Thursday, February 22, 2007

process process process

This is a shot of a current piece I have in process. I feel like everything I'm working on at the moment is in process. Both my painting and collage instructors encourage me to keep my work process focused (taking risks and learning new things) not focused on the final piece (being cautious and careful that people including myself will like it). While I know I'll learn more that way, and I've just about filled my sketchbook with notes and ideas about this process, I still want a finished piece to hang on my wall, to see and share. I can't help myself.

This piece is a modular approach to a composite composition (or you could say it's a complex group of ideas and symbols divided into many different pieces of boards - same thing). I'm trying to be more loose, fluid, and care free. How am I doing? The more I think about being looser the tighter I get! I have more notes and sketches on this project than I have marks on the actual piece. I think that's part of the reason I love working in my sketchbook, I can be wild and loose and workout my ideas freely - skip the ones that stink and refer back to the ones I like. (and I'll dive deeper into that subject once my sketchbook class gets started)

Next week I'll be gathering my favorite pieces together to submit to the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria Virginia. While it's competitive to get accepted as well as find a studio to work in, I'm hoping to be selected as a resident. I was lucky enough to meet with Kathy Beynette and Sheep Jones (2 of my favorite artists in the studio) this morning to get their opinions on my work. They both agreed after looking at everything (prints, paintings, collage, assemblage, and books) that I should submit my prints. It was a boost to get such positive feedback from two stellar artists and have their reaction to the work echo mine. It will be another process for me to get my application ready...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

True love?

Recently while in class we were asked to state why we make art. A fellow classmate responded that she loves art supplies and that her collection is so vast that she'd like to learn how to put them to use. There is definitely a part of me that can relate to that... A friend pointed out how much I love art making materials. It's true. Usually I don't leave the art supply store until my blood sugar has dropped and forced me out.

Last week was my sixth and final visit to the Joseph Cornell show at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Every time I visit I learn something new about his work. The show is filled with heaps of goodies. Boxes are labeled with: corks, clear plastic boxes, mouse material, coral, springs, marbles, glasses, balls, flotsam and jetsam, and so on. What do I have? What do I need? That's the thing - my visionary of an instructor Katie Dell Kaufman reminds me that I already have everything I need. So true!!! So why do I keep going to the art supply store? And looking, looking, looking... The place I've been looking lately is my sketchbook.

When Mr. Cornell started gathering these item he was interested in collecting - as he organized and reorganized his collection he discovered inspiration and relationships between the items. He found stories, metaphors, and a doorway into his imagination. The materials continue challenge and intrigue me, especially when incorporating collage. I'm always feeling my way around the materials and mediums I have in my studio - or junk shop - or the scraps I find on Columbia Pike (always interesting stuff to be found there). This week I'm starting a new project that will have modular pieces and based on discovery - I wonder what I'll find along the way?


Thursday, February 08, 2007

I'm going to need more paint.

I started a new painting class last week with Tom Green. He's approachable, helpful and a heck of a painter. Much of his work is about symbols and graphic interpretations which I am drawn towards. Knowing that I wanted to work larger I started off with the biggest canvas I had - 16" x 20"(pictured here). Well - it only took about 2 minutes to see I had the smallest canvas in the class. The good news is that regardless of it's size I am happy with the outcome. I'm warming up. This group must go through paint by the gallon. I love the idea of working larger than me so I went out and bought a roll of canvas! Whew, no excuse not to work larger now... I just hope I'll use it up while I'm still on earth. The piece I just started is about 35"x40", stay tuned it might take me a while to finish.

Monday, February 05, 2007

It's Story Time

Tomorrow night is the opening reception for Story Time.

This is the 22nd annual Corcoran College of Art + Design Print Portfolio and will be on view February 1 - 10, 2007 at the Kathleen Ewing Gallery. The portfolio contains the work of faculty and students from the BFA and Continuing Education programs. Thirty-one artists are represented in this year’s exhibition with work ranging from traditional intaglio and relief, to more experimental forms, including digital screen printing, photo-etching and lithography, to mixed media techniques.

We'll be at the Kathleen Ewing Gallery (1609 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20009) Tuesday, February 6, from 6pm - 8pm. It's alway a great show. I love seeing all the different interpretations on the theme, and most of the artists will be there which makes for a great party. Hope you can come by.

Artists: Andrew Hendricks, Angela Rich, Bethany Hansen, Caitlin Sherwood, Carolee Jakes, Carolyn Hartmann, Craig P. Webb, Dennis O'Neil, Emma Riley, Eric Klug, Evan Jensen, Georgia Deal, Hedieh Ilchi, Jordana Eisen, Kate Woodliff, Katie Brownell, Kerry McAleer-Keeler, Lisa Grabenstetter, Lynn Sures, M. Alexander Gray, Manuel Navarrete, Melissa P. Hackmann, Paul Jeffreys, Paula Wachsstock, Pepa Leon, Pierrette Montone Richard Lindsey, Sung Hong, Tracey Cullen, Tracy Pilzer, William R. Tuthill

Gallery info:
Kathleen Ewing Gallery
1609 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20009
202.328.0955 -
Tuesday - Saturday 12 - 6, and by appointment

Saturday, February 03, 2007

What will be next?

Now that my three week art making boot camp session is completed I've been assessing what I've created. While you can't tell from this photo, I'm dividing the artwork into piles based on how much I liked the outcome and how much I enjoyed the process of that specific piece. I'm also investigating the artworks that just couldn't get to any stage of satisfaction - and if I changed one color or one mark - would it make a difference? My memory is already getting a little fuzzy. My next step is to make a list describing what types of work I am going to approach next - or rather what elements of design and themes will get pulled into my next collages, prints and painting. This guideline should provide a focus and still be open to play and possibilities.

Last week I kicked off the spring semester at the Corcoran. I'm studying painting and collage this semester. My sketchbook class will be starting March 22nd. For more information on Discover-Record-Sketch: A Sketchbook Development course and registration information check out the Corcoran College of art + design web site. My course is listed under the continuing education drawing section. This 7 week course will meet on Thursday's and is going to be a lot of fun. We'll be making a few books out of alternative materials, exploring the benefits of keeping a sketchbook, and discussing how to get started so that you can make it a habit.