ARTOMATIC

Everyone, come down to Crystal City and support an amazing artist community.  Artists from all over the DC metro area exhibit a variety of artwork.  And— It’s FREE! You can find my art on the 6th floor — Gallery # 6107.  I’ll post some pictures soon, but definitely make your way down there for one of the special events.  This special exhibit lasts for 6 weeks!

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Empty Studio

New things must be coming in the studio, because it’s pretty empty right now.  I actually can’t stand the sight of it.  However, it just means that most of my current work is out in the real world getting looked at, and that is so gratifying.  I make all of these things in the comfort control room that is my studio. I am making it mostly for myself, to challenge my ideas, to see if I can make something from nothing, to carry out an idea on a theme.  Now, I’ve allowed it to leave my little bubble and be out among all the other viewers, purveyors of art.  I’m excited for these opportunities, and of course it’s great to have shows and exhibits to get a feel for how one’s work is perceived.  Next week, I’ll have the opportunity to go to that exhibit, talk a little about why and how I made those pieces and field questions about what people get out of what they’re looking at.  It’s scary and wonderful all at the same time.

But in the meantime, I haven’t had much time inside the studio this week. Between being back at my day job and dropping of my work for the exhibit, there has been very little time for making.  Next week, should balance out and I’ll be back in, completing some pieces and taking the leap to start another series (I hope).  The empty studio makes me think about possibilities!

But here are a few shots of this week, just to give you some perspective:

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New Threads hang off the edge of a piece.  Almost complete.
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Threads and floor.
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Time to fill the wall again!
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New piece, ready to be shown! (Ohio, Mississippi confluence)
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Where I unpacked all my pieces for a beautiful space in Falls Church, can’t wait to visit my pieces next week.
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Unpacking started, the big one (A Confluence) is rolled up on the floor.
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Picked up the painting in this exhibition catalogue this week.  What a great opportunity to be a part of the Maryland Regional Juried Art Exhibition.
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A new piece, and maybe a new series.  This one is being donated to the Workhouse. Hope to explore this more in 2017.

Great News

So excited that my art made it into another water show.  This will be my second water – themed exhibit and I couldn’t be more happier.  We all have a connection to water and it’s important that galleries and curators choose themes such as this to highlight important issues.  People always come into my studio and ask,” Why water?”  It’s a great question, and one that can be answered a million different ways.  For me, I feel that my art brings together two very simple issues.  How humans have developed civilizations next to water bodies and how we connect to them.  I didn’t always put objects or something recognizable in my artwork, but I do now.  I choose rivers, mostly, because they are abstract to us.  We don’t necessarily see what they look like from above, or the shape of them.  Most of the time, we see the piece of the river that is right next to us.  I like to look from a different view point, above, away. To capture more of the river, to capture the shape that most maps capture. Only then can we see it wind, twist, turn and become other water bodies, such as tributaries, creeks, and runs.

To see the next group show called H2O Waterworks, come to Alexandria Virginia to the Del Ray Artisan’s Gallery. I’m sure it’s going to be a great show.  It goes up November 4th!

Here is a link to the show and you can also check my current schedule for more details.

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Congo, 36″ x 12″, mixed media
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Zambezi (2016), 12″x36″, mixed media

 

The red thread

A while ago I was going through an artistic slump, I had no direction. I felt suffocated in my job as well as my artistic practice.  Lucky for me, I decided to take a class to keep up my teaching certificate.  Who would have thought that this class would have such a direct impact on my life and the way I have created art for the past 4 years.

I met a man named Kurt Godwin.  He was a professor of painting for VCU.  He primarily taught multidisciplinary classes for art educators, but it was clear that he was truly a renaissance man.  The first meeting we had as a class was at his home.  Not many professors invite you to their house without meeting you before hand.  I knew then, that this class would be different for me.

It was exactly what I needed.  I had been going through the motions of making art, but felt stagnant in my pursuits.  Kurt helped me turn that around by talking with me weekly about where I was going, what I was doing. But not in passive or aggressive kind of way.  He wanted to get to know his students…and often he would use humor to get at that relationship.

To push people to think beyond their own ideas, or to help students get “unstuck” he said, he always said,” Why not add a little red?”  What? Most people would give him a strange look, most people would just balk at the idea.  Why red?

One day I was working– and struggling on a painting I actually despised.  I was overworking everything about it, and it seemed hopeless.  Kurt came over and said,” What about a little red line?” I looked at him, thought about it….and from there I just interpreted that red line in a variety of ways.  Was it really about the red?  What was it about this exchange that had a deeply profound effect on the work I was doing?

I think it was because of the way in which he just connected to me.  He wasn’t in charge of my painting, I was.  I could decide what fit, what to let in.  He was just offering a little suggestion of what could be.  Red, a symbolically charged color, coming from a compassionate teacher who wanted to help a struggling artist to see more than she thought of herself.

This weekend is an opening for an exhibit that honors his memory.  If you happen to be in Alexandria, please go!  I won’t be able to make it, because I am still in India.  However, one of my pieces will be there.  It is sure to be an amazing show, with people from all over the area coming to honor a man who helped me see the red thread…the connection between the artist and the work.

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