Thursday, February 27, 2014

YoungMoms Make Exquisite Corpses

Art workshop #2 of my Leeway ACG '2013 with YoungMoms of Kennett Square, PA found us lying around, mixing it up, and creating personal symbols of beauty, strength, hope and faith.
We traced...
Building upon our first week together where we learned about women who have had positive impact on the world and made collages, this week we collaborated to create exquisite corpses, based on the Surrealist parlor game where people would take turns adding words or images to a single piece of work resulting in surprising hybrids.
After one girl in each group was traced, we cut up the outlined figure, with each girl working on a section.
 Then put them back together.
And here we are... our own awesome super heroes!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Artist Talk as Conversation

Thank you to everyone who came out Sunday, Feb. 23rd for my Catch & Release Artist Talk at Project Space DE
Photo: Carol Lesher
I began with a question to the group; "What, if any, is the connection or relationship you see between my two dimensional paintings and drawings and my sculptures?" (often what is obvious to the maker is not to the viewer) and from there the artist talk was a wonderful conversation.
Catch & Release
Project Space DE
photo:Dain Simons
The nets and hanging cast resin tea bags evoked different reactions from various people one of my favorite was from Jerry Hodge, a designer and guide with me at the DCCA (DE Center for the Contemporary Arts.) Jerry, usually quite vocal sat there quietly for quite a while and then shared a story with us.
Many years ago he went on a night fishing trip with a local tribe in the Amazon in South America. Paddling out in canoes from dug out tree trunks, the still dark waters came alive when they came upon some bioluminescence. He said it was an incredibly beautiful and spiritual moment. And, sitting there looking at the gallery seeing the light reflecting through and off my cast resin tea bags dangling in the midst of the net like structures reminded him of that time memorable time. Though I have yet to go to the Amazon, this piece is titled Sanctuary, apparently, quite fitting for some.

Far wall: Frenzy, acrylic, spray paint on canvas
30" x 40"
There were other wonderful comments that I seem to remember snippets of, fortunately, writer Catherine Quillman was there with her recorder and notebook and I look forward to sharing with you her article.
Vertigo (partial view), 24" x 18' acrylic, spray paint collage on linen
My homemade mandel brot (like biscotti)
were a bit hit too!
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Portrait of Emma- Artist as Collector

Colorado based artist Ayn Hanna is this week's guest blogger for the Artist as Collector Series.

fabric, stitching, and acrylic paint, 
Leslie Gabrielse is a textile artist from the Netherlands.  We were introduced to one another by mutual friend several years ago and became fast friends.  

I love how he is able to convey strong line and color in his textile work using fabric, hand-stitching cotton threads, and acrylic paints.  He draws and paints with fabric!  When I saw his portrait work, I knew he was the perfect artist to create a portrait of our “kid”, our chessie-lab “Emma” as a special gift for my mom Sally, Emma’s favorite “Grandma”.  During a visit last summer, Leslie took several photos of Emma, then returned to his studio to make the portrait.  
Emma, her portrait and her favorite Grandma

Sally and Leslie with the commissioned portrait of Emma
On his next trip to the US last Nov, Leslie presented us with this beautiful portrait, and we were able to present the portrait gift as a surprise to “Grandma” while Leslie was here – that made it extra special.

Ayn Hanna is a printmaker and textile artist. Her work is an exploration of media and processes as well as ideas through her strong composition, rich texture, layers, patterns and color. Her subject matter includes imagery from the natural world as well as abstract compositions informed by her dreams.

She is exhibiting her work in booth #719 at the American Craft Council Baltimore Show, Feb. 19-23.  The show is open to the public on Feb. 21-23.  For details click here

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Playlist or Podcast?

In the studio, I often need silence to be fully present with my work- to pay full attention to what is often the smallest hint of the next step in the evolution of something.
Life Line II (detail #1)
wire, pulp, encaustic, collage
photo: Dain Simons
It also depends on what I am doing. Working from life or well into a piece, music can be a great energizer, moving the brush, wrapping the wire, dipping the pulp-caught up in the momentum of the beat, the words.

