A good time was had by all

This Saturday was “Second Saturday” at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA.  I decided to be more of a facilitator this time around and provide a free make and take workshop for anyone.  It was great! I had about 50 participants come in and hang out, while creating really beautiful pieces of art, all in a single postcard.  I provided all the supplies, they provided the inspiration.  And just in case, I had stamps and addresses for those who wanted to get a little political.

It was a great community gathering that I hope to do again for next month. I’m just thinking and considering– what could be the theme?  The subject?  The material?  Stay tuned and find out soon.  March is just around the corner.

Here are a few pictures from last night’s make and take:

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The first wave of artists dove right in!  Such a great start.
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Lots of stamping and collage making going on in this corner.  Not to mention the conversations and general laughter.
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Participants came and went, but it was a nice ebb and flow. 
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An expression of gratitude.
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Great experimenting happening all over the room!
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Loving this one– I wonder why?
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Yep! It happened here!
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Lively bunch, chatting it up and making art.

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New ideas

I’ve been playing around with some new ideas, and I think I’m liking it.  One of the benefits of having this studio and time out in the community at P22 is that I get to practice art.  Right?  I mean if you want to be good at something, you have to keep practicing, exploring and experimenting.  It’s just like anything else.  If I wanted to be better at guitar, or volleyball or cooking– I would practice.  Art is something that takes practice too.  There is a misconception that people just wake up as artists one day and they go paint a portrait, or draw a landscape. Very few people could actually do that , most artists practice everyday.  Yes, there are some people who have more of a predisposition to make art, but there are people with a predisposition who like to study engineering or cells.  All of us can take time to find out what we’re good at, but to practice takes passion.  Passion allows you to reach for something else.  To push yourself to uncharted territory.  Not someone else’s territory, but your own.  It’s your own journey, your own way to find out what you want to practice.  Now I get to be on that journey, and you’re welcome to come with me.

Yesterday I was at Palette 22, and here is a little bit of what I worked on:

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Working on wood with thread.
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Drawing maps on paper vellum and folding them.
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Building up layers on new small topographic studies paintings.

Summer time in the Studio

It’s my first week in my studio since I don’t know when.  It’s allowed me to work on a lot of projects that have been pushed to the side or stuck in my head.  This week I’ve already made some movement on some large paintings that should have been completed months ago, but I guess that’s all a part of the process.

It’s been great having so much studio time to do work and it has actually allowed me time to reflect on what I do, why I do it, and how I think it’s relevant.  Those are important questions to be asked of any artist.  The third question has been more important to me than many of the other questions, because it’s something that I feel is a struggle for me.  How is my art relevant?  Sure, it’s relevant to me, but how does it reach out to the general public or others I’d like to connect with.

In the next year, I’m going to explore that question.  I have ideas for my solo show in May at the Workhouse, but I’m not ready to give out that idea or talk about it yet.  All I know is that my theme for this show will be relevant, it will have something to say, there will be maps, and there will be cranes.

In the meantime, if you want a chance to come by and visit me, I will not be at the studio tomorrow.  I will resume my regular hours next week.  I will be at Palette 22 this Sunday from 10am -2pm doing some live painting!  I would love to see you there!

In the meantime here is a little glimpse of what I’ve been working on:

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Commissioned piece…color is done now. Working on the tributaries.
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The tributaries on this one are still wet, color will fade, but will leave some interesting texture and relief quality on the work.
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More little guys– just experimenting with more color.  A few people have noticed a green theme. And a blue theme.  I think it’s time to go bold.

Summer Schedule

So, it is summer! I know I’m a few days late, but I’ve finally been able to create a time when you can come see me in my studio!  I’m really excited about working there regularly throughout the season hope you’ll stop by.

Workhouse Arts Center, Building 6:

July 6 – July 22:  Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

August 3 -August 19: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

I will be there other times, as well, but you can always message me! I’ll be taking a summer holiday at the end of July, but then will return in August.  I will be there on some weekends, but those are yet to be determined.

Also, catch me on Tuesday, July 5,  from 12:00 – 4:00 pm at Palette 22, in Shirlington.  Watch me do some live painting and get yourself a cool drink!  I’ll also be there Sunday, July 10, from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm for brunch.

