lesson in each moment.

Personally 2012 was a healthier, more productive, and also more mindful year than the year before. Much of what happened in 2011 was beyond my control but my intention was to live fully in 2012 appreciating the gifts and the challenges that came with it.  Now as 2013 is just a few hours away, I am thinking about some goals and intentions for the New Year but I want to remember that every moment is a gift, and that creativity is not only what we do with our lives but who we are.  It is when we slow down to catch up with ourselves that we are pure possibility.

And that is so friggin' exciting!