If I am on a path where I can see the light of sorts and would like inspiration or interesting conversation, but may need to pay more attention to my footing, then I podcast. 
Life Line II
wire, pulp, encaustic, vinyl tubing, collage
Yesterday was a podcast day, working on a painting I listened to OnBeing's Krista Tippett's interview with Ann Hamilton at the Minneapolis Museum of Art in January 2014. I loved Ann's insights about time and presence and "letting things take the time they actually need."  There is that time and trust as Makers (Ann prefers that to Artist)  that we need to give something so that it can become what it needs to be. 

Life Line II (detail #2)
This Catch & Release Series of my nets has been and continues to be a lesson in allowing the time for it to become what it needs to be.

Threads, materials, and parts come together, find each other and are connected with fishing line and vinyl tubing to feed off and sustain each other. Each component is a vessel that holds something and whose strength comes from its ability to be a part of something larger than itself.

We may not know where are are going but where we are is worth our attention.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Feeling the Love

collage of teen activist
Malala Yousafzi
Want to learn more about the women we
learned about click here?
February is the perfect time to start this new project with YoungMoms of Kennett Square made possible by a Leeway Foundation Art & Change Grant.
YoungMoms is a great group of young women and volunteers
supported Lisa Macmain, founder and creater of this group
and director, Linda Mercner.
We first worked together with a Leeway Foundation ACG '2010 collograph prints using recycled baby and toddler clothing as our print matrix to tell the stories of motherhood. We stiffened these articles of clothing with gel medium, rolled up with ink and ran through an etching press. Then, inn 2011 we created Altered Books and journals through a grant by an anonymous generous donor.
We discussed characteristics of a hero... and then learned about these
8 women and created collages with words and images.
The intention of this new residency is to learn about women who have faced challenges and adversity to create positive change in the world. Based on what we learn about them- and ourselves, we are working collaboratively to create collages, drawings and for our main project, mixed media sculptures.
Somaly Mam & Sonya Sotomayor
Oprah Winfrey

Taking risks, being brave, putting others first, helpful, inspiring... feeling the love, and so happy to have the privilege of working with this young women and YoungMoms once again.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Secret Heart Throb on her walls

California based artist Belinda Chlouber is this week's guest blogger for the Artist as Collector series.
Secret Heart Throb
 Mixed media on panel
“Secret Heart Throb” was one of the first significant pieces of art my husband and I purchased.  

Our good friend Tony Speirs was having an open studio and we had wanted one of his pieces for several years and he was kind enough to let us pay on installments for it. I like the confidence the woman in this piece exhibits, along with the colors and patterns. It has a Modigliani feel to me that I find fascinating. 

I really love having other artists work in house—I feel the art adds such a richness and depth to my living environment. And since we know many of the artists whose pieces we purchased I always think of them when I see their art, it’s sort of like having a part of their spirit here in my home.

Belinda Chlouber is a mixed media artist working with paint, monotypes, encaustic and mixed media collages with embroidery. Much of her work are inspired and based upon the poetry of her mother and grandfather.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Opening Shots

A huge thank you to everyone who came out to Project Space in Wilmington on Friday, Feb. 7 for my Catch & Release Artist Reception, a thank you to Artist and Founder/Director Kyle Ripp and her husband Kevin who added his touch as well for the reception... and much appreciation to Jessica Czerwin who took these awesome photos.
Jen McFarland with Kyle Ripp
in front of some of my Koi Paintings

Sanctuary- my mixed media installation was at the center of
the exhibition.
Detail of (tea) Time Line and
Life Line III
Fellow guide at DCCA and painter Bobbi Levitt
checking out Conduit
Scott and I with Immersed (framed)
and Stolen Moment, .... which is just what we
had at the end of a busy evening!