 

Saturday Studio session

This weekend I spent the early part of my afternoon at Palette 22.  I had a really nice time working on some new paintings.  I started using my newspapers I brought back from India, and I’m making a few small guys while I’m an artist in residence at the restaurant.  It was fun meeting and talking with the people that stopped by and checked in to see what I was doing.  A few just wanted to see what I was up to, while others complimented me.  I really enjoyed the two elementary school students who came by to ask me what I was doing.  They had no idea what collage was, but seemed really interested.  Then I asked them what they thought I was working on, and one said,” An elephant?”.  I said, ” I can see how you would guess that.” I showed them that the collage was part of a map and that I liked to mix different techniques together.  I said,”  Do you think you would ever try that?”  One said,” I didn’t know you were allowed.”

That is why I teach, folks.

It’s been a great chance to mingle with the community, unexpected conversations from all people today.

Here’s a peak at what I was working on:

 

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Netted Tributaries.  Above a woman dining.
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Newspaper, not maps, this time.
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More newspaper clipping from India.
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Two little guys directly across from me.

I’m in

This week has been so busy, but in a good way.  I made it to the studio a few times this week and also started a new “job”.  It’s not really a full time job, more like an artist gig to get out into the community.  I’m now working as an Artist in Residency with Palette 22.  Palette 22 is a restaurant in Shirlington, VIrginia (right outside of Washington, DC) that specializes in art on the plate and art on the walls.  It’s a vibrant place, and really interesting.  I was just there painting and making this past Wednesday, and I’ll be there again next Saturday June 4th from 12:00 – 4:00.

I’m hoping to get a regular schedule going there throughout the summer, so if you’re around and near by, come on in!

Here are a few pictures of what’s been going on this week:

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This week’s set up at Palette 22.
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Work in progress at Palette 22.
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Up and ready to be sold!
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My new studio at Workhouse Art Center in Lorton, Virginia. 

As soon as the school year is over, I’ll have a regular schedule at both places.  I can’t wait to interact with the community and share what I’m doing.  Already I’ve been inspired to create some new pieces that are a little bit of departure from where I am.  I can’t wait to use both spaces as tools to see what where I can go.

Studio update

I’m moved into my new studio space over at the Workhouse Art Center in Lorton, Virginia.  Of course there is more settling in to do, but I managed to get a bit of work done today.  After dropping supplies off all week, it was nice to get busy on my art again.  The move went well, and I had such a warm welcome from my new art community.  Lucky for me, my studio is in a mixed media art community, where there are weavers, fabric workers, painters and jewelry makers.  I feel fortunate that I get to work side by side with all of these creative beings.  It’s sure to inspire.

Soon I hope to have a real schedule of times where I will be available to meet people, and be available for Workhouse visitors, but until then I’ll be there irregularly until the school year ends.

On the bright side, I’ve been given an opportunity to make art in a local restaurant called Palette 22 .  I will be there this coming week from 5-9 pm during their dinner seating.  I’m excited that I’ll be interacting with the public.  I’m not quite sure what I’ll be making yet, but I have a feeling it will involve newspapers from India……

Stay tuned for updates and pictures to follow of these new experiences.  I can’t wait to share them!

 

Make a small purchase, make a significant contribution: Flood Aid for Schools in Chennai

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Topographic Studies, 6in x 6in, $60 each
Relief efforts are now underway to help the people who have been affected by the monsoon floods in the region of Tamil Nadu in India. In an effort to help communities who are most devastated by the floods in the region, I am raising money for a non-profit based in Chennai. The NalandaWay Foundation works with children in under-served areas by providing arts programming all over the region. This organization has been mobilizing efforts to get aid to where it is needed and are intending to support the schools that have been affected the most.
If you would like to help bring infrastructure back to the local schools and provide vital support to the community, please consider purchasing one of my 6”x6” mixed-media paintings. I’m asking for a minimum donation of $60 per piece. I will insure that all proceeds from the sale (minus shipping and cost of supplies) will go directly to the NalandaWay Foundation. Each piece is titled “Topographic Study” and made with re-purposed maps, acrylic paint and ink on hard board. Each piece is ready to hang and signed on the back. There are 27 individual pieces that are available to purchase. I would be able to ship directly or deliver to you when possible.
I will be traveling to Chennai to collaborate with NalandaWay Foundation as part of a grant provided by the Fulbright Distinguished Awards and Teaching program on January 3, 2016 and will return May 1, 2016. For any information regarding this effort please message me.